Kyle Walker is showing no signs of slowing down in Man City’s treble pursuit… at 32 he remains the Premier League’s speed king – with times to rival USAIN BOLT in training – and it’s full steam ahead with Vinicius Jnr awaiting in the Champions League
- Walker has clocked up a top speed of 23.18 mph in the Premier League this term
- Legendary sprinter Bolt averaged a similar time over the course of a 100m race
- The City defender is still at his quickest ahead of his latest battle with Vinicius Jnr
It started with a sprint to rob Abdoulaye Doucoure of possession at Everton on Sunday and meandered in to a question on Tuesday of how Kyle Walker at the age of 32 manages to maintain the ability to move quite so fast. Where it ended was with the revelation that the Manchester City defender can run at a top speed that would command respect of the fastest human being of them all.
‘One of the sports science lads said I did 37.5kmh the other day in the speed thing,’ revealed Walker.
Over the course of a 100m race, world record holder Usain Bolt would average exactly that speed. In old money, it’s about 23mph. Bolt, now retired, would reach 44kmh towards the end of a race but still the numbers provide some insight in to the pace Walker will be able to rely on when he faces Real Madrid winger Vinicius Junior at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night.
Officially the quickest ever player in the Premier League (records only began at the start of last season), Walker has been clocked at 37.3kph in domestic play and 35.2kph in the Champions League.
Kyle Walker showed he remains the Premier League’s speed king against Everton on Sunday
Walker has been clocked at 23.18 mph for Man City this season, which is the average time Usain Bolt (right) produced over 100m
‘I probably have to say a big thanks to my mum and dad and their genetics,’ added the City right-back.
TOP PREMIER LEAGUE SPEEDS 2022-23 (MPH)
1. Kyle Walker (Man City) – 23.18
2. Brennan Johnson (Nott Forest) – 22.8
3. Mykhailo Mudryk (Chelsea) – 22.76
4. Anthony Gordon (Everton) – 22.74
5. Darwin Nunez (Liverpool) – 22.68
6. Arnaut Danjuma (Tottenham) – 22.58
7. Matheus Nunes (Wolves) – 22.57
8. Erling Haaland (Man City) – 22.51
9. Denis Zakaria (Chelsea) – 22.43
10. Reiss Nelson (Arsenal) – 22.41
*Gordon’s top speed came while he played for Everton. He moved to Newcastle in January for £40m.
‘Some players do slow down as they age but I don’t seem to be getting slower and I hope that continues.
‘I still feel great and feel fit. I am not that old! I have kept myself in relatively good shape. I look after myself on and off the field.’
Walker’s battle with the Brazilian Vinicius Jnr was one of the highlights of last week’s draw in the first leg at the Bernabeu. So was the hug the two players shared at the full-time whistle.
‘Well I went to hug him because he tried to rainbow flick me, ‘ smiled Walker, referring to a trick that sees a player trying to back heel the ball up and over an opponent’s head.
‘I was more like: “Don’t try that”. I don’t want to become an internet meme. Boxers fight and they have a good battle. Then they shake hands after. That’s the level of respect I have for him.
‘When it has been a good game, a good a battle, at the end of it, you show your respect.
‘Like when I played Kylian Mbappe for England at the World Cup. You give them the respect they deserve. But if I can’t compete with these top players, I shouldn’t be here. I need to make sure I come against the best and can deal with the best.’
Walker did not seem to be in City manager Pep Guardiola’s plans earlier in the season but has fought back to win his place in the team once more.
‘Of course it hurt,’ he added.
Walker is set for another fascinating battle with Vinicius Jnr (right) on Wednesday evening
The 32-year-old has regained his place under Pep Guardiola (right) after time out of the team
‘You start to doubt yourself but you have to go back to basics to what you are good at, what the manager bought you for and prove him wrong. That is what I have done.’
City are now closing in on a historic treble of trophies in one season and will clinch the first one – the Premier League – if they beat Chelsea at home on Sunday.
‘You have to just look over the road at Manchester United and what they have accomplished over a number of years,’ Walker added.
‘When you get compared to that team they won countless titles. We’ve done five in six years, if we can cross the line on this one.
‘The club is missing the other one [the Champions League] and, with the owners and the amount of money they have pumped into this club and the investment they have made, we owe that to them.’
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