The role of full-backs has changed over the years. They were limited to a defensive role until a few years back, but now they contribute immensely in a team’s offensive play as well. We have seen some very talented right backs and left backs over the last few years. Here are three right backs who could make a telling difference for their country this summer:
1) Joao Cancelo: Joao Cancelo’s talent was always there for everyone to see, but his time at Manchester City prior to this season wasn’t eventful to say the least. However, in 2020-21 Joao Cancelo was phenomenal for the Cityzens. The Portuguese right back was arguably the best player in his position in England. He would often move into a deep lying midfield role when Manchester City dominated possession. He was not only good while defending, but also had an impact in the attacking third. He will be really important as Portugal look to defend their title.
2) Trent Alexander-Arnold: Unlike the other two players in this list, Trent’s place in the England 11 is uncertain. He was sensationally included in the squad which was announced yesterday. Despite having a poor season, he made up during the last two months as he was immense in Liverpool’s top four finish. He created more chances than any other defender and can only be trumped by Bruno and De Bruyne across all positions. If England are to win the trophy, they will have to take risks and go with an attacking mindset which fits Trent’s game.
3) Thomas Meunier: Thomas Meunier had an average season at the Signal Iduna Park to say the least, but he plays a really vital part in the Belgium side. As the nation lacks a quality left back, they operate in a three-man defence with Meunier and Carrasco as the wing backs. Carrasco obviously isn’t renowned for his defending skills, which makes it imperative for Meunier to be vary at all times and help out his centre backs. His performances against the strong teams could define how far Belgium go in the competition.