Pochettino hints at Tottenham fringe figure being handed bigger role after midweek heroics
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has hinted that 20-year-old right back Kyle Walker-Peters is set for more first team action between now and the end of the season after falling from the senior squad to the fringes.
The young defender, who can operate on either flank, made his debut for the club in the season opening clash against Newcastle United, with Kieran Trippier out through injury, and he put in a bright performance to help his side to a 2-0 victory.
However the recovery of Trippier, as well as the arrival of Serge Aurier from Paris Saint Germain, have limited Walker-Peters’ playing time, although Pochettino has suggested that might be about to change after he made a starring cameo appearance against Rochdale in midweek.
He was quoted by football.london as saying: “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. For me, all the players are important. Who plays more, who plays less.
“It’s so important to show respect to all the players and the younger ones in the academy who are knocking at the door, saying ‘come on we are here if gaffer you want me, I’m ready’. That is so important.”
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Walker-Peters has just eight appearances under his belt this season, four of those coming in the FA Cup.
Football Insider verdict
Walker-Peters is viewed as one of the top young talents at the club and had it not been for Serge Aurier’s arrival, may well have seen much more game time than he has this season. Still, he is a developing player and with the club competing for success, it is not the time to be handing him first team action when so much is on the line. Expect to see him turn out in the FA Cup again, and as the Premier League comes to a close, if positions are already decided, then he may well return for some top flight games. Next season is make or break though, and he could be shipped out on loan in summer if Pochettino feels he is not going to get the game time he needs.
In other Tottenham news, Ryan Mason has revealed why Pochettino loves one current Spurs star so much.