Tag Archives: Kieran Trippier

Kieran Trippier to Newcastle makes far more sense than Manchester United

It seems as though the January transfer window is moving early as Newcastle are reportedly close to signing Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid.

The England international is set to enter the final six months of his deal in the Spanish capital, having helped them to the La Liga title last season.

Newcastle are keen to strengthen their team as they look to avoid relegation following significant investment from their new owners PIF of Saudi Arabia, and Trippier has been identified as a priority target.



The 31-year-old spent the entire summer transfer window being linked with a move to Manchester United, only for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the club to opt to keep Diogo Dalot instead when Atletico’s asking price was deemed too high.

This season Trippier has struggled for form and Diego Simeone hasn’t picked him regularly. He has started nine La Liga games of a possible 16, while he only started three Champions League group games as they scraped through to the last 16.

Man United’s right-back position is arguably even more up for grabs now than it was in the summer, with a new managerial setup and Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s form poor too. Dalot has stepped in well, but there are still question marks around his long-term future.

If United were still interested, January would surely be the perfect time to move for him. But with their interest now cooled, Newcastle are in prime position and that’s a transfer that makes far more sense.

At Old Trafford, Trippier would’ve been competing for the first-team spot but he isn’t a significant upgrade on either of the current options and it would seem like a bit of a sideways signing for the club.

At St James’ Park though, he walks in as a guaranteed starter when fit and he undoubtedly strengthens them in all areas of their play. He is capable of digging in and playing defensive football if needed, having proved that with Atleti, but he has also got some good offensive attributes.

Kieran Trippier of Club Atletico de Madrid runs to take a corner kick during the UEFA Champions League Group A stage match between Atletico Madrid...

His crossing will be helpful to Callum Wilson and his passing will certainly help to free up Allan Saint-Maximin on counter attacks. The profile is right for what Newcastle want now too; a big improvement but not a long term investment.

It may seem weird for him to throw away Champions League football for a relegation scrap, but with the Magpies reportedly doubling his wages and offering him a route back home to England then it’s a no-brainer.

It’s a transfer that actually makes sense, much more than the protracted summer move to Manchester did anyway.

Gareth Southgate showing England youth that playing abroad isn’t bad

It’s been a while since England had a bunch of successful talents in their squad that were playing abroad at the same time.

It’s possible that it’s never even been a thing in all honesty but the current squad is full of players who have made a name for themselves outside of the Premier League’s four walls.

Kieran Trippier, Fikayo Tomori, Jadon Sancho and Tammy Abraham are all involved in the England squad for upcoming internationals against Andorra and Hungary.

Each of the four have spent time outside of the Premier League refining their game and becoming key members of squads in Europe, although Sancho has obviously since returned to England with Manchester United this summer.

It used to be the case that players that were plying their trade abroad were overlooked, with even David Beckham struggling for selection once he left Real Madrid for the MLS and Owen Hargreaves taking far longer than it should have to get a call up when he was at Bayern Munich.

But with a plethora of young talent moving to the Bundesliga in order to secure themselves regular first-team football, manager Gareth Southgate has seemingly welcomed it with open arms.

Gareth Southgate, Head Coach of England shakes hands with Jude Bellingham of England as he is substituted during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier...

Jude Bellingham has been a regular in the squad recently despite being only 18, because he has been a key part of Borussia Dortmund’s midfield in both the Bundesliga and Champions League.

Tomori has shone for AC Milan since joining the club on loan from Chelsea in January last year, and was unlucky not to get a call-up to the Euro 2020 squad with his form.

Trippier has almost solidified his place in the team since joining Atletico Madrid, even becoming a left-back option such is Southgate’s insistence on involving him.

Sancho is in the squad because of the talent he has shown during his time in the Bundesliga after a slow start to life in England, with the boss even admitting that he probably doesn’t deserve the call-up on current form.

