Glen Johnson assesses England's best six right-backs

England started three different right-backs during testing international break but who impressed the most? Former Three Lions star Glen Johnson runs the rule over six contenders all looking to impress Gareth Southgate

  • England laboured in performances across three matches in international break
  • Despite Wednesday defeat by Denmark, England won their other two games 
  • Gareth Southgate experimented with squad selection among the matches
  • The Three Lions boss has a wealth of options available to him at right-back
  • Former England full-back has looked at the options available to Southgate

After another difficult international break, which ended in defeat by Denmark, questions linger over Gareth Southgate and his England team.

One area of uncertainty is at right back, where England have a glut of options, including a new crop shining for their clubs.

Kieran Trippier started the win over Wales before Trent Alexander-Arnold took over against Belgium.

Reece James then shone in defeat by Denmark, only to be sent off after the final whistle.

Here Glen Johnson, who won 54 caps as England’s right back, runs the rule over Southgate’s options.

Glen Johnson won 54 caps for England between 2003 and 2014 featuring at two World Cups

Clearly his strengths are on the ball, his set pieces and his delivery into the front men.

He’s the No 1 but if you’re being picky, his defending can let him down sometimes.

He’s a fantastic player, of course, but if he could sharpen anything up it would just be the defending.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is England’s first choice right-back but needs to improve his defending

Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid)

I like Kieran a lot. He’s probably a better defender than Trent, who is better on the ball and with his delivery. Sometimes in international football that can be vital – with corners, chances from free-kicks, it’s a fantastic asset to have.

It’s a shame for Kieran because two years ago he’d be the No 1 right back but it’s just typical that there are now a few of them knocking on the door.

Kieran Trippier’s dead ball skills are of vital importance to England according to Johnson

Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

Another one that probably feels a bit unlucky that Trent is around. But I would have it in that order – Trent as No 1, Kieran No 2 and Kyle No 3.

Obviously his speed gets him out of a lot of trouble and he’s very good on the ball.

But again it’s probably his defending that has meant he’s slipped down the pecking order.

Kyle Walker has fallen out of favour at right-back but has featured in the team centrally

Reece James (Chelsea)

I’m a big fan, he has the lot – the build, size, he’s strong, aggressive, a good defender and he’s very good on the ball.

He also looks like one of those players who could probably slot in at centre half or holding midfield.

They’re the kind of players you need to take to tournaments because things happen. To have an attribute like that where you can change position is great.

Reece James’ versatility across the defence and in midfield could make him vital for England

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United)

He’s probably the best defender out of all of them.

But he’s not the best on the ball compared to those guys and at international level you have to be good on the ball.

You can’t carry anyone and that’s the bit that slightly lets him down.

On the ball, Johnson has doubts over Aaron Wan-Bissaka who is only capped at Under 21 level

Tariq Lamptey (Brighton)

His rise has been great to see. He’s an electric player – small in size but he certainly gets up and down the park, he looks comfortable on the ball.

It’s very early days but he looks like he has a fantastic future.

If he keeps kicking on, and developing, he’ll hopefully carve out a great career.

Johnson has high hopes for the development of Brighton’s Under 21 star Tariq Lamptey

Glen Johnson was speaking to the MailOnline on behalf of William Hill for their #MyFootballDNA campaign. Find out your football dna at

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