“He knows there is a challenge awaiting him …”
England are currently going through a golden generation of right-backs, with Kyle Walker, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James all vying for the spot.
On top of that you also have to worry about Kieran Trippier, Tariq Lamptey and Tino Livramento, who would likely feature in any other English team on a regular basis.
Roy Keane and Ian Wright recently discussed the situation, specifically why Alexander-Arnold is not the first choice right-back.
Roy Keane and Ian Wright on Trent Alexander-Arnold
Speaking on Monday night, Keane said, âHe’s only 23 and he’s still learning the game. Sometimes you have to adapt, if you want to get in. I think he can play at the back, but he’s only 23. It is not yet at its peak.
âHe has to improve defensively, but of course he has to improve. It’s part of the journey of a professional footballer. He knows there is a challenge ahead, but that’s the beauty of this England team, there is a competition for places.
âWe want to see the best players on the team, but the key word is balance. You can’t play against everyone, and that’s a good deal for Gareth Southgate.
“Right now, Gareth can only pick eleven, and balance is key.”
Wright agreed that he is an incredible player, but that James is currently “the player”, and we should rather talk about his quality, instead of trying to force Alexander-Arnold into the squad.
Reece James on England right-back rivalry
Speaking recently about the right-back competition, James himself said, âI think each of us has a different style of play. You know Trent has obviously been at the top for several years now and obviously Kyle Walker too. “
âThe competition is very tough, you know, and there are obviously other full-backs who are not as good here and who are also at a very good level.
“I’m competing with some really good players obviously so it’s pretty tough and we just have to keep pushing each other.”
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