It is official: Kyle Walker is a Manchester City player. The Blues had to pay over £50 million to sign the England international from Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur, but far too much emphasis has been placed on Walker’s price tag. Yes, he came at a cost, but it is time to start focusing on how he will improve Pep Guardiola’s side this campaign.
If Walker struggles to make a positive impact during his first season at the Etihad Stadium, he deserves to be criticised. Until then, take a look at what he has done at Spurs and how he will directly benefit City as they look to challenge for the title. The Blues are bound to be right in the mix and look well priced at 2/1; especially with the Walker deal done.
At 27 years old, he is smack bang in the middle of his prime and he is ready to jump straight into Guardiola’s first team. Walker has bags of top-flight experience, featuring in almost 200 Premier League games during his time at White Hart Lane and one season on loan at Aston Villa. He doesn’t score many goals but his offensive prowess and ability to link up in the final third should give City an added dimension.
Towards the end of last season, Walker found himself in direct competition with compatriot Kieran Trippier for Spurs’ starting role at right-back. Tottenham themselves will be content with letting Walker leave for the price that he did but the new City man outranked Trippier in various categories last term. Only Danny Rose ended the campaign with better defensive statistics than Walker, according to WhoScored.
Walker’s decision to leave Tottenham was a simple one. He left Spurs to give himself the best possible chance to win trophies on a regular basis. Spurs haven’t won a trophy for nine years and betting markets suggest that they won’t be winning one this season either. The latest odds show Tottenham at 5/2 to win a major trophy this campaign whilst Premier League title favourites City are well fancied at 27/20 in the same market.
The former Spurs man will bring reliability, strength and pace to a defensive quartet in real need of support. On paper, City are arguably the strongest team in England and the Blues are favourites to win the title at around 2/1 with various bookmakers. Those still worried about City’s defence can check out the Free Bets page by thebookieoffers.co.uk – a number of promotions are available ahead of the new season, such as welcome deposit bonuses of up to 200%.
Paul Pogba came under scrutiny last season after struggling to live up to his £89 million price tag and Walker will be looking to hit the ground running to avoid similar criticism. Too much talk over the fee may unsettle the City man and that is unfair. Let’s see what Walker can do before making any rash judgments. After all, most of the signs suggest that he will be a huge success at his new home.