‘Trips’ was named in the Three Lions ranks for the first time last week, ahead of next month’s World Cup qualifier in Scotland and subsequent friendly away to France, joining club team-mate and fellow right-back Kyle Walker in the group.
Nathaniel Clyne was also included but Southgate revealed at a news conference today (Tuesday, May 30) that the Liverpool man has been forced to withdraw through injury, possibly opening up further opportunities for Kieran, who arrived from Turf Moor in 2015 and started five of our last nine games at the end of 2016-17, to earn a first cap.
Asked by journalists today about why he called up Trips for the first time, Southgate explained: “I watched him a lot at Burnley, he’s got a good mentality, his play in the final third of the pitch is of a high quality, he’s one of the best crossers in the league I think and his selection of pass is good.
“It’s obviously been an unusual situation, we’ve had two of our best full-backs both at Tottenham and it’s been nice from our point of view that Kieran’s had matches towards the end of the season. That’s enabled us to have a more realistic case for picking him because he’s somebody that we’ve been following right the way through.
“Kieran impressed me at Burnley in the season they had in the Premier League when he was there and I think he’s finished the season very well with Tottenham.”
On Clyne’s situation, Southgate added: “We’ll be without Nathaniel Clyne now – he’d been carrying an injury and that’s kind of why we named three right-backs. We thought that might be a bit of an issue, so we’ll be with Kieran and Kyle Walker.”