By G9ija

England defender Kieran Trippier became Newcastle’s first signing under their new Saudi owners on Friday after completing his move from Atletico Madrid, with more arrivals expected in the January transfer window.

The 31-year-old full-back has moved back to the Premier League for an undisclosed fee, understood to be in the region of £12 million ($16 million) plus add-ons.

The former Tottenham defender has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract and his arrival signals the launch of a new era under Eddie Howe, who was appointed as manager at St James’ Park in November.

“Newcastle United are delighted to confirm the signing of England full-back Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid for an undisclosed fee,” the club said in a statement.

“The 31-year-old has agreed terms on a two-and-a-half-year deal and becomes the first senior signing under the club’s owners and head coach Eddie Howe.”

Trippier, who was signed by Howe in 2012 for former club Burnley during his spell in charge at Turf Moor, won La Liga with Atletico last season but is relishing his return to England.

He said: “I’m delighted to be joining this fantastic club. I really enjoyed my time in Madrid, but when I became aware of interest from Newcastle United, and having worked with Eddie Howe before, I knew this was where I wanted to be.

“I’m aware there is a lot of work ahead of us, but I know the demands of Premier League well and I know what an amazing club this is with very talented players. I can’t wait to get started.”

Newcastle face a struggle just to stay in the Premier League. They are just one place off the foot of the table.

But three months after a controversial takeover by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund was given the green light by the Premier League, the club have the chance to splash their newfound wealth in this month’s transfer window.

Defenders were expected to be top of the shopping list after Newcastle shipped a Premier League record 80 goals in 2021.

Injuries to Newcastle’s two most potent attacking weapons, Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin, have led to speculation over forward signings, with Arsenal’s out-of-favour Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang linked with the club.

AFP