Nobody performed better in England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals than Kieran Trippier, who has proved to a revelation at right wing-back and is a shoo-in for the Team of the Tournament.
With Kyle Walker moving inside to centre-half, many observers felt that England would miss his attacking thrust up and down the right flank, but Trippier confounded expectations with his constant energy and steady stream of dangerous crosses.
Trippier again produced a strong performance against Croatia, sending the national into delirium with his early pinpoint free-kick which offered England the perfect start after just five minutes.
It was a cruel twist of fate that ensured the defender’s World Cup dreams ended with him hobbling off in extra-time, leaving England hamstrung with 10 men and shorn of their best deliverer of a dead-ball.
As the attention turns to club football, Trippier’s outstanding displays out in Russia have offered a dilemma to Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham.
His best role is clearly as a right wing-back – being in a four at the back limits his ability to scamper forward and puts more emphasis on him to recover quickly – but Pochettino appears to have gone cold on the idea of three at the back.
Spurs have looked good in a 3-4-2-1 previously, and Trippier’s performances could persuade the Argentine to return to it, but if he sticks with 4-2-3-1, Serge Aurier may expect to remain first choice.