At times, plenty of Tottenham fans have questioned the credentials of Kyle Walker-Peters. The young defender who came through the club’s youth system has become one of the fringe players at full-back for the club, but now he could be set to shine at right-back this season.
The rotation that Mauricio Pochettino has with his full-backs is key to keeping them at the top of their game. Left-back and right-back are two of the most gruelling positions with players expected to contribute at both ends of the pitch, and it looks like Serge Aurier and Walker-Peters will be the right-backs for Spurs.
Some will still have their doubts about the 22-year-old Walker-Peters, and rightly so. Last season saw him bullied by Ousmane Dembele at the Nou Camp and struggle against Michail Antonio in the Carabao Cup, but he also had his moments, bagging three assists in a single match against Bournemouth.
The next step for the defender is to feature more prominently, and if he can turn in a few more pre-season displays like the one against Juventus yesterday then there will be very little doubts over what he can do, as the academy man played a blinder against one of Europe’s top sides.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Mattia De Sciglio were the opponents that Kyle Walker-Peters found himself directly up against and on multiple occasions he got the better of his fellow full-back, as well as doing a good job of marshalling Ronaldo throughout the first-half before he switched to a more central role at half-time.
It can be hard to judge a player on a single pre-season performance, but from what we saw yesterday, Pochettino can trust his young defender, and whilst at times Walker-Peters looks too lightweight for top-flight football, at least he provides a safer and calmer option than Aurier.
As a pair, they can be managed well as long as Pochettino is to pick the right man for the right fixture, but the time is certainly now for the 22-year-old to step up and be counted in a very competitive Tottenham side.