Kieran Trippier

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Trippier, on transfer rumors: ‘I want to stay, but what can you do?’

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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.

[ WOMEN’S WORLD CUP PREVIEW: Groups A, B and C | Groups D, E and F ]

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.

[ U-20 WORLD CUP: Ukraine, Ecuador, Senegal advance to QF (video) ]

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.

Three key battles in the Champions League Final

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There are only two differences in the Liverpool lineups that beat Spurs 2-1 home and away this season.

Naby Keita and Joe Gomez started the September tilt at Wembley Stadium, while Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip started at Anfield.

[ MORE: Champions League story lines ]

Spurs on the other hand played a back four at Wembley with three center backs in the reverse fixture, wing backs Danny Rose and Kieran Trippier pushed up high and wide.

Might we see the latter again in Madrid? One of those pieces begins this examination of the three (plus one) factors in Saturday’s Champions League Final.

Kieran Trippier versus Sadio Mane

Mane scored 22 goals this season, but failed to manage one against Spurs whether Trippier was lined up at right back or as more of a right wing back.

All-in-all, the dangerous-crossing Trippier is a better defender than his reputation suggests, but Mane is about as explosive an attacking talent as there is in England.

This battle may be the one that settles the tie.

Roberto Firmino versus Toby Alderweireld

Sure, this also could read Firmino v. Spurs’ defense, but “Bobby’s” two goals against Spurs this season were his first in six matches against the Reds.

Like Harry Kane for Spurs, Firmino is coming off an injury. While still quite good, the Brazilian center forward’s production and effectiveness have both dipped this season.

Perhaps it’s absurd to expect him to be a wrecking ball in consecutive Champions League seasons, but his dip in that competition was especially significant. Firmino arguably was the number one reason Liverpool ran through its forgiving slate last season, scoring 10 goals with 7 assists and drawing a penalty. This year, it’s just four goals with a helper.

Alderweireld, meanwhile, has been fine but not spectacular for Spurs. The big Belgian will hope Firmino is less than 100 percent.

Jurgen Klopp versus himself

There are few men in the world with the self-confidence of Jurgen Klopp, but the Reds’ boss enters his latest final holding the proverbial clipboard for the unabashed favorites.

When a man has lost his last three European finals, there’s reason to question how he may try to out-fox himself in the role of favorite. It’s also worth noting that the virtue of getting to a fourth European final says a lot about a managerial skill set.

Where Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is very much playing with house money, Klopp has yet to lift a piece of silverware as Liverpool boss. Perception of him is unlikely to change too much with a loss, but a win would have him an Anfield all-timer.

The stage can do wild things to a man, even when that man has spent plenty of time on that stage.

BONUS: Harry Kane versus his ankle

Yeah, this is cheating, but the Englishman’s fitness is the X-factor of the UCL Final. Virgil Van Dijk has the goods to deal with a fully fit Kane, but if he’s simply tasked with managing a half-ready decoy? Well, that’s big stuff.

Still, Kane’s 1-4-4 record against Spurs doesn’t have a ton to do with his scoring record, as he’s managed five goals and two assists in those matches. If he’s ready to go, Spurs obviously have a much better chance at glory.

Pedro leads Chelsea to win over Spurs (video)

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  • Pedro scores 8th of PL season
  • Trippier passes in own goal
  • Spurs drop nine back of PL lead

Pedro was a difference maker at both ends of the pitch as Chelsea beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 at Stamford Bridge to effectively end their London rivals’ title hopes.

Willy Caballero posted the clean sheet for Chelsea in place of embarrassed starter Kepa Arrizabalaga, and Kieran Trippier completed the score line with a Spurs own goal.

Trippier’s own goal was one more ball on frame than his entire attack managed at the other end.

Tottenham is now nine points back of Liverpool and eight back of Man City, sitting just four points clear of Arsenal ahead of the North London Derby.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The first quality chance belonged to Gonzalo Higuain, who hit a ball with the outside of his boost that plunked the inside of the post but bounded away from goal.

Eden Hazard laid off for Higuain after a terrible giveaway from Hugo Lloris, but the Argentine spun his shot wide of the far post.

For Spurs, Heung-Min Son was lively in producing a pair of moments in the first 25 minutes. The second was handled neatly by Marcos Alonso.

Spurs continued to grow into the game, and Harry Kane earned a corner when his left-footed shot was blocked by the Blues. And Harry Winks hit a ball over the hand of Willy Caballero but off the cross bar.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

[ MORE: Premier League box scores, schedule, stats ]

Pedro gave Chelsea its breakthrough, dribbling down the end line and hitting a shot between two defenders and past Hugo Lloris. It wasn’t a howler given the power, but the Spurs backstop will have expected to do better.

