Top Three Right-Backs In The Championship This Season
So often the forgotten men in the past; the role of the right-back is becoming more and more crucial in the game ever since the wider football world saw what impact the likes of Cafu and Dani Alves could have when going forward. The more ambitious teams consider their right-backs to be just as important as any of the midfielders doing their offensive work and there are some excellent ones out there.
The Championship is a terrific breeding ground for such players and so the ones we have listed here will almost certainly play Premier League football at some point. Attacking prowess, a good final ball, terrific fitness levels and a natural sound defensive capability are all on the tick list for these players. Three of the best are below:
Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
More of a wing-back than a full-back but he fully deserves his place here. I was surprised that he was used in this role initially, with more obvious candidate Conor Coady having been turned into a central figure in Wolves’ back three. Doherty filled in at left-back last season in what was an awful Wolves team to watch under the dour Paul Lambert. But he is a different man now and so are his teammates.
Cyrus Christie (Middlesbrough)
Eyebrows were raised in the East Midlands when Gary Rowett chose to flog Christie and replace him with Andre Wisdom. Despite the manager’s obvious qualities, he seems to have got that one wrong. Christie was many people’s idea of the best right-back in this division and on some statistic lists he still is. His performances continue to impress most watchers and he has international experience too.
The Republic of Ireland man has done precious little wrong this season and I would love to see him play in a more attack-minded team, perhaps at a higher level too.
Luke Ayling (Leeds United)
The former Bristol City man has progressed nicely over the last couple of years and he has plenty of quality. Several Premier League clubs have run the rule over Ayling of late, just as they did with Sam Byram some time ago, though unlike the case of the former, nobody has yet taken the plunge.
It won’t be long before we see Ayling plying his trade in England’s top division but for now, he remains a crucial part of Leeds’ promotion push.