Over the past few months, Kyle Walker has been the subject of intense transfer speculation.
A series of newspaper reports labelled Walker an unsettled member of the Tottenham side, following a falling-out with manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Walker was left out of two huge games at the back end of last season- the final North London Derby at White Hart Lane and Spurs’ FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea.
Pochettino has regularly rotated Kieran Trippier and Walker in the right-wing-back position that is so important to Tottenham’s style of play.
The manager put his decisions down to a lack of fitness on Walker’s part, insisting that the Englishman is unfit to start two games in a week- something Walker denies.
These rumours plagued Tottenham’s end of season run-in, leaving Pochettino to deny week after week Walker’s discontent.
However, he never ruled out a move away from White Hart Lane. He gave this answer to The Sun:
“The players that we want to keep, we will keep, because [Daniel Levy] said to me ‘we don’t need money’.
“If we sell some players it is because we want to sell some players. For our fans, it is so clear that all the decisions we take are for the reason to try to improve the team, try to be more competitive next season.”
Man United, City, Barcelona and Bayern Munich are all, reportedly, monitoring Walker’s situation.
He only signed a new contract at Spurs at the beginning of last season, taking his weekly earnings to around 70,000 pounds. However, he would certainly that figure double at United or City.
Walker is in high demand for a good reason: he is a quality right-back.
The 26 year-old is an ever-present in Gareth Southgate’s England side and arguably the best full-back in the Premier League. He was named in the PFA team of the season for the second time last year.
Manchester City, in particular, are in need of a new right-back following the departure of Pablo Zabaleta and the inadequacy of Bacary Sagna. In truth, Walker would stroll straight into City’s first team.
The recent contract extension gives Daniel Levy useful leverage in any transfer talks and should expect a deal worth around 40 million pounds for the player.
But it is vital for Spurs that he stays. His pace and power on the right flank is crucial to Tottenham’s style of play.
The wing-back position is very specialized and suits very few players in the Premier League.
Walker has the ability not only to get forward and give quality support to Harry Kane and Dele Alli, but also the energy and commitment to do a defensive job as well.
Kieran Trippier is a capable stand-in, but certainly not a replacement.
Selling would be a worrying precedent
Spurs must show their intent during this transfer window.
Selling Walker would set a worrying precedent for future departures from the club.
They must show that as a consistent, table-topping team, they are capable of keeping their best players.
Written by Calum Adair
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