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Kyle Walker-Peters' lack of loan action a painfully clear mistake by Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League last night with a 1-1 draw against Barcelona in the Nou Camp. It was a brilliant performance from the North London club, especially after going 1-0 down.

It was certainly a start to the game that Kyle Walker-Peters will want to forget. His poor touch on halfway allowed Ousmane Dembele to race away for the opener. He then had a torrid time against Philippe Coutinho for much of the first-half. Whilst he looked good going forward, this was a harsh lesson for the 21-year-old. That being said, Walker-Peters was struggling against Dembele and Coutinho. Which full-back in world football would not have a torrid time against the pair?

Tottenham Hotspur’s English defender Kyle Walker-Peters (L) vies with Barcelona’s French forward Ousmane Dembele during the UEFA Champions League group B football match between FC Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on December 11, 2018. (Photo by Josep LAGO / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)

Playing in place of injured duo Serge Aurier and Kieran Trippier this was always going to be a hard task for the player.

But that is Tottenham and Mauricio Pochettino’s fault.

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Walker-Peters has been on the cusp of the Spurs first-team for about two years now. One of England’s most highly-rated young defenders for some time now, he played at left-back as England under-20s won the World Cup in 2018.

At which point, Tottenham should have found him somewhere to play on loan.

His lack of first-team match action was painfully obvious as he struggled to contend with Barcelona’s attack.

He needed to have played regular first-team football elsewhere, not at the lacklustre under-23 level he has been.

Walker-Peters is an immensely talented player and Tottenham have a potential star in the making. But so far, they have not handled him correctly. In January, he must be sent out on loan to cut his teeth. Or the next time Spurs rely on him, they might not get away with it.

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