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Gareth Southgate hails ‘exceptional’ Kieran Trippier in England squad discussion

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Gareth Southgate has hinted Kieran Trippier could be set for a big role with England at this winter’s World Cup in Qatar. 

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With Trippier over the age of 30 and choosing to join a team threatened with relegation last season, perhaps his standing in Southgate’s squad could have been questioned.

Indeed, while the former Atletico Madrid defender has played a major part of the Three Lions’ recent success, England’s options at right-back are somewhat of an embarrassment of riches. Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James and Kyle Walker all offer top-level nous and Trippier, after all, was dropped as recently as November 2021.

Still, even at 31 and with so much competition for places in his area of expertise, Southgate namechecked the Newcastle star when discussing his decision to leave Alexander-Arnold out of the squad to play Germany on Monday night.

What has Southgate said of Trippier?

Speaking ahead of Monday’s game at Wembley, Southgate said (via the Evening Standard): “If we play with wing-backs, Trippier and Reece James are also exceptional with the ball, in different ways, and we’re always having to look at the full package with everything and assess the players on all of their attributes

“They’ve all been to Champions League finals, some of them have been to latter stages of major tournaments with us, Trent’s won the league, Trippier’s won the Spanish league, [Kyle] Walker’s won the English league, there are so many good attributes about them.”

How well has Trippier played for Newcastle this season?

As per WhoScored data, the former Tottenham defender has produced the highest number of key passes per game this season (1.9) in Newcastle’s squad.

Across the entirety of the Premier League, just Alexander-Arnold can beat that average (2.2) in terms of defenders, while FBREF data notes that only four players (Alexander-Arnold, Kevin de Bruyne, Neco Williams and Mohamed Salah) have completed more crosses into the opposition 18-yard box all season.

A threat from set-pieces too as he displayed against Manchester City, Trippier remains as important as he has done since his arrival to Eddie Howe’s side.

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