Walker, Don't Trippier On Your Way Out
OK, I'll start by apologising for the truly awful attempt at a pun in the title of this piece. I am sorry!
It's pretty obvious what this is about. Mr Kyle Walker. The noises about him moving on to pastures new seem to be getting louder and louder, with 'Man Citeh' being the most talked about destination. Are these noises just baseless, or do we think there's something in them? Personally speaking, based solely upon Poch's selections over the last month or so, I think Walker is as good as gone.
Let's face it, he's served us well, very well, in fact. Yes I've been very vocal on here over the years when it comes to Mr Walker, mainly because he is so bloody frustrating. The lad truly could be one of the best full-backs in world football, but an apparent lack of footballing intelligence appears to restrict him and his game. We see him every game, bursting down the line, leaving everyone in his wake, only to get to the edge of the opponents box, stop, dally, look around, dally a bit more & then play it backwards to whoever is behind him. Frustrating!
There's also his ability to lack thought around our own area, often giving away silly, needless free-kicks in the most dangerous area of the pitch. Let's also not forget his total dependence upon his searing pace, when he's often upfield, way out of position & racing back to where he really should have been in the first place. Frustrating!
That's the bad out of the way and, I should stress, although it appears that way, I am NOT bashing Kyle Walker. I'm sure there are stats out there that will show him as one of the top full-backs in the league this season, but stats really count for nothing in my world. Let's just use Man Utd as an example here. 'Stats' will show that they went on a, what, 17 - 18 game unbeaten run this season? Awesome! How many were draws? And how bloody boring were they whilst playing to simply not lose, rather than playing to win? Stats are open to translation, performances and intelligence are there for all to see.
Why am I so un-bothered by this Walker situation? Simple, Mr Pochettino & Mr Trippier.
Many of the longer serving members on this site will remember me saying a few years ago that we should be going for Trippier (I also wouldn't shut up about signing Ben Davies) and he's proven to be a heck of a deputy for Kyle Walker. Sure, Walker is MUCH faster than Trippier & probably more athletic, too. Defensively I personally think Trippier is better, whilst absolutely believing that Trippier's end product is vastly superior to that of Walker.
Would/will Walker be a big loss, of course! However, do I believe that Pochettino and his scouting team will find a more than adequate replacement? Hell yeah! Could we hold it against Walker if he is indeed off to Man Citeh? I don't think we should. Man Citeh will most likely double, or even triple his salary. He'll be playing with some truly world class players and, most significantly, he's a northern lad. Maybe 'going home' is the biggest appeal of all for him?
I can't even begin to think of the type of figure that Mr Levy would want to wring out of the Man Citeh hierarchy for Walker, but this article in The Telegraph appears to suggest that they would have to pay more than the £30mil that Man Utd paid for Luke Shaw - Telegraph article.
I could see a figure of nearer to £40mil being demanded, and I believe City would actually pay that, too. That is not a small figure we're talking about there, especially taking into account the outlay that we all know the club is undertaking with the stadium/N17 redevelopments, though Mr Levy has repeatedly stated that the stadium costs would not impact upon squad development and improvements. I can tell you all that I've been told by someone with info/contacts that, after the naming rights are sorted, the stadium costs will almost be 100% covered. I can also tell you that there is another member of this site that has heard the same thing, but from a different source to me. Time will tell, I guess!
So I guess the point of all my rambling is, in short, do you think we'll be making a mistake if we sell Walker? Or do you think we have a perfectly adequate replacement already in our ranks, or could use a portion of the significant fee that Walker's sale would bring, to source an even better option?
Remember, Aurere-Est-Facere! COYS