Rio Ferdinand tells Gareth Southgate to pick Reece James instead of Trent Alexander-Arnold

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand advises English boss Gareth Southgate on Reece James.

Rio Ferdinand tells Gareth Southgate to pick Reece James instead of Trent Alexander-Arnold

Rio Ferdinand has waded into the debate over who should
play on the right-hand side of England’s defence at the
upcoming World Cup .
Gareth Southgate might be short of central defenders, but he
is spoiled for choice in the full-back positions with both Reece
James and Trent Alexander-Arnold laying claim to being
among the best in the world in that position.
The Three Lions boss is also able to call upon the experience
of Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker, both of whom starred
during last summer’s European championships.
In Qatar, however, it is likely to come down to a straight
shootout between the Liverpool and Chelsea duo, but
Ferdinand believes James has the edge, particularly if
Southgate were to go with a 3-5-2 formation.

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He told Vibe with Five: ‘This is a difficult one. We are going
where we are right now. Reece James is ahead of Trent right
now. If I’m a winger I look at who I don’t want to play against
more out of the two of them and it would be Reece.

‘I think physically he can match people defensively and going
forward is ridiculous. Trent’s passing I would say arguably is
better over varied distances but I think Reece will score more
goals. He in there (the penalty area) so much.

‘He would patrol the whole area on his own. You could play
Trent there as well and he’d run it and both of them can come
in here (central areas).
‘That’s the one thing, he plays this position week in and week
out. Trent plays more from the right-back area coming onto
things.’

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On the opposite flank, Ferdinand believes Southgate should
opt for England’s newly crowned Player of the Year Bukayo
Saka.
Accepting his award ahead of tonight’s Nations League match
against Italy, the Arsenal winger said: ‘This is a such a special
honour for me and I’m very grateful to everyone who voted.’
Southgate, meanwhile, has trimmed his squad ahead of this
evening’s game against the Azzurri with Ben Chilwell, Jordan
Henderson and Ivan Toney set to miss out.

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