Atlanta United announced today it has signed defender Anton Walkes via transfer from Portsmouth FC. Walkes played for Atlanta United in its inaugural 2017 season on-loan from Tottenham Hotspur. He will be added to the roster pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 Visa.
“We’re excited to permanently welcome Anton back to the club,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “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.”
Walkes, 22, originally joined Atlanta United on January 26, 2017 on-loan from English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur. Primarily deployed as a right back, Walkes made 20 appearances, 17 starts, and scored two goals in the MLS regular season. He returned to Tottenham following the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs and was then loaned to Portsmouth for the remainder of the 2017-18 EFL League One season. He made 12 appearances and scored one goal on his team debut and added one assist.
Walkes transferred to Portsmouth permanently on July 18, 2018. During the 2018-19 season, he made 24 appearances while scoring one goal and helped lead the club to a fourth-place finish in the table, earning a berth in the League One playoffs. Portsmouth also won its first EFL Trophy after defeating Sunderland 5-4 in penalties in Wembley Stadium. Walkes made 10 appearances during the 2019-2020 season and scored one goal during EFL Trophy play.
He spent his entire youth career with Spurs and ultimately made his First Team debut against Gillingham on Sept. 21, 2016, subbing on for the final 10 minutes during a 5-0 win in the Third Round of EFL Cup. Walkes also appeared in two matches during the 2016 International Champions Cup (ICC) against Atletico Madrid and Juventus.
Name: Anton Walkes
Birthdate: Feb. 8, 1997 (age: 22)
Birthplace: Lewisham, England
Transaction: Atlanta United signs Anton Walkes from Portsmouth FC on Jan. 9, 2020
2020 Atlanta United roster (as of Jan. 9, 2020)
Goalkeepers (3): Brad Guzan, Alec Kann, Brendan Moore
Defenders (9): George Bello, George Campbell, Franco Escobar, Jon Gallagher*, Brooks Lennon, Patrick Nielsen**, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Miles Robinson, Anton Walkes
Midfielders (8): Mo Adams, Ezequiel Barco, Andrew Carleton, Luiz Fernando, Julian Gressel, Emerson Hyndman, Jeff Larentowicz, Eric Remedi
Forwards (4): Lagos Kunga, Josef Martinez, Pity Martinez, Tito Villalba
* – on loan with Aberdeen
** – unsigned SuperDraft pick