Tottenham Hotspur are currently enjoying a fine unbeaten start to the new season, although one issue that remains for manager Antonio Conte is at right wing-back, with the Italian seemingly yet to truly settle on a solution in that role.
The former Chelsea boss has deployed Emerson Royal in that role so far this term, although it remains to be seen if the Brazilian is a long-term fit, having endured a difficult debut campaign in English football last season.
Journalist Paul Brown has also suggested that the serial-winning coach remains somewhat unconvinced by both Matt Doherty and summer signing Djed Spence, with the latter man having recorded just one minute of action since his £20m arrival from Middlesbrough.
Even with the addition of the Englishman, there had been reports that Conte and co were searching for another new recruit to play in that right-sided berth, with the 53-year-old seemingly not happy with his current squad options.
The one-time Juventus coach could well have had a perfect solution had Mauricio Pochettino not moved on Kieran Tripper back in 2019, with the England international currently showcasing his undoubted talent back in the Premier League with Newcastle United.
Having assumed a more prominent role after Kyle Walker’s departure in 2017, the Bury-born star went on to play his part in the Lilywhites’ surge to the Champions League final in 2019, having starred for his country a year earlier at the World Cup in Russia.
By his own admission, the 5 foot 10 sensation had been far from his best during that 2018/19 campaign, although it still came as something of a surprise when he was sold to Atletico Madrid on a £20m deal that summer, with owner Daniel Levy having reportedly been offering him around to potential suitors.
That decision has ultimately backfired as the 37-cap gem has since blossomed both in Spain and back in England, notably winning the La Liga title under Diego Simeone during his time in the Spanish capital.
The £144k-per-week man’s subsequent switch to St James’ Park has also proven particularly fruitful, the full-back scoring three goals in just 14 appearances thus far since his January arrival, including a stunning free-kick in the 3-3 thriller with Manchester City earlier this season.
Dubbed a “leader” by journalist Henry Winter, it is his impact off the pitch that has also been keenly felt during his brief stint with the Magpies, having also been a regular fixture under Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate in recent years.
A proven asset both in Europe and the Premier League – as well as at international level – Trippier would well have been the type of quality that Conte is craving, while also offering the ability to play in a wing-back role having done so under Simeone and Southgate.
Letting him depart remains a particularly head-scratching decision as far as Tottenham are concerned.