Kieran Trippier has become the first signing under the Saudi-backed regime at Newcastle United. This month was thought to be huge for the club, with relegation looming large. There were doubts about the level of player they would be able to attract. This sends a statement of intent that they are now a serious player in the market and their relegation rivals will be very worried about what this could mean for the rest of the window. The England international remains a member of the national team and he won La Liga last season. He represents a serious upgrade to the Newcastle United squad.
It seems that this was a transfer led by Eddie Howe. The current Newcastle head coach worked with Trippier at Burnley and the pair are thought to have a good relationship. In addition to his obvious technical ability, Trippier is a leader and he will be valuable to have around the club. The right-back has a winning mentality and that is desperately needed on Tyneside. It is likely that he will be used as a right-back, but his versatility to cover the other flank increases his value to the squad.
Newcastle have conceded 42 times in the Premier League, which makes them the joint-worst defence in the division. It is a clear area of weakness and if it doesn’t improve, they will be relegated. Trippier improves them a lot down the right flank. During the last two years, his defensive understanding has improved immeasurably under Diego Simeone. He won’t solve the issue alone, but it represents a good start to the window for Howe.
Trippier won’t fly down the right wing time and time again. With age, he has learned the right times to go forward and when to hang back. It can be argued that he is best crossing from deep areas in the middle third of the opposition half. Callum Wilson will be excited at the service he could receive from the England international. He is averaging 2.14 shot creating actions per ninety minutes.
The most pleasing aspect of Trippier’s game is his ability to progress the ball from deep. There are few full-backs that can compete in this area. Howe wants his team to play out from the back. Trippier has the tools to deliver that. He averages 7.78 progressive passes per ninety minutes, ranking him in the 99th percentile when compared to other full-backs. There should be an improvement in Newcastle’s ability to build from deep.
Aside from his obvious quality on the pitch, Trippier’s arrival should help Newcastle off it. There will be other targets considering a move to the North East. They will be pleased to see a player like Trippier commit this early in the window. It should help the club in future negotiations.
For Trippier, the move seems a risk in a World Cup year. He risks dropping into the Championship and losing his place in the England squad. However, he is well liked by Gareth Southgate and already has credit in the bank. The opportunity to play a big role in the early part of Newcastle’s project alongside the chance to move back to England was too good for the defender to turn down.
The rest of the month should be exciting for Newcastle fans. If they can sign another two or three with Trippier’s quality, they could stay up.