Kyle Walker: Tottenham's best Premier League right-back?
Tottenham opinion: Is Kyle Walker the best Spurs right-back of the Premier League era?
Defenders normally doesn’t always steal the limelight and win awards, but there will be exceptions when an exceptional talents make their mark.
Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker won the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 2011/12, ahead of Manchester City's Sergio Kun Aguero and Manchester United's Danny Welbeck.
The Sheffield United academy product arrived at White Hart Lane in July 2009. After two loan spells in the Championship with Sheffield United and QPR, the right-back made his mark in the Premier League with a loan move at Aston Villa.
That spell was the turning point in his career, and he impressed the pundits and critics alike. He made the right-back spot his own at Tottenham in the following season, displacing Vedran Corluka and Alan Hutton.
His performances at White Hart Lane were second to none, and his consistently superior performances earned him the PFA Young Player of the Year award ahead of more illustrious names.
Walker put in some erratic performances at the start of last season. Andre Villas-Boas kept faith in the defender and stood by his side in his difficult times.
He knew that this player is someone special going through a difficult patch. It paid dividends as Walker was back to his best soon after, and his performances oozed class and quality.
Nowadays he is one of the automatic starters in the Spurs squad. And few people sees him as the best right-back to have played for Tottenham in Premier League era.
In the last two seasons alone, Walker has notched up 95 appearances in a Tottenham shirt. He defends by putting his body on the line, and at the same time he surges forward at given opportunities to contribute in attack.
He was the all-round player Tottenham needed, and Walker has excelled in his role so far. His pace and acceleration helped him to escape from some precarious situations.
Is he the best ever right-back for Spurs? How does he compare to other Tottenham right-backs of the Premier League era?
Names like Stephen Carr, Paul Stalteri, Pascal Chimbonda, Vedran Corluka and Alan Hutton will come to our mind. Players like Stalteri and Hutton can be dismissed directly without saying much. Chimbonda was a decent right-back during his three-year stint at Spurs, but he was error prone and wasn't the best.
Corluka on the other hand lacked pace and was used as a centre-back on occasions. His lack of pace was never a match for his role and this will leave us with Carr as the man to draw comparisons with.
Was Carr a better player? The Spurs academy product was the first choice right-back for seven years at the club. His played top-flight football for nearly 20 years and was considered as one of the best during his prime.
He enjoyed his prime years at Tottenham and was the undisputed choice at that time, a status which is enjoyed by Walker now. But Walker is relatively young and hasn't played enough time at top level to displace Carr.
If Walker can continue his performances at the highest level for two or three seasons, he will be close to displacing Carr.
Until then, Carr will remain as the best right-back for Tottenham in Premier League history.
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