Kyle Walker's former coach insists he can stop Kylian Mbappé in World Cup quarter final

Kyle Walker
It will be Kyle Walker's job to stop Kylian Mbappé running riot in England's World Cup quarter final clash with France. Credit: PA Images

Kyle Walker's former coach has backed him to stop Kylian Mbappé ahead of England's highly anticipated World Cup quarter-final against France.

The two sides meet on Saturday, with the challenge of containing France's number 10 one of the main obstacles as England aim to reach a second World Cup semi-final in succession.

Mbappé has been in scintillating form and is the tournament's top scorer, with five goals in his first four games.

But Ron Reid, who coached both Walker and his international team-mate Harry Maguire at Sheffield United's academy, says the Manchester City defender is England's best hope of keeping the Paris St Germain man quiet.

France's dangerman, Kylian Mbappé. Credit: PA

"He'll be handful," Reid said, "but if anybody can deal with him in the England side, it's Kyle Walker."

The Blades' former academy manager has seen a number of his students go on to become big names, including England internationals Phil Jagielka and Dominic Calvert-Lewin and local hero Billy Sharp.

Speaking to ITV News, Reid said it would be a special thing to see his former charges play in the crunch match.

He said: "The proudest moment any coach can have is when a couple of the lads who you've been involved with are actually playing for England.

"When two are playing in the back three, it's fantastic.

"We spent a lot of time trying to develop good players, and we were fortunate that we did. We had a good scouting system, and we got loads of players in."

Reid said Walker's potential was recognised early. While playing an under-18 game away at Crewe, Ron "got a tap on the shoulder" from Noel Blake, then manager of England under-19.

Ron Reid was Sheffield United's academy manager for over 10 years between 2000 and 2011

He said Walker was "just what [he was] looking for" and would pick him for their next game. Walker was drafted in.

Originally a striker, Walker volunteered to move to full back during one of United's academy games.

Following an excellent performance, he kept the position from then on.

Reid said his full debut was one of the best he had seen at Championship level.

"It was like a duck to water, he just floated through the game," he said. "He was fantastic."

And he claims Walker has the attributes to match Mbappé.

"I think he can match him for pace, I just don't want him getting too tight on him. They'll have got their tactics sorted out, and I've got every confidence in Kyle dealing with him."

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