Barcelona Women
FC Minsk Women
10:00 AM UTC
Leg 1
Game Details

Kyle Walker-Peters: Five things to know about Tottenham's right-back

Kyle Walker-Peters is the latest young player to graduate from Tottenham's academy after the 20-year-old made his senior debut in Sunday's 2-0 win at Newcastle.

The right-back was named Man of the Match for an assured display, which suggests he may have more opportunities to fill the void left by his near-namesake Kyle Walker, who joined Manchester City from Spurs for £45 million last month. But who is Walker-Peters?

ESPN FC has five things you need to know about the defender:

1. He has always been a Spurs fan

Walker-Peters was born in Edmonton, north London, and, like Harry Kane, he grew up supporting Spurs, even though his father's family are Chelsea fans. Despite living so close to the club, he stayed with a host family as a teenage academy player, rooming with Serbian Milos Veljkovic.

He made his debut on Spurs' tour of Malaysia and Australia in May 2015, and last season he was named on the bench for the FA Cup home wins over Aston Villa and Wycombe in January, before signing a new contract until 2019 the following month. He played in all three games on this summer's tour of the USA before his surprise debut against Newcastle.

"Newcastle targeted me from the start and that's fair enough, I was making my debut," he told Spurs' website. "I think I dealt with that quite well. I won my first header and from there, you get a bit of confidence and the main thing was to get off to a good start in the Premier League. I was delighted to get Man of the Match, it was a dream come true."

2. Pochettino ruled out starting him last week

A week ago, Mauricio Pochettino seemed in no doubt about Walker-Peters' chances of playing in the Premier League. "He is too young," the Spurs manager said after the friendly against Juventus. Asked what had changed at St. James' Park, Pochettino insisted it was a bluff, saying he had not wanted to put too much pressure on the 20-year-old, who found out he was starting on Saturday at training.

That is a little hard to believe (for all his qualities, Pochettino is rarely willing to admit he was wrong and dislikes being reminded of any changes of tune) but whether this was clever or decisive management is now irrelevant.

Walker-Peters did not look overawed by the occasion, growing in confidence as the game went on, and he is clearly capable of doing a job against a certain level of Premier League opposition. It does not matter if Pochettino did not know that before the game because he knows it now, and it may just convince the manager not to sign another right-back this summer.

3. He was England's Under-20 World Cup-winning left-back

Walker-Peters played a key role in the first English team to win the World Cup at any level since 1966 -- despite playing out of position in South Korea. Walker-Peters forced his way into Paul Simpson's team after the first game, playing all five of the matches en route to the final.

He was signed by Spurs as an attacking midfielder before being converted to a full-back and he is comfortable playing in either a flat back four or as a wing-back. That kind of versatility will have impressed Pochettino, who favours players who can play in more than one position.

"The U20 World Cup was incredible. It was a massive test playing against players who play first-team football regularly at their clubs. It helped us get better, it helped us stay fit for the start of the season and obviously we were delighted to win it," Walker-Peters said last month.

Walker-Peters made an immediate impact for Tottenham.

4. Football is in the family

Walker-Peters' uncle Phil Walker was a professional footballer with Millwall and Charlton Athletic in the 1970s and 1980s. After leaving the Valley in 1983, central midfielder Walker had a brief spell in Hong Kong before spending 11 years in Portugal, where he retired aged 41. He now runs coaching schools in London.

5. He wants to be more vocal

Speaking last month in his first interview, Walker-Peters revealed that he had spoken to Walker and Kieran Trippier, the Spurs right-back who was injured at St. James' Park, about improving his game. The England internationals told him that communication was the biggest area for improvement to make, so it was encouraging to see Walker-Peters giving instructions at St. James' Park.

"Kieran and Kyle have given me advice," he said. "A lot of it is they're telling me to talk a lot more on the pitch, be a lot more vocal, get your winger to help you out. Seeing them in training, watching their crossing. Obviously Kieran Trippier is very good at crossing, Kyle is very strong. So seeing them on the training pitch, I've learnt like that."

Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.