World Cup semi-final goalscorer Kieran Trippier believes Burnley defender's time with England will come

Atletico Madrid full back Kieran Trippier is confident that former team mate Ben Mee's time will come with England.

Thursday, 7th May 2020, 8:00 am
England's defender Kieran Trippier runs with the ball during the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP)

The pair formed half of Manchester City's FA Youth Cup winning back four in 2008 as the Citizens beat Chelsea 4-2 on aggregate.

The Burnley skipper, who wore the armband for City's Academy, netted the equaliser in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium after Ryan McGivern had put the ball into his own net.

That came just three years before Eddie Howe brought the two of them to Turf Moor, initially on loan, with just 13 days separating their switches.

Burnley centre back Ben Mee keeps a close eye on Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi at Stamford Bridge

"I grew up with Ben [Mee] through City, we've always played in the same group so I know how good he is," said Trippier.

"It's just unfortunate for him that there are loads of centre backs that are doing well at the moment. Ben and Tarky [James Tarkowski] have been a rock for that team for years now.

"It's not my decision as to whether he gets called up, but with his performances he does deserve a chance."

The duo represented their country together at Under-20 level and made their Young Lions bow in a game against Germany in 2010.

Trippier, though, went on to win a call-up for the senior side in 2017 and made his debut in a 3-2 defeat to France in an international friendly in Paris.

He has since earned 18 more caps, including the World Cup semi-final against Croatia in Moscow where he scored his first and only goal for his nation.

Mee, on the other hand, was believed to have been part of Gareth Southgate's thinking for games against Italy and Denmark before the Covid-19 pandemic caused disruption to the domestic and international calendar.

The Three Lions had been scheduled to take on Austria and Romania in pre-tournament friendlies next month with Southgate set to finalise his squad for the UEFA European Championships.

"That decision is down to Gareth [Southgate] and if he was close to getting a call up for this camp then it's unfortunate because of the virus," said Trippier.

"Gareth doesn't forget things, though, and he's really good at calling up whoever deserves it.

"If I was Ben I wouldn't be too down about it because if the season goes ahead then you never know what could happen.

"He's been unbelievable this season so he just needs to keep doing what he's doing, focus on his game and his time will come."

Meanwhile, Trippier felt that he needed to engineer a move away from Spurs last summer to keep his own England hopes alive.

His last cap came six months ago when he featured in the 6-0 win over Bulgaria in a Group A qualifier for the European Championships at the Stadion Vasil Levski in Sofia.

And he faces fierce competition for a place in the side with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Aaron Wan Bissaka, Kyle Walker, Reece James, Max Aarons and Kyle Walker-Pieters all performing well.

He said: "That's why I needed to leave Tottenham in the first place due to the situation there. I needed to be playing as high as I can for as long as I could.

"There's me, Kyle Walker, Trent, Wan Bissaka, Reece James, Max Aarons is coming through and Kyle Walker-Pieters, who is a quality player.

"There is a lot of competition, but I've got to focus on myself and focus on my own game and hope my performances stand out. I've just got to focus on my club.

"There's not just competition at right back, though. You can look through the entire squad. There are so many players coming through. It's a great headache for Gareth to have."

Trippier, who became only the third Englishman to score in a World Cup semi-final when beating Danijel Subašić from a set-piece, joining Sir Bobby Charlton and Gary Lineker, is adamant that the Three Lions are on course to win their first major trophy since 1966 very soon.

He said: "It was a very special moment [scoring in a World Cup semi-final], but it was disappointing in the end with the result.

"I felt it was our time, if we won that we would have won the World Cup. That's how much we believed as a team. It was a positive tournament all round and it's a great time to be involved.

"England are on course to win something, the next Euros or the next World Cup, especially with the players we've got coming through.

"The manager is unbelievable as well and he's the best man for the job. He's brought everyone together, the fans, the players, which is important."