Former Coventry City striker Noel Whelan believes that Tottenham made a big mistake by selling Kyle Walker-Peters, especially given their troubles at full-back.
Walker-Peters completed a £12million move to Southampton after impressing during his loan spell on the south coast during the second half of last season.
The 23-year-old grew in confidence as he got more games under his belt at the Saints and his performances after the lockdown left some Southampton fans impressed with what they say.
It was not a surprise to see Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side pursue a permanent deal for the right-back but Whelan admitted he did not expect the Lilywhites to let their academy graduate leave.
He questioned the club’s poor recruitment at full-back over recent years and pointed at the lack of options at Jose Mourinho’s disposal at present, with only Serge Aurier left remaining as an experienced right-back.
The pundit insisted that Walker-Peters could have proven crucial for the Lilywhites given his homegrown status.
When asked about Tottenham’s decision to sell the defender, the 45-year-old told Football Insider: “I think they should have hung on to him last season when they were struggling for wing-backs.
“They got rid of a lot of fullbacks as a club and they were struggling and playing centre-backs out there at times which ruined the flow of their game.
“You’ve got to have natural somebody who is a natural wing-back and does box-to-box, defends and also plays that winger role.
“You had Jan Vertonghen playing out there at times and Juan Foyth was out there at times.
“They were playing people out of position and it didn’t have the right flow and the continuity down the sides of the pitch where you play nice and high and nice and wide.
“They’re getting rid of a top English player which is very strange because you need a good core of your English players to be successful in the Premier League.
“Just look at Manchester United and how they’ve come through bringing their homegrown players through. They’re thriving right now and maybe that’s what Walker-Peters could’ve done, if given the opportunity.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Walker-Peters was unlucky not to have got more opportunities under Pochettino over the last few years. Perhaps we could have loaned him out a bit sooner than we did. However, it did not look like Mourinho really rated him and no one can argue that signing Hojbjerg for £3m plus the right-back was not a very good deal.
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