Spurs' Kyle Walker out of derby clash with Arsenal?

Kyle Walker

Tottenham Hotspur defender Kyle Walker has been ruled out of the England squad and looks set to miss the North London derby as well.

The young Spurs full-back picked up a hamstring injury late in the North Londoners’ clash with Manchester City on Sunday.

He was set to receive an England call-up from national team manager Roy Hodgson ahead of England’s friendly away against Sweden on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old has been making great leaps in his development since returning to Tottenham after successive loan spells at Sheffield United, Queen’s Park Rangers, and Aston Villa.

He’s now cemented his place in the Spurs’ first-team where he has taken up his position at right-back and made 48 appearances in the senior team.

England boss Hodgson is keen to test the pacey defender ahead of crucial World Cup 2014 qualifiers away against San Marino and Montenegro early in the New Year.

He’s made 4 senior appearances for the national side so far but has yet to dislodge Liverpool’s Glen Johnson from his preferred position. He also now faces tough competition for his place from Arsenal’s Carl Jenkinson who now looks set to join the England squad, despite initial call-ups from Finland.

Jenkinson had been a revelation filling in at right-back for Bacary Sagna but it looks as if neither of the young Englishmen will get a run out in the North London derby next Saturday.

Walker’s hamstring injury will likely see him sit this one out – manager Andre Villas-Boas will be cautious and could rest him even if he makes a speedy recovery.

Meanwhile, across town Arsenal’s Sagna has made his full return to the first-team since suffering a broken leg at the tail-end of last term. His understudy Jenkinson performed well in his absence but his inexperience will understandably see him benched, as Wenger opts for the elder to handle Gareth Bale.

image: © apasciuto

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