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Forgotten man Trippier ready to play another starring role for England

“Most definitely my defensive side,” Trippier said this week. “I was open about that when I left Spurs. It was something I needed to improve on.

“The manager’s worked me relentlessly, he’s run me into the ground! Honestly, we could have 40-minute sessions one-on-one about where he wants me to be, about crosses coming into the box, attacking the ball, my body shape, when to go forward, when not to go forward. I could sit here all day [and explain it].

“You can imagine what he’s like as a person. He’s drilled so much into me. There’s no better manager for me to go and work with to improve.”

Trippier’s move to Spain for around £20million in the summer of 2019 initially looked smart business for Tottenham after a campaign littered with defensive lapses and culminating in another shaky display in the Champions League Final.

Now, as Trippier prepares for another major tournament with England, there is little question that Atletico secured a bargain.

The 30-year-old barely put a foot wrong defensively as they won a shock title and he would have made more than 28 appearances for La Liga’s meanest defence were it not for an FA ban for a breach of betting rules.

“I am still pinching myself,” Trippier said of his first trophy. “That’s one of the reasons why I went there, to try to win titles and, most importantly, to get my performances back on track from when I was at Tottenham.”

Gareth Southgate’s selection of four right-backs was the biggest talking point when the manager named his final Euro 2020 squad this week, but Trippier is the least discussed of the quartet, and you wonder if he could be England’s dark horse again, just as he was at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Southgate said on Tuesday: “We’re a bit myopic, people don’t talk about Kieran because he’s playing in Spain. He’s won LaLiga, he’s been voted in the team of the season, but nobody mentions him.”


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