Reporter asks Kieran Trippier 'why swap Champions League last 16 for a relegation fight?' 1 week ago

Reporter asks Kieran Trippier 'why swap Champions League last 16 for a relegation fight?'

It's a good question

Kieran Trippier has explained why he chose to leave reigning Spanish champions Atletico Madrid to join Premier League strugglers Newcastle.

The England fullback became Newcastle's first signing of their Saudi-led era when he joined from Atletico on a two-and-a-half year deal this month.

This was despite the 31-year-old being a regular starter for Atletico, who have a huge Champions League tie against Manchester United coming up in February.

But Trippier has said it was the challenge Newcastle face that appealed to him, along with the lure of the Premier League.

When asked by a reporter why he swapped "the last 16 of the Champions League for a relegation battle" he replied: "I think I made it clear a few months ago that if I had the opportunity to come back to the Premier League I'd love to do so. It's important for my family as well.

"It's a great opportunity. I'm the type of player who loves challenges. I had a challenge going to Atletico in the first place, changing countries, different league, now I'm at Newcastle.

"I know the position they're in and I'm here to help as much as I can on and off the field."

Trippier has been managed by Howe before, with the current Newcastle manager signing the right back from Man City when he was Burnley manager in 2012.

He added that this also played a big part in him deciding to swap the red and white of Atleti for the black and white of the Toon.

"I have a great relationship with the manager as everyone knows," Trippier continued. "I've worked with the manager before.

Speaking about Trippier's move, Howe said: "It’s a sign this club has a huge pull and I’m not talking financially.

"Kieran hasn’t come here for financial reasons, he’s come for this club and its challenge and the longer-term vision.

"Hopefully with his signing, others players around the world will share his dream and vision."

Trippier will make his debut for Newcastle in their FA Cup 3rd round tie at home to Cambridge United.

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