Sheffield United: Is England’s former Blade Kyle Walker one of the best full-backs at Euro 2016?

England's Danny Rose (left) and Kyle Walker during a training session at Stade de Bourgognes, Chantilly. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo
England's Danny Rose (left) and Kyle Walker during a training session at Stade de Bourgognes, Chantilly. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo
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England’s Euro 2016 campaign is one game - and one point - old and Saturday’s opening draw with Russia yielded more questions than answers.

When should Jamie Vardy have been introduced? What is England’s white/white/red kit about? And why is a 6ft 2in striker, who won the Premier League’s Golden Boot, taking corners with a 5ft 7in winger in the box?

Much to debate, ahead of Thursday’s clash with Wales. After their solid showings against Russia, at least Tottenham Hotspur duo Kyle Walker and Danny Rose are assured of their place but beyond that; is there a better pair of full-backs in the entire tournament?

It’s difficult to argue otherwise. The former Sheffield United youngster and his Doncaster-born teammate would face stiff competition from Spain [Atlético Madrid’s Juanfran and Jordi Alba, a star of Barcelona] but against favourites France [Bacary Sagna, 33, and Patrice Evra, 35] and Germany [FC Köln’s Jonas Hector and Benedikt Höwedes, a centre-half recovering from a thigh injury], they certainly compare favourably.

Against Chris Coleman’s Wales, who are likely to play with three centre-halves, 26-year-old Walker and Rose, a year younger at 25, could prove key - certainly according to Harry Redknapp.

“After the performance against Russia, I’ll be disappointed if we don’t beat Wales and I think we’ve got more quality than them,” the former Spurs boss wrote in his Daily Telegraph column.

Kyle Walker

Kyle Walker

“I can’t see Roy Hodgson changing too much in terms of the team and I firmly believe the game could be won by our full-backs.

“Wales will play three at the back and I can see Danny and Kyle giving them massive problems because the space is all going to be down the side. Rose and Walker will actually be spare players against the system Chris Coleman plays.

“Raheem Sterling will be taking Chris Gunter away, Rose will be coming forward all afternoon and our first pass has got to be out to our full-backs. Then they make it two against one down the side and we can completely over-run the Welsh in the wide positions.

“We obviously can’t discount the threat of Gareth Bale, a fantastic player who is probably in the top five players in world football. I’m sure this is the one he’s been looking forward to and he will be desperate to make his mark.

“He won’t play wide because Rose is difficult to play one-on-one while Walker has got genuine pace so Gareth will want to do his work against the central defenders.”

There, he’ll likely come up against another local boy, Dronfield’s Gary Cahill. England’s Euro hopes may rest with their dazzling array of attacking talent, but are built upon the solid foundations of South Yorkshire steel.