Spurs full-back Walker-Peters knows game time is key to improvement
PUBLISHED: 09:00 07 August 2019
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The defender has a big opportunity to win a place in Mauricio Pochettino's starting XI over the next couple of weeks
Tottenham Hotspur defender Kyle Walker-Peters admits training only helps develop you to a certain extent, he knows now is the time for him to kick on and play regularly in the first-team.
It feels like the pathway has cleared for the 22-year-old to finally get a shot at being a mainstay in the Spurs side.
Since his Premier League debut at Newcastle United in August 2017, the right-back has rarely featured under Mauricio Pochettino, but he looks set to start the campaign opener at home to Aston Villa on Saturday.
With Serge Aurier still working his way back to fitness after a hand issue and Juan Foyth suspended and now injured for the rest of this month, the Lilywhites academy graduate has been presented with a golden opportunity and an overdue one according to some.
"Game time is the only way you are going to improve," Walker-Peters admitted, after Sunday's 1-1 draw with Inter Milan.
"Training helps to a certain extent, but with game time you get used to the intensity, playing against top teams. Ultimately I want to play as many minutes as possible, but training will help me."
Overall, Walker-Peters has featured 19 times for Spurs in all competitions, yet hardly any have been back-to-back.
He did come on against Leicester in December and then start in the Camp Nou for a Champions League clash with Barcelona, which proved a real baptism of fire.
At fault for the game's opener after seven minutes, Walker-Peters improved as the group fixture wore on and did in the end make 10 outings for Tottenham last season, one better than the nine he made in the 2017/18 campaign.
"I used the previous seasons to learn from those players, watching them play and training with them has only helped me get better," he said. "Competing against them is hard, they are top players but I have learned a lot from them."
Following a tough summer, where Walker-Peters faced Juventus, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan, he feels ready for the Premier League to get underway.
The Londoner added: "I am feeling fit, it has been a tough pre-season, we have played some top opposition. But it is all positive, it helps you get ready for the first game of the season."
He continued: "It is down to the manager, it is down to him who plays (against Aston Villa) and if I get the opportunity I have got to take it. I am quite calm at the moment and we will see what happens."
Many expected Walker-Peters to leave in search of regular first-team football during the summer, but he remains at the club and is ready to help Tottenham and their fans enjoy more success and create memories, like they did in the Champions League.
"We are as confident as every other season," he said. "We have got a good spirit, everyone works hard for the team, so we are confident we will go into games and do well."