After being mostly snubbed in last summer’s Euros, Kevin Wimmer is finally getting matches for the Austrian national team. The latest came Thursday in a 2-2 World Cup qualifying draw with Wales where Wimmer played at left back and had the unenviable job of trying to help contain Gareth Bale. He had an unfortunate own goal just before halftime, but overall his performance was pretty good.
Unfortunately, that’s the most Wimmer has seen the pitch in any capacity for a while now. At Tottenham Hotspur, he’s been (rightly) mired behind Toby Alderwiereld and Jan Vertonghen, but since recovering from a preseason injury has also been behind Spurs’ teenage center back prospect Cameron Carter-Vickers. Two months into the season, the only match Wimmer has played for Spurs was the 5-0 shellacking of Gillingham in the EFL Cup.
It hasn’t gone unnoticed. Speaking to Austrian paper Kleine Zeitung, Wimmer expressed some frustration with his position at Spurs and even went so far as to hint that he might consider his options in January if he doesn’t get more match time.
"After last season, where I played at the end quite frequently [after the injury to Jan Vertonghen], I have other expectations this season. [The injury] has thrown me back a bit. It is difficult at the moment but I am patiently waiting for my chance. I try to always stay positive.
"The feedback from the club is always that they are very happy and that they see the future with me. This is very positive, but it’s about the here and now.”
When asked about whether he’d be open to moving away from Spurs in January, Wimmer replied:
"We will see what happens in the next few weeks. We have a few midweek matches."
It must be tough for Big Kev. He was phenomenal in relief of Vertonghen last season with Jan went down with an injury, but his reward has seemingly been to not play at the Euros and to lose his place to a teenager with no first team experience.
Spurs don’t have the Europa League this year in which Wimmer can rotate into games, and Mauricio Pochettino doesn’t rotate his center backs as often as he does other positions. The options for playing time are actually fewer despite more and higher profile matches. Of course, all that could change with an injury to either Vertonghen or Alderweireld, and Wimmer’s aware of that too.
So it’s understandable that Wimmer is frustrated. He’s a solid young center back in a situation where he’s just not going to get many matches for a Champions League caliber team. Pochettino’s recent comments suggest that he’ll probably start for Spurs in the EFL Cup match against Liverpool at Anfield, but it’s hard to see where he might fit in otherwise, barring injury.
It doesn’t sound like Wimmer’s definitely angling for a move, but it does appear that he’s keeping his options open.