Howe insists Trippier is the answer to England's right-back woes

‘His defending is of a VERY good level’: Eddie Howe insists Newcastle captain Kieran Trippier is the answer to England’s right-back woes with Reece James’ World Cup hopes in major doubt after knee injury

  • Kieran Trippier is now the favourite to start at right-back for England in Qatar
  • Reece James, Kyle Walker and Trent Alexander-Arnold have suffered injuries
  • But Eddie Howe says Trippier is the perfect answer for England at the World Cup
  • Howe described the Newcastle captain as ‘incredible’ in both attack and defence

Eddie Howe says Kieran Trippier is the answer to England’s right-back crisis with the Newcastle captain now in pole to start at the World Cup.

The news that first choice Reece James is set to miss the finals after suffering knee-ligament damage comes on the back of injuries to Kyle Walker and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

That has elevated Trippier – who has 37 caps and is a favourite of Gareth Southgate – to the position of likely starter when England kick off against Iran on November 21.

Eddie Howe (L) says Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier (R) is the answer to England’s right-back crisis

First choice right-back Reece James is a doubt ahead of the World Cup after injuring his knee

We understand the 32-year-old has himself been nursing a slight hamstring concern in recent weeks. However, he has started all nine Premier League matches this season, missing only 13 minutes.

His form has been outstanding and, when asked if England were in safe hands were Trippier to start at the World Cup, Howe said: ‘Absolutely. Just look at his performances this year, he’s been incredible.

‘Even last year, in the brief time he played, he made a massive impact, both on the pitch and off it, in terms of his leadership. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold has also picked up a minor problem but is expected to recover in time

‘He has continued to do the same and we’re seeing more of him because he’s been fitter for longer.

‘Just look at the first goal we scored against Brentford (5-1 win last weekend). It was his cross from the short corner, and it can really be underestimated how difficult that skill is, to put it exactly where Bruno needed it to be to score. It was an incredible highlight of his technical quality. 

‘But also his defending is of a very good level – I can’t speak highly enough of him.’

Trippier arrived on Tyneside for £12million from Atletico Madrid at the start of January and has been heralded as key in persuading others to follow.

The Magpies manager lauded his captain’s defending and insisted it was at a ‘very good level’

Howe said: ‘It wasn’t necessarily our intention to make our first signing a “statement” signing, but I do think it was a good thing it was Kieran, because it certainly helped us with what followed.

‘Players look at the calibre of player you’re signing and think, “If he wants to come, it must be a good environment”. Kieran was very, very good in our discussions with him. 

‘There was no fear from him about coming to a team that was in the relegation zone. He was, “No, I want to fight, I want to come and I’ll help the team stay in the league”.’

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