With just a few days left until Gareth Southgate announces his provisional squad that will take part in the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup, excitement levels have risen. The competition for places has reached new heights in the England camp after several new candidates emerged since their near so successful run in the EURO 2020.
It goes without saying that Harry Kane is the only undisputed starter in the England playing 11, with the future of the rest of those 10 players still in the air. The competitiveness in the camp has risen but none so other than the right-back position. A plethora of options are now available to Southgate since the Euro 2020, where he included 4 right-backs, which speaks volumes of the Three Lions’ depth in that position.
Gareth Southgate has a huge dilemma upon him and fans from England will be eager for the provisional squad to be released. FootTheBall have a look at the top right-backs options for England at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
1. Reece James
The Chelsea right-back has begun the 2022/23 season in fine fashion. The Chelsea graduate has been a Southgate favourite for some time now, with James starting the majority of the matches for England that concluded just before the World Cup.
Reece James has a goal and assist each so far this season. Although, it was the 2021/22 season where he actually proved his worth, even while Chelsea went through a disappointing season under then-Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel. The England international had 5 goals and 9 assists in the Premier League itself and produced some career-best numbers last season.
Reece James is the best right back in the world pic.twitter.com/sNfqjIvgXj
— 🦅 (@W17CFC) October 6, 2022
James looks like the number-one choice for Southgate and England for the right-back spot in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He would have merited that place, having caused havoc on the right flank for the last couple of seasons. James can also play as an overlapping centre-back and can cause overloads in the opposition box.
2. Kieran Trippier
Kieran Trippier is a Gareth Southgate favourite, there is no denying that. The right-back started all of England’s games at the EURO 2020 tournament and also scored some audacious free-kicks at the 2018 World Cup.
He has improved his defensive game as well ever since he moved to Spain and play for Atletico Madrid under Diego Simeone. And since his summer move to Newcastle United, he has proved his credentials even more if they were not already on display. Trippier can also play on the opposite flank which makes him a versatile asset for Gareth Southgate.
3. Kyle Walker
A four-time Premier League winner already for Manchester City under Pep Guardiola, Kyle Walker has become a household name at the Etihad Stadium. He might be the only one nearing the wrong side of 30’s, but his abilities are still one of the best in his position.
Walker, like Reece James, can play as an overlapping centre-back in a back-three system. This versatility makes him go one better than his rivals at right-back. Southgate had isolated Walker in recent times, but has re-integrated the Manchester City fullback after realising he has unfinished business in the England setup.
Gary Neville says Trent Alexander-Arnold has the potential to be the greatest right-back to have ever lived 👀 pic.twitter.com/t6qqp3mT9C
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 4, 2022
4. Trent Alexander-Arnold
Southgate’s treatment of Trent Alexander-Arnold has surprised many, especially England and Liverpool fans. The Liverpool full-back has produced some unbelievable numbers ever since he made his debut for the Anfield outfit.
Although in recent seasons, Alexander-Arnold has faced scrutiny over his defensive duties. Opponents have targeted the Anfield graduate as the weak link in Liverpool’s team and have gotten the better of him.
Southgate has taken notice of this and has indirectly hampered Trent’s chances at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. His attacking output might be world-class, but with Southgate’s tactics putting the defence first, chances of Trent starting at the World Cup look as slim as ever.