Abraham initially missed out on the call, but Southgate added him in later after his excellent start to life in Rome with Jose Mourinho and AS Roma where he has scored four goals and registered two assists in nine appearances so far.

It’s a positive sign from the gaffer and from the international setup now that young players shouldn’t be afraid to go abroad and get game time. In the past they may have been forgotten or overlooked, but not anymore.

If you’re good enough and stand-out enough, you’ll get your recognition at international level.

Manchester United transfer window looks right for the most part

It feels like every summer for the last five summers Manchester United have needed the same positions filled during a transfer window.

A right winger, a striker, a centre-back, a defensive midfielder and full-backs. All of which have been signed in recent years, but none of the quality necessary to make it not a glaring issue within the squad.

But this summer seems a little bit different for the most part when it comes to the transfers the squad are reportedly seeking.

A deal for Jadon Sancho is closer than ever before with the Red Devils having made two bids for the England international so far and the only thing stopping it being accepted is the structure of the payments.

Then there is the news that Raphael Varane really wants to leave Real Madrid this summer and that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are at the front of the queue to make a deal happen.

That’s two top level players that would not only improve the squad this summer but they would also instantly improve the starting lineup too, which can only help to close the gap on Manchester City and Liverpool for next season.

Further to those two United have also been linked with Declan Rice for the defensive midfield position, Kieran Trippier for the right-back role and Edinson Cavani has re-signed for another year as the striker option.

Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford of England look on during the England training session on June 03, 2021 in Middlesbrough, England.

While I don’t necessarily agree with the personnel of the other two incoming transfer targets initially, it’s a positive sign that the club are looking to address problem areas of the squad in one window.

Solskjaer has shown that he has progressed the team to a certain level without getting first-choice targets for much of his tenure, but to kick on to the next level he needs that added quality to lean on when it gets tough.

For the defensive midfield role, United need someone with quality defensive attributes but who can also play football. Just being good defensively isn’t enough for the top clubs and Rice’s attributes on the ball won’t help United when coming up against a low block, which is something they already struggle with.

A defensive midfielder with quality on the ball like Yves Bissouma or Douglas Luiz would cost a fraction of the price and be better suited to what a top midfield really needs.

At right-back Trippier is the right profile of player needed, just the wrong individual. The England and Atletico Madrid defender is a good attacking outlet as well as decent defender, but he is the wrong side of 30 and will take a fair chunk out of the budget for the summer.

United currently have Diogo Dalot and Ethan Laird as young, attacking full-backs that could compete with Aaron Wan-Bissaka in that position but instead Solskjaer wants to sign one as a short-term option.

Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium battles for possession with Declan Rice of England and Kieran Trippier of England during the UEFA Nations League group...

If signing one is the thing that needs to be done because Solskjaer doesn’t rate Dalot and Laird is moving out on loan for the season, then it should be someone younger that is a target. Tariq Lamptey would be a terrific option, while I’m sure some scouting departments could look at the likes of Germany Under-21 right-back Ridle Baku and see a talented option there.

They’d likely cost less than the reported £35million that Atletico want for Trippier but even if they didn’t, the fee would be far more justified as a long-term investment to compete with Wan-Bissaka on going forward rather than someone coming in for a final big pay day.

Whether we agree with the personnel though, it shows that Solskjaer sees what the fans see and that improvements are needed in specific areas. The fact the business seems to be a priority to get done early is a positive.

The summer transfer window is on the right track for Manchester United, for the most part anyway.

Which 7 England players should be cut from their Euro 2020 squad?

It’s a week on from when Gareth Southgate opted for a 33-man squad instead of the standard 26-man squad announcement for Euro 2020.

The England manager decided to go for a provisional squad due to Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City players all being involved in European finals between the announcement date and the final squad needing to be announced.

The big squad threw up a couple of shocks but largely the squad was what many expected it to be once it was announced that it would be extra large. But with seven names now going to be cut today, this is who shouldn’t make it to the European Championships.

