Gareth Southgate has told talkSPORT England will miss ‘absolute soldier’ Kieran Trippier, with the right-back unavailable as he faces a Football Association hearing to answer betting charges.
The 30-year-old was one of the stars of the Three Lions’ run to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and skippered his country for the first time in last Thursday’s 3-0 friendly win against Wales.
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The right-back has been in excellent form for his country
Trippier was one of only two players to retain a starting berth against Belgium on Sunday, with the full-back playing the full 90 minutes of the impressive 2-1 victory against star-studded Belgium.
But the Atletico Madrid defender will not compete in England’s clash against Denmark – live on talkSPORT this Wednesday – after leaving the camp to face an FA hearing for allegedly breaching betting rules in July 2019.
“There is not a lot I can say about that, really,” Southgate said of Trippier’s withdrawal from the squad at the same time as Chelsea left-back Ben Chilwell pulled out through injury.
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Trippier wore the armband against Wales
“It is not something that is in my control so I have got to focus on preparing the team with the players I have got available.
“We always find solutions. It is an opportunity for somebody else and if I lose focus on the job in hand… there are a million distractions, frankly.
“This is another distraction but it is something I have got to plough on through.”
Trippier moved from Tottenham to Atletico Madrid in July 2019 and was charged in May with alleged breaches of the FA’s betting rules during that month.
The former Burnley star released a statement saying that he would continue to fully co-operate with an investigation that appears to now be reaching a head.
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Southgate is a huge admirer of Trippier
Asked about the impact of Trippier’s absence against Denmark, Southgate told talkSPORT: “I said after the game, he’s an absolute soldier for us, really.
“He’s a kid who since he worked with us has given absolutely everything, he’s had a huge impact on big matches and, you know, his defending, the grittiness of his defending the other day, was a key component in what was a very strong backline and a strong defensive performance that had to be.
“You know, he was up against (Thomas) Meunier, who is an absolute giant in terms of both stature compared to Kieran but also the way he played, and he had to stand up to that challenge, so, yeah, 100 per cent we miss him.
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“But it’s an opportunity for somebody else. We consistently have had to look for alternatives.
“It’s very rare that we have a full squad to pick from – very, very rare. In fact, I can hardly remember there being an occasion where we have, and very often we’re having to do without two or three key players.
“It was the same on Sunday and we got the result. We’ve got to do the same on Wednesday.”