Ian Wright cuts Tottenham apart over huge mistake selling star, as three successors all flounder
Ian Wright has slammed Tottenham for their decision to sell Kyle Walker-Peters following his maiden England call-up by Gareth Southgate.
Walker-Peters rose through the Spurs ranks, making his debut in August 2017. Indeed, he emerged as one of the star youngsters of the Mauricio Pochettino era in north London.
Still, Pochettino signed Serge Aurier as his senior right-back in the summer of 2017. And the Ivory Coast star – who recently had his contract terminated – largely kept Walker-Peters out of the team.
The 24-year-old also struggled for game time when Matt Doherty arrived as a Jose Mourinho signing in 2020. What’s more, Emerson Royal came in at right-back under Nuno Espirito Santo.
As a result, Walker-Peters left for Southampton on loan in January 2020. He subsequently signed a permanent deal there and has flourished with a regular first-team role.
In fact, he has played 73 games for the Saints and earned his first England call-up earlier this week.
Speaking on the Wrighty’s House podcast, Wright slammed Spurs for their handling of the player amid their struggles to solve their problem at right-back.
“Kyle Walker-Peters, it’s great to see him,” the pundit said.
“I remember watching him at Tottenham and I’m thinking they got rid of him and brought in Serge Aurier. When I watched Serge for a couple of games I’m thinking ‘I’m sorry, Kyle Walker-Peters is a better player’.
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“They brought Emerson Royal in and I’m saying I’m sorry, he’s a better player. And even with Doherty, who does great stuff going forward, I’ve watched Walker-Peters and I’m glad he’s got the call-up.
“I’m thinking why have Tottenham got rid of him when you see how he plays?”
Walker-Peters made 30 Premier League outings last season and has made 23 more this term.
He has come into the England squad following withdrawals from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James at right-back.
Walker-Peters can prove double point
Walker-Peters is unlikely to shift Alexander-Arnold and James as Southgate’s more favoured England right-backs in the current international break.
Indeed, Manchester City star Kyle Walker – who perhaps started Spurs’ problem in the position by leaving in 2017 – does not feature in this international break but will return in the summer.
However, Walker-Peters has a chance to set his stall out and prove to Southgate that he is not just an option in the event of injuries to other players.
He will no doubt enhance his value in Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl’s eyes if he makes his England debut. He can also prove wrong Tottenham’s decision to let him go.
England play Switzerland and Ivory Coast in friendlies in the final camp of the season, before preparations for the World Cup firmly step up.