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Who is England’s Best Right Back?

In the past years, England hasn’t had the greatest choice for players to play at right-back, in terms of quality, or quantity. However, I believe that England currently possesses some of the Premier Leagues and potentially the world’s best right-backs in Reece James, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Kyle Walker.

In recent times, they’ve had Kieran Trippier playing regularly for the Three Lions, but with him not being selected in the 25-man squad for the upcoming friendlies it gives someone else the opportunity to become England’s number one right back.

Kyle Walker

Manchester City paid Spurs just shy of £50m for Kyle Walker in July 2017 which has turned out to be well worth it for the Manchester side. He’s helped contribute to 10 titles in that time including 3 Premier Leagues, 4 League Cups, and an FA Cup. 

Recently Southgate has opted to use Walker as a third centre-back alongside Harry Maguire and his Man City teammate John Stones. He’s one of the most well-disciplined players in the England setup and I’ve definitely preferred watching him in the centre-back role as it allows a wing-back to come into the team…

Kyle Walker has become a serial winner under Pep Guardiola at Man City – picture from https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/kyle-walkers-euro-2020-weak-20967695

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Trent is easily one of, if not the best attacking full-back in world football. My only problem with Trent is his defensive side of things, especially compared to the other players in this piece. The 23-year-old has been about for a while now playing at the highest level in England and Europe, helping Liverpool to a Premier League and a Champions League along the way. 

After missing the European Championships through injury, he’s now fully fit and beginning to find form again. He’s got 4 assists and a goal in 9 Premier League appearances, with 3 Champions League assists too. This recent form has earned a call-up for the England squad set to face Albania and San Marino in the coming days. 

Southgate recently played Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold in a midfield role for England – picture from https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/england-trent-alexander-arnold-midfield-24914939

Reece James

Reece James has only been playing Premier League football since the 2019/20 campaign but has adapted fantastically in that time, especially most recently under Thomas Tuchel. The 21-year-old has added a serious attacking threat to his game in the early parts of this season, converting 4 times and turning provider 3 times in just 8 appearances for Chelsea. 

His height and physicality ensures that attackers very rarely outwit him, if at all. He’s been part of a very strong Chelsea back 5 that’s got the best defensive record in the Premier League, ideal for the Southgate style of late.

For me, Reece James is the best option out of the three and should be a regular starter for England, the balance of the team works perfectly. It will be interesting to see if Southgate gives him a chance following his great start to the 2021/22 campaign.

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