The term ‘Golden Generation’ has been used far too many times with England squads down the years but, right now, those words may be justified.
The Three Lions boast exciting talent everywhere you look as they prepare for the rearranged Euro 2020.
A quick look at the odds to win the tournament will show Gareth Southgate’s side are current joint-favourites alongside France to win the Henri Delaunay Trophy.
With the likes of Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane leading the line, you’d be a brave person to bet against them.
But there’s one position where England are oversubscribed - at right-back.
For some bizarre reason, there is an influx of talented English right-backs right now which must be giving Southgate a severe selection headache.
Therefore, we’ve decided to ease that headache for him by ranking the 15 best players capable of playing that role from worst to best.
“No-one grows up and wants to be a Gary Neville,' Jamie Carragher once said.
Well, these guys did.
15. Jayden Bogle (Sheffield United)
The 20-year-old signed for Sheffield United in the summer in a £10 million double deal with Max Lowe also joining from Derby. However, he’s made just one appearance in the League Cup. He could be an England player in the future but is still yet to even play for the under 21s.
14. Ryan Fredericks (West Ham)
Fredericks began the season as West Ham’s right back, playing the first three matches. But since a change in formation, he hasn’t played. An England call-up looks unlikely.
13. Luke Ayling (Leeds)
The former Arsenal youngster won the Championship PFA Player of the Year award last season and has already shown he’s capable of playing Premier League football with his displays for Leeds this season. At 29, it’s highly doubtful Southgate will call on him.
12. George Baldock (Sheffield United)
Baldock played a key role in helping Sheffield United finish ninth last season, playing in every single game. His side currently sit bottom of the table this time around, though, with Baldock in a wing-back role.
11. Max Aarons (Norwich)
Aarons was sensationally linked with a move to Barcelona in the summer after getting relegated with Norwich. The 20-year-old remained at the Canaries, though, and is impressing once again in the Championship. He’s already earned nine Under 21 caps and will be hoping for a senior squad call-up at some point in his career.
10. James Justin (Leicester)
Justin has shown his versatility this season, operating largely at left-back following Ben Chilwell’s move to Chelsea. The 22-year-old has played 90 minutes in all of the table-toppers’ eight matches this season and has seven Under 21 caps to his name. An outside shot of making the Euro 2020 squad, perhaps?
9. Kyle Walker-Peters (Southampton)
He didn’t quite make the grade at Tottenham but Walker-Peters has made the right-back spot his own at Southampton during their impressive start to the season. The 23-year-old is solid defensively but probably needs to improve his numbers going forward. He did play nine times for the Under 21s.
8. Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal)
One thing going in Maitland-Niles’ favour is his versatility. The Arsenal man has played right-back, right wing-back, centre midfield and left wing-back so far this season. He has played three times already for England but needs to be playing more regularly if he wants to add to that.
7. Matty Cash (Aston Villa)
Eyebrows were raised when Aston Villa splashed £16 million on Cash in the summer but it’s already looking like money well spent. The former Nottingham Forest man has impressed, starting all of their Premier League games so far. He didn’t play for any of England’s youth sides but, at just 23, has plenty of time to force his way into the senior squad.
6. Tariq Lamptey (Brighton)
Lamptey has been a star since signing for Brighton. Despite his diminutive stature, the 20-year-old is fearless and Chelsea must already be regretting getting rid of him. He’s played once for England U21s but is also eligible to play for Ghana. Southgate better hand him his first senior cap soon.
5. Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid)
Considering all the right-back talents in the Premier League right now, Trippier is something of a forgotten man at Atletico Madrid. But the 30-year-old is playing consistently for one of La Liga’s top clubs and in the Champions League.
4. Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
An “idiot” and a “crash crash” was how Roy Keane described Walker last weekend. While that may be a bit harsh, he has fallen down the pecking order in terms of England right-backs. The 30-year-old is actually having a decent season and brings a wealth of experience with 51 caps.
3. Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United)
It seems ludicrous that Wan-Bissaka is still yet to represent his country at senior level but that’s the case for the 22-year-old. In truth, he’s probably the best defensive right-back and would be useful being played against the very best opponents. But he needs to improve when crossing the halfway line.
2. Reece James (Chelsea)
James has been brilliant for Chelsea this season and is now a regular starter for Frank Lampard’s side. The 20-year-old can do it all both defensive and going forward. He’s already played three times for England, although was sent off after the final whistle during the loss to Denmark.
1. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
England’s best right-back. At the age of 22, Alexander-Arnold has won both the Champions League and Premier League and has represented the Three Lions 12 times. While there can be question marks over his defensive qualities, what he offers on the ball and going forward is second to none.
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