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Is Gareth Southgate spoilt for choice at right-back?

| 21.03.2019

When Gareth Southgate named his England squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Montenegro, one of the most surprising absences was Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Wan-Bissaka has made the right-back spot his own at Selhurst Park this season. He’s won 109 tackles in league action this season, the joint-most of any player in Europe.

Think of all the tricky wingers he’s come up against too – Eden Hazard, Sadio Mane, Leroy Sane and the rest. And yet the 21-year-old has only been dribbled past seven times. It’s almost unheard of for a young full-back to be so solid.

But there’s still no room for him in the Three Lions senior squad. Southgate already has Kyle Walker, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kieran Trippier at his disposal. But which of that trio should be the first-choice on the right side of defence? We’ve weighed up their pros and cons…

Kyle Walker

Pros: There are very few wingers who can beat Walker for pace or power. The Manchester City defender is also used to playing for a side that wants to control possession, which is how Southgate wants his side to perform. He can operate as the right-sided centre-back in a back three too.

Cons: The 28-year-old is still prone to the occasional lapse of concentration at the back. He’s only chipped in with a single assist for City so far this season too. You’d expect more from an attacking full-back in that side.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Pros: Along with Wan-Bissaka, Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold may well be the future. He’s got great delivery from crosses and set pieces. The local lad has looked comfortable whenever he’s been asked to step up a level too.

Cons: Is he a natural defender?  He was brought up as a midfielder and has hinted he’d be keen to return there in the future.

Kieran Trippier

Pros: Trippier’s displays at wing-back were vital to England’s run to the World Cup semi-final. His consistent delivery was a major weapon in Russia, helping Southgate’s side to score nine goals from set pieces.

Cons: Take away Trippier’s delivery and he’s arguably the weakest of the right-backs in the squad. He’s had an inconsistent season for Tottenham Hotspur, where he’s often looked awkward as part of a back four.

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Daniel Anwar

Daniel has covered sports for Squawka, FourFourTwo and iSportconnect. He is a naively optimistic Arsenal fan and is also passionate about music, film and chicken wings.