Kyle Walker-Peters has established himself as one of the first names on Ralph Hasenhuttl’s teamsheet this season and the Austrian manager will surely be delighted with the decision to bring him in on a permanent deal.
The 23-year-old was originally signed on loan from Tottenham Hotspur in January 2020 before joining on a permanent deal in the summer, having impressed Hasenhuttl with his performances for the South Coast club.
Last season saw the right-back average a solid 6.86 rating for his displays in the Premier League with Southampton but he has stepped it up a level this season, having averaged a superb 7.01 rating across his 16 appearances in the top-flight.
His recent performance against Fulham, where he made the most tackles of any Premier League player this season, and the most of any Saints player in over six years, emphasises just how important he has become in Hasenhuttl’s side, as he is showing maturity beyond his years in the right-back role with the South Coast club.
If his current form continues, it might not be a surprise to see him earn a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad in the near future, although the Three Lions do boast an extraordinary amount of talent in that position, with the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Reece James to name just a few.
Earlier this season, Walker-Peters earned the praise of teammate Theo Walcott, who said:
“I’ve only trained twice because of the mini lockdown we have had. I have had my eye on a couple of the other players too but it’s Kyle who has really stood out to me.”
The defender was solid once again in the Saints’ stalemate with West Ham on Tuesday night, helping Hasenhuttl’s side to their seventh clean sheet of the Premier League season, with puts them well on track to surpass last season’s tally of just nine in the Premier League, which reflects the impact Walker-Peters has had in this Southampton side.
Hopefully, he can continue his impressive form throughout the season, with the £12 million deal to bring him in during the summer looking more and more like a brilliant decision by Southampton.