Tottenham Hotspur’s Anton Walkes is heading back out on loan. A few weeks after returning from another loan stint in MLS with Atlanta, the young defender/defensive midfielder is heading to Portsmouth in League 1 for the remainder of the season.
Defender @AntonWalkes has joined @officialpompey on loan until the end of the season.— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 29, 2018
All the best, Anton! pic.twitter.com/HdVkR1Q9Kl
Walkes spent the past season since January 2017 on loan in America with Atlanta United, a club that is run by former Tottenham executive Darren Eales and which is managed by former Barcelona and Argentina national team manager Tata Martino.
Anton’s stint with Atlanta United could be couched as... moderately successful. It took a while for him to get into the squad, but by the end of his loan he was playing quite a bit, but at right back instead of his preferred center back. This was seemingly out of necessity, as Walkes was seen as a step up from Atlanta’s other right back, the 34-year old Tyrone Mears.
Walkes has had his struggles from time to time at Atlanta, but I think it’s fair to say that he’s grown as a player thanks to his experiences in MLS. Now he’s heading back to England with a Portsmouth team who are mid-table two leagues below Spurs. It’s hard not to see that as a bit discouraging for his future. Walkes is still only 20 years old, but Juan Foyth is a year younger and is getting meaningful minutes for Tottenham this season. It’s hard to imagine that Walkes is going to break through as a defender anytime soon, and Spurs are kind of stocked at defensive mid at the moment.
Still, Anton needs minutes, and he’s more likely to get them with Pompey than he is with Spurs’ U23s this season. I suspect that this is probably the beginning of the end for Walkes at Tottenham, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s eventually sold this summer.