Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed what Kyle Walker said to him before leaving White Hart Lane in favor of the Etihad Stadium.
The full-back left Spurs during the summer transfer window and instead opted for Champions League winning manager Pep Guardiola’s brand new Manchester City side. However, Mauricio Pochettino has revealed the behind the scenes drama that took place before Kyle Walker made his £53 million move over to Manchester City.
In an interview with author Guillem Balague for his book Brave New World, the former Southampton and Espanyol manager spoke about a meeting with the 27-year-old. “Walker came into the room late. Not good. Something clicked in my head at that moment.” He went on to add that “seeing Walker turn up late to the talk was the trigger I needed to tear into them (the players).”
Many critics and fans alike praised the club for getting such a good deal for the 27-year-old and with Kieran Trippier, Tottenham had the position covered. However, despite that and the world-record sum that the club received, Pochettino was not happy with the way the fullback went about the move and felt that Kyle Walker had shown no respect to both his teammates and the club.
The Spurs boss further revealed “Gaffer, I’ve been at Tottenham for nine years. I’ve thought about it and my heart isn’t here anymore. Nor is my head. I’ve given all I have to give. I wanted to tell you before I tell my agent that I want to leave this summer.’
“‘Kyle, you have to stay professional. There’s a month and a half to go. We’re battling for the Premier League and FA Cup. We have to be focused and finish the campaign strongly.’
“‘Okay, gaffer. But it’s already decided.’
“‘Well, that doesn’t just depend on you or me. It depends on the club, above all. You’ve disappointed me because you’ve decided to tell me that you want to leave when there is a month and bit left in the competition. You could’ve sucked it up, kept quiet, trained, played and helped the team when not picked, and at the end of the season you could have come and told me.’
Most Premier League assists by defenders since the start of last season:
Kyle Walker (8)
Kieran Trippier (8)
Cesar Azpilicueta (8) pic.twitter.com/MF1zyZyL2y
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 16, 2017
According to the interview, this happened the Watford game, which was after the international break in April. However, in the end, the move did eventually go through and Mauricio Pochettino decided to rely on Trippier and late window singning PSG right-back Serge Aurier. But when the two clubs meet again on the 14th of April at Wembley, fans may react differently thanks to Pochettino’s revelations about the player.
For both sides, the decision to sell was perhaps the right one. On one hand, Kyle Walker got his big money move to the Citizens and has been influential for Guardiola’s side. And on the other hand, with the likes of Serge Aurier, Kieran Trippier, and even Kyle Walker-Peters, it looks like the both Pochettino and Tottenham have moved on.