Chelsea right-back Reece James has publicly backed Liverpool counterpart Trent Alexander-Arnold over the criticism he faces. The 22-year-old was quoted by the Daily Mail suggesting that people who criticize Arnold don’t have knowledge of football.
He also highlighted that mistakes are part of the game, using the penalty he gave away against Hungary as an example.
“I make mistakes as well. I gave away a penalty against Hungary so we are both still learning our trade.
“Liverpool have 95 per cent of the ball and he defends less than I have to. People have a lot of stuff to say and don’t really know the game. Trent is a great player.”
Reece James and Trent-Alexander Arnold are regarded as two of the best right-backs in the world at the moment.
The former has established himself as Chelsea’s first-choice in his position following a productive loan spell at Wigan Athletic. He has made 123 appearances in all competitions for the Blues, scoring nine goals and providing 18 assists.
Arnold had a meteoric rise that saw him go from Nathaniel Clyne’s understudy to one of the best in his position in the world in a few months.
However, the 23-year-old has come under constant criticism for his lack of defensive awareness. However, his work at the other end is truly remarkable and there is arguably no full-back that is more productive than the Liverpool man.
England have an embarrasment of riches at right-back
England have a young, talented squad and their achievements over the last few years have many believing that the current crop could end their long wait for international glory.
It is any coach’s dream to have an abundance of quality options to choose from and all managers will tell you they like to have selection headaches.
For Gareth Southgate, this is especially true in the right-back position where he has as many as five proven performers plying their trades at the highest level. The selection dilemma came to the fore when he made the unusual decision to name four right-backs in his squad for Euro 2020.
Beyond the aforementioned duo of Reece James and Arnold, others like Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier are also established internationals.
Tariq Lamptey, Luke Ayling and Jake Livramento are constantly improving, adding to the selection pool. With a few months to go until the 2022 FIFA World Cup, it is anybody’s guess who the Three Lions’ first-choice right-back will be in Qatar.