KIERAN TRIPPIER remains strongly linked with Manchester United to compete for the right-back spot with Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
But who will Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prefer if he has to pick between the two for his starting line-up?
One good place to start is the statistics, and what they say about each player.
Owing to a suspension for a betting rule breach, Trippier played almost 20 fewer games than Wan-Bissaka in 2020-21.
United’s long run in all three cup competitions, plus their first-choice’s dominance of the position, meant he played a whopping 54 matches.
Wan-Bissaka’s greatest asset in comparison to Trippier is clearly his defensive contribution.
The 23-year-old produced 0.5 more tackles per game, 0.3 more interceptions, and 0.2 more blocks than his potential club-mate.
Many have praised Wan-Bissaka for being an exceptional defensive right-back and these numbers, topping an experienced star in Trippier, demonstrate why.
But he also has the edge in terms of passing accuracy, at 85.2 per cent to 79.5 per cent.
This could be down to tactics however, with Solskjaer often preferring a slower build-up and more passing along the backline than Diego Simeone.
The Atletico Madrid boss has never been afraid to play direct and put balls in the box, helping Trippier attempt an average of one open play cross more than Wan-Bissaka per game.
But there is also quality to this quantity as the England international’s crosses boast a 25.6 per cent accuracy to Wan-Bissaka‘s 20.5 per cent.
Trippier certainly has the edge in attack, creating 0.6 chances more per game and notching one more assist over the season despite his fewer matches, making his assist-per-game rate almost double his rival’s.
Reports this week suggested the 30-year-old is keen to return to English football after starring at Euro 2020.
Atletico are said to want around £30m ahead of his contract expiring next year.
United, who are soon to confirm the transfer of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, have only Diogo Dalot as a natural right-back to back Wan-Bissaka up when the new season approaches.
And the stats suggest Trippier could complement the incumbent’s talents – if they are happy to share the game time.
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