Kieran Trippier has transformed Newcastle since his move from Atletico Madrid.
The 31-year-old was the first PIF signing, arriving for just £12million. He had an instant impact, raising standards on and off the pitch.
Trippier quickly settled in to his new surroundings, and it didn’t take him long to score a trademark free-kick or two.
But shortly after ‘Kieran Trippier, over the wall’ was born, his Toon career was put on hold. The defender is now out after fracturing a bone in his foot, and his season could potentially be over.
It’s a huge blow for Newcastle, who were becoming somewhat reliant on the England international.
But Eddie Howe’s side have massively benefitted from Trippier’s arrival. He changed Newcastle, and changed Atletico in the process too.
Stefan Savic admits Trippier exit ‘changed’ Atletico Madrid
It was a shock to see Trippier swap Champions League football for a Premier League relegation battle. And Atleti defender Stefan Savic has commented on his former teammate’s January move.
“It’s changed us, that’s for sure,” he told AS, as translated by Sport Witness.
“We didn’t expect him to leave, but that opportunity arose and we have to accept it.”
It speaks volumes about the new project at St James’ Park that Trippier would leave Atletico for Newcastle. Fortunately, his desire to return to England helped as well.
But Savic’s comments prove the impact he had in Spain. While he was often out of the headlines, he was clearly an important player for Atletico.
Their loss has been the Magpies’ gain. Trippier is already a Toon hero, and will be remembered incredibly fondly in the future as the first player to make the move to the new Newcastle United.