Arsenal still 'fierce rivals' for Walker despite leaving Tottenham for Manchester City

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Kyle Walker Manchester City
The England international is preparing to face the Gunners in the Carabao Cup final, with the former Tottenham defender determined to down old foes

Kyle Walker may have traded Tottenham for Manchester City, but he still considers Arsenal to be “fierce rivals” ahead of the Carabao Cup final.

The England international completed a £50 million transfer in the summer of 2017, with Pep Guardiola having added his qualities to a star-studded squad at the Etihad Stadium.

Walker has helped City to piece together a Premier League title bid and Champions League challenge, while also chasing down League Cup success.

That competition offers the 27-year-old a first opportunity to get his hands on major silverware, with old rivalries set to be rekindled at Wembley for a man who spent eight years in north London.

Walker told Sky Sports on a meeting with Arsenal: “Spurs is a club which belongs to my heart and to get one over on their bitter rivals, and mine for a long time, would be a fantastic feeling.

“But it's a game of football and anything can happen in 90 minutes.

“They've made some excellent signings in January which we need to be careful of, and we need to just say: 'Let the best team win'.”

Walker left Spurs in a deal which made him the most expensive defender in world football at the time.

He admits that leaving his comfort zone was something of a gamble, but a big call has paid off as he now forms part of the one of the most exciting and ambitious sides in Europe.

“Spurs will always have a place in my heart, they gave me a chance to play Premier League football and I'll be forever indebted to them,” added the England international, who is also harbouring World Cup dreams ahead of the 2018 event in Russia this summer.

Kyle Walker, Sergio Aguero, Manchester City

"But it was something I needed to do for myself, the manager told me of his plans for the season and I wanted to be a part of it. Working under Pep Guardiola, a chance like that doesn't come along too often. That's no disrespect to Mauricio Pochettino, but the people that Pep has worked with grow as players.

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"Every game I see something and think 'how have you done that?' Playing behind Kevin De Bruyne you wonder what he's seen when he makes a pass and it just comes off but it's not only him, there's a number of special players here. I think that's put us where we are in the league, and coming into the cup final too.

"Tottenham were in a fantastic position when I left, they'd finished second twice, and people might ask why I left then and it was kind of a gamble, but it has paid off now.

"I gambled when I left QPR to go to Aston Villa half-way through the season when we were winning every Championship game, and that paid off. You just get a sense inside you and you have to go."