England boss Gareth Southgate has revealed why Kyle Walker was named in his 26-player World Cup squad ahead of Reece James despite both coming off the back of injuries.
It was reported earlier this week that Southgate had informed James that he would not take any risks with his injury and so would be omitted from his final selection.
However, Walker, who has not played since undergoing groin surgery last month, was named in the squad, and Southgate was quizzed on this decision at a press conference.
“Kyle is not back in full training yet but he will be available for the group stage,” Southgate said.
“We had to make a difficult call with Reece, who is a fantastic player. But he wasn’t going to be available until, if everything went perfectly, the latter stages of the tournament.
“There were too many unknowns on this road to recovery, and I don’t think we could take a player that’s not available for the group stage, I think that would be deemed arrogant in some circles.
“If everything went well and he was available and ready, you’d be bringing him into a quarter-final after eight weeks out. That would be really demanding.”