Barcelona first were interested in Kyle Walker a couple of years ago and have kept an eye on him ever since, now these stories have arisen again as they look as potentials to replace Dani Alves if they decide to.
Barcelona have played with advanced attacking full-backs just the way we had started to play under Andre Villas-Boas and now are developing under Mauricio Pochettino. The full-back in modern football is no longer a defender, but an attacker who defends. He therefore needs speed to get back when the opposition attack, which Walker has in abundance.
The lack of understanding of his role leads some Spurs fans to claim he is out of position but in reality that's exactly how he is supposed to play within the system. When in defence he also should tuck in when the ball is on the other side and only rush out to a wide man should the ball go out there. That way the defence is compact and lessens the chance of a side coming through the middle area, which this season will be policed by two defensive midfielders.
Thus our goal is to push the opposition into wide areas which means we may be subjected to crosses. Important therefore that we have central defenders who can head a ball and have excellent positional sense.
With our three behind the striker dropping when required to help defend our weak left side now might actually become our strong side because of current form Aaron Lennon will be playing there and he is excellent at his defensive duties. Our weaker side this season may be the right, if Eriksen starts out there but looks a little stronger if Lamela is there.
On paper we have a stronger defensive unit without any change in personnel, just moving the cover in front around a bit. Walker/Lamela and Davies/Lennon or Rose/Lennon look stronger combinations than the weak Rose/Eriksen combination we had last season.
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When we are not defending our box and playing a high line then the central defenders will need to be good on the floor. This is the area of the game where Chiriches is comfortable and all the game were played there he would be an ideal defender to have, but alas it isn't.
Now whether there are anything to these Walker and Barcelona rumours we will have to wait and see. It may be simply that we are buying a right-back n Andre Yedlin and someone has put two and two together to speculate. Speculation then turns into an actual story and Spanish and English press just keep reporting what the other one is writing which keeps the saga going.
Take a look at the Remy, Townsend, Kane story. The initial suggestion was that QPR wanted Townsend and a figure of £10 million was mentioned, which wouldn't get him in a million years. Loïc Rémy would cost us £11 million apparently and not the £8 million buyout clause for top four clubs. It was casually mentioned that Harry likes Harry Kane as well.
Suddenly it was now a story of a swap deal Townsend and Kane for Remy. Townsend value alone would be around £16 million and Harry Kane being a striker would be £8 million. They are around the figures Daniel Levy would value them at so £24 million as a swap for a player with an £11 million buyout clause.
When you look at the story it has no substance and no chance of happening, especially at the hysterical price of £13.5 million (€16.98m), still people fall for it. Spurs view, well they say Walker is not for sale.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 Kyle Walker