surinenglish

A LOOK AT LA LIGA

Out of the EPL comfort zone

Trippier was officially presented on Thursday.
Trippier was officially presented on Thursday. / EFE
  • Kieran Trippier has traded the riches and comfort of the Premier League for a chance to play under Diego Simeone at Atlético Madrid

It isn't a move that has captured headlines but there are very few transfers that tick as many boxes as Kieran Trippier to Atlético Madrid: the players are happy, the clubs are happy, and the fans should be happy.

It's very rare for a British player to leave the riches and comfort of the Premier League to take a chance on proving his talents in La Liga so Trippier should be applauded for his imagination and ambition.

One or two experts in the British media suggested he'd "slip off the radar" by joining Atlético. Very odd! This must be a different club to the one that's reached the final of a major European trophy five times in the last nine years and finished as runners-up in Spain for the past two seasons.

With Diego Simeone as his manager, it's certainly not going to be a twilight in the Spanish sunshine; in fact, he'll take his fitness to a whole new level.

The same pundit, oh what the heck let's name him, Danny Mills, suggested that Trippier is joining a defensive team. It's true that Atleti do have an excellent defensive reputation but their full-backs are expected to be omnipresent. The man Trippier is replacing, Juanfran, was a winger turned full-back and he was more comfortable on the front than the back foot.

For 20 million euros, Atleti have signed a player who scored in a World Cup semi-final a year ago and took his place in a Champions League final although, by his own admission, he fell short of his standards as last season progressed.

He leaves Tottenham with his head held high. The London club clearly have a model that balances age and ability. They've weighed up that Trippier is 28 and they'd have better value investing in a younger talent.

Trippier doesn't exactly have a long list of British players to match is recent years. Steve McManaman stands out for his achievements at Real Madrid, yet Michael Owen, David Beckham and certainly Jonathan Woodgate wouldn't make the Hall of Fame. Jermaine Pennant is only famous for forgetting he'd parked his car at the airport when he headed to Spain and Stan Collymore did a runner from Real Oviedo.

Arguably the best example of a player transitioning from England to Spain was Vinny Samways. Back home, he was regarded as a lightweight midfielder, but in Las Palmas he will be remembered as a hatchet man.

Good luck to Trippier, his journey hasn't been easy. If all had gone according to plan, he would have graduated from the Manchester City Academy to the first team but injury and a new level of recruit prevented that. He relaunched himself at Burnley where his energy and ability to create goals helped promote and then keep the Lancastrians in the Premier League.

At Tottenham, he needed to prove himself and his form rightly won him an England place. Now he's packed his bags and it's a new adventure in the Spanish capital.

Just make sure you have your running shoes packed up, Kieran!