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Kieran Trippier to be Tottenham Hotspur’s first choice right-back next season?

Thursday 11th May 2017
Signed from Burnley in 2015 for £3.5M, Tottenham Hotspur's Kieran Trippier wasn't expected to be anything other than back-up for Kyle Walker; predicted to make as many appearances as fingers you can count on one hand.

But the English right-back has developed under manager Mauricio Pochettino and now he could well get the chance to be a first-choice in the defence next season, with Kyle Walker's future in doubt.

Trippier progression sees him as first-choice

The former Manchester City man has dethroned Walker on merit and may now be the reason Spurs will allow Walker to leave White Hart Lane if suitors meet his asking price. Trippier has made 20 appearances in all competitions for Tottenham this season, surpassing last season's total (19), and is showing signs that he's ready to take up the mantle of the number one right-back in 2017/18. He's been used heavily in cup competitions to ensure he's getting game time to improve and looks set for a big promotion after the summer.

Manchester City are pursuing Kyle Walker as they need defensive reinforcements in addition to meeting homegrown quotas and the right-back is alleged to be keen on the switch provided the two clubs can agree upon terms. Trippier has impressed when deputising for the England international and may have convinced Pochettino that he's good enough to replace Walker permanently next season.

Walker's defensive deficiencies

While not possessing the same pace as the 27-year-old, Trippier's strengths are with his direct play on the ball. He looks to get crosses into the box at the earliest available opportunity, ensuring striker Harry Kane gets plenty of chances to convert. Trippier has averaged a created chance every 35 minutes in the league, compared to Walker's 69 minutes, while whipping in a cross every 19 minutes to Walker's 28 minutes.

He's also deemed a better defender when Spurs aren't in possession. Often, Walker's pace makes up for his poor positioning, but Trippier's experience at Burnley has led to fantastic tactical discipline and a willingness not be caught high up the pitch. In all competitions, the latter averages a tackle or interception every 18 minutes to Walker's 26 minutes.

And despite prolonged periods on the bench, Trippier has been professional throughout. He's had two seasons at the club to develop into a first-team player and his patience is now being rewarded. Tottenham are being linked with a potential understudy for Trippier in Bournemouth's Adam Smith this summer, rather than signing a direct Kyle Walker replacement to be the new #2. Pochettino would rather promote from within and sign a non-expensive homegrown player who can be developed in time.

Pochettino trusts Trippier

Spurs signed Trippier on a five-year-deal and have turned him into one of the better fullbacks in the Premier League. The 26-year-old has made four Premier League starts in the last five-and-a-half weeks and has his own suitors according to reports. Everton have been linked with Kieran Trippier but Tottenham won't part with two right-backs in one summer, especially one who hasn't requested to leave.

If Kyle Walker is sold this summer, the #2 shirt will become available. Will Pochettino hand it to Trippier? Can the former Burnley man become a Tottenham regular?
Crippy Cooke

Crippy is a long-suffering Aston Villa supporter and weekly football accumulator enthusiast.

Stealing a living, the balding 27-year-old boasts a wealth of writing experience - Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London 24 and Bleacher Report.

Total articles: 318

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