Kieran Trippier had a major task on his hands when Kyle Walker left the right-back slot at Tottenham Hotspur vacant following his move to Manchester City last year.
Trippier had already started weaving into Mauricio Pochettino’s thinking towards the end of the 2016-17 campaign.
Last season, the 27-year-old, who is valued at £18m by Transfermarkt, made 35 appearances in all competitions, including 24 in the Premier League.
During that time, Trippier contributed with eight assists, and his performances caught the eye of England manager Gareth Southgate as he was included in the World Cup squad for Russia 2018.
On Monday night, the former Burnley man started at right wing-back for the Three Lions in their opening Group G match.
In classic England style, the game was not straightforward as Harry Kane’s early opener was cancelled out by Ferjani Sassi’s penalty.
With only a few minutes left on the clock, Kane managed to find a winner in stoppage time to ease concerns.
While Kane may have stolen the headlines, Trippier also impressed as WhoScored shows that he made six key passes – the most of any England player on the pitch.
The Tottenham man also delivered in more crosses (10) than any of his teammates across the course of the fixture.
On Twitter, Spurs fans could not praise Trippier enough.
I really didn’t rate Trippier early last season but I WAS WRONG! He was magnificent today. We’ll see how he does v the bigger teams specially defensively.
— LJohnson (@lazqetjohnson) June 18, 2018
Super super proud of Tripps.
— Joanna Barlow ? (@joannasbarlow) June 18, 2018
Man of the match for me!
— Stephanie Noë (@StephVNoe) June 18, 2018
Maybe he’s the real reason Kyle Walker is a man city player now 🙂
— Tom Fahy (@TomFahyNo1) June 18, 2018
I thought Tripps was superb, especially late in 2nd half he kept play going when others were looking a bit lost.
— James Harvey (@westwinds78) June 18, 2018
Trippier gets better and better and his crosses are amazing , @England need to start with Loftus-Cheek in mid as he was explosive and I feel Ashley Young has had his day go with Rose
— Aston Ogle (@AstonOgle) June 19, 2018
For me the debate of whos best trippier or walker is done, trippier has got better and better as the season went on where walker had that new club bounce but tailed off. Trippier all day long if i had to buy one now for my club.
— Andrew Harris (@lewysstacey) June 18, 2018