Former Liverpool and Chelsea defender Glen Johnson has provided his verdict on whether Trent Alexander-Arnold or Reece James should be starting at right-back for England in the Qatar World Cup at the end of the year.
The pair have become recognised as two of the league’s best full-backs in recent seasons and both have varying impressive traits that means Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate will have a seriously tough decision to make when the tournament kicks off in November.
Johnson has labelled the duo as ‘fantastic’ and made his decision on who believes is the ‘better’ of the pair.
Speaking to LordPing (via Football.London), Johnson said: “It’s tough because I think they’re both fantastic. I think Trent [Alexander-Arnold] is just about better on the ball and has got a better delivery, but to be fair to Reece [James] that sounds harsh because he’s fantastic as well.
“I’d say Trent is better going forward and Reece James is better defensively, but all round, I’d have to say Reece James is better.”
Johnson does of course have experience of playing for Chelsea, Liverpool and England and therefore knows the level you need to be at to be successful.
Our No. 66 has been criticised for his defensive ability ever since being promoted to the first team under Jurgen Klopp, but his attacking threat and both his crossing and set-piece ability really is world-class.
At just 23, he’s already racked up 224 appearances for the club and following our recent FA Cup success over Chelsea, he’s now won every single major trophy possible at Anfield.
Despite that being said, James is still a great player in his own right.
He’s registered six goals and nine assists for Thomas Tuchel’s side this term but has spent a chunk of the campaign out with a hamstring injury.
Many would agree that his defensive ability is better than that of our No. 66, but 22-year-old James doesn’t provide as much of a creative threat going forward.
Full-backs are a huge part of the game nowadays, especially with the way Klopp sets up his side, and when Alexander-Arnold is not in the starting XI, his absence is usually felt.
In the Premier League this season, only Mo Salah (13) has registered more assists than the Scouser in our Team (12), but with one game still to play against Wolves on Sunday, Trent will certainly be wanting to add to that tally.
The Egyptian King, meanwhile, may be focussing on his goal tally at the weekend as Tottenham’s Son Heung-Min is just one goal behind in the scoring charts and Spurs travel to relegated Norwich on Sunday where the South-Korean will fancy his chances of netting once again.
With both James and Alexander-Arnold having time on their side, this debate is certainly going to continue long into the future.
We certainly hope our man can continue proving why most Reds view him as the best right-back in the world.