And the Spanish goal scorer turned tackling hero in the 64th when he slid to dispossess Christian Eriksen in the Chelsea box, then taking off on a 50-yard dribble.

Toby Alderweireld had the next chance, popping a header wide of the goal in the 67th minute.

Trippier’s own goal was a clinical finish, as Hugo Lloris charged forward to collect a big header from Olivier Giroud and Trippier never noticed the keeper’s unavailability to receive a pass.

Son’s six-star Spurs wreck Everton

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  • Everton score first through Walcott
  • 1st time “Fab Four” score in same match
  • Eriksen scores beauty (video)
  • Son with two goals, assist

Heung-Min Son, Dele Alli, Harry Kane, and Christian Eriksen all scored, with Son and Kane at the double, as Tottenham Hotspur battered Everton 6-2 at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Gylfi Sigurdsson and Theo Walcott scored for Everton, who has taken just two of their last 15 available points.

Son added an assist and was especially strong for Spurs. Tottenham improves its winning march to four league matches, and now sits two points back of second place Man City and six behind Liverpool.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Richarlison just missed with a 10th minute header as Everton had the first true chance of the match, and both Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Gylfi Sigurdsson couldn’t react quickly enough to flick the shot into the goal.

An over-aggressive Jordan Pickford nearly allowed a goal to Christian Eriksen before making a fine save on Kieran Trippier.

The Toffees took the lead when Sigurdsson sent Calvert-Lewin into the left side of the box, and Walcott ran to the six to slot the latter’s cutback pass. 1-0, 21′.

Calvert-Lewin looked to have made it 2-0, but his stronger header was defied for a foul on Davinson Sanchez. Touchy.

Instead, it was soon 1-1. Pickford came way out of his box and knocked down his center back Kurt Zouma, who was first to a Harry Kane ball over the top. Son reaped the benefits with a pretty finish inside the far post.

Pickford made a nice save before Spurs took the lead, with Dele having plenty of time to fire the Son-inspired rebound into the goal.

And three. The 42nd minute saw another rebound goal, as Trippier’s free kick beyond Pickford and off the post went to Kane. The England captain saw nothing but a yawning cage in front of him.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Eriksen spun a volleyed goal past Pickford off of Seamus Coleman‘s half clearance in the 49th, putting the match to bed.

Hold on, though? Everton nabbed a goal in the 51st minute when Lucas Digne dribbled to find Sigurdsson, who dribbled a bit himself before beating Hugo Lloris.

Son made it 5-2, with substitute Erik Lamela putting the ball right onto his run, and the South Korean sliding his chance under Pickford.

Picked apart, and how: Son then raced onto a Ben Davies cross to slide a perfect pass to a shockingly unmarked Kane for 6-2.

Premier League leaders through eight matches

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The sample size remains relatively small, but the Premier League season is closing in on its quarter-point and we’re able to get a decent perspective on whose hot starts are becoming solid seasons.

The international break is a good time to analyze the early season numbers, so let’s run through WhoScored.com and a number of other sites to see who’s shining in England (and Wales, though we don’t expect to see a lot of Bluebirds).

[ MORE: Hazard would play for Mourinho again ]

Let’s start with team stuff. Obviously, Man City, Chelsea, and Liverpool all boast league-best 6W-2D records, while Newcastle and Cardiff are league-worst 2D-6L.

City has scored the most goals (21), while its tied with Liverpool for fewest allowed in league play (3). Huddersfield Town and Cardiff (4) have scored the fewest, and Fulham has allowed the most (21).

City also has the most possession (65.3 percent), shots per game (21.8), and pass accuracy (89.9 percent). Worst possessors? Newcastle. Worst passers? Cardiff. Fewest shots? Newcastle.

Now, the fun stuff. Let’s praise individuals in a sport with 22 players on the field most of the time.

It will come as no surprise that this season is all about Eden.

Goals: Eden Hazard, Chelsea (7)

Assists: Six players have four, with Benjamin Mendy of Man City doing it in the fewest amount of minutes (450).

Man of the Match awards: Hazard (5)

Key passes per game: David Silva, Man City (3.7)

Dribbles per game: Hazard (2.8)

Times fouled per game: James Maddison, Leicester City (3)

Average passes per game: Jorginho, Chelsea (106.6)

Crosses per game: Kieran Trippier, Spurs (2.6)

Tackles per game: Idrissa Gueye, Everton (5.3)

Interceptions per game: Etienne Capoue, Watford (3.4)

Clearances per game: Steve Cook, Bournemouth (7.9)

Blocks per game: James Tarkowski, Burnley (2)

Yellow cards: Jose Holebas, Watford (5)

Red cards: Wes Morgan, Leicester City (2)