It was announced that Tottenham Hotspur have parted ways with first choice right-back Kyle Walker after a deal in the region of £45m, which could rise to £50m through add-ons, was agreed with Manchester City.
The right back signed a five-year-deal with the Citizens. The transfer will make Walker the most expensive English player and joint most costly defender in history.
Walker played for the North London Club for eight years after he joined in 2009 at the age of 19 from Sheffield United. In those eight years Walker claimed the PFA Young Player of the Year in 2012 and featured in the PFA Team of the Season after his key role in Mauricio Pochettino’s team’s title challenging campaign last season.
What are the consequences for Spurs?
First and foremost it is important to consider who Spurs have sold their first choice right back to. City finished third last year and were one of the favourites to win the league at the beginning of the season.
With eight points between Tottenham and Manchester City it is hard to ignore the fact that the North London have sold a starter to a domestic rival.
Not only that, but in doing so they have allowed City to strengthen their weakest position on the pitch. Even if Walker doesn't live up to his price-tag, he will almost certainly be an upgrade on Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna.
In addition to this, as aforementioned, Spurs have lost a first team player, who contributed heavily to two consecutive top four finishing seasons. With Tottenham moving into Wembley for the next season and yet to do any business in the transfer window while rival clubs are actively strengthening their team, the transfer could potentially hurt Spurs.
Is Trippier good enough to fill the gap?
Many are of the opinion that Kieran Trippier will grow into a good right back under Pochettino just as Walker did and just as Danny Rose did on the opposite side of the pitch.
Trippier has the attacking threat that Spurs demand from their fullbacks, in fact he registered five assists last season, the same amount as Walker despite playing 2,138 minutes less. In the last 10 games of the season both players featured in five. Trippier won all five compared to Walker’s four, the loss came to West Ham.
However, this also does not mean that everyone is completely convinced that he will fill the gap. Mauricio Pochettino’s team is always set up in a way to preserve balance. Walker and Rose are very similar players, one reason why Spurs provided a constant threat from this area and it will be difficult for the partnership to be replicated through a Trippier and Rose pairing.
It is down to personal opinion as to whether Kyle Walker is worth £50m but there is no denying that that is a lot of money even in footballing terms, especially for a 27-year-old defender.
But the money means nothing if Tottenham’s board and manager don’t invest it properly. If Spurs don’t use the money they have gained from this transfer to secure players that are proven and will strengthen the team then the damage of the deal is done.
In the same way if Spurs are wise with the money and find an upgrade on Walker or in another position allowing them to go one step further in the domestic campaign then obviously the transfer will be a little to no blow. It is vitally important that Spurs come out of this better but if you turn to past transfer business it is difficult to tell whether they will. Until then we cannot completely say whether this is a good deal or not.
To conclude, we must not forget that it is understood that Walker will be the only high profile player that Tottenham will lose this summer, as the club will be unwilling to sell anyone else.
In addition it was also understood that Pochettino gave his blessing for the transfer to happen and hence believes that the team and club's performances will not be hindered by the departure and that a good replacement can be brought in if he does not already rate Trippier enough to fill the gap.
Finally, it is difficult to understand whether the player wanted to leave or not. His social media activity towards the end of the season and after the deal was announced would suggest that Walker holds the club in high regard, fuelling rumours that the move was due to a fall out with the manager.
Walker's response to the move and towards Tottenham since have made many question how we Spurs managed to allow someone who seems devoted to the club to leave, and what the real factors are to the move and hence what this tells us about the club's ability to keep and support players.
Whether it's the start of a trend, remains to be seen.