The 2018-19 season was nothing short of a stomach-churning roller-coaster ride for Kieran Trippier, beginning with last summer’s 2018 World Cup and wrapping up with Tottenham Hotspur’s defeat in the UEFA Champions League final on Saturday.
Now the busiest 12 months of his career are in the rearview mirror and a lengthy summer vacation is on the horizon, but Trippier also has a massive decision to make — or, as he sees it, a decision that will all but be made for him — regarding his future with Tottenham, and the Premier League.
Transfer rumors linking the 28-year-old right back with a move to Napoli have been coming up since early in 2019. Now, Juventus and Atletico Madrid are also reportedly hot on the trail. One would assume Trippier would benefit from having a handful of options before him, but it sounds as though he isn’t exactly thrilled by the idea of moving abroad, at least not without having much say in the matter himself — quotes from the BBC:
“I want to stay in England but what can you do? I’ll see what happens and what the club wants, most importantly.”
“I go home now, spend time with my family, just recover after a long, difficult season. Everybody’s got a decision to make.
“Obviously this club has been very good for me over the last few years but I’ll enjoy my summer, come back in preseason and that’s when I’ll sit down with the manager and have a talk about my future.
“I see a lot of speculation about me not being here. I give everything, 100 percent every game — win, lose or draw. So we’ll see what happens in preseason.
First things first, selling Trippier would require to Spurs to acquire the short- and long-term replacement to his position. Given that the club hasn’t signed a single player for two straight transfer windows, that might be easier said than done.
Secondly, if goal was to maximize Trippier’s value as an outgoing transfer, Spurs missed the boat on doing so 12 months ago. While he was generally seen to have put forth a strong showing at the World Cup, Trippier’s 38 appearances (all competitions) for Spurs this season were anything but stellar.
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Part of that is down to the fact that Serge Aurier, the only other right back that Mauricio Pochettino trusted to play meaningful minutes, spent much of the season injured, thus Trippier was handed an unmanageable workload which saw his fitness and sharpness wane as the season wore on.
A parting of ways seems not only the ideal outcome for Spurs, who require an upgrade at the position to build upon this season’s achievements, but also for Trippier, who will only be made an easy scapegoat as long as he remains at the club.