Anton Walkes is a versatile young player who is equally comfortable in central defence or central midfield.
A regular in our academy and development ranks in recent years, he featured for the first team in the pre-season period of 2016 and was granted his senior competitive debut as a late substitute against Gillingham at White Hart Lane in the EFL Cup in September, 2016, when he went on at left-back.
Anton captained our young side as we entered the Under-19 UEFA Youth League for the first time, starting five of our six games as we followed a fixtures programme that mirrored that of the first team in the Champions League.
Playing largely at centre-half, he also started 13 games for our Under-23s in the Premier League 2 before linking up with MLS new boys Atlanta United on a six-month loan in January, 2017, where he was also used as a defender. There, he had the distinction of playing in the club's first ever competitive game at home to New York Red Bulls, but was unfortunate to score an own goal late in the match as his side suffered a 2-1 defeat. However, he continued to sample senior football as Atlanta went on an impressive run of results in the following months.
In his first season with our Under-18s, 2013-14, Anton made 18 appearances and came off the bench a further six times, scoring three goals including a screamer at Reading. It was during that season that he made the step up to the Under-21s for the first time, appearing as a substitute against Stoke City in January, 2014.
He played a number of games at centre-back for our Under-18s in 2014-15 too, starting 23 league games in all, scoring against West Ham United and Manchester City, while he also started all six of our FA Youth Cup matches - mainly being utilised at left-back in that competition.
In addition, he started three times for our Under-21s in 2014-15 and was part of our side that won the Premier League Under-18 Champions Cup, as well as the IMG Cup in Florida during that campaign.
Anton proved himself to be a real team player for our Under-21s in 2015-16. He enjoyed a run of scoring goals from his more recognised central midfield position in the opening months of the season, netting four times in a six-match spell, before dropping back to play at centre-half in the closing weeks of the campaign with the side suffering from a lack of recognised defenders. He'd also been deployed at left-back a couple of times at the beginning of the season and occasionally filled in up front as well - always giving his all.
He ended that campaign having scored four goals in 21 league appearances at that level, also netting twice in four Premier League Under-21 International Cup games.
26 January 2017
23 October 2016
22 September 2016
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