Tottenham’s young right-back Kyle Walker-Peters is aiming to show he can be “second in line” behind Kieran Trippier after Kyle Walker’s departure to Manchester City.
The 20-year-old is yet to make a competitive first-team appearance for Spurs but, after winning the Under-20 World Cup with England this summer, he was given the first 45 minutes against Paris St Germain in Saturday’s pre-season friendly in Orlando.
“It was incredible, my first start in the first team,” he said. “I’ve played in a few pre-seasn and end-of-season games before but playing a top team like PSG was very good.
“It was very tough playing at the highest level – a team like PSG, a Champions League team. It was a learning curve and I can only get better from playing these games.
“The Under-20 World Cup was incredible. Again, 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.
“I want to show the manager (Mauricio Pochettino) I’m ready, I want to show him he can trust me in big games if he needs to. These games are the time to do it, and obviously on the training pitch too.
“There’s a big opportunity now that Kyle Walker has gone. I’m trying to show that I can be second in line. These are the games to do that out here, and back at the training ground.”
Josh Onomah, who has had a little more first-team experience with Spurs, was also a key member of the triumphant England Under-20 squad – and he has been providing tips about what to expect at senior level.
“Josh has told me that the intensity is a lot higher, people are a lot more physical,” said Walker-Peters.
“I’ll only get used to that by playing in these games and hopefully I’ll get more opportunities and get better.
“There are a lot of things for me to improve. I want to get stronger, I want to keep getting faster, I want to work on my crossing. Again, in these games I’m trying to do it, and also on the training pitch.
“Kyle (Walker) and Kieran have given me advice. 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 learned like that.”
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