Luke Shaw has been named in the PFA Team of the Year after a fantastic season for Manchester United. Having joined the club as the most expensive teenager in the world, it has taken years for the left-back to make his mark on the team.
While the left-back largely credits the influence of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the turnaround, it’s hard to ignore the impact of having genuine competition for his place thanks to the arrival of Alex Telles has had.
“We both motivate each other and push each other further forward,” Telles revealed earlier this season. “We help each other. That’s really, really important throughout the team, independent of the positions we play.”
In the same way, signing a new right-back may be the boost Aaron Wan-Bissaka needs to take his performances to the next level.
Kieran Trippier has had an excellent season with Spanish champions Atletico Madrid and is rumoured to be in Solskjaer’s plans for next season.
The right-back grew up in Ramsbottom and started his career in Manchester City’s academy. He trained at The Cliff and had the option to join United but instead chose the blues because they were closer to his home and he had friends there.
“I got scouted for United when I was about eight years old,” Trippier revealed a few years ago. “I used to train at The Cliff when I was younger, I went on trial, they wanted to sign me but Man City came in, I had a look around there, I knew a few lads there and it was local for me as well so I set my heart on there really. My dad wanted me to go to United because he’s a massive Red – all my family are but as I was so young and my dad saw that I was enjoying myself more at Man City he didn’t pressurise me or anything. My family weren’t too happy I went to City in a jovial way, they would have loved to have seen me at United, but I was happy so City was the route for me. I was about eight years old when I went there and I left when I was 20. It was a great set-up at Platt Lane near Moss Side and it all just took off from there really. They were good times.”
Having joined City when he was nine, he spent 13 years at the club before signing for Burnley. He spent four years there and then joined Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur.
Trippier won his first trophy last season with Atletico, picking up six assists in the league and being praised for being the best in his position in the league, and reports suggest he is now house hunting in Manchester. He could be available for as little as £15m which could be an opportunity too good for Solskjaer to turn down.