In their recent friendlies, Gareth Southgate’s England have played three at the back with Kyle Walker as the right-sided centre back. Walker is, of course, a right back at club level, who enjoyed a hugely impressive season with Manchester City. Nonetheless, despite Walker’s pre-eminence in his natural position, Southgate has decided to deploy him as a centre back as England moved away from their traditional back four to begin their preparations for Russia 2018.
Southgate wants defensive solidity, a high line, and increased movement between the lines to improve England’s attacking options. Walker may be a world class full back but for Southgate’s England, his selection at centre back makes sense