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Kyle Walker-Peters could hold the key to Jose Mourinho's summer transfer plans

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Kyle Walker-Peters’ appearance for Southampton at Watford was momentous, though you might not have noticed at the time.

The 3-1 victory represented the first time the right-back completed a full 90 minutes in a Saints shirt, but he’ll hope it’s not the last.

Walker-Peters has started just twice since joining on loan from Tottenham in January, but the remainder of the season could well see him earn a longer-term deal. If that happens, it could be a big help this summer for both Spurs and Southampton.

It’s not just that Walker-Peters impressed against Watford, though he did, making three tackles and three clearances according to WhoScored.

The loanee kept Roberto Pereyra quiet, forcing the Argentina international to feed off scraps for the most part, and it was only via an unfortunate Jan Bednarek own goal the Hornets got on the scoresheet.

More important, though, was the reason Walker-Peters got his chance to begin with.

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Yan Valery had been Ralph Hasenhuttl’s preferred option at right-back after Cedric Soares’ January loan exit but has looked rusty and error-prone since the restart.

Indeed, during the 2-0 defeat at home to Arsenal, Valery was withdrawn at half-time as manager Hasenhuttl looked to shake things up.

“It's important that we trust every player who is with us and I do this - and when he gets the chance he will make a good game,” Hasenhuttl said earlier in June, when confirming the defender had extended his stay on the south coast until the end of the season.

If Walker-Peters continues to impress, a permanent switch in the summer could be beneficial for both sides.

While Saints need to strengthen at right-back, with the need becoming more acute after Cedric’s permanent switch to Arsenal was confirmed, they could also save - and potentially gain - money on Walker-Peters by using him in a part-exchange deal.

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Southampton midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is understood to be wanted by Spurs, with the former captain unlikely to fetch a huge fee due to his contract expiring in summer 2021.

And, if the two sides are unable to come to a consensus on the fee, perhaps the addition of a young right-back of no real use to Jose Mourinho might help sweeten the deal.

Walker-Peters has been given a couple of opportunities at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium without appearing to do enough to earn a longer run in the first-team, and Mourinho seemed happier with the younger option of Japhet Tanganga around the turn of the year.

At 23, Walker-Peters will want to be playing regular football sooner rather than later, even though his Spurs contract runs until 2023. Southampton could be his route to that regular action.

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However, the remaining Premier League games will play a big part in determining whether Southampton agree with the second part of that sentence. And, more crucially, if Hasenhuttl agrees and sees him as a viable starter rather than just competition for Valery.

Southampton have six more games to play this season, beginning with Manchester City at home, and it will be interesting to see who the manager opts for at right-back in those matches. If Walker-Peters gets starts and impresses when given his chance, he may well steal a march ahead of the 2020/21 season and could earn Tottenham a midfield boost in the process.




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