Newcastle United target Kieran Trippier's honest assessment of Eddie Howe's managerial style from time at Burnley

Atletico Madrid and England right-back Kieran Trippier is tipped to be Newcastle United’s first major signing of the January transfer window.

The Gazette understands that all parties are hopeful that a deal will be completed quickly despite plenty of external interest in the 31-year-old.

Acquiring a recent Champions League and Euro 2020 finalist and La Liga winner would undoubtedly be a major coup for a side sitting 19th in the Premier League table at the midway point in the season.

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It could well be the marquee signing needed to convince other top-players to take a chance on The Magpies’s PIF funded project.

England player Kieran Trippier in action during the international friendly match between England and Austria at Riverside Stadium on June 02, 2021 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

A reunion with Howe

Trippier’s potential arrival would also mean a reunion with his former manager Eddie Howe. Trippier previously admitted Howe signing him as a youngster on loan for Burnley was ‘the turning point’ in his career as he went on to earn a move to Tottenham Hotspur and establish himself as a top Premier League full-back before moving to Spain in 2019.

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Speaking about his time playing under Howe previously, Trippier reflected: “This was the turning point in my career really. I first went to Burnley on a six-month loan [from Manchester City] when Eddie Howe was the manager there and I was playing week-in and week-out in the Championship and really enjoying it.

“But there was a decision to make as I came to the end of the loan spell. Obviously, it was still proving difficult to break in at City, because by then, all of the money that they had at the time meant there were lots of new players coming into the squad.

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Kieran Trippier of England celebrates with team mate Harry Kane after scoring his team's first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between England and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

“So I had a chat with Eddie at the end of the loan and I decided to move there permanently and I’ve never looked back since. I loved every minute of my time there, getting more experience game by game.

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“When Eddie left, Sean Dyche came in and he was a very different style of manager. Under Eddie, we were scoring lots of goals but conceding at the same time.”

While Trippier’s respect for Howe is clear, he also gave an honest assessment of the Newcastle boss’ play-style.

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“Eddie Howe was good on the front foot with his teams and playing attractive football but [we] were letting in too many goals,” he told The Telegraph back in 2018.

While The Magpies’ performances have improved under Howe, they have still let in 18 goals in his eight games since taking charge.

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Defensive reinforcements are as likely as they are necessary in January with Trippier’s potential arrival set to spearhead an influx of arrivals.

The Bury-born defender is in a very prestigious group of only three men to score a World Cup semi-final goal for England (alongside Bobby Charlton 1966, and Gary Linker 1990) following his free-kick against Croatia in 2018.

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He also assisted Luke Shaw’s goal in the Euro 2020 final against Italy back in July and has since admitted he would ‘love’ to play in the Premier League again.

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What Howe has said about Trippier

When asked about Trippier at a recent Newcastle press conference, Howe dodged the question by responding: “I won’t be commenting on any individual players.”

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But the former Burnley boss has previously spoken very highly of the England international. Newcastle assistant manager Jason Tindall also remains close friends with Trippier from their time together at Turf Moor.

Speaking to The Bournemouth Daily Echo in 2018, Howe said: “I’m so proud of his development and so pleased for him. He is a great lad and I really enjoyed working with him.

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“He was a positive guy, wanted to do well, had a point to prove and was desperate to succeed.

"His dedication to improve his crossing and work on his free-kicks – he used to do that a lot at Burnley. He is one of the best crossers of the ball I have ever worked with – without a doubt.

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"It was natural to him and he set up so many goals for us [at Burnley].”

After Trippier was named Burnley’s player of the year back in 2012, Howe told BBC Lancashire: "He's a great prospect and a terrific talent.

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"He's had an outstanding season. You look at his performances now, compared to when he first came in, and there's been a big improvement."

"He has just got better and better and I can't speak highly enough of him as a person and as a footballer.”

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When could the Trippier deal be completed?

Trippier’s proposed move is looking likely but is still yet to be formally agreed and confirmed.

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However, there have been indications that the move could be completed as early as next week should all parties be able to come to an agreement in time.

If all goes to plan, Trippier’s first Premier League game for Newcastle could be for the crucial clash with Watford at St James’s Park on January 15. The Hornets currently sit two points above Newcastle in 17th position, but have two games in hand.

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Trippier has only recently returned to action for Atletico after a shoulder injury kept him out for five weeks between November and December.

The 31-year-old has started the last two games under Diego Simeone, both ending in 2-1 defeats. The La Liga champions’ next game is at home to Rayo Vallecano on January 2 – whether Trippier is involved in that game could be a key indicator of where his future lies.

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