Pep Guardiola casts doubt over Kyle Walker's future as he admits he 'cannot' carry out his tactics at Man City | The Sun
PEP GUARDIOLA has cast doubt over the long-term Manchester City future of Kyle Walker.
The Etihad chief has been trying a new system which involves his full-backs inverting to effectively play in midfield.
John Stones, Rico Lewis and Nathan Ake have all done it successfully in recent weeks – but Guardiola admits it is not something that suits Walker.
And with City chasing glory on three fronts over the final two months of the season, there is no time for him to learn it now.
Walker has been benched for his team’s last two Prem games and must wait and see if he is back in the team for this evening’s trip to Southampton.
Asked if Walker can play as an extra midfielder, Guardiola said: “He cannot do it. Kyle will always have pace – he will be the fastest in this room at 60.
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“But to play inside you have to make some educated movements and he doesn’t have all the characteristics.
“I'm not going to ask someone who has done what he has done to change.
“He has played as a full-back coming inside with four in the back and has done it really well.
“But with this shape of three in the back and two in the middle he cannot do it.
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“He will maybe need time to do it and we don't have time.”
Walker has just one year remaining on his existing contract at the Etihad and has yet to agree any kind of extension.
His hopes of earning a new deal were not helped when he was given an out of court disposal by police for indecently exposing himself while drunk last month.
Since joining from Tottenham six years ago, he has only ever been left out of three consecutive league games when fit on one other occasion.
Guardiola was asked what he needs to do to get back in favour and replied: "Be himself. Train good, he can play in the three at the back on the right.
“Sometimes we play with Manuel Akanji or John Stones. The reason why is tactical. It's not because we lost faith in Kyle.
“It's just a question of skills. The quality sometimes you need some specific things, there are players that have his qualities.”
Guardiola pointed out there are other big name players who have had periods out of the team but have been rewarded for being patient.
He said: “Since I arrived here there are players who played and then don't play. Ruben Dias in the last games has been exceptional but went two months without playing a minute.
“Kevin De Bruyne didn't play some important games. It happened with me I'm sorry it's my fault. But I see the players in training and on the pitch.
“Look at Nathan Ake this season. Last season he didn't play one minute and now he is undroppable. It happens.
“Nobody has a guarantee with me.
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“They have to earn it and sometimes we need a different shape for the way we build up or defend and some players adapt better than the other ones.
“It's simple. They take it personally but we are not against them, we just need something and try to use it. “
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