Kieran Trippier may be a long-standing member of Gareth Southgate’s England squad but given the level of competition at full-back, he is not taking his place at Euro 2024 as a given.
The Newcastle defender is now one of the senior men within Southgate’s ranks and has amassed 46 caps to date.
His only senior goal was the opener in the 2018 World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia with his ability to play on either side of Southgate’s defence keeping him in and around the team ever since.
Despite his consistency for club and country, Trippier is now arguably in the strongest pool of full-backs available to England.
In recent times Kyle Walker, Reece James and Ben White have played at right-back – with the versatile pair of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Rico Lewis also in contention – while Luke Shaw, Ben Chilwell and Levi Colwill have operated on the left.
“I need to keep performing well for my club first,” he said of Euro 2024 selection.
“There are so many good full-backs in England at the moment, I need to focus on my own performances. Obviously I want to be there but I know I need to be playing at a high level to be successful.
“I’ve always believed in myself. I’ve always had challenges in my career. I’ve always been up against top right-backs for many years now and it’s just about believing in yourself.
“I think the demands on a full-back these days playing now is so much. You’ve got to get forward. You’ve got to go on the overlaps but ultimately, you’ve got to defend as well.
“I think there’s a big responsibility on full-backs the way we play in the Premier League now.
“I think you look at all the English full-backs, there’s incredible talent.”
Southgate has largely put faith in youth since taking the reins as manager in 2016, with Trippier now one of the elder statesmen in the current squad alongside fellow 33-year-olds Walker and Jordan Henderson.
He will be hoping to start again when England face North Macedonia in their final Euro 2024 qualifier on Monday night but, regardless of the changes made by Southgate, Trippier knows leadership does not necessarily come with age.
“It only seems like yesterday when I was first walking into camp, when Gary Cahill was here and Joe Hart and all the experienced players,” he added.
“Fast forward it to now, I’m one of the oldest so it just shows how quickly football goes.
“Even though I’m one of the oldest, we’ve got a lot of leaders in this room, you’ve got a lot of players playing at a high level.
“You don’t need to be 33 to voice your opinion or whatever it may be.
“We’ve got great characters and – the most important thing – a great togetherness in this squad.
“Everybody speaks whatever they need to speak and everybody listens. We’ve got a good, honest group here.”