Pochettino must pit fringe Tottenham man against first team star after Rochdale display
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino must start giving young right back Kyle Walker-Peters the opportunity to prove himself against first team star Serge Aurier after impressing in his cameo against Rochdale.
The 20-year-old defender came off the bench for the final 10 minutes in the 6-1 thrashing of the League Two basement club at Wembley on Wednesday, and made the very most of his opportunity by scoring his very first goal for the club.
As well as his attacking prowess, he looked assured and confident slotting into the back line, and although it was a weaker side he was facing up against, he has already proven his worth in the top flight.
Handed his debut by Pochettino on the opening day victory over Newcastle United, and playing the full 90 minutes, he was the first choice on the right side of defence in Kieran Trippier’s absence through injury.
However the arrival of Aurier from PSG, and Trippier’s return to fitness, means that Walker-Peters has seen his game time severely limited, with just eight appearances across all competitions, despite his evident talent.
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With Spurs still competing on three fronts – the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup – rotation will be key, and it is time for the youngster to earn his stripes against his rivals for the role.
Trippier has looked the most composed between himself and Aurier, so should be entrusted for the big games, leaving the Ivorian and the England under-21 star to battle it out for the rest of the fixtures.
The FA Cup clash against Swansea is definitely one Walker-Peters should be given the chance in, while there should be some Premier League matches in which he can build up his minutes.
The right back is without a doubt a future talent for the Lilywhites, but he needs the game time, and Pochettino must start giving it to him sooner rather than later if he is to hit his full potential.
In other Tottenham news, the club are leading the charge to sign a £30million-rated enforcer fighting relegation.