WALKER TRANSFER REQUEST ACCEPTED
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The one-club man had warned in the summer that he would not be happy if Scotland`s number one Sullivan became George Graham`s first choice, following his Bosman arrival from Wimbledon.
Walker, who had seen off the competition from Espen Baardsen, when the Norwegian left for Watford in the close season, feels that he needs first team football at this stage of his career and he is prepared to quit White Hart Lane.
Spurs boss Graham wanted competition for places and was keen to have both keepers in squad, but the club have decided to agree to the 28-year-old`s transfer request, and he will be placed on the list.
"We have reluctantly agreed to a transfer request from Ian Walker," confirmed director of football David Pleat on Spurs` official website.
"We understand his frustration at his lack of first-team opportunities at the moment.
"It is difficult for him but you have to be patient. This situation was, in effect, two seasons ago when Espen Baardsen replaced him but he got back in and has done very well since.
"Ian`s form last year was excellent and, by bringing in Neil Sullivan, it increased the competition at the club. We now have two top-class goalkeepers and we are perhaps victims of that situation.
"Ian met me on Friday morning and the players have been informed that we have reluctantly agreed to his request.
"In the meantime, Ian will continue to give total commitment to the club. We will be actively looking to find a satisfactory replacement."
Southampton have been linked with a move for Walker in the past, and it will be interesting to see which clubs offer him a chance to resurrect his career.
After being unfairly criticised for a 1-0 defeat to Italy in the 1998 World Cup qualifiers, his third cap, he has not had another opportunity to represent his country and he will be looking to enhance his international prospects with a move.
Some Spurs supporters have criticised the man who joined the club as a trainee back in 1989 for his laid-back attitude, but he remains technically one of the best keepers in England.