Howe confident ‘brilliant’ Livramento can cover for injured Trippier

NEWCASTLE: Kieran Trippier is set to miss Newcastle United’s trips to Chelsea and Man City over the next fortnight and likely international duty with England, Eddie Howe has confirmed.

However, the head coach knows he has an able deputy in former Blues full-back Tino Livramento, whom Howe believes could one day threaten Trippier’s place in Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad.

Trippier limped out of the Magpies’ 3-0 home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers with a calf issue and while Howe said the issue was not serious, he believes Newcastle will have to do without one of the Premier League’s leading assisters for at least the next fortnight.

“Kieran is not too bad, it’s a minor injury but the scan showed enough to probably keep him out of the next two games. We hope he’ll be back for the first game after the international break but that’s not absolutely guaranteed,” Howe said.

“As far as I know, he won’t be going away with England.”

Youngster Livramento was called off the bench at St. James’ Park on Saturday and made the perfect impact, netting his first goal in black and white with a mazy run and finish.

Howe has been impressed with the player, who will start in place of Trippier at Chelsea on Monday night. The Blues sold the academy graduate without handing him a first team appearance.

“I think it’s been a brilliant start to his Newcastle career, whether he’s played right-back, left-back or a wide position, which he had done during our injury difficulties,” Howe said.

“I think he’s handled himself really well, played ever so well. It goes without saying how good he is athletically, highlighted by his goal against Wolves when he showed his running ability and technical qualities to score. I’ve been delighted with how he’s started here.

“How his season has gone has probably been the ideal introduction back. And I still think there is more to come. I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet. I really do believe in his potential. Very exciting future ahead of him.”

When quizzed on whether Southgate should be taking a look at Livramento, the head coach said: “If you ask Tino, that will be his aim and if you ask me, I’d want every player to feel the same way. If you’re not in the team, your aim and ambition should be to try to get into the team, to try to prove you’re better than the teammate that you’re competing against.

“If you have that in your squad, I think you’ve got a healthy squad, you’ve got a good balance between being a good teammate and fighting for your place.

“Tino has shown all those qualities this year. He has been learning and developing behind the scenes, he’s been no doubt picking things up off Kieran and I’ve enjoyed seeing them both battle against each other.”

Meanwhile, Howe has moved to clarify the situation of two of his other first team defenders, after doubts about the future of both Jamaal Lascelles and Lewis Hall surfaced in recent weeks.

Hall’s situation has been a particularly puzzling one. Signed to put pressure on Dan Burn in the left-back slot, the teenager has played just 104 minutes in the Premier League this season, despite the team’s injury problems. But the Magpies do have an obligation to sign him if certain, as yet unspecified, criteria are met.

Confirming Lascelles’ one-year extension, Howe said: “I hope he’s here next year. He’s done incredibly well both as a leader and captain of the group, but also a player. I think his game has really developed and he’s played an important part in the season.

“When he’s played, I think he’s been excellent. But of course there is good competition for places in that area now with everybody fit, but he’s an integral part of what we’re doing.

“In regards to his contract situation, it’s not unclear in my mind, he has a contract for next year.”

On Hall, Howe was less certain. While he committed to wanting the Chelsea loanee around next season, he did not confirm what clauses needed to be met in order for the deal to be triggered.

“In terms of my thinking, I’m preparing for Lewis to be at Newcastle for many years. He was always brought in with a long-term view, not a short-term signing. He is a long-term signing,” Howe said.

“We have always believed in him and his quality and we have been working really hard with him on his game. He’s a really talented lad. He’s got a couple of things to continue working on as all the players have. I believe in him. My vision for him is he will be at Newcastle for many years.”

On the clauses, he said: “Now you’re digging too deep. I don’t think has quite happened yet but hopefully it will do very soon.”

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