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Tottenham would be foolish to not retain this 22-year-old ace and offer him a first-team role next season

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Spurs Opinion: Lilywhites should offer Kyle Walker-Peters a first-team role next season

According to The Sun, Spurs are keen to keep hold of youngster Kyle Walker-Peters ahead of the upcoming campaign, with the report claiming that the Lilywhites have rejected loan bids for the 22-year-old from other Premier League clubs. 

Walker-Peters was on the shortlist of Crystal Palace, who were keen to sign the youngster on loan as a replacement for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, whilst Brighton had also set their sights on him as an alternative to Bruno, who hung up his boots at the end of the previous campaign. (h/t Sun)

The same report adds that Walker-Peters is currently the only available right-back in Tottenham’s ranks and there is a strong possibility that the youngster would receive a start on the opening day of the season when the Lilywhites kick off their Premier League campaign against Aston Villa on August 10.

Spurs are currently light in their right-back options following the departure of Kieran Trippier to Atletico Madrid and manager Mauricio Pochettino is under pressure to find a way to cope with the England international’s departure to Spain. 

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Serge Aurier, of course, is a specialist right-back but the Ivory Coast international is yet to return to the club’s pre-season training schedule, with his participation in the Africa Cup of Nations cited as a cause of his delay.

Juan Foyth, who is naturally a centre-back by trade, is capable of playing right-back but he is suspended for the first two games of the season. 

Coming back to Walker-Peters, the 22-year-old is currently enjoying a lot of first-team involvement in the club’s pre-season fixtures, having recently started against the likes of Juventus and Man United in the International Champions Cup. 

Pochettino has always been a master in the art of digging deep inside his squad to find alternatives for the senior players and Spurs are apparently not looking to spend big on a like-for-like replacement for Trippier this summer, having already spent a fortune to bring Tanguy Ndombele to North London from Lyon. 

With that in mind, Pochettino is seemingly ready to show a lot of confidence in Walker-Peters and help the 22-year-old take his game to the next level by allowing him to compete for a role in the first-team in the absence of Trippier. 

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It would be a gamble worth taking because Walker-Peters has been in the periphery of the senior team for two seasons now, having enjoyed his breakthrough in the 2017-18 campaign. The highly-rated right-back made a total of 10 appearances for the Lilywhites the last term, including 6 in the Premier League. 

Blessed with the guile and natural finesse of an attacking midfielder and the lightning pace of an out-and-out winger, Walker-Peters played a key role in Spurs’ 5-0 whitewash of Bournemouth in the Premier League last season. 

The youngster provided three assists in that particular game, and in doing so, became the youngest player since Jermaine Pennant in 2003 to register three assists in a game. That record, however, was broken by Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold later on in the season.  

Pochettino is a master at unearthing gems from the club’s academy ranks and we have seen numerous instances of the Argentine’s abilities in the recent past, with the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Oliver Skipp and Harry Winks all making the jump from the youth ranks to the first-team. 

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To sum it up, Walker-Peters has shown glimpses of his brilliance in the recent past and it won’t be much of a gamble to look at him as a regular starter next term because the 22-year-old seemingly has the temperament and the character to play a significant role in the Premier League. 

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Having said that, Pochettino should look to ease him into action at the highest level and playing consistently in the pre-season should definitely help the youngster’s cause.