Arsenal legend praises Spurs star
Ex-Arsenal player and Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has praised Tottenham right back Kyle Walker’s recent performances for England- branding him ‘the best player of the Euros’ so far.
Walker has started both of England’s games so far – against Russia and Wales – but reports claim the Tottenham defender is set to be rested in favour of Nathaniel Clyne on Tuesday night.
The omission is said to be one of six Hodgson will make for the Slovakia tie, with England aiming to top Group B at Euro 2016.
Speaking to Sky Sports News HQ, Merson said: “I don’t blame Roy Hodgson for this one bit – it’s a good move to give players a rest, especially Kyle Walker – my god – he’s been the best player at the tournament so far. He’s been absolutely phenomenal.
“I think you need to rest players – France did it against Albania. They left Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann on the bench.
“It’s very rare a team gets out in the papers, and it’s not the team.
“Whoever goes onto win the tournament isn’t going to play the same eleven players throughout the tournament – it’s a squad of 22. Our squad is quite level all the way through.
“We’re not one of those squads where if the first eleven don’t play then the others coming in are weaker. Daniel Sturridge would play for any team in this European Championships – he’s that good.”
If England beat Slovakia and finish top of the group – or even draw to finish top depending on Wales’ result against Russia – the Three Lions will face a third-placed team in the round of 16 and secure an easier passage to the later stages.
By Ben Kelly – @benkelly_10