Tottenham Hotspur announced yesterday that they have just extended the contract of youth talent Anton Walkes. The 20-year-old defender is currently out to MLS club Atlanta on loan.
However, despite signing a new contract with his parent club, Walkes is expected to remain at Atalanta for now. He is hugely benefitted from the loan move, as he’s making full use of his regular first-team chances in the Major League Soccer. However, he’ll always seek a move back to his parent club, in order to seek first-team chances with the Premier League giants.
Though, that scenario is very unlikely at the moment. Naturally a centre back, Walkes can be very versatile defensively. At Atlanta he is used as a right back, though he is a second string fullback for the MLS outfit, Walkes has been impressive in his performances.
Walkes is an offensive-minded fullback, who is great at feeding the attackers with long balls and is very good at link-up play too. However, he needs some work in his defensive game.
But the fact that Walkes plays in the right back position, carves in a layer of insecurities over his potential chances of playing at Tottenham. The London giants lost key right-back Kyle Walker to Manchester City but they still have a considerable amount of strength in that position with the new arrivals of Serge Aurier and Juan Foyth.
While Serge Aurier is definitely the first choice right-back for Spurs at the moment, Kyle Walker-Pieters is also pushing for a breakout with the first team. New signing Juan Foyth also remains a key option for coach Mauricio Pochettino. Therefore, it’s hard to even imagine Anton Walkes getting much of first-team opportunities in the Premier League.
As for the centre back spots, Walkes’ preferred playing position, Tottenham have serious depth there as well. New signing Davinson Sanchez has managed to get used to the playing conditions at England pretty quickly, while Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are the undisputed first-choice defenders for the Lilywhites. Further, Eric Dier can also slot in as a centre back.
Therefore, Anton Walkes’ contract extension doesn’t seem to be for any sporting reasons. Though Spurs are keeping the window open for Walkes to prove himself, it’s still hard to imagine his long-term career with Spurs and the contract extension might as well be just a plan to ask for more transfer fee than the Londoners could have previously expected for the defender. Either way, Atlanta United will look to tie down the defender on loan for another year after the end of this season.