Tottenham Hotspur’s season is over, and this morning we have our first confirmed contract extension of the offseason. Spurs announced this morning on their website and social media that 21-year old fulllback Kyle Walker-Peters has signed a new deal that will keep him a Tottenham player through the 2021 season.
Here’s Walker-Peters in his own words from the announcement on Spurs’ website:
“It makes me so proud because it means I’ve done well to the extent that the club feels they can reward me with a new contract. I feel I’ve improved massively with the help of the other players and the manager. Being in that senior working environment every day can only help you to get better and I think when I’ve been given my opportunities, I’ve been able to show my improvement and help the team to win games.
“When you have a manager that you know has faith in you, it gives you confidence. The training sessions that the staff put on keep you fit and ready because, as an example, I didn’t play for three months before yesterday other than with England, but because the training and support from everyone has been so good, when I was given my opportunity yesterday to play again, I was fit and ready and I could help the team win.”
We didn’t see much from “Kyle Walker No. 2” this season, despite the promise that he has shown since being promoted from Spurs’ academy. He played only 445 minutes of first team action this season, and most of those minutes came in the FA Cup. However, he did start Spurs’ first and last matches of the season — he picked up the Man of the Match award in Spurs’ 2-0 win at Newcastle in the opening weekend, and started again in yesterday’s season-ending 5-4 home win over Leicester, a match in which he had two assists.
He’s been mired behind both Kieran Trippier and Serge Aurier the whole of the season, so him being offered and accepting a new contract brings up some interesting questions. If Pochettino (rightly) likes him and wants to keep him around, does that mean anything concerning the long-term futures of either Trippier or Aurier? It might! It could also be a precursor to KWP being sent off on a good Premier League loan next season for some top level experience. We just don’t know.
But either way, this is a huge moment for Walker-Peters. It represents confirmation that his work this season and his potential has not gone unnoticed, and it means that Pochettino thinks that he very well could worm his way into regular rotation.
Congrats to Kyle!