By Noel Whelan

8th Nov, 2022 | 3:00pm

Pundit shares emphatic Kieran Trippier claim after Newcastle United latest - 'there's no doubt in my mind'

Noel Whelan has claimed Newcastle United star Kieran Trippier must start for England during their World Cup group stage opener against Iran.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 32-year-old is the “best full-back we’ve got” after his “fantastic” form so far this term.

Trippier wore the armband again in his 14th league start of the season and grabbed an assist as Newcastle dispatched Southampton 4-1 away from home on Sunday (6 November).

The full-back was withdrawn with 10 minutes remaining after concerns about a knock picked up just before the interval.

Trippier, who has 37 caps for his country, played a key role in the 2018 World Cup in Russia – scoring in England’s eventual semi-final defeat against Croatia.

Whelan insisted that tournament experience will “count for a lot” in the mind of Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate.

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When asked if Trippier should start for England’s group opener against Iran on 21 November, he told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “There’s no doubt in my mind.

“He’s the best full-back we’ve got at the minute.

“He’s been playing continuously with fantastic performances, he’s a leader, he’s experienced – it’s a no-brainer.

“His stats don’t lie. Again at the weekend, the quality he showed with his delivery, his passing, and his defensive work.

“He’s got the experience at the highest level with England, and that’s going to be vital.

“Experience at a World Cup counts for a lot, and he’s the best fit full-back we have right now – whether you play him on the left or on the right.”

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