Gareth Southgate has quite the dilemma on his hands as he trims down the England squad which includes four right-backs: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier.
With two Champions League finalists and a Champions League winner from 2019, it would be easy to disregard Kieran Trippier, but his performances in Spain should put him top of Southgate‘s list for Euro 2020.
Ever since Trippier moved to Spain, largely forgotten about by many in the English media, he has surprised Atletico Madrid with his performances.
Southgate travelled to Madrid to watch him play Leganes in one of his early appearances, showing a clear backing for the decision to move abroad.
The Simeone effect
Working under Diego Simeone, Trippier has become more defensively solid, upping his defensive interceptions from 0.8 per game in 2017/18 to 1.4 in 2020/21 under the Argentine coach.
Alongside his reading of the game, playing under one of Europe’s most elite defensive coaches, he has become a more clinical player on the offence too.
Playing in a 3-5-2 shape akin to that which Southgate has experimented with of late, the former Tottenham man has excelled, doubling his number of assists from his last season in the Premier League.
When an FA-imposed ban ruled him out for 10 games, Atletico Madrid dropped as many points in 10 games as they had in the 14 beforehand, conceding 11 goals compared to just five in the early stages of the season.
England cannot afford to be without a player of such fundamental importance as Trippier, who has played on both the right and the left for Southgate’s England.
His winner’s medal from LaLiga Santander is testament to his accomplishments this season, establishing himself as a firm first choice for Simeone with a key role in his tactics.
While England are blessed with a wealth of options on the right of defence, few can offer a pedigree quite like the Atletico Madrid man.