Pundit finds it weird unfit Man City stars Phillips and Walker are in England World Cup squad but no Reece James

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Former Arsenal star Paul Merson has slammed Gareth Southgate’s decision to take unfit Manchester City stars Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips to the World Cup while leaving out Chelsea star Reece James.

Merson told Daily Star: “It feels like (Conor) Gallagher has been included as cover for Kalvin Phillips, who has barely played a football match this season. I just find it weird that he’s willing to gamble on Phillips and Kyle Walker but not Reece James?

“If it was Harry Kane he would be going – what’s the difference? We aren’t going to win the World Cup without having James in the team. He is a shoo-in to start and if we took him, he plays in England’s team every day of the week. He is one of our best players.

“If it was Kane, they would say ‘right we’ll take him and use him after the group stages’. We are as bad as anybody at the back so we need to take one of our best players. I just don’t understand it. He is as important as Kane.”