Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has suggested that veteran defender Kyle Walker will not play for the Cityzens again this season, revealing that he does not think that Walker has the football brain to play in his new look City side.
The England defender has been a mainstay of the City side since his £50m move from Tottenham in 2017, and has racked up just shy of 250 appearances for the northwest side during their most successful spell ever.
However, a change of tactics has seen him in and out of the side this season, with Guardiola instead opting for young Rico Lewis or even central defenders such as John Stones and Manuel Akanji to fill in ahead of the Englishman.
And now, the City boss has revealed that a change in system to play with inverted fullbacks has left Walker on the outside looking in.
“The reason why is tactical. It’s not because we lost faith in Kyle,” said Guardiola.
“He can play coming inside and he has done it many times, but like in the position [against] Liverpool with Rodri and John, he will maybe need time to do it and we don’t have time.”
“He (Walker) cannot do it. To play inside you have to make some educated movements,” he added.
“He has other characteristics. He will always have pace. He will be the fastest in this room at 60 years old.”
But he was quick to offer comfort to the 32-year-old, who has long been a mainstay of the City side.
“Nobody has a guarantee with me. They have to earn it and sometimes we need a different shape for the way we build up or defend. Some players adapt better than the other ones.
“They take it personally but we are not against them. We just need something and try to use it.”
City face Southampton this weekend as they look to chase down table-topping Arsenal, while they also have a mammoth Champions League clash against Thomas Tuchel’s Bayern Munich side later this month as they bid to end their European drought.