Boss Gareth South Gate confesses Kyle WalkerBritain’s long-term future may be at risk.
This Manchester City right-back being investigated by police allegedly exposed himself in a bar however, he is in Southgate’s squad to face Italy and Ukraine this month.
The alleged incident is said to have occurred after City’s 2-0 win. Premier League Defeat Newcastle in early March.
Walker had previously violated lockdown rules in 2020, and with the Southgate warning, what effect would off-field behavior have on the election?
Southgate has defended the 32-year-old’s call and believes nothing has yet prevented his inclusion, but acknowledged that if Walker has a case to answer, it could jeopardize his future in England.
“I don’t want to go too far into assumptions, but there was absolutely no reason not to hire him. If that changes we have to reconsider the situation and he will understand that, but we are where we are now.
“Whenever I talk to a player, I always think it’s between the player and me. I understand the additional scrutiny of the situation, but I don’t think I could respond to it any other way.
Walker was joined by Ivan Toney, who is facing a possible ban for violating better regulations.
Toney is still waiting Football Federation Verdict made after 262 FA were accused of violating gambling rules, with the possibility of a lengthy suspension.
But Southgate wants the Brentford striker, who turns 27 on Thursday, to make his mark on the international side.
“I also love the sense of faith on the pitch. I saw him at Arsenal and he went out on the pitch that day thinking he was going to wreak havoc,” he said.
“That’s a good sign, that’s what you need if you’re going to play for your country. The challenge is always to transform from one setting and bring the same mindset and belief to the next. That’s what we hope to give him the opportunity to do.”
Southgate returns for another European Championship qualifying campaign, kicking off against Italy in Naples on March 23 and hosting Ukraine in Group C on March 26.
England considered its future ahead of the World Cup in Qatar before heading to France in the quarter-finals, but was re-energized as it wanted to go better after losing the Euro 2020 final to Italy on penalties.
He said: “I’ve seen masses of fans who almost prefer the team to lose in order to move on to the next manager. If I was ahead of the tournament who could help the team get a free kick, I would have made that decision.
That’s not how we felt when we left Wembley (against Germany in September).
“There wouldn’t be a case of doing that just because I had some sticks because that’s the job. But I didn’t want to get in the way of the team’s performance.
“Now we have to start from scratch again. We have to have the humility to park that, yes, we want to be European champions and we’ve had a lot of experience that could help us get there, but as our opponents realize next week, you can get into trouble very quickly in the standings.
“We have to respect the challenges that qualifying brings for us.
“I think we can win Euro 2024. That’s the difficulty. I don’t think players need any more proof of what’s possible. They basically played in the biggest matches in the first bar of world football.
“They’ve had results against most of the top teams, but we have to do it more consistently.
“The scenario of going to Italy where we didn’t win for decades (1961) is a classic of the game genre where we have to start winning. If we’re looking for our next step as a team, that’s it.”