BBC pundit Micah Richards thinks Newcastle United right-back Kieran Trippier has made phenomenal progress in recent years.
That’s what the former Manchester City defender claimed on Match of the Day 2, as he thought back to his playing days when he came through the Sky Blues academy with the Toon man.
“He has improved,” Richards said.
“I came through the academy with Trippier and there was always a part of his game where you would think defensively, he used to get caught out of position, but Alan has shown that his impact within this team – the character he has and the balls he puts into the box, and the whole package he delivers. He is performing as one of the best.”
Richards says Trippier has really improved
Since arriving at St James’ Park in January, Trippier has gone on to become an absolutely integral part of Eddie Howe’s side.
With Jamaal Lascelles now a bench player for the Magpies, the 32-year-old has taken over captaincy duties, with his strong leadership and excellent knowledge of the game evidently a huge boost for the Toon’s back-line.
As a result, he has played the full 90 minutes in nearly every Premier League game thus far this season, for which he has statistically ranked as Newcastle’s best player throughout.
The former Atletico Madrid man has seemingly come on even further as a player since arriving on Tyneside this year. His incredible strike of the ball has provided three assists this term, and the Englishman has looked to be a serious threat from set-pieces.
As Richards said, he now looks strong at the back, with his alert positioning and leadership qualities shining through and rubbing off on his defensive teammates.
Although he is 32-years-old, Trippier seems better than ever – and he doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
Arguably, this is a huge upgrade on the right-back we saw playing in the Premier League with Tottenham.