Club stalwarts Diego Godín, Juanfran, Filipe Luis and Antoine Griezmann departed Atlético Madrid in the summer of 2019. A phase of transition has occurred since with a whole new backline taking shape. Kieran Trippier has settled in superbly well at right-back under the stewardship of Diego Simeone.
Atlético head to Anfield on Wednesday for their last-16 Champions League second leg clash with Liverpool, carrying a one-goal lead thanks to an early strike from midfielder Saúl Ñíguez in a packed Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid.
Trippier underwent surgery in February for a groin injury he picked up earlier in the season which meant he missed the home victory. The England international spoke ahead of what is expected to be a hostile atmosphere at the home of The Reds.
“We are prepared. We showed in the first game what we can do and we’ll do the same in this one. It’s one of the best stadiums to play in – with an incredible atmosphere and fantastic support. They will try to make it as intimidating as possible but we have to go with the mentality of qualifying. We know that it will be difficult, but we’re ready for the challenge.”
Trippier returned to action three weeks ago in a 3-1 home win against Villarreal and has since featured in draws against Espanyol and Sevilla. Replacing club legend Juanfran at Atlético is no mean feat, but the €22m fee from Tottenham Hotspur last summer is proving to be a shrewd piece of business for Los Colchoneros. Trippier became Atlético’s second English player of all-time when he signed in July 2019, their first being a striker called Drinkwater, who played for the club 90 years ago.