Spanish football expert makes BOLD prediction about Kieran Trippier’s future at Newcastle United

Spanish football expert Graham Hunter provides an insight into Kieran Trippier’s move from Atletico Madrid to Newcastle United.

Newcastle United star Kieran Trippier was backed to become a future Magpies captain by club legend Alan Shearer over the weekend.

And Spanish football expert Graham Hunter also believes the England full-back could be handed a lead role at St James Park in the future.

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Trippier has shone during his first three appearances for the Magpies since moving to Tyneside from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid earlier this month.

He played an integral role in Saturday’s much-needed 1-0 win at Leeds United as Eddie Howe’s side moved to within a point of escaping the Premier League relegation zone.

Shearer in no doubt over Trippier credentials

Trippier was praised by former United skipper Shearer on Match of the Day as the Magpies' all-time record goalscorer hailed the former Spurs and Burnley full-back as “a very clever signing”.

He said: “Kieran Trippier, one of the new boys, was absolutely magnificent going up against Jack Harrison, whose confidence was really high after a hat-trick - and he never gave him a kick.

“I thought his positioning throughout the game was superb both offensively and defensively.

“If he got in behind, he blocked him. One v one wasn’t a problem.

“His positioning with the ball coming in was excellent.

“There was one lovely header away. There was just no way past him - he wasn’t let him past him at all. As soon as he had his touch, he was onto him.

“I thought everything about his game was superb and, for me, he’s future captain material for Newcastle United. I have no doubt that I think he will captain Newcastle.”

“Captaincy, I think, might be coming”

Trippier’s move to St James Park was met by surprise as the England star swapped Champions League football for a battle against relegation with Howe’s side.

Joining Newcastle reunited Trippier with his former Burnley manager, who Hunter believes was “absolutely central” to the move happening

He told NewcastleWorld: “My understanding is, even though it was a long time ago and he was young, the Eddie Howe connection was absolutely central.

“Yes, he’s getting paid more, everybody in life wants a little bit more moolah.

“But the connection with Eddie Howe about this is how we are going to perform, this is what I think we are going to achieve and my understanding was leadership was certainly being offered

“But captaincy, I think, might be coming.

“I think given Kieran actively wanted to test himself in the Premier League again, I think he has taken a risk but it is clear there were factors over and above salary.”

Atletico had mixed emotions over Trippier sale

Hunter - who has covered La Liga at close quarters for over 20 years - revealed that key figures at Atletico Madrid were at pains to lose Trippier.

The defender moved to the Spanish capital from Spurs in July 2019 for a fee just short of £20million and became a popular figure on and off the pitch at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Trippier helped Atleti to only their third La Liga title in 44 years last season and helped the club battle through a Champions League group containing Liverpool, Milan and Porto earlier this season.

That set up a last-16 tie with Manchester United - a club Trippier has been linked with in recent years - but the England star will watch his former club from afar after becoming Newcastle’s first signing of the January transfer window.

Hunter revealed Atleti saw Trippier as integral to their plans but also felt the need to repay the defender for his contribution during his two and a half years at the club.

“The strong reaction in Spain was Cholo Simeone, on and off the record, even more off the record, made it crystal clear they didn’t want the player to leave.

“They thought Trippier remained integral, that he was a leader, that he would find it hard to replace him and it was only when Trippier said if they reach the mark you want to accept, I do want to go.

“Simeone said, ok, I’ll pay you back for what you’ve done since you were here.

“He’s a decent man like that and it’s unusual you see a big player leave mid-season with Atleti remaining content with his behaviour and ultra-content with what he gave the club.

“That tells you about Trippier’s personality, about his training levels and the contribution he made to every competition since he joined - but in-particular, it was only their third title in 44 years.

“He left with everybody in red and white regretting it, but also saying thank you, so it’s a shrewd addition by Newcastle.”