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Could Kieran Trippier turn out to be the better right back?

Could Kieran Trippier turn out to be the better right back?

Tottenham defender Kieran Trippier has just been handed a new five-year deal and is set to start the season as Spurs’ first choice right-back after Kyle Walker was sold to Man City. The £50 million Tottenham secured for Walker looks to be a great piece of business as he is 27 years old and Trippier was in danger of usurping him in the side anyway.

Trippier was preferred in big games towards the end of last season, such as the FA Cup tie against Chelsea and the north London derby, and he would have had a serious claim to nail down a place in the starting 11. He has also broken into the England squad, winning his first cap in a friendly against France, and will now vie for place in the national team with Walker. So who is the better player? Here we analyse their key attributes:

Pace

Walker definitely has the edge here as he is exceptionally quick and zips up and down the touchline all game. His pace gives his team an extra dimension in attack, and it is extremely useful to help him recover quickly if an attacker beats him. Trippier is certainly the slower player and will not be able to make the transition from attack to defence as quickly.

Tackling

There is not much in it here. Trippier is an aggressive tackler and bullied Alexis Sanchez throughout that game against Arsenal towards the end of last season. Walker has never been 100% convincing in the tackle, but he has developed into a solid, reliable defender in recent years. Having been second choice for a while, Trippier has played far fewer games than Walker, despite only being a year younger, and while that lack of experience could be a hindrance, he also has a lot more potential to improve and could thrive alongside the likes of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, while Pep Guardiola is not exactly known for getting the best out of defenders, so Trippier could soon overtake Walker.

Crossing

“Fullback Kyle Walker becomes the world’s most expensive defender at £50m plus, imagine how much he would cost if he could cross the ball,” tweeted a gleeful Gary Lineker after the sale. While he has played a few great crosses here and there, it is certainly a weakness of Walker’s game. Last season Trippier created 1.8 chances per game, while Walker created 1.3. Trippier is more composed on the ball and a better crosser, so despite his lack of pace he could tee up more chances for teammates, and he has the edge in this category.

Heading

Trippier needs to improve in this area as he won just 33% of aerial duels last season, while Walker won 65%. A clear win for Man City’s new boy here.

Positioning

Walker’s pace gives him the opportunity to recover after being caught out of position, while Trippier can ill afford that luxury, so he is the more disciplined player defensively. Walker has more experience, however, so this looks a close category, but Trippier might just shade it as he is more of a natural defender.

Work rate and stamina

You cannot really fault the work rate of either player. Both have totally bought into Mauricio Pocchetino’s ehtos, which means high intensity, hard pressing, all action football, bombing up and down the wing, giving 100% in every tackle, closing the opposition down quickly and breaking rapidly. It is remarkable to see Walker sprinting with such energy towards the end of matches. But Trippier also has great stamina and never says die, so it is fairly even here too.

Verdict

There is not a great deal in it, but Walker just about has the edge right now. He is quicker, more experienced and better in the air. He also completes more passes and is better at dribbling, making him an asset going forwards. That is what convinced Pep Guardiola to break the world record for a defender on signing him, and that is why he will hold onto his place as England’s first choice right-back for a while longer. And that is why, when looking through the markets, Man City are 9/5 favourites to win the Premiership at Tottenham are 8/1 outsiders: the former is buying players in their peak for the present, whereas Tottenham are still striving to reach their full potential.

But Trippier is a very promising full-back and seems to be constantly improving. He is strong in the tackle and has great positional awareness, so he is a fine replacement, and Spurs will just have to adapt their game slightly with him in the team. Given more game time, it is highly likely that he will develop into a better defender than Walker. You would not be surprised, however, if Tottenham dipped into the transfer market and signed another right-back like Ricardo Pereira, who has been linked and has excellent pace and stamina, which would give Tottenham a different option in that position.

Author bio
Martin Green is an experienced sports writer and has been covering the Premiership for many years. He has a particular focus on sports betting and regularly acts as a pundit on talk shows. He thinks Tottenham are a very interesting each-way bet for the title this season.
View Comments (19)
Comments
  • Aside from cerebrospinal fluid, what's on your mind?

  • baz July 20, 2017 at 10:26 am

    We have all been here before and I’m sure this scenario will be played out again.
    It was time to cash in on the investment, they are not going to pay the going rate for a player in that bracket so they can spin the story to vilanize the troublemaker who wanted.

    Praise be to the Net spend in all its glory and splender.

    • baz July 20, 2017 at 10:36 am

      *villainize

  • DaygoKid July 20, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Walker is some anonymous dude now. If Trippier is to be our starting RB/RWB next season, he needs to improve defensively and I feel aerial ability and dribbling will improve as he become more match sharp. I also hope he starts taking our corners, as Eriksen’s are too low/short 90% of the time.

  • Aussie in Switzerland July 20, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Trippier plays for us, so he is already a million times better

    • East Stand July 20, 2017 at 9:49 am

      Good point!

  • East Stand July 20, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Trippier has better pedigree, highly rated as a kid at Citeh but discarded by their mega spending and policy of buying ready to go 100k a week players.

    He continued at Burnley in the Prem and on the ball, crossing etc he already looks better than Walker. Walker has the raw pace, power and ability in the air which gives him the edge.

    Tripps is still a little raw but certainly technically better already but not yet overall.

  • modricbigtoe July 20, 2017 at 9:09 am

    there is a great deal in it, about 50 million. This one is a good deal, Walker wins on pace, hence why Guardiola paid 50 mill for him, well his oil well did. Trippier is at least as good in all other areas. This one is worthy of about one line of text. I would like to see us buy some more pace up top and lso really try to get more game time to Nkoudo because he has it. all in all we needed to buy less than all the teams below us did and that’s whats happening, all pretty obvious I think.

    • East Stand July 20, 2017 at 9:28 am

      Nobody else would have paid 50m for Walker.

      Citeh were desperate to fill that position and also take up their quota of homegrown players so they had sod all option but to pay it.

      He’ll be good for them without doubt but at 27 he won’t get any quicker and if he can’t cross a ball now then I doubt he’ll improve on that score either…

      • East Stand July 20, 2017 at 9:29 am

        Oh yeah, and to Citeh money is no object…

        • modricbigtoe July 20, 2017 at 9:50 am

          yeh agree with all that

  • baz July 20, 2017 at 9:08 am

    If Tripps starts as our number one right back he’ll become an astute fantasy football signing.

    • 61SpursNut🌰 July 20, 2017 at 11:25 am

      I’ve already bagged him!

  • BERNARD July 20, 2017 at 9:08 am

    just hope he fails at city big time tripps for england

    • baz July 20, 2017 at 9:10 am

      I do not like to see any of our players risking injury for england.

    • Freund or Foe July 20, 2017 at 9:35 am

      I hope he fails when he plays us. Other than that, I wish him all the best.

      • baz July 20, 2017 at 10:28 am

        Yep, Walker aint done much wrong.

        • BERNARD July 20, 2017 at 11:43 am

          its like your missus has left you for the hated school bully thats always given you a slap

  • col July 20, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Yes i always thought Walker was ok but nothing more than ok.Trip seems to offer a bit more.So lets wait and see.

  • Blanchflower July 20, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Trippier is alright but Walkers pace aside, neither are excellent full backs (bit like Davies) whereas Rose has become one.

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