Southampton grappling with Kyle Walker-Peters


After begin to the season which noticed Southampton sit on the prime of the premier league in early November, the membership entered a harmful place. They’ve received one among their final 13 league video games and sit simply eight factors above the relegation zone. Ralph Hasenhutll’s already small facet have been worn out by accidents which has been an enormous issue of their latest predicament because the membership have 9 first-team accidents at one level. Nevertheless, one absentee who has missed greater than most is Southampton full-back Kyle Walker-Peters.

Kyle Walker-Peters an enormous miss for Southampton

Absence felt greater than most

After signing for Southampton completely in the summertime following a profitable six-month mortgage, Walker-Peters has established himself as one of many signings of the season. The 23-year-old is gone Tottenham Hotspur for an everyday beginning position and has thrived ever since. He’s very snug in possession and an aggressive one-on-one defender who is never crushed down the road and he was an indispensable participant able that Southampton struggled with for a couple of seasons.

When Walker-Peters first joined the Saints in January 2020, the membership allowed Cedric Soares to hitch Arsenal. Soares’ contract was on account of expire that summer season and Walker-Peters was seen as his substitute. Earlier than the departure of Soares, he had not lengthy regained the beginning right-back place of the younger Frenchman. Yan Valery. Nevertheless, with Valery leaving the membership to hitch Birmingham Metropolis on mortgage in January, neither Soares nor Valery had been on the membership, leaving Walker-Peters as the one pure right-back.

When Walker-Peters fell injured in opposition to Wolverhampton Wanderers In his first league sport after a four-game harm layoff, the hearts of Southampton followers had been of their mouths. He needed to depart within the 72nd minute to get replaced by Mohammed Salisu which led to a formation change for Southampton who misplaced 2-1.

Southampton have not collected a single level in Walker-Peters’ earlier four-game absence and followers will understandably be involved with the information that Walker-Peters is ready to go lacking for not less than the following few years. weeks. Southampton supervisor Hasenhuttl must discover a answer if his facet are to cease the decay of the adverse outcomes and, with the information that combat-hardened midfielder Oriol Romeu is now out for the rest of the season, he has began to really feel unhealthy. the information does not finish at St Mary’s.

With out Walker-Peters Southampton lose their stability

The most important drawback Southampton face within the absence of Walker-Peters is that with out him the workforce are utterly missing in stability. As there isn’t any pure right-back presently on the membership who can exchange the injured defender, the gamers needed to play out of place to try to deal with the loss. It has had various ranges of success.

Membership captain James Ward-Prowse has served as right-back at instances, most lately in opposition to Aston Villa, however his affect within the heart of midfield is missed when he isn’t round. Valery stuffed it out earlier than his mortgage left however clearly did not earn his supervisor’s belief.

Ibrahima Diallo has additionally performed full-back this season however is presently additionally injured and Moussa Djenepo has changed however extra as a right-back than a traditional right-back. Jack Stephens has additionally performed the half prior to now however, once more, will not be a pure within the submit.

Since younger Ghanaian defender Mohammed Salisu returned to his prime kind, he has turn into possibility within the heart of protection, which has allowed Hasenhuttl to pair him with big Dane Jannik Vestergaard. This then allowed central defensive pillar Jan Bednarek to step as much as an unknown right-back position.

Towards Chelsea, in Walker-Peters’ first sport injured from this destiny, Hasenhuttl modified his ways to play a full-back three in possession and transfer to a full-back 4 out of possession, Bednarek turning into the third center-back in assault and right-back. in protection. It was profitable because the Saints drew 1-1 however it’s unlikely to work in matches when Southampton have extra possession.

With out Walker-Peters within the squad, Southampton are extremely lopsided in each protection and assault. Defensively, it is robust to play aggressive high-pressure soccer when you will have a center-back enjoying a right-back who does not need to be uncovered in one-on-one conditions. Nevertheless, it’s maybe extra seen within the assault.

A lot of Southampton’s breadth going ahead comes from their full-backs. Walker-Peters and Ryan Bertrand on the left are allowed to bomb forward and be part of within the assaults. That is particularly essential as Southampton’s nice midfielders have full freedom within the system to maneuver across the discipline and decide up the ball in harmful areas within the heart. It’s due to this fact usually Walker-Peters and Bertrand who create the area for these gamers.


Walker-Peters likes to fly ahead and has outstanding shut management in addition to the flexibility to navigate tight areas and beat his man. Sadly for Southampton, there isn’t any one on their squad who can replicate the position they play successfully and, as such, when he goes lacking it’s blatantly apparent. His solely Premier League assist to this point this season is a misrepresentation of his offensive affect and he’s usually closely concerned within the rise of Southampton assaults.

Walker-Peters absence highlights poor recruiting

Hasenhuttl will sit up for Walker-Peters returning to kind and Southampton will desperately must get the previous England U21 worldwide again to the pitch as quickly as attainable. Nevertheless, the truth that his absence is felt so badly is finally on account of a failure to deal with the workforce’s lack of depth in January.

It might seem from the skin that Southampton had been silly to let Valery be part of Birmingham on mortgage as he was the one pure various. Nevertheless, after numerous failures to strive his luck since he initially impressed when he barged into the squad in 2018, it appears Hasenhuttl simply is not ranking it sufficient. Given his frequent defensive shortcomings, Hasenhuttl maybe can’t be faulted for this view.

Hasenhuttl is alleged to be determined so as to add a full-back to his squad in January and could be a Sturdy admirer of Manchester United’s Brandon Williams. One of many causes he loves Williams a lot is his potential to play both right-back or left-back, offering depth and competitors in two positions the place Southampton lack depth. Nevertheless, the choice to recruit a brand new defender in January has remained out of Hasenhuttl’s palms.

The issue brought on by the coronavirus pandemic was a significant component within the failure to usher in a right-back and Hasenhuttl acted to guarantee followers the membership did every part they might to safe a right-back in January. Hasenhuttl stated: “If you happen to had given me one which it was attainable to signal and that we had been capable of acquire, we’d have executed it. You might be certain of that. Earlier than including: “You possibly can make sure that now we have tried every part to draw gamers, throughout the limits that now we have.”

Southampton’s shortcomings within the winter switch window have undoubtedly come to mild as a result of variety of accidents the workforce have suffered. Nevertheless, none of those stung as sharply because the lack of Walker-Peters. If Southampton are to cease themselves from sleepwalking in a relegation battle, they are going to want their right-back kind once more as quickly as attainable.

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