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Spurs still paying price over Kyle Walker’s exit in 2017

Tottenham Hotspur are still paying the price for one of chairman Daniel Levy’s key decisions.

In July 2017, the Spurs supremo sanctioned the exit of right-back Kyle Walker to Premier League rivals Manchester City, a move that saw the north London outfit earn around £53m with add-ons included.

It means the Lilywhites brought in a return in their investment of at least 430% after the England international joined the club in a double deal alongside Kyle Naughton from Sheffield United for around £10m.

Spurs had just finished runners-up to title-winners Chelsea in the season earlier and were very close to becoming champions themselves under Mauricio Pochettino a season earlier with Walker a key part of the squad.

Was Levy right to cash in on Walker in 2017?

YES!

YES!

NO!

NO!

Since then, the right-back role has been something of a nightmare for every manager since – ranging from Jose Mourinho and Nuno Santo to now Conte, who arguably values the position higher than most due to his system utilising wing-backs as key attacking components.

Serge Aurier, academy product Kyle Walker-Peters, Matt Doherty and now Emerson Royal have all failed to convince the man in the dugout that they should be the long-term option in the role…

The latter two remain the Italian’s only two current senior options and it’s rather damning that he wanted to find a replacement during the January transfer window, something that he did not receive.

Indeed, as per The Times, Conte is unconvinced by the pair, especially in the final third, where he needs his wing-back to contribute creatively. As such, Adama Traore emerged as a key target but he instead opted for boyhood club Barcelona.

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It’s something that the 52-year-old and sporting director Fabio Paratici can only rectify in the summer and that’s if Conte hasn’t walked by then.

After a disappointing defeat to Burnley in the Premier League last month, he questioned his own future at the club. Yes, emotions were high but there have always been lingering doubts that he could walk if not sufficiently backed and it is the tough-negotiating Levy in charge after all.

Walker, now valued at just £22.5m due to his age (31), has gone on win three Premier League titles and an FA Cup. His performances at Euro 2020 also saw Mourinho laud him as an “absolute animal” as England made the final, where they lost on penalties to Italy.

Spurs’ world-class boss is evidently not happy and it’s easy to see why when they have failed to replace key areas of the squad with sufficient quality for many, many years.

Ultimately, that decision nearly five years ago is still causing an effect today and that’s a worrying situation.

AND in other news, “Shocking” Spurs star who lost the ball 24x badly let Conte down again at Middlesbrough…

Article title: Spurs still paying price over Kyle Walker’s exit in 2017

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