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Top 10 British Right-Backs
10. Max Aarons – Norwich City
He maybe in the Championship this season but he did enough to impress while in the Premier League last season and to suggest he needs to step up a level. While the interest from Barcelona may be turning his head, from their point of view it is probably more about reducing their wage bill without costing themselves too much in quality, rather than just a player they have identified as top class.
9. Matthew Lowton – Burnley
A little lacking in pace and can be weak in the challenge, but otherwise a competent full-back with exceptional delivery from wide areas. It is that delivery that gets him into the top 10.
8. Kieran Trippier – Atletico Madrid
When he knuckles down and is on top of his game, Trippier is an extremely competent all-rounder, though not particularly outstanding in any particular area. Like Lowton, he does lack a little in pace, which holds him back and stops him being able to shut down the top wingers.
7. Luke Ayling – Leeds United
Ayling has made major strides forward since the arrival of Bielsa at Leeds, but he was a very competent full-back anyway. His problem is that he seems to suffer from inconsistency. Sometimes I watch him play and he is excellent and would be number 3. However another time Ayling looks poor and his touch seems off and his positional sense and awareness seem to have vanished. So far this season he has been very good when I have seen him and, if he continues in this vein, he will make me look harsh putting him outside the top 5.
6. Reece James – Chelsea
The only reason he is not higher is simply the number of games he has played in the top flight. James has pace, power, height, skill and excellent technique. On paper he is pretty much the ideal modern full-back, though he does need to work on his defending. He is still young and I am sure that will improve as he gains experience. If he continues to impress as he has done, I can only see him rising up this ranking the next time I do it.
5. James Tavernier – Rangers
The Englishman is currently having the season of his life up there in the SPFL, helping Rangers to sit well clear at the top. While not the greatest defensively, Tavernier’s attacking prowess is more than enough to make up for any deficiencies. This season he has added goals to his game too, making him arguably the outstanding player of the season in Scotland.
4. Matty Cash – Aston Villa
Started the season brilliantly but has faded a little recently. His biggest problem is that he is not really outstanding in any one particular aspect of his role. He is quick, but not exceptionally so. His delivery is good, but not top class. What does make him better than most is his workrate, he is a very willing worker.
3. Kyle Walker – Manchester City
If only Walker had a brain he would be incredible, but he has all the intelligence of that pigeon you find on your doorstep that has knocked itself unconscious repeatedly banging into your window. Like that pigeon, Walker never learns. Such a shame because he has insane pace and exceptional technique, but it so often is useless due to his lack of thought.
2. Aaron Wan-Bissaka – Manchester United
He is not having the best season of his life, but there is still no one better in the game at one-on-one defending. It is incredibly rare to see a winger get the beating of him. His crossing does need work and he also needs to be coached in positioning when not playing Palace’s low block system, as he does tend to get a little narrow for the way United play, but he is still an outstanding full-back.
1. Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool
There are times when Alexander-Arnold looks like he is playing a different game from the rest of the full-backs around. He has taken it to a level where it can be the most influential position on the pitch when he plays. His delivery is absolutely outstanding and he has made massive strides forward in the defensive aspects of the position.
Written by Tris Burke December 25 2020 06:16:45