Kyle Walker-Peters: Good Enough to Make The Grade at Tottenham Hotspur?

kyle walker peters

The name Kyle Walker-Peters has been recognised in and around Tottenham Hotspur for a while now. An academy product that has promised so much potential to develop into a versatile full-back. But things appear to be stalling at Spurs for the young English defender. Opportunities have been few and far between, and he has struggled to capitalise on those given to him. So, the question that is increasingly on many Spurs fans’ lips – Is Kyle Walker-Peters going to make it at Tottenham?

Kyle Walker-Peters: Good Enough to Make The Grade at Tottenham Hotspur?

First Team Experience at a Premium

The U20 World Cup winner has shown some flashes of excitement within some of the opportunities given. His full Tottenham debut away to Newcastle United on the opening day of the 2017/18 season, produced a sensible and mature performance that earned him a deserved Man of the Match award. His most impressive showing came in last season’s Boxing Day thrashing of Bournemouth, where he memorably recorded three assists in 20 minutes to help Spurs to a comfortable 5-0 victory.

But disappointingly, Walker-Peters has been unable to cement his spot in the full-back role. Inexperience certainly comes into play, which was shown in Tottenham’s Champions League clash with Barcelona. It took just 6 minutes for Walker-Peters’ to come crashing back down to earth, being robbed of possession on the halfway line by Ousmane Dembele. Spurs clawed back a crucial 1-1 draw to spare the blushes, but it certainly didn’t do the Englishman many favours in his quest to become a regular starter.

More recently, Walker-Peters experienced another nightmare European experience, this time at the hands of Bayern Munich. Canadian superstar Alphonso Davies had the freedom of Munich to run at Walker-Peters, who simply didn’t have the tools to cope all evening.

Approaching 23-years-old, Walker-Peters’ lack of first team experience overall will no doubt be affecting his performances. Kieran Trippier‘s transfer to Atletico Madrid without a replacement also seemed to prevent a reported loan move to Crystal Palace in the summer. This essentially forced then-manager Mauricio Pochettino to block an outgoing move for Walker-Peters. Unfortunately for him, others in the Tottenham squad have stood in his way, keeping his game-time relatively low. Experiencing such little on-field action makes it unsurprising that his development is falling behind.

Walker-Peters’ Physicality Issue

Kyle Walker-Peters has shown glimpses that he has a decent engine, with some tidy on-the-ball skills on top of that.  But one noticeable issue with the Englishman is his physicality in general. Standing at only 5 feet 8 inches, Walker-Peters has often been a target of physical bombardment when he has featured.

Tottenham’s 3-1 victory against West Ham in the Carabao Cup in 2018 masked the wretched time Walker-Peters had against attacker Michail Antonio. The West Ham forward simply overpowered the full-back time and time again, and just looked the superior footballer and athlete altogether.

The full-back position generally is an area that requires a completeness in traits. Coupling this with the heavy demands of the Premier League means this is a challenging position to master. Unless Walker-Peters experiences an overnight muscle-bulk and growth spurt, he may find it tough to get into many top-tier line-ups.

Versatility From Other Squad Members

On occasions, the defender has found himself on the bench as a result of makeshift right-backs. Mauricio Pochettino elected to utilise central defender Juan Foyth as a full-back at points during the season, and has since grown to be a viable option for Spurs, alongside current first choice Serge Aurier. Even Davinson Sanchez at times has found himself filling it at full-back against the likes of Arsenal and Olympiacos, but doing so with arguably less effect than Foyth. Additionally, Moussa Sissoko has filed his case on the right side, usually slotting into a wing-back role in-game should he be required.

For Walker-Peters, it doesn’t look too promising at the moment at Tottenham. He’s finding himself struggling to compete, and even being overlooked at times when it comes to making match-day squads.

For someone who’ll be looking to cement consistent football, falling down pecking order won’t have been on the agenda. It seems like the defender is heading towards a crossroads, with his Spurs career yet to get going at all. There is plenty of football to come, and with Tottenham still holding an FA Cup place, the opportunities are there. The question is whether he can finally break through and make a consistent impact.

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