Kieran Trippier made his Newcastle United debut on Saturday, and was probably wondering ‘what on earth have I done?’.
While some may have been surprised to see Trippier so soon, Eddie Howe’s decision made sense. He was already match fit, and this was a good opportunity to integrate him into the team.
However, it quickly became apparent, it it wasn’t already, that the England international is a class above what we already have.
Every time Trippier had possession he looked to play it forwards. His first touch was immaculate, unlike many others in black and white.
His delivery from out wide was decent too, and on another day with an actual striker in the team perhaps he would’ve got an assist.
But it was his attitude more than anything that shone through against Cambridge United.
Kieran Trippier is going to be a leader for Newcastle – but who will follow?
You could see during the game how vocal Trippier was. The ex-Spurs man was constantly communicating with his teammates, and could be seen calling for calm midway through the second half.
Even without the armband and despite only being there for a day, Trippier was taking charge and leading by example.
And after the game, he wasn’t afraid to send a verbal volley at his teammates who went straight down the tunnel without applauding the fans.
Trippier is the kind of player who will raise standards at NUFC. He’s not going to sulk and simply collect his wage.
While not every player can be a leader, attitude is everything. Newcastle need to sign the right characters in January, and in Trippier they’ve done exactly that.