Kieran Trippier has insisted that he has improved considerably as a player since leaving Tottenham Hotspur to join Atletico Madrid in 2019.
Trippier has now returned to the Premier League, becoming Newcastle United’s first signing under the new ownership.
The right-back, who spent five seasons at Tottenham under Mauricio Pochettino, returns to England after a two and a half year spell at Atletico, which included a historic La Liga triumph last season.
While Spurs fans will remember Trippier fondly, for the most part, the England international’s defending during his final season in North London did leave a lot to be desired.
He revealed after leaving Tottenham that he was playing through injury for the majority of the 2018/19 season.
The former Spurs man certainly has a big challenge in front of him at St James’ Park, with Eddie Howe’s men fighting to preserve their Premier League status.
The 31-year-old has insisted that working with Diego Simeone at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium has helped him improve the defensive side of the game.
Trippier told Newcastle United TV: “I feel I am a much better player than when I left Tottenham. Diego Simeone is a very good manager.
“He helped me with my defensive side. I feel like I have matured a lot since I arrived in Madrid.
“I was playing with good players and as a manager he was unbelievable. An absolute joy to play for and a privilege.”
Spurs Web Opinion
From what I saw of Tripper at Atletico, his positioning and defensive awareness have certainly improved. However, as good of a crosser of the ball as he is, the 31-year-old’s one vs one defending continues to be a liability. His lack of pace and athleticism will be exposed by several wide players in the Premier League.
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