Will Kyle Walker funds trigger transfer activity for Spurs?
‘From the bottom of my heart’
So long, Kyle Walker. The England fullback posted his heartfelt farewells on Twitter last Friday. Fans, teammates and club officials were all thanked in an earnest piece to camera, cut with some nice black and white footage of his best memories as a Spurs player.
Perhaps the mawkish twinkling piano soundtrack was a bit much. At times it felt more like a NSPCC appeal than a fond adieu to his former employers.
‘Little Kyle has learnt not cry anymore…’
What could little Kyle possibly have to cry about, I hear you ask? He certainly won’t be dismayed by his new improved financial situation. The Sheffield United academy graduate is in line to nearly double his wages at City. That’s £130k-a-week over five years.
‘Thanks to everyone… and in particular my agent,’ Walker was quick to remember in his follow-up Tweet.
Levy banks another record fee
A common belief amongst Spurs fans, and some causal observers, is that Tottenham have rather hit the jackpot with this deal. Even when you pile on the theoretical Young English Player tax— or throw the fee under modern football’s Silly Money lens— £54m still seems a lot for Kyle Walker. A player who, as Gary Lineker remarked the other day, can’t cross.
Indeed, many would argue he’s is a fairly limited player; a supreme athlete, no doubt, but not quite the elite defender Pep Guardiola might be hoping for. Or that his price tag suggests.
Mauricio Pochettino evidently had some concerns about his restricted skillset. Perhaps the Argentine coach was simply pre-empting Walker’s summer departure, but it was Kieran Trippier who emerged as the preferred right-back option for the run-in last season.
Pochettino reasoning that the exchange of lightning-quick speed and athleticism, for Trippier’s crossing ability and tactical intelligence, was a fair trade.
Which then begs the question: did Spurs get a world record fee for a back-up?
I’m not sure it’s a view I can fully subscribe to. Tottenham were a far more formidable, balanced proposition with both Danny Rose and Walker in the team. Opposition full backs have enough trouble dealing with the many weapons of the modern forward, let alone their inverted equal hurtling toward them at top speed. Kyle Walker, despite his flaws, was supremely effective player for Spurs and a vital component of their title challenges in the last two seasons. He’ll be missed.
The hope now is that the extra bones in Tottenham’s bank account will encourage some activity in the transfer market. The North London club remain the only club in the Premier League not to make any signings this summer. Huddersfield, as by way of comparison, have spent nearly £45m.
Ross Barkley is the name that continues to be linked. Several reports hinted that Spurs were looking to recruit the young playmaker before they departed on their tour of the US on Wednesday.
Apparently what’s stalling the deal (surprise, surprise) is the North London club’s reluctance to match Everton’s asking price of £50m. Expect a month of Levy-brand brinkmanship, then, before we finally meet their estimate in an eleventh-hour deadline day panic.