AARON RAMSDALE

The Sheffield United stopper endured a really rough season, conceding 63 goals and keeping just five clean sheets in 38 appearances in the Premier League as the Blades were relegated.

In reality this is the easiest decision Southgate has to make. The rules of the competition state that squads must contain three goalkeepers only (no more, no less) and there are several options ahead of Ramsdale. Nick Pope’s knee injury opened up an extra spot alongside Dean Henderson and Jordan Pickford but that role will surely go to Sam Johnstone.

The West Brom man was also relegated this season, but has been part of the England set up already this season and is certainly ahead of Ramsdale in the pecking order. Ramsdale’s call-up was essentially because of Henderson’s involvement in the Europa League final and they needed numbers, but he’ll be watching from home like the rest of us.

BEN GODFREY

Ben Godfrey of England runs with the ball during a England Training Session as part of the England Pre-Euro 2020 Training Camp on May 29, 2021 in...

The Everton defender was one of a few shock call-ups to the squad after an impressive season with the Goodison Park club.

Playing as both a right-back or a centre-back in a back four or back three, Godfrey has shown great ability on the ball and positionally defensively. He has great pace, good strength and can more than hold his own in a one-on-one duel but also experience of the international setup as the captain of the Under-21’s squad.

While a senior call-up likely isn’t far away for the 23-year-old, this tournament will come too early for him. Judging by the rest of the squad and Southgate’s past selections, his regular centre-back choices are all fit and available and thus it’s unlikely that they break into the set up for the first time for a major tournament.

BEN WHITE

Much like Godfrey, Ben White was a shock call-up to the provisional squad after a great season with Brighton in the Premier League.

Having never represented England at any level in his career, White was called up after some solid performances under Graham Potter in a back three, as a right wing-back or even in midfield where his ability on the ball and tactical nous has helped him settle into the Premier League with ease.

His performances with Leeds the season before would also have got him noticed too and he’ll be in contention going forward for sure. But with Harry Maguire, John Stones, Tyrone Mings and Conor Coady all available plus Kyle Walker to fill in if necessary, White will miss out on this occasion.

KIERAN TRIPPIER

The biggest selection that Southgate has to make is which of the right-backs he’s going to cut from his squad.

Reece James, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kieran Trippier seem to be the names competing for two spots, with Walker seemingly sure of his spot. James has been excellent this season for Chelsea and topped his season off with a spectacular display in the Champions League final, while Trent overcame a tough start to the season to get back to near his best as he helped Liverpool into a third placed finish.

Kieran Trippier of England reacts during a training session at the England Pre-Euro 2020 Training Camp on May 30, 2021 in Middlesbrough, England.

Trippier on the other hand was key as Atletico Madrid toppled the La Liga dominance of Real Madrid and Barcelona to win their first title since 2013. It’s a tough decision granted, but for me it’s the former Spurs man who should miss out.

Walker is the best defender of the four options and Alexander-Arnold is by far and away the best attacking option of the lot and thus should be included. That leaves James and Trippier and for me, James’ potential mixed in with his level of performance should earn him a spot.

Unfortunately it seems as though Alexander-Arnold will be the man to miss out if reports are to be believed, but for me it’s time to look to the future and Trippier should be left at home.

JAMES WARD-PROWSE

If there is one area that England aren’t blessed with great options it’s central midfield and yet I still think they can make a cut in that area from this squad.

Southgate has so far opted for a 4-2-3-1 or 3-4-3 system, meaning it’s rare we see more than two centre mids at any one time on the pitch for the Three Lions. Jordan Henderson and Declan Rice are sure-fire picks, while Kalvin Phillips has also been included regularly throughout the season. That leaves a fourth spot open for either Ward-Prowse or the phenom that is Jude Bellingham and for me it’s a no brainer.

