As Tottenham’s season continues to unravel, it’s hard not to think about what one man must be thinking.
Kieran Trippier made a low-profile exit after playing the full 90 minutes of June’s Champions League final defeat, his happy to let him go and supporters largely indifferent about the decision.
The full back had endured an up-and-down season after becoming something of a national hero at the World Cup; his semi-final free-kick having provided the country with one of their biggest footballing highs since 1966.
Kieran Trippier has impressed since joining Atletico Madrid from Tottenham in the summer
But in a rare move for an Englishman in his prime, Trippier decided to take his talents abroad and fans of Atletico Madrid are certainly glad that he did.
While Spurs have continued to ship goals, Trippier has been an ever-present in an extensively remodeled Atletico side that boasts the stingiest defence in La Liga.
Performing at full-back and wing-back, Diego Simeone has also worked to get the most out of his new signing in an attacking sense.
Forming a quick connection with fellow new boy Renan Lodi on the opposite flank – Trippier is one of his side’s leaders in crosses and key passes per game with two assists already to his name.
In Spain, the quality of his crossing has even drawn comparisons to compatriot David Beckham.
The England international’s crossing has received a lot of praise from fans in Spain
TRIPPIER THIS SEASON
Pass accuracy: 81.3%
Key passes: 17
Accurate crosses: 15/34
Dribbles complete: 5/8
Tackles won: 18/23
Aerial duels won: 11/21
That level of praise really kicked into gear following the 29-year-old’s star showing in last month’s dramatic 2-2 draw with Juventus in the Champions League.
The right back not only dealt well with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo but also created seven chances, three more than any other player on the pitch.
One of those chances was converted for Atleti’s late equaliser and it wasn’t long before Spurs fans found themselves asking if their club had made a big mistake.
Tottenham opted not to recruit a replacement for Trippier, leaving Mauricio Pochettino with Serge Aurier and Kyle Walker-Peters as their recognised right backs.
Tottenham have so far looked a shadow of the team that did so well last season
Neither inspire confidence, the unreliable Aurier already foolishly sent off against Southampton earlier this season and lucky not to suffer the same fate for a ridiculous challenge against Bayern Munich.
Former manager Harry Redknapp admitted he was struggling to understand the club’s thinking last week.
‘They let Trippier go for whatever reason, which was a bit of a strange one,’ he said. Especially without replacing him and Serge Aurier is struggling.’
Trippier is clearly pleased they did decide to part ways, saying earlier this month that he really didn’t even have to think twice when the opportunity presented itself.
Trippier is relishing the chance to work with Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone
Meanwhile Mauricio Pochettino has been watching his side struggle this season
‘Obviously I was very excited when I first signed here,’ he told BT Sport.
‘I know a lot about Atletico through watching them over the years. Obviously, the coaching staff; Cholo (Simeone), the way he sets his team up and you can just see from the outside that the players work so hard for the manger. And I wanted to be a part of this.
‘I’ve always wanted to play abroad just to experience something different, and the time was now. It was a great opportunity for me to come to such a big club. Champions League football, the players that I’ve got here. It’s just an amazing club and I’ve seen how close everybody is at Atletico and I’m happy to be a part of it.
‘To be honest, when Atletico were interested, I didn’t have to think twice. I spoke to a few people back at Tottenham about the opportunity to play in Spain, in La Liga, and to come to Atletico, I jumped straight at it.’
The right back’s good form has seen him recalled to the England side this season
The full back couldn’t have hoped for a better start, his performances also his earning him an England recall at the expense of Kyle Walker.
He started both games of the international break just gone, Gareth Southgate picking him ahead of even the in-form Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Trippier’s former club, meanwhile, sit ninth in the Premier League and have won just three of their opening 10 games in all competitions.
Pochettino insisted he has no regrets over losing the player last month.
‘In football, decisions happen and players move from one club to another,’ he said. ‘We need to move on.’
But with Trippier flourishing in Spain while Spurs flounder back at home, it is hard not to look back.