When Kyle Walker left Tottenham for Manchester City last summer, many felt the right-back’s departure to the Etihad would present an opportunity for the young Kyle Walker-Peters to stake a claim in Mauricio Pochettino’s thinking.
Kieran Trippier would, of course, be the Argentinian coach’s first-choice right-back and, given his performances both in the World Cup and last season, it was a decision that had been completely justified.
However, Walker’s exit certainly left room for £2.7m-rated (via Transfermarkt) Walker-Peters to at least come into the squad as Trippier’s deputy.
That, though, was not the case with Pochettino deciding to bring in Serge Aurier from Paris Saint-Germain to compete with the former Burnley man instead, and the Ivory Coast international’s arrival has left Walker-Peters’ future at the club in limbo.
One thing that is more clear is the fact that Pochettino definitely does rate the 21-year-old.
Walker-Peters signed a new contract with the club until 2021 back in May and just prior to that after an FA Cup replay against Rochdale, Pochettino said (via Football.London): “Look at Kyle Walker-Peters, he played 10 minutes on Wednesday night, he scored and he’s so happy and he can be so important maybe until the end of the season and the next game. You never know. Some players can get injured.”
Even with that being said, however, it is still hard to see Walker-Peters getting game time this season and adding to the three Premier League appearances he made last term.
Without a doubt, Walker-Peters has the ability to feature in Pochettino’s starting XI more often.
Blessed with a good amount of pace, Walker-Peters has looked confident when playing in the right-back position for Tottenham — even if a lot of the time it was against significantly weaker opponents — and could probably keep up with most left wingers in the division when it comes to a foot race.
But with Pochettino having to try and find a way to keep both Trippier and Aurier happy, there just is not any room for Walker-Peters to be rotated into the side.
Walker-Peters is also capable of playing at left-back but, just as on the other side, the competition between Ben Davies and Danny Rose will limit opportunities there as well.
It has become well-documented that Pochettino would prefer to oversee the development of the club’s most promising youngsters himself, rather than allow them to go out on loan.
However, that strategy may not be the best for Walker-Peters. The Tottenham youth product has the potential to become a leading right-back in the Premier League in the future, but risks delaying when that potential is fulfilled if at all.
A loan move in January for Walker-Peters, therefore, would be in everyone’s best interest, unless Pochettino can bump him up the pecking order.