Southampton vs Burnley: Kyle Walker-Peters criticised

Southampton defender Kyle Walker-Peters

Journalist Dan Sheldon has claimed Kyle Walker-Peters had his worst game of the season against Burnley on Sunday.  

Although the Saints managed to overturn a two-goal deficit and win 3-2, it was an afternoon for the right-back to forget according to The Athletic's Southampton correspondent. 

What's been said about Walker-Peters? 

Sheldon said the following on The Athletic's discussion page...

"Think was probably Kyle’s worst game of the season, but he was due a bad match. He’s been superb whenever he’s played in my opinion. Burnley are always a difficult proposition for defenders!"

What was so bad about Walker-Peters' performance vs Burnley? 

The 23-year-old didn't get off to the best of starts, as he gave away a penalty inside the opening 15 minutes. 

Walker-Peters went to ground in the penalty area and took down Burnley's Erik Pieters. Although the decision wasn't given initially, VAR highlighted the tackle and a penalty was later awarded. 

The former Tottenham man earned a WhoScored rating of 5.64 for his performance at the weekend, which was the lowest amongst the Saints' starting XI. 

How does that compare to his form this season?

As Sheldon alluded to, his performance against Burnley was ultimately a blip within a very successful season for Walker-Peters. 

The full-back, who is currently valued at £16.2m by Transfermarkt, has emerged as a very strong signing for Ralph Hassenhuttl's men.

According to WhoScored, Walker-Peters has generated an average rating of 6.92, which is the fifth-highest in the Southampton squad. 

Moreover, he's been defensively solid for the South Coast side, as he's recorded an average of 2.8 tackles and 1.5 interceptions per game, according to WhoScored

Is his place in the starting XI under threat?

Aside from the fact that he's performed to a consistently high level throughout the season, Southampton don't have many other right-back options. 

Cedric Soares departed the club last season for Arsenal, while Yan Valery joined Birmingham City on loan in February. 

This season, Southampton have heavily relied on the full-back and he's made 22 appearances for the Saints.

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Who is this former Southampton player?

Do Southampton need to sign some competition in the summer?

This is largely dependent on Valery's future at the club. 

The French defender had been Walker-Peters' understudy earlier this season but made the switch to Birmingham having only made one Premier League start.

If Valery performs well during his time at St Andrews, he may be brought back to the South Coast and used to challenge Walker-Peters next season. 

But with his contract due to expire in 2023, the coming summer is also a good time for Southampton to sell. 

If Saints do end up selling, they'll need to bring in someone who can really put pressure on Walker-Peters for a starting berth. 

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