Is Kieran Trippier the finest right-back in Newcastle United history? Jordan Cronin, our writer, believes so.
Kieran Trippier is Newcastle United’s all-time leading right-back. That’s right, I said it! Your first reaction may be to make sweeping statements, and you may be correct, but after the week the Bury lad has had, this couldn’t come at a better time.

I had intended to write this after Trippier’s outstanding performance against AC Milan in midweek, but exhaustion got the better of me as I sat on the Milan Malpensa Airport floor for five hours waiting for my early morning departure.

And I’m happy I did because five days later, at Sheffield United’s home ground, Trippier backed up his defensively astute performance in Milan with a reminder that he’s got one of the best right feet in European football.

And that, in a nutshell, proves Trippier is the complete right-back.

Newcastle United: Kieran Trippier makes Opta's Premier League team of  season - BBC Sport

When Trippier, the new regime’s first signing, arrived from Atletico Madrid in January last year, I anticipated him to be good, but not this good or influential. There are numerous top-level performances among his 60 outings in black and white so far, but you only need to look back as far as his last two.

Trippier was one of few Newcastle players with experience on Europe’s greatest stage, and it certainly showed in the opening against seven-time champions Milan.

Trippier was imperious in the white-hot environment at the San Siro, which shouldn’t come as a surprise given that he’s played for England in a World Cup semi-final and European Championship final while learning from arguably the best defensive coach on the continent, Diego Simeone.

“Kieran is an important part of our defense,” Howe said in Milan to NewcastleWorld. “He performed admirably against a dangerous opponent.” He applied his extensive knowledge. That was a genuine highlight in our back four, in my opinion. His experience and communication are typically great, but they needed to be stronger tonight.”

Kieran Trippier out for 6 weeks after fracturing foot in Newcastle's win  over Aston Villa | Arab News

However, in the present day, a full-back’s defensive duties are only half of the job. It’s a good thing he can do both, eh? You don’t usually think of your right-back as a ‘playmaker,’ but Trippier is just that. He was for United last season and still is, not just from set pieces but also from open play.

And, on an evening when Newcastle made Premier League history by scoring eight goals against Sheffield United, it’s difficult to believe Trippier didn’t set his own record with three assists.

Looking through the Magpies’ archives, I can’t think of many better right-backs, at least not in my lifetime, though I must admit I wasn’t around during the days of Fairs Cup champion David Craig or anyone of a similar ilk.

Craig stayed with Newcastle for 18 years, made 435 appearances, and was inducted into the half-time hall of fame in 2019. Trippier, who turns 34 next year, will sadly not be around for half as long, but it’s probably equally impressive that he’s still making an impression in his twilight years.

Trippier will perhaps need to help end Newcastle’s 54-year trophy drought to cement himself as the greatest when people look back in years to come but in isolation, his ability, experience, leadership and authority already makes him that.

In a period when Newcastle have quickly transitioned from relegation candidates to European challengers on the journey to becoming (hopefully) one of the world’s most successful clubs, Trippier’s importance shouldn’t ever be overlooked.

Scrolling through the Magpies’ history books, I can’t think of many better at right-back, not least in my lifetime, although I have to confess I wasn’t around for the days of Fairs Cup winner David Craig or anyone of a similar era.

Craig’s loyalty to Newcastle was incredible – 18 years, 435 appearances and was inducted into the half of fame in 2019. Trippier – who turns 34 next year – sadly won’t be around for half as long but it’s perhaps equally impressive that he’s making such an impression even during the twilight years of his career.

Trippier may need to help break Newcastle’s 54-year trophy drought to establish himself as the greatest in years to come, but his ability, experience, leadership, and authority already make him that.

Trippier’s value cannot be overstated at a time when Newcastle has quickly progressed from relegation hopefuls to European competitors on their way to becoming (hopefully) one of the world’s most successful clubs.

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