This January transfer window was always going to be crucial for Newcastle United. After all, the club are rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table, with just one win to their name so far this season. The Saudi takeover of the club was geared towards rising up the ranks and eventually challenging for the sportâ€™s biggest honours, but sinking down to the Championship would be a sharp step backwards at the beginning of this new era.
Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s vital that Newcastle make some quality additions this month to try and stave off the drop, and it looks like Kieran Trippier is set to become the first man to walk through the gates of St. Jamesâ€™ Park gates since the new owners came in. A reported fee of around Â£12 million has been agreed between Newcastle and AtlÃ©tico Madrid to bring the England full-back to the club.
Letâ€™s take a closer look at exactly what Trippier will contribute to his team, assuming the transfer goes through smoothly.
At 31 years of age, Trippier is hardly a spring chicken, but he brings plenty of experience to the table, and that is exactly what Newcastle need if they are going to reverse their Premier League fortunes and avoid relegation. The Magpies are favoured in the betting exchange to go down, but with Trippierâ€™s experience and expertise, those odds could be defied.
The former Tottenham Hotspur man has experience of playing in Champions League finals, and was a regular starter in the AtlÃ©tico Madrid team that won La Liga in the 2020-21 season before getting injured. Not many of the current crop of Newcastle players boast that kind of experience, so Trippierâ€™s arrival will be a boost to everyone involved.
The most important thing Tripper brings to Newcastle is genuine quality, both defensively and going forward. The right-back has a wand of a right foot, and is capable of swinging in expert deliveries from out wide, or even scoring direct free-kicks. That area of the pitch has been troublesome at times for Newcastle, with Javier Manquillo failing to convince at times this season. Thereâ€™s no doubt that Trippier represents an upgrade in terms of overall ability.
Indeed, having someone who can produce fine crosses or set-piece deliveries could be crucial in picking up a few extra points across the course of the second half of the season. All it could take is for one Trippier corner to meet the head of Jamal Lascelles to potentially turn one point into three.
Something that is sorely lacking in Newcastleâ€™s ranks are players who know what it takes to win, and are used to picking up three points on a regular basis. Trippier brings this elite mindset from his time at Tottenham and AtlÃ©tico Madrid, and thereâ€™s no doubt that this will rub off on the rest of the squad. Sometimes, it just takes one player with a different standard of expectations to raise everyone elseâ€™s game, and Newcastle boss Eddie Howe will be hoping this proves to be the case.
The arrival of Trippier may not be the big-name, headline-making transfer many Newcastle fans were hoping for, but in terms of gearing the team towards avoiding the drop, it will be a very shrewd acquisition indeed and could serve as a sign of things to come.