FORMER England international Paul Parker feels Kyle Walker remains the country’s top right-back.

Walker faces hot competition for a starting berth in Gareth Southgate’s side with Kieran Trippier and Trent Alexander-Arnold among those also pushing for a place.

But the Billericay based Parker – a former right-back himself – believes the strength in depth also shows a major difference in the modern game.

“It shows you how much the game has changed,” said Parker, who won 19 caps for England.

“Before, people couldn’t really give a monkey’s who was playing right-back.

“It’s very competitive now but the best right-back in the country for me has always been Kyle Walker.

He’s had his moments at times but he’s learnt.

“Defensively he could switch off but his positional sense, especially against Germany and the Danes, was very good. He was fantastic at right-sided centre-back too.

“But I still think 80 per cent of being a right-back is to defend and anything more after that is a bonus.”

Walker’s fine form played a part in England reaching the final of Euro 2020 where they suffered a painful defeat to Italy on penalties.

However, Parker – who spent five years with Manchester United – is pleased to see the Three Lions moving in the right direction.

“It was great we got to the final of a competition where we have been consistently poor,” said Parker.

“We did fantastically well to reach the final.

“If anyone is honest they will say they didn’t expect us to get that far but the best team on day one was the best team on the last day.

“They got what they deserved but England are moving in the right direction.”

England will now turn their attentions towards next year’s World Cup.

But Parker knows expectation levels will now be higher than before.

“Gareth has given himself a massive mountain to climb now,” said the 57-year-old.

“He’s got England to a semi-final and a final and I think the Euros can be harder to win than the World Cup because most of the top teams in the world are in Europe.

“But we had an easier route to the final this time and maybe that worked against us in the end because we didn’t have enough competitive games.

“The Italians had Belgium and Spain and had their engines roaring before playing us so that could have made a difference.”

>Paul Parker will be joining Paul Walsh, Tony Gale and Frank McAvennie on BT Sport’s Angling Outlaws show early in 2022 – filmed in the heart of Essex’s finest fishing locations.