Rob Cable allows us a peek at the latest Tottenham youngster to catch the eye- Kyle Walker-Peters.
Walker-Peters is a defensive full back for Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur. He is 20 years-old, stands at 1.74m and was born in Edmonton, London. The defender will wear the number 37 shirt for the 2017/18 season.
Tottenham underwent a controversial summer of transfers before completing some late captures. The North Londoners sourced doubters as they allowed a series of squad members to exit and hadn’t made any additions. Most notably, Kyle Walker made his record breaking £50m switch to Manchester City; a deal which left a lot of Spurs fans pondering how they would be able to secure a right back of such service. Along came Walker-Peters out of nowhere, a player who for many was totally unknown as of last season.
Who is Kyle Walker-Peters?
Walker-Peters made a name for himself as one of England’s U20s World Cup representatives earlier in the summer. The defender performed as Paul Simpson’s number one choice to operate down the right flank. Walker-Peters and his team enjoyed a highly successful tournament, eventually going on to win the final against Venezuela 1-0. England’s triumph in South Korea was largely down to their stubborn defence which racked up an impressive four clean sheets – something which Walker-Peters has been accredited for. The youngster also featured for England at U18 and U19 levels, making a total of 18 appearances.
It wasn’t long before Kyle Walker-Peters was introduced at club level. The right-back made his senior debut for Tottenham as they opened their Premier League campaign with an away fixture to newly promoted Newcastle United. It was a heroic introduction for the debutant who received the Man of the Match award and looks set to play an important contribution in a rotating role with Spurs’ other right back Kieran Trippier.
What is his Style of Play?
The Londoner is defensively disciplined, ensuring he sticks to a well organised backline and tightly marks opposition wingers. He prioritises his defensive duties but needs no excuse to get forward. Walker-Peters exposes defenders with his counter attacking runs, often hogging the sideline to make the pitch as big as possible.
The Spurs number 37 also plays at a quick tempo. He regularly combines with his midfielders with quick one touch passes, enabling an attack to develop at a more effective rate. Similarly to his predecessor, Kyle Walker, the England U20 international typically looks for one-two passing moves when stepping out of defensive areas and looking to create beyond the halfway mark.
What are his Strengths?
Firstly, the youngster is a real speed king. He has the ability to get back into position efficiently when coming back from offensive runs. To compliment his pace, the Spurs defender holds excellent movement. He has a tendency for bursting into space and making overlaps ahead of his winger.
Alongside his turn of pace, the Englishman has a high workrate defensively and offensively. His energy is unquestionable and it should be a characteristic that Pochettino will consider to be a huge plus for his side. The Tottenham manager has developed a team which is built fundamentally on stamina and work ethic, so Walker-Peters could well be a potential favourite of the Argentine.
The talented twenty year-old uses both feet. This allows Walker-Peters to not only burst down the wing with his slightly more comfortable right foot, but he also has the option to cut inside and use his left, making himself unpredictable and tricky for opposing players to anticipate.
What are his Weaknesses?
The Tottenham right-back could look to improve his overall physical game. His height and build prevent him from holding any significant upper-body strength. The Premier League is a very demanding division in terms of physique and power, so if Walker-Peters is called upon against a big forward, he may struggle to hold his own.
Although the Englishman possesses great attacking flair, he could target improving his ruthlessness in the final third. In particular, if Walker-Peters was to develop his dribbling and polish off his killer cross then he would be a real threat down the right flank. A promising right-back such as himself will be expected to introduce a high rate of assists to his performances, something which is becoming more and more standardized in the modern game.
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