Kieran Trippier has won the battle to be Tottenham’s first-choice right-back and now he wants to claim a starting spot for England too.
Trippier was included in Gareth Southgate’s 25-man squad on Thursday and is likely to be given a chance to impress in friendlies against Germany and Brazil later this month.
Southgate knows Trippier’s quality, having watched from the stands on Wednesday as the full-back bamboozled Real Madrid with his attacking verve and pinpoint crossing.
Spurs demolished the European champions to seal progress to the Champions League last 16 and while Dele Alli scored twice in the 3-1 win, Trippier was arguably man of the match, laying on Alli’s first goal with a skimming delivery into the box.
“I think personally it’s one of my best performances since I’ve been at Tottenham, and throughout my whole career to be honest,” Trippier said.
“Playing against these players, playing in the Champions League, it just what you dream of as a young boy and I can only thank Tottenham for letting me do that.”
Trippier has had to wait for his chance, however. He joined Spurs from Burnley in 2015 but spent his first two seasons largely as a deputy to Kyle Walker, who left for Manchester City in the summer.
“When I first came here I knew it was going to be difficult because I knew Walks was playing when I came to Tottenham,” Trippier said.
“I knew how well he’d been doing. He’s been England’s number one so I wasn’t expecting to come here and just walk into the team.
“I knew it was going to be difficult, I knew I had to wait for my time and be patient. It took two years but I was willing to wait, work hard on the training field and I’m playing regular football now for one of the best clubs in England.”
Trippier’s battle with Walker is not over, however, with the duo now fighting it out for a starting berth for England at next year’s World Cup in Russia.
Tottenham’s England contingent, which includes the likes of Alli, Harry Kane, Eric Dier and Harry Winks, all excelled against Madrid and Southgate must have liked what he saw at Wembley.
“I didn’t know he was there but whenever I play I try to do my best,” Trippier said.
“It’s always a dream to play for England and I just need to with my performances for my club do as well as I can.
“If I get selected by Gareth Southgate then perfect, I’ll try to do my best for England. Everyone wants to play for their country and it’s no different for me.”