Tottenham Hotspur faced somewhat of a right back crisis heading into their make-or-break Champions League tie with Barcelona last week.
Spurs had both first team defenders Kieran Trippier and Serge Aurier out injured, meaning that academy graduate Kyle Walker-Peters was given a chance.
Unfortunately, the young full back made an early error in giving the ball away to Barca’s Dembele, who motored past KWP and slotted past Lloris.
Walker-Peters eventually recovered from the error and put in a good shift, but his mistake very nearly costed Spurs a Champions League knockout spot.
It is hard to blame the youngster for not being match sharp, as he has been extremely restricted in terms of game time so far this season.
The match at the Camp Nou was only his second start in all competitions this season.
Some may believe that KWP would be better served out on loan in order to get some regular game time, but Pochettino insists he is one of his ‘best options’.
When asked if KWP would be loaned out in January, Poch said (ESPN): “Now, no. Now, for me, he’s one of the best options.
“Like always, who deserves it more is going to play — you know me. I’m so happy with his performance.
“Look what happened against PSV with Toby [Alderweireld], or Juan Foyth on another day [against Arsenal], or the same with [Kieran] Trippier in the game [against] City or Barcelona. The same [with] Hugo [Lloris].
“All the players can struggle sometimes in some actions but the most important thing is to see the big picture, and he was very good.
“I wanted to protect him in the second half because he had a yellow card but I’m so happy and so proud of how he managed the pressure. I’m very pleased and I talk very highly of him.”
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