Less than 24 hours after a committed shift in their last game of the season, it’s been announced that the young full-back has earned a new contract, capping off a real learning curve of a campaign for the home-grown starlet.
Bookending the season with his first two Premier League starts – the first a Man of the Match display at Newcastle United on the opening day and the second another starring role in yesterday’s 5-4 win over Leicester City at Wembley – Kyle has experienced it all in the intervening months.
From a further top flight appearance off the bench in a big away win at Huddersfield Town and a Champions League debut against APOEL to some tough lower-league outings in the FA Cup and a goal in the snow against Rochdale, it’s been an eventful first full term at senior level for the boyhood Tottenham supporter.
Above: Kyle celebrates with Erik Lamela during Sunday’s win over Leicester.
But he’s also learned the other side of the game – grafting on the training pitch every day, the need to constantly improve and, by his own admission, sometimes going for periods of weeks on end without taking to the field.
It’s all part and parcel of life as a professional footballer but Kyle believes today’s news is another step in the right direction.
“It makes me so proud because it means I’ve done well to the extent that the club feels they can reward me with a new contract,” he told us this morning with the dust settled on a rip-roaring season finale at Wembley in which he came into the starting line-up and bagged two assists.
“I feel I’ve improved massively with the help of the other players and the manager. Being in that senior working environment every day can only help you to get better and I think when I’ve been given my opportunities, I’ve been able to show my improvement and help the team to win games.
“When you have a manager that you know has faith in you, it gives you confidence. The training sessions that the staff put on keep you fit and ready because, as an example, I didn’t play for three months before yesterday other than with England, but because the training and support from everyone has been so good, when I was given my opportunity yesterday to play again, I was fit and ready and I could help the team win.”
It’s never plain sailing for any player, but Kyle believes he’s learned some valuable lessons over the last nine months. “For me, even the lows in the season have been positives,” he explained. “I use any disappointments as ways to motivate me to work harder in training and stick at it. That’s also helped me to improve. I think you can use any low points positively.”
So where does Kyle see himself, now that the season is over and he’s penned a new deal?
“As you know I grew up in the Tottenham area, always watching Tottenham play and hoping one day it would be me. Now it is me so I’m very proud, but I just need to keep working hard and stay focused,” he said. “I need to keep the same attitude, continue to learn from the players around me and just be ready for any opportunity if the gaffer decides I’m playing. The contract is great news but now I need to focus on pushing on again.”