Jose Mourinho has suggested, in comments reported by Football London, that there is still a place at Tottenham Hotspur for Kyle Walker-Peters, but admitted that he will be allowed to leave this summer if he wishes to.
Walker-Peters’s future with Spurs looked to be up in the air. He left the club on loan during the January transfer window after previously struggling to force his way into Mourinho’s plans.
With the right-back also struggling to break into the team under Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham fans may have been forgiven for wondering if his switch to Southampton was a sign that his long-term future also lied elsewhere.
But following the defender’s brilliant performance against Manchester City on Sunday, Mourinho has suggested that the door remains open for Walker-Peters to make the grade with his parent club.
“We let him go because we think he has the right to be happy. He’s happy now I think. He’s playing and playing well. I’m not in control of the transfer decisions but the general feeling is there’s a place for him here,” he said, as reported by Football London.
“But if his desire is to leave the club in search of happiness I don’t think we’d stop him. He’s a player with a good value in the market but I don’t think we’d stop him doing it.”
Of course, a summer departure could still be possible. Mourinho has clearly left the ball in Walker-Peters’s court.
And it would arguably not be surprising to see Southampton make some attempt to keep him beyond this season.
If Mourinho is unable to provide assurances over game-time, Walker-Peters would be forgiven for being tempted by a move away.
At 23, he is hardly a youngster in football terms. He will surely want to be playing regularly as soon as possible.
So Mourinho’s suggestion that he could be allowed to leave may potentially prove to be a lot more telling than his claim that he would like to see Walker-Peters stay.