Chelsea academy graduate Tino Livramento has been one of the breakout stars of the 2021-22 season, and has earned many plaudits on the way after permanently transferring to Southampton last Summer.
However, after suffering a knee injury that ruled him out from the end of December to the middle of February, former Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker-Peters stepped into his place and has become one of the first names on the team sheet.
Being within the top 6% for full-backs in Europe’s top 5 leagues for progressive carries with 7.66 per game, as well as landing in the top 11% for dribbles completed with 1.57, the improvement has been clear for everyone to see.
Since Livramento’s return, the 24-year-old has slotted into the left-back spot – a position he made his own at youth level for England, most notably during the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup-winning campaign.
Despite earning the man-of-the-match on his Tottenham debut, he never quite made the grade in North London and has since called the south coast home – although at times it hasn’t been easy.
But after six solid displays on the bounce, in which according to SofaScore he didn’t perform below a 6.8 once, not only has his manager Ralph Hassenhuttl described him as a player with “super football intelligence”, but he has also been compared the wing-back to Germany legend Phillip Lahm.
That might come as a surprise to many given the former Bayern Munich defender’s enormous reputation, but Walker-Peters is beginning to turn a lot of heads with his performances, and alongside Livramento, he was last week named in WhoScored’s best XI of the week across Europe’s top five leagues.
While his teammate is still just 19-years-old, he is definitely not as versatile as the former Spurs prospect, and with the right-back position at England seemingly on lock-down with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James, Walker-Peters might just have the advantage in the race for a spot in the England squad.
And with Ben Chilwell currently injured for Chelsea, while Luke Shaw is having a torrid season at Manchester United, England boss Gareth Southgate may just be tempted by the defender’s recent form.