Tottenham criticised by club legend over ‘bizarre’ sale of defender
Gary Mabbutt has questioned Tottenham over what he labelled the “strange” decision to sell young full-back Kyle Walker-Peters to Southampton this summer.
Walker-Peters was allowed to move to Saints as a sweetner after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg moved in the opposite direction.
Walker-Peters had struggled to nail down a regular place at Tottenham. Both Jose Mourinho and Mauricio Pochettino before him often overlooked the Spurs academy graduate.
Following his debut in the 2017/18 season, the player could only muster 24 appearances in all competitions. Therefore, it seemed a move elsewhere was probably in the best interests of all parties.
Walker-Peters has since played every minute in the Premier League so far for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s upwardly-mobile side.
Spurs legend Mabbutt, however, says he was disappointed by the sale and feels Tottenham made a mistake.
“I was a Kyle Walker-Peters fan,” Mabbutt said in an interview with Football Fancast.
“I thought when he was coming through the ranks, I felt he was a player who could stake a claim for that position. It didn’t really happen as I expected it was going to.
“There are a lot of things that managers will get to know that you’ll never know and the fans will never know.
“I thought it was strange that a player of his ability was leaving the club. But we were bringing other players in who it was clearly felt could do maybe a job they were needing perhaps more of in that position.
“But I think he’s got a great future ahead of him, and for Southampton fans, I think he’s a great acquisition for them.”
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Mourinho taunts Real Madrid over Gareth Bale
Mourinho, meanwhile, teased Real Madrid and admits he is intrigued to see what the reaction to Gareth Bale’s winning goal against Brighton is back in the Spanish capital.
Bale climbed off the bench to head home the first goal of his second spell in north London. The goal proved an important one as it earned a 2-1 victory over Brighton and moved Spurs second in the Premier League.
The Wales international re-joined Spurs on a season-long loan from Real Madrid in September. He endured a torrid final couple of years in the Spanish capital, after falling out of favour with Zinedine Zidane. In addition, he was heavily criticised by the fans.
It has been a slow start for him back at Spurs. However, Bale is feeling the love back at the club where he developed into the world’s most expensive player.
And clearly Mourinho is delighted for him.
“I’m very pleased for him, especially for him because he deserves that,” he said. “When I have five minutes I’m going to Safari to look at Madrid websites to see what they say.
“He knows we care about him and we know he cares about us, the team and the club, Spurs. He’s the perfect fit, he’s very calm, very intelligent, he has good feelings.”