Cole, Baines or Gibbs - who will miss the World Cup?

Kieran Gibbs

With England having three top left-backs to pick from, which one will miss out?

One of the main selection dilemmas that Roy Hodgson has ahead of picking his England squad for next summer’s World Cups is at left-back.

The argument recently has been over whether either Leighton Baines or Ashley Cole should get the nod in the Three Lions starting XI, but Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs should not be ruled out either.

The Gunner has been in excellent form this season, making the left-back role his own at the Emirates Stadium ahead of Nacho Monreal and repeatedly displaying solid performances.

Gibbs has visibly progressed as a player over the last 12 months, and despite only having three senior caps to his name is now good enough to play international football.

In Hodgson’s squad, there will probably only be two spots for the three players to fight for.

Cole has over 100 caps to his name and it is hard to imagine the Chelsea man not travelling to the tournament in Brazil if he is available. Baines has done enough to suggest that he can be number one in the role, and with a potential January transfer to Manchester United on the cards, the attacking full-back surely will be on the plane if fit and available also.

If Gibbs is the one to miss out it will be a real shame for a player that is on form and playing in the best team in England at club level currently. The versatile defender, along with Jack Wilshere, is the only Englishman that has played a significant role in the north London side’s ascent to the top of the Premier League, and deserves a chance to prove himself for his country.

With Baines’ attacking abilities, there is potential that the Everton man could be used in a left-wing position, ahead of a designated left-back. This would add defensive solidarity to the side, while also ensuring that England make the most of the Merseyside man’s excellent delivery.

With Baines currently injured and Cole out of favour at Chelsea after returning from a knock, Gibbs is the left-back in form of the three and is certainly holding his hand up for consideration.

image: © Ronnie Macdonal

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