Tottenham have arguably the best full-backs in the Premier League and that has been a big reason for their success this season. However, they are expecting to lose Kyle Walker this summer after the England international appeared to fall out with Mauricio Pochettino towards the end of the campaign. It is believed that the right-back has been unhappy at the way his playing time has been managed, while the lure of a significant pay rise away from White Hart Lane is too tempting. Under Pochettino, Spurs won’t be afraid to sell one of their key figures if he is no longer pulling in the same direction as the group. That appears to be the case with Walker after he ended the season out of the team.
Although he is considered as one of the best right-backs in the world now, Spurs could cope with the loss of Walker if he does leave the club this summer. Kieran Trippier has now been at the club for two seasons and has impressed whenever he has been given a chance in the starting eleven. He is trusted by Pochettino and shown that he can thrive in the system that the Argentine chooses to play. Some will doubt that he can be a regular for a Champions League side, but he has done enough to earn an opportunity if Walker does depart.
During the last two seasons, Walker has been considered the best attacking full-back in the division, with his pace and power allowing him to provide a huge threat. However, Trippier is equally as impressive in the attacking half, as shown by his chances created per ninety minutes of 1.84, which is higher than his team-mate (1.3). In addition to creating chances at a higher rate, Trippier managed to finish as the defender with the joint-most assists after contributing five assists. This was the same number as Walker, despite the former Burnley player spending 2,124 fewer minutes on the pitch.
In terms of defensive contribution, they have both improved a lot under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino. Trippier lacks the recovery pace that Walker possesses, but that isn’t a major disadvantage. During this season, Walker (2.96) has a slightly higher ball recoveries per ninety minutes than Trippier (2.77), although there isn’t much splitting the two right-backs. The one area where Trippier (37.5%) is significantly worse than Walker (66.67%) is in successful aerial duels. If he is to become Tottenham’s first-choice right-back next season, this is an area that opposition teams may look to exploit.
Tottenham supporters will be hoping that Kyle Walker remains in the squad, as he has developed a lot under Mauricio Pochettino and he can improve further in the future. That said, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he does leave this summer, as the Argentine manager has put together a very good squad and they already have a right-back that could step up to replace the England international. Trippier ended the season in the team and played a huge role in their strong finish to the campaign. In attack, it can be argued that he is more consistent than Walker, while he is a reliable defender. Spurs would have to bring in a right-back to provide competition for Trippier, but the Englishman deserves the opportunity to be the first choice if Walker does leave the club.