Should Manchester City star play at right-back for England?

Three Lions Wembley

James Milner’s versatility probably earned him his spot in Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad, but could his adaptability be taken one step further?

Over the coming weeks all sorts of hypotheses will be thrown about regarding the decisions Roy Hodgson needs to make in order to maximise England's modest chances at the World Cup in Brazil. If the Three Lions are to mount a serious challenge, then he will have to gamble. Most would conclude that this means changes in the middle of the park; not many believe that a gamble at full-back is on the cards, but maybe it should be.

At left-back it's a done deal. Leighton Baines was always going to be first choice; the only question was who would be playing the supporting role. The England boss has decided to go for Luke Shaw - a precocious talent who is currently at the centre of a reported £27 million bid from Manchester United. Hodgson even had the luxury of leaving one of England's centurions and one of their most consistent ever performers at home, Ashley Cole.

Yet over on the opposite side of the pitch, it's a slightly more worrying scenario. Glen Johnson appears to be in pole position for the right-back slot, but throughout his career his defensive capabilities have always remained a concern. Hodgson's first-choice option may have been Kyle Walker, but his recovery from injury was just too big a risk to take. The only alternative options in the squad appear to be two central defenders from Manchester United, with Jon Flanagan on stand-by, in a season where the right-footed defender has found himself at left-back for Liverpool.

However, Hodgson may have one more option – Manchester City’s James Milner. The Manchester City midfielder is not everyone's cup of tea, but few can deny his willingness and commitment to sacrifice himself for the good of the team. In fact, his greatest assets as a midfielder are arguably his stamina and defensive capabilities.

The 28-year-old has filled in as an emergency right-back in the past, and with a midfield unit light on natural width, a winger with defensive qualities may not prove to be as big a gamble as it seems.

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