Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd set sights on Southampton star with Ten Hag pushing for upgrade on costly Solskjaer flop

Nathan Redmond, Kyle Walker-Peters, Southampton, February 2022.

Manchester United have added Kyle Walker-Peters to their list of right-back targets after a report claimed he is “pushing” for a departure from Southampton.

Walker-Peters came through the Tottenham Hotspur academy before making 24 appearances for their senior team. He moved to Southampton on a permanent transfer in the summer of 2020 following a productive six-month loan spell.

Since becoming a permanent Southampton player, Walker-Peters has established himself at Premier League level. In both of his full seasons with the club so far, he either hit or surpassed the tally of 30 top-flight appearances.

In 2022, he also became a full England international, earning his first two senior caps. With his profile rising, speculation has been building for a while that he could be ready to step back up to a club of Champions League or Europa League calibre.

According to talkSPORT, Man Utd are now keeping a close eye on Walker-Peters. Erik ten Hag’s side are weighing up whether to invest in a new right-back.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka hasn’t lived up to expectations since his move from Crystal Palace in 2019. Therefore, he is being linked with a departure despite a recent return to prominence.

If he leaves, then Wan-Bissaka could be replaced by Walker-Peters. The report claims that the 25-year-old is firmly on United’s shortlist of right-back targets.

In a boost to their chances of signing him, Walker-Peters is apparently “pushing” for a departure from Southampton. Indeed, he is holding off any kind of agreement about a new contract there. His current terms are due to expire in 2025.

And with Southampton currently bottom of the Premier League and facing the threat of relegation, they may find it hard to keep hold of some of their top talent, like Walker-Peters.

Man Utd face competition for Walker-Peters transfer

Man Utd are not his only suitors, though. According to the radio station, Chelsea and Tottenham are also competing for Walker-Peters’ signature.

The Blues are seeking competition and cover for the injury-prone but talented Reece James. Meanwhile, Spurs haven’t been able to rely on Emerson Royal, Matt Doherty or Djed Spence and may need an upgrade. The answer could have been under their noses all along.

Hence, United might be getting dragged into a bidding war for Walker-Peters. But as seen with their investment in Wan-Bissaka a few years back, they are capable of spending big on targets – even of the defensive variety – if they really want them.

It would then be up to Walker-Peters to prove he belongs at the higher level. He would be competing with Diogo Dalot for a place at right-back after the Portugal international earned Ten Hag’s trust in the first half of the season.

Walker-Peters would also ensure Man Utd’s homegrown quota would not suffer from the potential loss of the Croydon-born Wan-Bissaka.

All in all, he is definitely someone worth keeping tabs on from a Man Utd perspective. With seven assists and three goals to his name from 98 Southampton appearances, he has given enough evidence of what he can do for a Premier League club.

And even when he was emerging at Tottenham, he still managed six assists and one goal from 24 games there, so he could be well equipped for the step up to a club of Man Utd’s level.

It would be the biggest challenge of his career to date. But it may be one he would be able to take in his stride.

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