If you ever needed an example of how far removed the transfer market now is from reality, Tottenham debutant Kyle Walker-Peters provided it perfectly on Sunday as the visitors beat Newcastle United 2-0 on Tyneside.
Just a matter of weeks ago, Manchester City splashed out a staggering £50million on the 20-year-old’s namesake Kyle Walker and although he impressed on his Premier League debut for the Citizens as well, contributing effectively in a 2-0 win over Brighton, the ease in which KWP stepped into the England international’s shoes was the top flight’s real right-back story of the weekend.
St. James’ Park has proved too intimidating an environment for countless Premier League players before, but Walker-Peters produced a performance of maturity, energy and quality on the right of defence, finishing the first half with the most touches of the ball of any Tottenham player.
By the final whistle, the youngster had racked up the most tackles of any Spurs player, alongside three clearances, five crosses, one dribble and a 91% passing accuracy – incredibly impressive considering it was his first Premier League outing and that he continually looked to venture forward as much as possible rather than simply shifting the ball sideways.
No doubt, Walker is a fantastic talent, but Spurs fans will have already forgotten about the City signing after Walker-Peters’ fine display against the Magpies. It’s also quashed calls for Mauricio Pochettino to sign another right-back who can compete with Kieran Trippier before the summer window slams shut, with the youngster seemingly up to the challenge.
In Walker-Peters, Tottenham have managed to fill the void of a £50million player without spending a penny.That might just convince some of the Premier League’s clubs to temper their frankly irresponsible spending.