DEFENDER Kieran Trippier has set his sights on the Premier League after making his move to Turf Moor permanent.
The 21-year-old, who arrived on an initial season-long loan from Manchester City last July, had become surplus to Roberto Mancini’s requirements at the Etihad Stadium and had no hesitation in committing to the Clarets until the summer of 2015 after the two clubs agreed an undisclosed fee.
“I’m absolutely delighted to get out of Manchester City because, obviously, the manager had told me that I wasn’t part of his plans,” declared Trippier. “I was disappointed because I’d been there from such a young age. I wanted to put that shirt on and make my debut, but it didn’t happen.”
He added: “Eddie Howe offered me a contract and he really wanted to sign me, so I didn’t have to think twice. It’s a brilliant place to be. We’ve got a very good team with a lot of ambition to get back in to the Premier League, and I think we can do that.
“The manager’s brought a lot of players in and he’s got a very young team. I think we’ve gelled quickly and we’ll go up this season and if not, definitely next year.”
Trippier, who becomes the first signing of the January transfer window, is currently the club’s only ever-present outfield player this season, scoring twice in 29 appearances.
And he’s determined to maintain that progression in the future: “I’m happy with how I’ve played this season for Burnley and hopefully I can take that on over the next few years. I want to play as many games as I can and do well for my new club now.
“I think I’ve progressed in to a better player. We’ve got a good team here and the manager’s always believed in me. There’s been a lot of expectation since Tyrone Mears left, but I think I’ve filled the boots and done well for the team.”
A contributing factor to Trippier’s decision was the ambition shared between Howe and the club, with a vision to build a young squad for the future of Burnley Football Club.
The Clarets boss has now made eight signings since his arrival in mid-January, in addition to two players on loan, with the average age being just over 22.
“He’s brought a very young team in and he’s done well, has the manager,” said Trippier. “He’s looking towards the future and I feel we’ve done well and progressed as a team.”
The Clarets have created more chances than any other side in the Championship to date this season and part of that success can be merited to the stand-out performances of Trippier and Ross Wallace.
“Ross is a very good player and we’ve got a very good understanding. He likes coming off the line and makes me play my game. I’ve got a good partnership with a few players like Junior (Stanislas) and Keith (Treacy) when he’s played. We’re all like a family so it doesn’t matter who I play with.”
The former Barnsley loanee, who is waiting to see if he’s beaten off competition from Reading’s Alex Pearce, Middlesbrough’s Nicky Bailey and Barnsley’s Ricardo Vaz Te for the Championship Player of the Month award, will miss tomorrow’s FA Cup clash with Norwich City, following his dubious dismissal against Leeds United on Monday. But he’s already eagerly anticipating the next league fixture against Boro at the Riverside Stadium.
“It was my first red card. I’ve only had a few yellows in my career. I’ve just got to get on with it and look forward now.”