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Kieran Trippier Arrives

A new signing always generates some level of excitement, yet many are asking who is Kieran Trippier and how can he make a difference to Spurs. AT takes a closer look.

by Atour Toma

Kieran Trippier was signed from Burnley for around £3.5m. While the Clarets were eventually relegated, the right-back stood out as one of their star performers last season, featuring in all 38 Premier League games and being linked to an England call-up. Right-back was definitely a problem area for Spurs last season – most notably the fitness and form of first choice, Kyle Walker. With Walker out for long spells, and Kyle Naughton having been sold in January, head coach Mauricio Pochettino was forced to use centre-backs, Eric Dier and Vlad Chiriches instead. Despite having their moments, both looked largely uncomfortable in the role and this was reflected in the number of goals conceded by Spurs last season.

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“.. if Spurs want to improve on their poor defensive record last season, he’ll need to demonstrate qualities that he’s perhaps not so recognised for.”

While not the high profile signing some had been hoping for, just the fact that Trippier can be expected to play the majority of games for Spurs is a big step in the right direction. In addition it’s hoped the increased competition will improve Walker, in the same way we saw Danny Rose come on leaps and bounds last season. So what other qualities does Trippier bring to the side? Spurs’ own “Head of Player Identification” Rob Mackenzie stated (via Twitter) that Trippier “played more minutes, delivered more crosses & created more chances than any other full back under 25 in a Top 5 League”.

It’s pretty clear from that statement that Trippier’s consistency and reliability were a big attraction over other targets. In addition, his contribution to attacking moves last season was one of the major strengths to his game. This is backed up statistically, with Trippier making 2.4 accurate crosses per game and 1.7 key passes per game. Numbers that are better than any of Spurs’ current right-back options, and ones that are among the highest in the Premier League.

“(Trippier) played more minutes, delivered more crosses & created more chances than any other full back under 25 in a Top 5 League.”

However there are still a couple of areas of concern. Firstly, Trippier averaged a lowly pass completion percentage of 61% in the Premier League last season – the 6th worst of any outfield player. It could be argued that with the high frequency of crosses and forward passes he makes this is to be expected, but it’s worth bearing in mind regardless, and is something which he will be expected to improve on.

Secondly – and this is more of a personal observation – not much seems to have been said about Trippier’s defensive capabilities and how he can help tighten up the, oft-shambolic, Spurs defence we had the pleasure of witnessing last season. Most of the praise applied to him has centred around his attacking strengths – crosses, forward passes, chances created, etc. But not a lot has been said about what he can do going the other way, and if Spurs want to improve on their poor defensive record last season, he’ll need to demonstrate qualities that he’s perhaps not so recognised for.

“Trippier averaged a lowly pass completion percentage of 61% in the Premier League last season – the 6th worst of any outfield player.”

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All in all, Trippier has the potential to make a really strong claim for the Spurs right-back spot, especially if Walker has another inconsistent season. However it remains to be seen whether he can prove himself to be good enough to be a starter for a regular top 6 side. Time will tell, but it’s fair to say that if anyone can help him reach that standard, it’s probably Pochettino. #COYS

About the author:

AT (Atour Toma) is a Lifelong Spurs fan from London. Prone to spouting football-related nonsense. You can follow him on Twitter @AT_Spurs or https://hurrikaneseason.wordpress.com

One comment on “Kieran Trippier Arrives

  1. Pingback: Articles Published Elsewhere | HurriKane Season

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