Bellingham is only 17-years-old but he has an X-factor about him that means he is a true wildcard option for England. He’s played at the top level all year with Borussia Dortmund and stood out even there. He’s got the ability to play in a defensive capacity and has quality going forward too, meaning he’s one of those players you just can’t leave out if he’s fit.

Unfortunately for the Saints skipper it’ll likely be at his expense, but the game is the game.

JESSE LINGARD

On December 31st 2020 there was absolutely no chance that Lingard would have been in the Euro’s squad this summer. He’d not featured for Manchester United and even prior to that had struggled to make any sort of impact.

Jesse Lingard of England runs with the ball during a England Training Session as part of the England Pre-Euro 2020 Training Camp on May 29, 2021 in...

Then he joined West Ham on loan and exploded in the second half of the season, scoring nine goals and registering four assists in 16 appearances in the Premier League. He showed the quality that saw him become a major asset to England’s semi-final run at the 2018 World Cup and looked back to his best.

Great movement off the ball, excellent ball carrying ability, great work ethic and work rate but also an improved run in the production in the final third. Despite that good form though, England have had several attacking midfielders completely out-perform him this season.

Mason Mount, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden in particular are all capable of playing in his position at a higher level and for that reason there is no room for sentiment, so Lingard should be left at home.

OLLIE WATKINS

A newly promoted striker spending his first season in the Premier League hitting 16 goals in 40 games is nothing to be frowned upon. But unfortunately for Ollie Watkins that just isn’t enough to get into this squad.

Great pace, a fantastic work ethic and the a good finisher, Watkins enjoyed a brilliant maiden campaign. Unfortunately for him though, Harry Kane is an undisputed starter up front and he didn’t have a better season than Everton’s striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin. While Watkins would hope his versatility and ability to play wide might help, England’s attack is just too stacked

Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka, Grealish and Foden are his competition and with the X-factor that Mason Greenwood has, he’s in the same boat as Bellingham in the sense that you can’t leave that quality at home for a major tournament.

Atletico Madrid could win the Champions League with new 352 system

Since Diego Simeone took over at Atletico Madrid way back in December 2011, we’ve seen the same thing pretty much year on year.

A rigid 442 system with a solid defensive base, low block in midfield and individual brilliance in attack.

It was the way when they made it to two Champions League finals in three years, although they lost both, but also the way they won La Liga in 2014. This year though, they sit top of La Liga with a ten point lead and a game in hand over their rivals in the race to win the title.

The level of performance this season has been similar to that of previous years, but a new element has been introduced with Simeone introducing a new 352 system.

An extra defender added into an already solid back-line has seen Atleti concede just ten goals in the league so far this season after 19 games, while the addition of wing-backs and maintaining a front two has seen them score 40 times – just once less than Barcelona despite playing a game less.

A big part of that success has obviously been the form of summer signing Luis Suarez, who has scored 14 league goals this season to lead the Pichichi charts. But it’s also been the willingness of Simeone to change something that had been synonymous with his reign at the club of almost ten years.

He’s found a way to balance the excellent defending that his sides are famous for, while also managing to get more attacking options on the pitch playing well together.

Joao Felix and Suarez’s partnership has been good, while Angel Correa, Marcos Llorente, Yannick Carrasco, Kieran Trippier and even Thomas Lemar have seen their performances rise this season from last.

The tactical versatility they now have, along with the quality in their squad and the huge gap they have in the title race domestically mean they have a huge chance of winning the Champions League this season.

They take on Chelsea in the last 16, who are under new management and still adapting to a new style without firing on all cylinders and will be confident of progression over two legs. But after that they should be confident no matter who they come up against.

The power and quality in attack, the robustness in defence and the overall ability in both directions in midfield means Simeone has not only one of the best squads in Spain, but in Europe too.

After two failed attempts at a Champions League final and two successful Europa League winning campaigns, Simeone will have his best chance at winning the big one this year – and it’s all thanks to his new system.