Tino Livramento has delivered two man-of-the-match displays in two starts for Newcastle United. But unfortunately for the £32 million summer signing, that will not be enough to become a first-choice pick anytime soon.
Kieran Trippier is the immovable roadblock currently standing in Livramento’s way, with time seemingly not slowing down the 33-year-old anytime soon. The former Atletico Madrid and Tottenham star is arguably enjoying the best football of his career, and he is a key component of Newcastle’s trademark style of play under Eddie Howe.
Like Lewis Hall, Livramento was signed with both the present and the future in mind, and as it stands both have had to be extremely patient. The 20-year-old looks like he may face a long wait to assume the mantle of the Magpies’ starting right-back, but a first start in a competition other than the Carabao Cup may soon present itself.
When asked about the prospect of playing alongside Trippier rather than instead of, Livramento previously told ChronicleLive: “We will see how it goes. I will just get my head down and work hard in training. Then I leave it up to the manager.
“I’ve had one game. I played well but I definitely need to prove a lot more. Tripps has been here a long time and he’s proven he is the best player in that position.”
For the closing stages of the memorable midweek victory at Old Trafford, Livramento lined up in front of Trippier on the right side of attack. It is not the first time Howe has afforded the former Southampton starlet a more offensive role, having introduced him for his debut in attack for the final minutes of the Premier League defeat to Manchester City in August.
It is therefore an option Howe has considered, albeit he has so far not had to resort to it for a starting eleven. That situation might be about to change however, given Newcastle’s currently limited frontline and midfield options.
Injuries to Harvey Barnes and Jacob Murphy will increase the workload for both Miguel Almiron and Anthony Gordon in the coming weeks. Joelinton and Joe Willock can both deputise on the left, but Howe is also short of midfield options since Sandro Tonali’s ban.
It means using Livramento as a right winger to aid with rotation might not be as strange as it seems at first glance. In two starts, the England youth international has proven himself adept in defence against Manchester City, and in attack against Manchester United.
It was Livramento’s impressive run which led to the opening goal, beating two opponents for pace before releasing Almiron for the one-on-one. With Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund to come in the space of five days, the option to have a more defensively-minded option to support or even interchange with Trippier might prove useful.
It is a role which he has also been considered for at international level. Speaking over the summer, England under-21s boss Lee Carsley hailed Livramento’s ‘excellent quality’ and for his versatility, stating he possesses ‘all the attributes’ required to succeed as a winger too.
Almiron is and should be the first-choice pick as Newcastle’s right-sided forward right now, and Livramento’s long-term future will still be as Trippier’s successor. But as a short-term fix to maintain Newcastle’s momentum in the wake of a growing injury list, Livramento could and perhaps will be considered as an Almiron alternative in the build-up to Christmas.
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