Gareth Southgate has no shortage of excellent right-backs in his squad – and the England manager will use the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers to assess his options.
Southgate including Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier and Aaron Wan-Bissaka to his squad for the matches against Bulgaria and Kosovo, having made the shock decision to axe Manchester City star Kyle Walker.
Wan-Bissaka has since pulled out of the squad and returned to Manchester United after picking up a back injury, though Southgate opted against calling up Walker and will make do with Alexander-Arnold and Trippier.
Atletico Madrid’s Trippier is set to start at right-back against Bulgaria on Saturday night, with the defender no doubt eager to impress after missing out on a place in the Nations League squad this summer.
Southgate will then bring in Alexander-Arnold for Tuesday’s home clash against Kosovo, handing the Liverpool star a chance to cement his place in the starting XI.
The England chief will make other changes and use the squad against a side ranked 60 places below Bulgaria to fully assess his squad.
Before Wan-Bissaka pulled out of the squad, Southgate discussed the fact that he is spoilt by choices in the right-back position.
“Aaron has adapted very well and very quickly to a high-profile move. And playing in front of 70,000 fans, that brings intensity and pressure,” Southgate said.
“We’re looking at him and Trent and that’s the reason on this occasion that Kyle Walker isn’t with us, we feel it’s an opportunity in particular to have a look at two young players.
“We talked about the number of games we’ve got ahead of next summer.
“We think we need to see them quickly and we also wanted to reintegrate Kieran Trippier back into the group just so he knows that he’s still on our radar, and he’s obviously had a big – a huge – move to Atletico Madrid, frankly, that kind of goes under the radar a little bit here and he’s started the season really well.
“So, it is an area of the pitch where we have a lot of quality.
“Kyle has started the season really well, so I’ve explained to him the rationale for the thinking. It’s not the case that he’s not playing well for Manchester City – it’s quite the opposite.
“So, yes, that is an area of the pitch with some really good, and four very different, options.
“They all have completely different strengths, and we’re looking forward to helping some of them develop.”