Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty Images“I learned more about myself in that one game than in my whole career,” he says. A win over Sheffield United on Sunday afternoon would be Southampton’s sixth out of their past eight Premier League games and since moving to the south coast Walker -Peters has been instrumental in their surge.
Tottenham gave him a start in the game: a footballing education, lifelong friends, unforgettable experiences. But Southampton, where he has a regular first-team place and the freedom of the right flank under manager Ralph Hasenhüttl, is where he has come of age.
It is a vindication of the decision Walker -Peters made in the summer to leave his boyhood club. After a successful loan spell that started at the end of January, he had options: make the Southampton deal permanent or return to Spurs and fight for his place at a club where his involvement had largely been restricted to “a few cameos here and their” as he puts it.
“He’s really chilled, hilarious,” Walker -Peters says when asked what Hasenhüttl is like behind closed doors. “Most teams change slight things depending on the opposition.
But our intensity and pressing always stays the same: aggressive, doubling up, winning your 1 v 1 battles.” Kyle Walker -Peters says life at Southampton has benefited from manager Ralph Hasenhüttl’s ‘really chilled, hilarious’ approach.
Photograph: Robin Jones/Getty ImagesWith the ball, Walker -Peters has license to run at players, to use his pace to get in behind defenses. He was a winger until the age of 16 and remains a ferocious student of the game.
When I started playing right- back I watched Dani Alves and Philipp AHM a lot. English football is experiencing an unprecedented glut of quality right-backs and even if Walker -Peters is still a little way off adding to his nine caps at under-21 level he knows the standards required if he is going to overhaul Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Tripper, Kyle Walker, Reece James and Ainsley Maitland-Niles to catapult himself into Euro 2021 contention.
The season is still young and with 32 Premier Leagues games to his name Walker -Peters still has plenty to prove. But perhaps he has already proved something: to those who saw in this small, callow full- back a player who would never hold down a place at elite level.
Who was destined to be remembered as the guy in the or Nothing documentary whose name José Mourinho struggled with. “Whether it’s positive, and you start thinking you’re the best thing since sliced bread.
From rebirth at the Camp Nou to revival on the south coast, it is a truth he seems to live by. Manchester City will travel to Greece without Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker for their UEFA Champions League Match day Four clash with Olympia cos on Wednesday night, as confirmed by the club on Tuesday afternoon.
Perhaps the most surprising development has been João Cancel's transformation from expensive and unreliable back -up to a key man pushing City's game and maybe even Guardiola's vaunted idea of football to new heights. He expected something we could not offer him,” the City boss said of the Portugal full- back on the eve of Wednesday's Premier League match against Brighton and Hove Albion, where victory would move his side to within a point of champions Liverpool with a game in hand.
The battle to be first choice at right- back seemed unfairly skewed in favor of Kyle Walker, one of the most consistent performers of the Catalan's tenure at the Etihad Stadium. Alongside Rod, who arrived from Atlético Madrid for a similar outlay, Cancel became a poster boy of a failed campaign for many City fans, where a third straight EFL Cup success could not make up for Liverpool romping clear to the Premier League title.
While at Bayern and blessed with the services of AHM and David Alba, Guardiola pioneered a gambit whereby his full-backs could tuck inside to bolster the defensive midfield position. Cancel's frequent presence in opposition territory has contributed to him being ranked second in the City squad in terms of chances created (24), passes ending in the final third (272) and passes played in the box (63) in the Premier League this season, with top spot in all categories belonging to Kevin De Bruyne.
Only De Bruce, Riyadh Mare and Raheem Sterling have completed more dribbles than Cancel (16), a player who seems to have given a new dimension to a City team that had come to look stale during the early weeks of the season in the aftermath of David Silva and Leroy Sane's departures. Manchester City have seen João Cancel really kick on this season, taking a huge leap after a somewhat frustrating debut campaign with the club.
Now though, City are being linked with another right back, as The Athletic claim that Pep Guardiola’s men are pursuing Brighton and Hove Albion’s Tariq Lamprey. Lamprey only joined the Seagulls from Chelsea last January, but has taken the Premier League by storm with superb performances under Graham Potter.
Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty ImagesThat could fit perfectly with Guardiola’s approach, and City fans have been taking to Twitter to react to suggestions that Lamprey could end up at the Etihad Stadium. Working with Guardiola 'big attraction' for WalkerKyleWalker says he left Tottenham to join Manchester City because he wants to start winning trophies.
Spurs finished in the top three of the Premier League in both of the past two seasons, but it is more than nine years since they won a major trophy. “I am hoping with the world-class players we have here that we will go and lift a trophy, which is what I want to do in my career,” he told BBC Sport.
He worked with Dani Alves and all the top players at Barcelona, plus Philipp AHM at Bayern Munich. A club statement said: “Manchester City FC can confirm that Gabriel Jesus, Kyle Walker, and two members of staff have tested positive for Covid-19.
Jesus scored in the midweek win over Arsenal (Nick Potts/PA)Under Premier League regulations, players or club staff who have tested positive will self-isolate for a period of 10 days. Manchester City pair Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker have tested positive for Covid-19, the Premier League club have announced.
Tottenham decided to send Walker -Peters out on loan in January of this year, despite having issues at right back following Kieran Tripper’s exit. He went on to impress at Southampton, and turned his move permanent in the summer as part of the deal that saw Pierre-Emile Homburg join Tottenham.
Walker -Peters has been a mainstay of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, helping the Saints make a strong start to the season. The 23-year-old has already made 23 appearances for Southampton, meaning he is just one short of matching his tally at Tottenham, which sums up how he is valued on the South Coast.
Playing one game and then being out of the side for weeks was difficult for Walker -Peters, and he felt he needed to leave and really show what he can do. Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images Walker -Peters added that he still talks to DELE Allie very day, which is ironic; the Spurs midfielder may just have to make a similar decision in the very near future.
Former England defender Gary Neville has said the national team will never win a major tournament with the centre-backs available to manager Gareth Southgate. England takes on Wales in a friendly at Wembley Stadium this evening, ahead of Nations League fixtures against Belgium on Sunday and Denmark on Wednesday.
Manchester United captain Harry Maguire is joined at center- back in the England squad by Liverpool’s Joe Gomez, Everton’s Michael Keane, Wolves captain Conor Cody, Tottenham’s Eric Dear, and Tyrone Ming's of Burley. Manchester City full- backKyleWalker was also named in the squad and has previously played on the outside of a back three for England.