‘Bury Beckham’ Kieran Trippier could follow in his footsteps by winning LaLiga… Atletico’s assist king is back on top form after leaving Spurs for a fresh start abroad – but Man United may want to bring him back
- Kieran Trippier has been likened to David Beckham due to his crossing abilities
- However, Trippier may have more in common with Beckham than first thought
- Beckham was the last Englishman to win LaLiga back in 2007 with Real Madrid
- Atletico Madrid are top, six points clear of Real Madrid and 12 ahead of Barca
- Trippier has played a fundamental role in the club’s success due to his assists
For years he has laughed off the ‘Bury Beckham’ nickname earned by his crossing and set-piece ability but the way things are going in Spain, Kieran Trippier might soon have something else in common with the former England captain.
The last Englishman to win LaLiga was David Beckham at Real Madrid in 2007. Atletico Madrid have only played 10 matches so far this season but they are currently top, six points clear of Real Madrid and 12 ahead of Barcelona.
Increasingly it’s being pointed out that they are not just title candidates but title favourites and ever-present king of the assists Trippier is one of the big reasons why.
Kieran Trippier may have more in common with David Beckham than just his crossing ability
His influence was there for all to see again on Saturday. The second half was just about to start between Atletico and Valladolid and he could be seen deep in conversation with Marcos Llorente who had been brought on at the break.
Just 11 minutes after their confab a sublime pass from Llorente had put Trippier clear down the right and he delivered the perfect low cross for Thomas Lemar to score.
Just 16 minutes later Trippier headed on a Jan Oblak punt into Llorente’s path and raced through to score the second – two link-ups with Llorente, two assists, two goals, game over.
The lightning quick Spain international Llorente and 25-times capped England right-back Trippier have formed a formidable partnership as Atletico have gone 26 games unbeaten since last season’s lockdown.
Trippier’s crossing precision and well-timed overlaps are one of the reasons why Diego Simeone has switched to three centre-backs and wing-backs this season.
The last Englishman to win LaLiga was David Beckham (above) at Real Madrid in 2007
Atletico Madrid are currently top, six points clear of Real Madrid and 12 ahead of Barcelona
And while Renan Lodi, Yannick Carrasco, Vitolo. Thomas Lemar and even briefly on Saturday Koke, have all had spells as the left wing-back, on the right Trippier has played every minute of Atletico’s 10 games to date.
Only Jan Oblak can match his 900 minutes played and while it’s true the switch to wing-backs and three centre-backs has helped him there are still important defensive interventions from the former Spurs man.
Trippier’s outstanding form this season has reportedly attracted interest from Manchester United, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said to see him as ideal competition for Aaron Wan-Bissaka. It’s easy to see why.
On Saturday Valladolid’s best chance fell to Marcos Andre and it was Trippier back defending and making the all-important block to keep the ball out. Atletico Madrid have only conceded two goals all season – easily the best record in the division, and the best ever in La Liga after 10 games save for Deportivo in 1993.
Trippier always sensed Simeone might bring out the best in him after he faded towards the end of his time at Tottenham under Mauricio Pochettino.
‘I have come to a different league and maybe the new challenge has woken me up,’ he told Sportsmail in an interview last year. ‘It was there [for everyone] to see last season that sometimes my concentration was lacking.
Trippier has excelled at Atletico after fading at Tottenham under Mauricio Pochettino
Only Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak (above) can match Trippier’s 900 minutes played
‘I have said many times over the last 16 months that my defending needs to improve and before I came here people were questioning the move but I didn’t have to think twice – it was coming to play for the perfect team [for me]. If I play for Cholo [Simeone], I know defensively I can improve.’
Simeone loves Trippier’s grounded, occasional self-critical, attitude to his job. He stood up for him at the start of the season when he was given a torrid time by Kingsley Coman when Bayern put four past Atletico in their first Champions League group game.
He had another below par performance in the following game against Betis. Critics said it was one thing to suffer against Coman and Bayern but another to be unable to deal with Cristian Tello and Betis.
But Simeone never lost faith and it has been repaid so far. If Atletico Madrid win on Wednesday against RB Salzburg and again at the weekend against Real Madrid they will be nine points clear of their city rivals for the title and in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Trippier’s career could have taken a downward turn as he turned 30 and left Tottenham but under Simeone at Atletico he’s a better place than ever.
As a result, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United are interested in signing Trippier