Kyle Walker has just been rewarded by Tottenham Hotspur with a new contract to the summer of 2019, which should give him the focus to make the England right-back slot his own for the foreseeable future.
However, there is a percentage out there who believe Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne and Liverpool’s Glen Johnson are better prospects and have a greater chance of playing for England at the World Cup next summer than the Tottenham man.
It all adds to creating the question of who is the best player out of the three?
Walker has made the most appearances in the Premier League this season with nine, which is more than both Clyne and Johnson.
He’s also got a better passing success rate this season with 85.5% which shows he protects the ball well and also links up well with the midfield when he finds himself forward.
He’s making more interceptions per game on average this season with 1.7. That suggests he’s reading the game superbly this season.
His timing is also good this season because he’s giving away fewer fouls per game on average, with one per game although the average of the other two in this area could be improved as they play more games.
The Southampton defender is the most aggressive out of the three this season with 3.9 tackles per game on average.
That suggests that he’s more willing to take risks all over the pitch, which is no surprise considering the Mauricio Pochettino tactic of trying to win the ball back as quickly as possible.
The number of passes Clyne makes per match is similar to Johnson, with 41 and 42 respectively, but neither of those numbers are close to the 65.9 passes per game that Walker is coming up with.
What you have to bear in mind with Clyne is that he’s the youngest and the least experienced when it comes to Premier League football, which makes the impact he’s had this season arguably more impressive.
A key part of any defender’s game is how he deals with the aerial threat posed by the opposition and Johnson is winning the most aerial duels per game this season out of the trio.
Johnson is also showing a very good awareness in matches this season, blocking more shots per game than Walker or Clyne, which suggests he reads the game just as well and gets into positions to prevent the goalkeeper from having to make a save.
Johnson also seems to be more effective in the opponent’s final third, averaging a higher number of shots on goal per game, giving Liverpool an extra edge in attack.
He also seems more willing to get control of the ball and run it forward with an average of two dribbles per game this season, whereas both Walker and Clyne seem to offload possession quicker.
Walker seems to be the best all round option at the moment but Clyne and Johnson are ahead in certain areas. It will be a fascinating battle to see which right-back gets the nod in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad next summer.
Who do you think is the best right-back out of the three?
image: © wonker