Ahead of the summer transfer window officially opening next week, the debate at Tottenham Hotspur has moved away from potential signings to further improve Mauricio Pochettino’s squad and towards who could head out of the White Hart Lane exit door by the end of August.
Kyle Walker’s days appear to be numbered after slumping behind Kieran Trippier in Pochettino’s pecking order during the tail end of last season and being strongly linked with a move to Manchester City, whilst some of Europe’s top clubs will be very interested in signing his full-back accomplice Danny Rose as well.
Of course, the Lilywhites boast arguably the best back-up full-backs in the Premier League in the form of Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier, but this set of statistics show exactly why they can’t be expected to step up and fill the void – and what losing Rose and Walker would take away from Tottenham’s game.
Indeed, Rose and Walker ranked first and third respectively from Spurs’ squad last season for tackles per match in the top flight and it’s that aggression off the ball which makes them so vital to the Pochettino game-plan of energetic pressing.
In fairness, Davies and Trippier made the top six tacklers as well, but the fact Rose and Walker’s returns are higher than both highlights the difference between the two sets of defenders.
Rose and Walker’s energy both with and without the ball is infectious and puts the Pochettino philosophy into action; the evidence thus far suggests Davies and Trippier aren’t capable of replicating it in quite the same way.