Kieran Trippier may be in danger of being dropped by Mauricio Pochettino after being on the end of criticism over his neglect of defensive duties. If the Tottenham right-back is taken out of the starting eleven, there’s an obvious replacement waiting in the wings – Serge Aurier.
The Ivorian international has made just five appearances in all competitions this season, spending more time on the substitutes’ bench than one the pitch. He’s struggled to hold down a starting place almost immediately after joining from Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 but could soon be called upon by Pochettino.
After Tottenham’s weekend win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, Trippier was reminded of his defensive duties by his manager. In quotes reported by the Evening Standard, Pochettino said: “Kieran needs to improve in the defensive situation because in the last few games you have seen that we conceded a few actions. But like him, all the players need to improve in the defensive situation.”
Trippier has been a regular at right-back this season, making 12 appearances from a possible 16 in all competitions, but his manager clearly isn’t happy with his form. Aurier has been patiently waiting for opportunities and may soon get his chance.
It’s unlikely Pochettino would take such a tactical gamble ahead of Tuesday night’s must-win Champions League clash, but their meeting with PSV Eindhoven could be a final opportunity for Tripper before a chance is considered.