When Mauricio Pochettino off-loaded Kieran Trippier to Atletico Madrid during the summer, there weren’t too many tears shed at White Hart Lane.

The full-back hadn’t been close to his best for Tottenham for a while, and a move to Spain rather than another top-flight Premier League club spoke volumes to many.

For Trippier, it was a chance to get out of the spotlight and the constant scrutiny, and start over.

However, his form has been so good in the Spanish capital that he’s earned an England recall, got Spurs fans pining for his return and written a few headlines already.

England's defender Kieran Trippier eyes the ball during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying first round Group A football match between England and Bulgaria at Wembley Stadium in London on September 7, 2019. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) / NOT FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING USE / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Under Diego Simeone, the 29-year-old has been given licence to get forward and support the attacks at every opportunity.

His excellent crossing ability and dead ball delivery have been amongst the Rojiblancos best weapons this season, and Trippier is clearly a player enjoying his football again.

A desire to work hard and take on board Simeone’s ideas without argument has immediately endeared him to staff and supporters alike too.

As has his willingness to immerse himself in the culture.

If there’s one thing that has underscored Gareth Bale’s time at Real Madrid other than his injury record and goals, it’s the fact that he’s still not learned Spanish to the degree expected.

They are little things to some, but will go a long way to making Trippier popular in the dressing room as well as in the stands.

Atleti had struggled to replace Juanfran on the right side of their defence, but the biggest compliment that can be paid to the Bury-born defender is that it’s difficult to imagine anyone other than him in the role now.

Simeone’s side have tailed off slightly since the beginning of the campaign, but still sit proudly in third place in the La Liga table.

Their four goals conceded is the best record in the division (along with Athletic Club), and Trippier’s excellence out on the right has been as much a part of that as his central defensive colleagues.

Yes, he’s been great going forward, but his bread and butter is being one quarter of a solid back line – and he’s not been afraid of getting his hands dirty in that regard.

No wonder Simeone is delighted with his application thus far.

The Argentinian knows it takes a particular set of characteristics to succeed at the Wanda Metroplitano, and Kieran Trippier is showing all of the signs of being a mainstay in the starting XI for years to come.

Not bad for a player that wasn’t considered good enough for a team that are struggling to keep in the Premier League’s top 10…

 

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