Atlanta United is bringing back a native son. Anton Walkes, a player on the club’s inaugural squad in 2017, has been signed to a permanent deal from Portsmouth FC.
Walkes was signed on loan for the 2017 season from Tottenham. He took over the right back position from Tyrone Mears and never relinquished the role. But come season’s end, the two sides did not come to agreement on a permanent deal, and Walkes continued his career afterward at Pompey in England’s League One. There, the defender made 48 appearances during his two-and-a-half-seasons.
Here is American Soccer Analysis’s graphic that compares Walkes’ 2017 season to other MLS fullbacks.
Somewhat shockingly, Walkes is still only 22 years old, so it’s safe to say that the player still has plenty of room to grow. He’s a versatile defender capable of playing right back, like he’s done in Atlanta, or center back, where he was trained as a youngster in Tottenham’s academy.
Atlanta United Vice President Carlos Bocanegra said in a press release:
“We’re excited to permanently welcome Anton back to the club. Anton is a versatile player who will immediately bolster our backline. He has spent the last two seasons developing his game in England against tough competition and now returns with tremendous experience. We know he fits well into the locker room and are happy to have him back.”