England's Left Back Options - Ranked

When it comes to full backs, it would be fair to say England are just a little bit lopsided.

You a fan of right backs? Have as many as you want, pal! We'll even stick some of them at centre-back for some reason we've got so many. Reece James is having to play some of the best football of his career just to get into the conversation, and there's so much quality competition that Aaron Wan-Bissaka has almost entirely given up on an England berth.

You've most likely watched that scene from Tottenham's All or Nothing documentary, and you may well have watched Sergio Reguilon getting up and down the left flank for the Lilywhites. Both of these items lead to the conclusion that Danny Rose is probably not playing for Spurs again.

However, he has 29 caps and has played for the Three Lions at multiple international tournaments - if Milan do indeed come calling, and/or he gets some regular football, he can't be completely ruled out.

7. Fabian Delph (Everton)

Delph started at left back for one of the best teams of all time (no, not Carlo Ancelotti's Everton side) | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

It's always been quite amusing how Delph playing at left back has been portrayed as some kind of hilarious gimmick rather than a fairly impressive adaptation to one of football's most positionally demanding roles.

That being said, he just isn't getting enough game time at Everton at the moment, although the need to protect Lucas Digne's fitness could change that.

6. Luke Shaw (Manchester United)

Shaw has improved a lot in recent games | Pool/Getty Images

Largely due to Alex Telles' COVID-19 diagnosis, Shaw has been clinging on to Manchester United's left back spot, and hasn't exactly been terrible there - or at least not as bad as his detractors would have you believe.

He's solid enough on both ends and, with a run in the United side (which now looks unlikely given he's injured again), could make a case for selection.

5. Ashley Young (Inter Milan)

I'm being serious! | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Young refused to retire outright from international duty, and when he's at his best for Inter it's easy to see why - he remains an extremely capable player with a top left-foot and an even better set piece delivery.

He completely dominated Marco Asensio during Inter's recent Champions League game against Real Madrid, and could be a great squad option in a pinch.

4. Ryan Bertrand (Southampton)

What's your beef with Bertrand, Gareth? | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Crazy fact: Ryan Bertrand has been playing professional football since 2006.

One of English football's most consistent performers has never been highly favoured by Southgate, having been dropped from the 2018 World Cup squad, but there's no denying that he will continue to be on the verge of selection as long as he keeps up what he's doing in a solid Saints side.

3. Aaron Cresswell (West Ham)

A rather impressive comeback story | Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

Even crazier fact: Only five Premier League players have more key passes than Aaron Cresswell this season (FbRef).

This has sort of come out of nowhere, not least because Cresswell, after a promising start to his Premier League career, has been downright dire at times over the last few seasons.

But the man who, crucially for Southgate, can also play on the left side in a back three, has played himself right back into contention for a Euros spot.

2. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

Saka was widely praised for his contribution against Ireland | Pool/Getty Images

One of the most intriguing youngsters that England have produced in years, Saka was superb against Ireland, winning Dominic Calvert-Lewin's penalty in fantastic fashion and generally making a nuisance of himself down the left side.

The main question when it comes to Saka is quite a boring one - what's his best position? He doesn't currently possess the defensive acumen for a pure left-back in a back four, and though an excellent passer from difficult angles is not yet a sophisticated enough dribbler to play permanently as a winger.

His current skill set seems to scream left wing-back, but whether this will always suit Southgate is another question. Regardless, one of the standout names for the role.

1. Ben Chilwell (Chelsea)

Chilwell has seamlessly adapted to life at Stamford Bridge | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Potentially one of the best left backs in the world.

Chilwell is excellent at carrying the ball, possesses great technique when delivering a cross or shooting, and, like Saka eventually will, has seriously brushed up on his defensive technique after some difficult years as a youngster.

If England can rely on him and Trent Alexander-Arnold at their best on either side, expect 'Three Lions' to top the charts again next summer.

Source : 90min