Eddie Howe strongly rejects claim on Kieran Trippier signing
Eddie Howe has dismissed claims that Kieran Trippier has joined Newcastle United for the money.
The relegation-threatened club today signed Trippier from Atletico Madrid for an initial £12million fee.
The 31-year-old – who has signed a two-and-a-half year deal at St James’s Park – has swapped Champions League football for a relegation battle, but Howe says he’s not motivated by money.
“Kieran hasn’t come for the financial benefits of the contract,” said United’s head coach. “He’s come for the club, and for the challenge that the team faces at the current time, but also the longer-term vision, so I think that’s a massive thing for the club.
“Hopefully, with his signing, other players around the world will potentially look at that, and share his dream and his vision for what he sees. That’s a big thing for us.”
Howe and Jason Tindall, his assistant, previously worked with Trippier at Burnley, and he feels that the right-back will strengthen his team at both ends of the pitch.
Trippier, according to Howe, will also be an important figure off the pitch given his experience and “winning mentality”.
“We’re delighted with the signing, a player I know very well from our time at Burnley,” said Howe. “I know he’s going to bring a huge amount off the pitch and on the pitch.
“So, of the pitch, his leadership qualities, a winning mentality. He’s very driven to succeed, and I think all his experiences in the game will help us in our position. On the pitch, I think we have an outstanding technical player who will attack very well and bring a level of calmness to our play on the ball. He’s a top defender as well.
Newcastle haven’t had an England international in their ranks since Andros Townsend’s short spell at St James’s Park more than five years ago.
“We haven’t intended it to be a statement signing, it’s just identifying the right player for the right position,” said Howe. “I think people will make assessments on every signing we make.
"The most important thing, for me, is what I know Kieran will bring to the team in both dynamics, and that’s the key thing for me. We’re signing a player of real experience. That type of mentality is absolutely crucial.
"Kieran’s up for the fight, he’s relishing that. He wants the challenge. But also he sees, I think, a longer-term vision of what the club can bring him and his career.
Asked if Trippier could be involved in tomorrow’s FA Cup third-round tie against Cambridge United, Howe said: “Possibly. We’re waiting to be given the green light on that one.”
Meanwhile, the club is looking to make more signings in this month’s transfer window, though Howe won’t make any promises.
“I can’t give any promises on that,” said Howe. “There’s nothing imminent. We’re working hard to improve the squad. It’s changing by the hour, the outlook.”
Lille defender Sven Botman, 21, is one target for Newcastle, now 80%-owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.