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Would Barcelona best serve Tottenham's Kyle Walker?

Saturday 15th April 2017
According to the Evening Standard, Barcelona are keeping tabs on Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker, hoping to lure him down to Camp Nou to take up Dani Alves' old position.

The Brazillian said his goodbyes last year. In the interim, Luis Enrique has searched every nook and cranny to find the ideal replacement. No one has met his standard and the team has suffered. Full-back has been Barça's Achilles Heel. Opponent have targeted them down the wings. Juventus' dominance Tuesday evening in the Champions League made that obvious.
The Blaugrana attack poses problems for any club but its defense is nothing to write home about. The squad needs more depth if it hopes to win silverware next season.

Kyle Walker has grown into a world class attacker at White Hart Lane. It comes as no surprise he has caught an elite European side's attention. This season, he has set up more goals (five) ­for teammates than any Premier League defender. Pacey and hardworking, he can man both sides. His defensive instincts have increased to the degree he is rarely caught out. He can track back, too, averaging 3.07 ball recoveries per game. Earlier in his career, he was known for making high profile mistakes. During this campaign, only two defensive errors can be attributed to him. If he moves to La Liga, his size and strength would give him an edge over midfielders and forwards charged with marking him.

Barcelona have made do this season with Sergi Roberto and Aleix Vidal. The duo have shown decent form but do not possess the quality needed to play for a Champions League contender. Roberto is struggling with a right-back's responsibilities, especially making decisions under pressure. Vidal has pace but is a mere shadow of Dani Alves. Walker cannot yet be placed on Alves' pedestal. Still, he is more adaptable to Champions League play than Barcelona's current right backs, making him the best available option in this summer's transfer market.
On the other hand, Walker is integral to the 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-2-1 formations employed by Spurs. Along with Ben Davies or Danny Rose, he provides the width allowing Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli to move deeper into the central park. Largely regarded as the Premier League's most creative defender, Walker would command an exorbitant fee. Mauricio Pochettino will do his best to keep the English international at White Hart Lane.

That is assuming the Argentinian manager must. Walker has not commented on Barça's alleged interest. English players rarely join foreign clubs. With Tottenham's growth coming in spades, the 26-year old may feel he has everything he needs in London.

Barcelona ranks among the world's biggest clubs. Seldom does it have difficulty to attract a desired player's interest. Even though Luis Enrique will be stepping down at season's end, his successor will be aware the side needs a right back. Surely, Albert Soler, Barça's Director of Football, and his Technical Director for the First Team, Robert Fernández, already have their scouts searching for quality players to fill the position. They will have identified Walker's playing style as fitting the club's. The Englishman would solve their right back issues. The Blaugrana are buoyant enough to seal the deal. Would Walker be the one who turns them down? For now, it is still word on the grapevine, but word worth following.
Adebayo Temitope

Temitope, an ardent soccer fan. I may be based in Lagos but I watch as much European football as I can. I've been writing about football for several years, before I joined IRIAW you may have seen my work on The Football Weeks. I'm also a keen music fan


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