Kieran Trippier: 'I was getting mixed messages' ahead of Tottenham exit
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 29/06/20 5:03pm
Kieran Trippier says he has mixed emotions about his last year at Tottenham - and probably knew his time was up months before the Champions League final.
The England right-back says he had heard Spurs were offering him to other clubs as early as March 2019, and that he could not get a definitive answer on his future from then-manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Trippier joined Atletico Madrid last summer and has strengthened under Diego Simeone, while Spurs have since replaced Pochettino with Jose Mourinho and qualification to the Champions League is in serious doubt.
He told the Beautiful Game podcast: "I had mixed emotions throughout the season. Injuries played a massive part (on my form). I told them I needed surgery.
"I could have been less selfish, playing-wise. But I couldn't help it that I was getting picked most of the games. I was playing some of them at 60 or 70 per cent. Maybe I should have taken a step back, but we had City in the Champions League, Ajax…you want to play in these games.
"In March, April, I heard - through people I trust - they tried to offload me, offering me to clubs. So you're getting mixed messages. If I play I'll give my best, but that's why I pulled the manager in pre-season and asked if I'm part of his plans.
"I did knock on his door and tell him 'I've got the chance to go to Atletico Madrid, (but) if I'm part of your plans I'll stay'. He didn't give me a yes or no in his office. So, as a player, you think 'okay no problem'. I went to the chairman and said exactly the same.
"I haven't really spoken to (Pochettino) since I left Tottenham. I have a lot to thank him for. I've never once bad-mouthed him. I just told how it was."
As Spurs battled into an unlikely place in the Champions League final, losing to Liverpool, their Premier League form suffered, winning only three of their final 12 matches of the season to scrape fourth-place by a single point.
Trippier believes selling midfielder Mousa Dembele to China in January had a huge impact.
"For me personally, selling Mousa Dembele… you can ask anyone that's played with him, he's the best player I've ever played with. You can't replace him," he said,
"We sold him in January. I personally feel, if we kept him for a further five months, we would have done a lot better. I think we would have won the final."