'Tottenham probably got rid of me at the wrong time' - Trippier loving life in La Liga

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The defender has admitted he struggled in 2018-19, but thinks Spurs may have cut bait on him too early

Kieran Trippier has admitted he struggled in the second half of last season, though he believes Tottenham may have made a mistake in selling him.

The Atletico Madrid right-back made a £20 million ($24.1m) move to the La Liga club this summer after a disappointing 2018-19 campaign saw him fall out of Spurs’ plans.

Trippier has enjoyed a bright start in Spain, picking up an assist in his La Liga debut as Atletico have made a perfect start to the season.

But the success comes after a rough start to 2019, as the 28-year-old dealt with declining form and an inability to get answers over his future at Tottenham.

“The whole season I had no excuses,” Trippier said. “My (bad) performances started after Christmas because I thought I had an okay first-half of the season if I'm honest, but then it was just like a car crash. It just went 'bang', things weren't going my way. I wasn't playing well.

“I heard rumours about them selling me and it's not nice but it happens and it's football.

“[Mauricio Pochettino] didn't say he wanted to move me on. I tried to speak to the chairman about it.

“I spoke to the manager about his plans and I didn't get a yes and I didn't get a no. So you get the impression.

“It's disappointing. I gave everything for the club and I wanted to stay, I had another couple of years left, but everything happens for a reason.

“Me and the manager didn't leave on bad terms, he has done a lot for me and I respect him highly. It is just a few things, I tried to speak to the chairman I just didn't really get an answer.”

Kieran Trippier Atletico Madrid 2019-20

Trippier’s disappointing campaign came on the back of an excellent World Cup that saw him emerge as one of England’s key players.

And the right-back believes Spurs may have made a mistake in giving up on him too soon.

“We all did so well at the World Cup but I didn’t have the best season after,” Trippier added. “It wasn’t an easy decision. I love the Premier League but I’m in La Liga now and loving it.

“I set the bar high at the World Cup and they knew how well I could do but I just feel that Tottenham probably got rid of me at the wrong time because I just needed that four-week rest for recovery because I was struggling with injuries to come back, fresh, ready.

“So maybe I could have stayed, but I’ve got no regrets.”

Trippier’s frustrating season culminated in him being left off England’s UEFA Nations League roster for the semi-finals last June.

And though it was no surprise given his down season, Trippier still it was still heartbreaking to hear the news.

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“I had a chat with Gareth, 40 minutes on the phone. I was sat in my bedroom. I was devastated. I was expecting it because of my performances," he said.

“There's competition everywhere so not getting back int the squad does play at the back of your mind. There's four right-backs who are doing very well for their clubs so you need to play well to stay in the England team.”

Trippier has returned to England’s squad for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo.