Why Kieran Trippier could be an ideal short-term fix at Manchester United
Sky Sports report Manchester United are showing interest in Atletico Madrid defender Kieran Trippier.
The Telegraph had also reported United’s alleged interest at the start of the week.
Trippier has 18 months left on his Atletico deal, which could lead to the Spanish side deciding to sell the former Manchester City, Burnley, and Tottenham defender.
Our initial reaction to the links was to wonder why United would be interested in Trippier, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka an established regular at right-back.
A shaky midweek performance from the defender showed why having an extra option might be helpful.
Right now Wan-Bissaka is being asked to do too much. He was making his 16th appearance of the season already against Leipzig.
There are no back-up options challenging him at present. Diogo Dalot was not in the picture even before his loan to AC Milan.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah has not started since the season’s opening day, while Brandon Williams is considered as Wan-Bissaka’s back-up and has not been able to dislodge him. Young gun Ethan Laird has not been able to mount a challenge either.
So a move for Trippier might be an effective short-term move, as both cover in case of injury, and simply to share the workload.
Wan-Bissaka has played 62 times for United in just over a year and could break 100 by time the season is out if he is not given a break. For a young player of 23, it is a lot of physical and mental stress being placed on him, especially considering he plays all 90 minutes in most games.
Trippier, or another right-back, would help lighten the workload.
Why would Trippier be the right player?
Trippier knows the Premier League and would have no problem settling right away.
At 30-years-old he has the experience United would require, as opposed to the younger back-up options.
And at his age he would not necessarily block Wan-Bissaka long-term either.
United have shown a willingness to add experience at full-back with Alex Telles and Trippier would fit the same mould.
It is also important to factor in that Trippier is a superior crosser of the ball than Wan-Bissaka, and struck up a real connection with Harry Kane at Tottenham.
He would give United a good balance and greater ability to attack from both flanks, with the threat from the right side not currently strong enough.
This season Trippier has three assists in 10 games already as opposed to Wan-Bissaka’s one in 16.
In Tottenham’s run to the Champions League final in 2018/19 he was averaging 3.1 chances created per game.
Trippier’s performances at World Cup 2018 led to Spurs demanding £50 million for him.
Atletico paid around half that to sign him and with his contract running down, United could get him for around £20 million.
Short-term, Trippier could take some game time away from Wan-Bissaka.
In the long-term this could be the best thing to happen for him, and competition could bring out the best in the current United right-back.
There is one other aspect of a move to bear in mind too; signing a former Mauricio Pochettino player will only add to speculation about Solskjaer’s job.
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