In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, Tottenham Hotspur icon Gary Mabbutt has slammed Jose Mourinho’s decision to offload young right-back Kyle Walker-Peters during the summer transfer window.
The 23-year-old came through the academy ranks, making his full senior debut back in 2017 against Newcastle United, where he was even awarded the Man of the Match award after an impressive maiden bow.
But after a total of 24 appearances and the £15m arrival of Matt Doherty in north London, the Englishman was deemed surplus to requirements by the Special One, and was sold permanently to the club at which he was on loan at the season prior – Southampton.
They paid just £12m, as per the BBC, with ex-skipper Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg also going in the other direction.
Mabbutt believes it was a “strange” decision given just how much potential Walker-Peters has at his feet, he told FFC:
“I was a Kyle Walker-Peters fan. I thought when he was coming through the ranks, I felt he was a player who could stake a claim for that position. It didn’t really happen as I expected it was going to.
“There are a lot of things that managers will get to know that you’ll never know and the fans will never know.
“I thought it was strange that a player of his ability was leaving the club, but we were bringing other players in who it was clearly felt could do maybe a job they were needing perhaps more of in that position.
“But I think he’s got a great future ahead of him, and for Southampton fans, I think he’s a great acquisition for them.”
In 540 minutes of action, Walker-Peters has delivered one assist, which actually came against Spurs in gameweek two whilst he has also averaged 2.2 tackles, 1.8 dribbles and 1.5 interceptions per appearance, via WhoScored.
Doherty has been averaging fewer tackles (1.8), dribbles (0.8) and interceptions (1.3) than the Saints star, so perhaps Mabbutt is right to question the decision to sell him so soon.
AND in other news, Gary Mabbutt tips £50k-p/w monster for Spurs captaincy, not Kane…