We’ve had our share of spurious transfer rumors this summer, but strangely enough, there have been relatively few that have risen to the level of batcountry — rumors so outlandish and from such terrible sources that they rise to the level of self-parody.
Well, this one might. There are plenty of rumors floating out there that suggest that thanks to his outstanding performances for England in this summer’s World Cup, Kieran Trippier is attracting interest from a number of European suitors, headlined by Real Madrid
The original source for all of these is the Sun (which I will not link to because, seriously, it’s the Sun, don’t read it), which claims that it would take a staggering bid of £50m for Spurs to sell the Bury Beckham after he created an England record 24 chances in Russia. Madrid is one of several European clubs interested in the 27 year old right back, and Trippier is aware of Madrid’s interest.
Look, let’s be unequivocal here: this isn’t happening. Generally speaking, if a rumor originates in the Sun, it’s bad. Sometimes there may be a speck of truth in it, but usually you can safely ignore it.
And there are tons of reasons why you shouldn’t believe this rumor, but the biggest and most important is this: Madrid literally just purchased another right back - 22 year old Alvaro Odriozola from Real Sociedad. He’ll be competing with Dani Carvajal for first team minutes at the Bernabeu next season.
But as a thought experiment, selling Trippier this summer to some mega-rich club on the back of his England World Cup heroics... might not be as terrible an idea as what it first looks like.
Consider this: Trips has been unquestionably outstanding for England this summer, and much of that is due to Gareth Southgate’s system, where Kieran plays as an offensively-minded wing back ahead of a back three. This system plays perfectly into Kieran’s strengths, while minimizing his weaknesses — we already knew that Trips can put a mean cross in (it’s why Spurs bought him), and having three center backs behind him to mop up attacks meant that he could feel free to not only find space to plonk crosses into the box, but also take on opponents, which he did to amazing effect in Russia.
Thanks to the injury to Toby Alderweireld, Spurs played the majority of the season in a 4-2-3-1 formation, where the fullbacks have a greater defensive responsibility, and it’s there where Trips can get into trouble — he’s not particularly fast, so when he’s given license to move forward he can sometimes get caught out of position on counterattacks. He’s a decent but not outstanding defender, and its his defensive lapses that have caused the Carty Free writing staff to scream at him most frequently over the past three seasons. He has unquestionably improved as a player at Tottenham, but requires a specific system (like England’s) to get his best.
£50m is a huge price for a fullback, and it’s an INSANE price for Kieran Trippier — it’s what we received for Kyle Walker last summer, and most observers would say that Walker is a better player than Trips, with fewer weaknesses. Also, despite the new stadium and the increased finances that come along with it, Spurs are still a club that will periodically need to sell high on a few of its players, if for no other reason than to fund a reload with a newer, younger generation of talent.
If a continental team were considering dropping that kind of cash on Trips, I would strongly consider taking it — pending any further fullback additions (lol) Tottenham would be left with Serge Aurier, who had a middling season but might be due for a “Pochettino Year Two” improvement, and academy graduate Kyle Walker-Peters, who is probably due for a step up in responsibility. Without Trips, Spurs lose a valuable asset going forward and on set pieces, but would be selling (extremely) high.
Again, let’s be perfectly clear: THIS IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. The source is garbage, Spurs clearly aren’t interested in selling, and Madrid already have their new, younger right back. But hypothetically speaking, if a club came in with a monster offer for Trippier here in the waning days of the transfer window, I think I would understand if Spurs would seriously consider it.