Anton Walkes, a product of our academy has joined Portsmouth on loan until the end of the season, our club has confirmed. The 20-year-old defender spent the second half of last season on loan in America, with Atlanta United. Walkes scored twice in 23 appearances during an impressive debut campaign for Tata Martino’s side, helping them to the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The 20-year-old has made one senior appearance for Spurs, coming off the bench in our 5-0 win against Gillingham in the 2016 League Cup. Walkes is a versatile player and can play across the defence or in central midfield with ease. After his rich experience with the MLS side, it is safe to say that he has matured as a player.
After signing for Pompey, Walkes said:
“I’m going to enjoy my time here and am looking forward to being involved and helping the team. This is a great club with a lot of history and it’s giving me a chance to improve as a young man.
“First team football is so important in the early stages of your career, so hopefully I can get plenty of minutes and impose myself here.
“My favourite position has been in the middle of the park, but I’ve learnt a lot on the defensive side and really just enjoy being out on the pitch.”
The defender gained valuable experience playing for Atlanta and joins the League One club with a view to developing further.
On his time with the MLS side, he added:
“They are an expansion team, so needed numbers. It turned out to be outstanding for me and I want to show what I’ve learnt.”
“You’re miles from home and out of your comfort zone, so hopefully that’s helped me to mature. It’s an unbelievable standard out there, with top quality players, coaches and facilities. You can’t fault it.”
Walkes could be in line to make his Portsmouth debut against Doncaster Rovers in League One on Saturday.
Sending Walkes out on loan sends a clear message that he should continue playing the game and develop accordingly. The defender is nowhere near to making it to the first-team, given we are heavily stocked in the defence as well as in midfield.
So it is a good decision taken by Mauricio Pochettino and the board to let the 20-year leave the club on a short loan.
Good luck for the rest of the season Walkes!