Southampton: Can Saints gamble on permanent move for Walker-Peters?

Southampton brought in Spurs defender Kyle Walker-Peters in the January transfer window on an initial short-term loan deal.

Due to the Coronavirus suspension that has postponed many sporting events around the world though, the 23-year-old has only made one appearance since signing at St Mary’s.

He appeared to be a lively presence at full-back that day, but it is difficult to judge a player from just one game that was played in such strange conditions against Burnley.

The question that this situation creates though is can Saints gamble on committing to a player so early if they’ve only seen him play once in their team?

If other factors weren’t involved, then this would probably be a straight no. However, there may be a number of factors that play into Walker-Peters’s favour.

Kyle Walker-Peters of Southampton (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

Firstly, Saints really need cover at both Right-Back and Left-Back with just Yan Valery and Ryan Bertrand as other senior options at the moment – Walker-Peters’s ability to play on both sides of the defence is one of the reasons why Ralph Hasenhuttl brought him in in the first place.

Secondly, it still looks like Saints will be able to play the remainder of their season and this would mean a further nine matches for Walker-Peters to impress.

If he performs well in those games and proves that he is the man to fill the void in the squad then signing him becomes much less of a gamble.

It’s if the 2019/20 campaign is voided that everything becomes less clear. Saints may well feel they have enough evidence from scouting and video to say that he will fit in well in the longer term.

There is, of course, another potential transfer that may make things easier overall.

Spurs are said to be heavily interested in Saints captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, and the Dane only has a year left on his contract which could prove a problem soon.

If this transfer cannot be avoided by Saints this summer, and they feel that Walker-Peters is the one they want in defence, then he could become part of that deal.

Hojbjerg would fetch a £30m price tag in a normal transfer window, whilst Walker-Peters would only be around £15m at most at the moment.

In the summer when transfer will be impacted by financial, Coronavirus-related restraints though, something like this could help both clubs out.

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