‘He looked physically stronger’ – Manager admits being impressed with Spurs defender

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has admitted that he has been impressed with what he has seen from Kyle Walker-Peters since the restart of the Premier League campaign.

The right-back did not have the best of starts to his loan spell on the South Coast having played just one match prior to the league being suspended.

However, he has seen off competition from Yan Valery and made the right-back spot his own since the top flight resumed.

The 23-year-old has been excellent both defensively as well as going forward, and finally seems to be living up to the promise he showed as a youngster coming through Tottenham’s youth set up.

Reports have indicated that the Saints are keen to secure the services of the England Under-21 international on a permanent basis summer (The Sun).

Although it has been claimed that the right-back could be used as part of the deal to bring Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to North London (Sky Sports), Southampton reportedly prefer to negotiate the two deals separately (Evening Standard).

Hasenhuttl did not give anything away about the club’s intentions to sign Walker-Peters in the summer but he did have words of praise for the Spurs loanee.

Speaking about the defender, the Saints boss told The Southern Daily Echo: “I think he (Walker-Peters) was coming here and was a little bit surprised about the intensity of our sessions and the way we want to play.

“He had time to get adapted to it and he needed this time.

“After lockdown, he looked physically stronger and our work with him also made him more competitive to battle in the duels.

“He made some good games and let’s have a look at what happens in the summer.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I would be extremely surprised if Southampton were not keen on signing Walker-Peters permanently on the back of his recent performances. I am sure Hasenhuttl is desperate to bring him to the club and is only trying to play it cool so that Spurs’ bargaining position is not strengthened.

There have certainly been signs during Walker-Peters’s spell with Southampton that he is maturing as a defender. Perhaps it is because he is finally getting a bit of confidence that comes with a sustained run in the team. We could be making a mistake by letting him leave but I get the feeling that Jose has made up his mind on the youngster already.

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