Gareth Southgate has been spoilt with an array of gifted right-back options throughout his tenure as England boss.
The Three Lions’ right-back riches has exemplified the emergence of elite talent within Southgate’s senior squad. England now boast the quality across the board to compete with the world’s best and they’ll head into next summer’s Euros in Germany among the favourites.
England’s supreme right-back talent meant Southgate took four of ’em to Euro 2020, and those options remain available to the boss. However, a couple of spring chickens have also laid out their case for England consideration at the start of the 2023/24 season.
Here’s how 90min ranks the current runners and riders at the right-back position.
Wan-Bissaka is yet to represent the Three Lions, but he’s at least thrust himself back into the conversation after enjoying a revival under Erik ten Hag in 2023.
The full-back has long contemplated changing his national allegiance to the DR Congo, but such a change has yet to occur. For now, he remains an option for Southgate.
After enjoying a fine end to the 2022/23 season, Wan-Bissaka has been out of action since mid-September with a hamstring injury. He remains one of England’s best one-on-one defenders, but his chances of making Southgate’s squad are unlikely.
Tino Livramento was one of the breakout stars of the 2021/22 Premier League season before a devastating injury compromised his 2023/23 campaign.
Such a dynamic performer down the right flank, his major injury failed to deter Newcastle, who signed Livramento for £40m in the summer. His career on Tyneside is yet to take off, but it doesn’t look as if he’s lost any of the explosivity that made him such a threat on the South Coast.
He’s an option Southgate will seriously consider should he make the most of Newcastle’s current injury crisis.
Young Lewis earned his first call-up to the senior England squad in 2023 despite featuring only sparingly for Man City at the start of 2023/24.
Nevertheless, Pep Guardiola has entrusted the versatile defender on the big occasions several times since he emerged out of City’s academy, with his display away at RB Leipzig in the Champions League proving that he belongs at the highest level.
Utilised in a myriad roles by Pep in Manchester, Lewis could be an experimental figure for Southgate. While an adept defender, the teenager has shown he’s comfortable operating from a midfield position.
White’s mysterious departure from the 2022 World Cup has seen his stock plummet in terms of England consideration.
The Arsenal defender, who enjoyed an excellent 2022/23 campaign having shifted over to right-back, has been overlooked by Southgate since, but there’s no denying that he remains one of England’s finest defenders.
He was a model of consistency for the title-chasing Gunners last term, and while he hasn’t been at his very best to start the new season, White can’t continue to be overlooked if he rediscovers the form that got him on the plane to Qatar.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is the best attacking right-back England have at their disposal.
Defensively, he still has some things to learn and room to improve (to put it lightly), but he puts up astounding attacking numbers.
He’s been utilised in a midfield position by Southgate at times, though it remains to seen if such an ambitious ploy will be implemented at a major tournament.
Reece James has become a favourite of Southgate’s – and for good reason.
The Chelsea star has taken his game to the next level as a full-back, wing-back and even an auxiliary centre-back, with his momentum only being curtailed by some frustrating injuries.
He could have a huge future ahead of him in the national team, but he simply has to stay fit. That’s been tough for James in recent times.
Kieran Trippier has some of the best delivery and set-piece ability of any active English player.
The former Tottenham and Atletico Madrid defender emerged as a cult hero following his antics at the 2018 World Cup, and while his profile is not as spectacular compared to England’s alternate right-back options, he’s dependency has seen him blossom into a Southgate favourite.
Trippier’s been nothing short of superb for Newcastle and has rarely ever put a foot wrong on the international stage. His technical security, consistency, and versatility mean he’s always going to be in the conversation.
Despite a brief absence from the England squad a while back and even though he’s the wrong side of 30, it remains impossible to look beyond Kyle Walker as a leading right-back.
Walker has been a key player for one of the best club sides that English football has ever seen over the last three years and has the versatility to play as a wide centre-back in a back three if needed too.
As long as he remains fit and is playing regularly for Manchester City, he’ll be in Southgate’s squad.