Tottenham Hotspur finally put Rochdale to bed in the FA Cup yesterday, beating the League One side 6-1 at Wembley. It was a special occasion for one Spurs player in particular. Kyle Walker-Peters put the icing on the cake for spurs, scoring the sixth and final goal.
It was also his first goal for the club and he celebrated with joy in front of the Spurs faithful. Tottenham fans are of course big fans of Walker-Peters and feel he has a bright future in the game.
This season, following the departure of near namesake Kyle Walker to Manchester City, could have been his breakthrough. However, Tottenham signed Serge Aurier from Paris Saint-Germain creating another barrier for the talented full-back.
With Aurier and Kieran Tripper at Tottenham it is hard to see how Walker-Peters will make his breakthrough in the immediate future.
Perhaps though, it is at left-back where Walker-Peters will thrive.
Though naturally right-footed, the 20-year-old has shown a natural ability on the left-hand side of defence in the past. He featured in the role for England at the under-20 World cup and has the ability to use both feet with aplomb.
Tottenham’s starting left-back at present is Welshman Ben Davies He has come on leaps and bounds this season, surpassing Danny Rose to become number one choice in the role.
A year ago and the thought of Rose being cast aside at Spurs would have been laughable. Often referred to as Mauricio Pochettino’s teacher’s pet by team-mates he has had a torrid year. Not only has he struggled with serious injury trouble but rose courted controversy last summer. He gave an interview in which he strongly insinuated he would welcome a Tottenham exit.
This summer Tottenham may just lose Rose but instead of buying a replacement, they should consider giving Walker-Peters a chance.
So he is right-footed? There have been numerous examples of right-footed defenders thriving at left-back. Philipp Lahm? Cesar Azpilicueta? Gianluca Zambrotta? Not forgetting the ultimate, Paolo Maldini.
Walker-Peters has the technical and positional nous to play the role and is comfortable on either foot. The threat of coming inside on his right-foot is a blessing as well as a burden.
Lahm would often come in and strike from range, Danilo has done similar at Manchester City this season.
It keeps opposing right-backs guessing when on the attack. Do you show him outside knowing he can cross with his left? Or push him in to contain, knowing he is on his stronger foot?
Defensively the youngster has what it takes and his unpredictability going forward could make him a potent threat for Tottenham.
If Rose goes this summer, Spurs should give Walker-Peters the role as Davies’ back-up. It might just work out as a Mauricio Pochettino masterplan.