Kieran Trippier reveals why he swapped Champions League football for a relegation battle with Newcastle United
Kieran Trippier has revealed why he walked away from Champions League football with Atletico Madrid – and joined relegation-threatened Newcastle United.
Trippier’s £12million-plus switch was today confirmed by the club. The 31-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year deal at St James’s Park.
Atletico, the La Liga champions, are in the last 16 of the Champions League.
And Trippier – who previously played under head coach Eddie Howe at Burnley – faces a very different challenge at Newcastle, with the club 19th in the Premier League at the halfway point of the season.
“I made it clear a few months back that if I had the opportunity to come back to the Premier League, I’d love to do so,” said the England international. “It’s important for my family, as it’s a great opportunity as well.
"I’m the type of player who loves challenges. I had a challenge going to Atletico Madrid in the first place, changing countries, different league, and now I’m at Newcastle. I know the position they’re in. I’m here to help as much as I can on and off the field.
"I have a great relationship with the manager. This is certainly a challenge for me, and one I’m excited about.”
Trippier has kept in touch with Howe since leaving Burnley. Asked about Howe’s influence on his decision, Trippier said: “Very important, because he’s a great manager. I’ve kept in contact with him every since I left.
"He’s another big reason why he came here. I know what he demands in training, I know what he expects in games.
"I’m here to fight and help as much as I can. The players that have played with me, and the managers that have coached me, know what kind of character that I am. No matter what team I play for, I give 110%. It’s going to be no different here at Newcastle.”
Trippier – who played in the Euro 2020 final – is determined to play on for England.
"I’m still ambitious,” he said. “I still want to get in the England team. I know I’m up against Reece James, Kyle Walker and Trent (Alexander-Arnold).
"I feel I can still handle the pressure. I feel I’m in very good shape. I need to give good performances for Newcastle.”