Why Ricardo Pereira Is The Perfect Replacement For Kyle Walker
Tottenham Hotspur managed to finish in the top-4 yet again last season but they are in big trouble of losing some of their most valuable first team players to bigger clubs in the league. One such player who has now completed a record move to Manchester City is English full-back, Kyle Walker.
The first choice right-back for club and country last season, Walker was in excellent form for the London club and stood as one of the most productive defenders in the league last season. However, he got unsettled halfway through the season, lost his place in the first team at the end, and is now out of the club already.
Mauricio Pochettino used Kieran Trippier in this role to decent effect last season but the manager does not seem too comfortable heading into a campaign with European football, with Trippier as the first choice. And the latest name linked with a move to Spurs to replace Walker is the versatile Ricardo Pereira.
According to reports from the Evening Standard, FC Porto are now confident that Spurs will pay £22m for the services of the Portuguese full-back, who is growing into one of the best in Europe at the moment.
Born and raised in Lisbon, the 23-year old spent his youth career at four different clubs but only came to light after a stellar campaign for the Porto junior squad, which saw him earn a place in the senior squad a couple of years ago. However, he spent the last two years on loan in Ligue1 for OGC Nice and produced some sizzling performances, which have seen Pochettino scout for him for a move this summer.
Capable of playing on either flank, in defence and even as a winger, Pereira is an attacking full-back who loves to use his pace and dribbling abilities to create chances in the final third. A decent passer with excellent vision, Pereira is strong and uses his strength at any area of the field to keep possession of the ball even under pressure.
He is strong with his tackling as well and is not an easy man to beat at the back while his strength and dominant attributes in the air only make him a better fit for the English game. At just 23, he has hardly shown any weakness in his time in Ligue1 in the last couple of seasons and it is shocking that the Portuguese giants are willing to let him leave this summer.
He is similar to Walker in his style of play and though he might take some time to adjust to the conditions in England, there are very few players who can replicate what Walker did for Pochettino in the last few seasons and the Portuguese star could be the perfect solution.