Former England captain Stuart Peace has revealed how he heaped praise on Kieran Trippier to Gareth Southgate, with the Newcastle star hoping to feature at the World Cup.
Trippier has been in sensational form this campaign, putting in some dominant performances at right-back. He has captained Newcastle in pretty much all of their Premier League matches and helped them to reach third place before the World Cup break.
He has so far registered one goal and three assists. Trippier is deadly from free-kicks and wide crossing positions, while he is also forming a brilliant partnership with Miguel Almiron out on the right flank.
The 32-year-old has been so good that BBC Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer thinks he should go straight into Southgate’s starting eleven for the World Cup.
“It is about where he plays for England, not if he plays,” Shearer declared. “He can play left-back, right-back, right wing-back.
“If you want someone who is a very good defender, he is it. If you want someone who will create chances he is also it and he is also a great leader. He has been a real game changer for Newcastle with his attitude and ability.
“He really has been fantastic. He is calm under pressure and doesn’t panic at all. His all-round game has been amazing. All of that in front of the watching England manager. With all the problems England have had, he has to start.”
Some would expect Trippier to struggle for a place in the England setup. After all, Southgate also has the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James and Kyle Walker to choose from.
Newcastle ace in line for England start
However, Alexander-Arnold has come in for criticism due to his poor defending this season. James it out of the tournament completely due to injury, while Walker hasn’t played for Manchester City since October 2 due to a groin problem.
Add to this the fact Trippier has been one of the Premier League’s best full-backs so far this term, and there is a strong argument he should play a big role for England in Qatar.
Pearce, who won 78 caps for the Three Lions, has now spoken about a conversation he had with Southgate. Following Trippier’s exceptional performance when Newcastle beat Chelsea 1-0, Pearce did something he never does by texting Southgate about a player.
And while Pearce says he has no particular interest in who starts at right-back, it is clear who his preference would be.
“I have to mention Trippier,” Pearce said on talkSPORT. “I was at Newcastle vs Chelsea. It was probably the best I’ve ever seen him play.
Stuart Pearce reveals Southgate message
“I’ve never done this before. I got in my car on the way home, stopped for a coffee, and felt obliged to text Gareth about how well Trippier played.
“We’re on the verge of a World Cup. We’re a week away. I have no vested interest in getting Trippier in the team.
“He was that good and the performance was that good. There are Kyle Walker injury doubts in that position.
“I thought if Gareth wasn’t at the game, I could be another set of eyes just to say, ‘Wow’.
“I was so impressed with him. His defensive work was brilliant. His covering positions were brilliant. Going forward, he was magnificent.
“His all-round game was exceptional in a brilliant team performance.”
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