Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that Kieran Trippier wanted to leave Tottenham Hotspur this summer and did not look to force him out of the club, according to a report by The London Evening Standard.
However, Pochettino has since told reporters that the defender came to him with the possibility of leaving the club and claimed the 28-year-old wanted to go.
“In the only conversation when he arrived [back] after the summer, he came to see me, he asked me for a meeting and said, ‘Gaffer, I think I have a good possibility and for different reasons I would like to accept the offer from Atletico Madrid’,” he said.
“He didn’t ask me nothing – only whether the club were going to accept the offer. Nothing more. It wasn’t a conversation – ‘You want me? Or you don’t want me?’ It was so clear. He played the final of the Champions League, when I had plenty of different options, with Serge Aurier, Davinson Sanchez, Kyle Walker-Peters. But he played the final of the Champions League. My actions speak louder than my words.”
There had been plenty of speculation over the summer regarding Trippier’s future at Tottenham, with a number of reports suggesting that he did not have one in north London.
A story was published in The Daily Mail claiming that Pochettino wanted to sell the 28-year-old to raise additional funds for new signings, whilst a report by Football Insider claimed the manager had green-lighted a potential sale.
Indeed, the England international came in for plenty of criticism throughout the Premier League campaign and even saw his place in the national side under real threat when he was left out of the Nations League Finals squad – a year he admitted was far from good enough by his own standards.
Graeme Souness was highly critical of him when speaking on Sky Sports following their defeat to Liverpool at Anfield (via The Sun), as the pundit slammed Trippier for allowing Andy Robertson to have so much space to put in the cross for Roberto Firmino’s goal by saying: “Because he is not a very good defender”.
However, it must be said, Trippier’s figures of 2.5 tackles, 0.9 interceptions and 2.3 clearances in 27 top-flight matches suggest he may not have had as bad a season as many had initially felt, although his attacking contribution left plenty to be desired.
He managed to provide Tottenham with just one goal and three assists, providing just 1.8 key passes every 90 minutes (WhoScored).
Spurs, though, are now in a difficult position when it comes down to their right-back options, as Kyle Walker-Peters and Juan Foyth have both had to spend time on the sidelines, whilst Serge Aurier appears to be out of the picture under Pochettino with Davinson Sanchez playing the game against Arsenal.
As mentioned, there appears to have been two sides to this story as Pochettino reveals Tripper asked to leave, whilst the defender stated he wanted to stay in north London.
However, regardless of how things developed, the England international is now playing for Atletico Madrid, whilst the Argentine manager will surely be ready to put any talk about his former right-back to bed and focus on Spurs’ current campaign.
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