With the Premier League making a much-anticipated return after a round of FA-Cup games, this is perhaps the best time to evaluate your options and make a decision on who should replace Reece James. The full-back could be set to miss up to two months of action and that surely calls for changes.
Option 1: Pull the trigger on the obvious solution which is Trent Alexander Arnold
I mean this one is kinda obvious right? The Liverpool full-back has been one of the best-attacking defenders in the Premier League for a couple of seasons and at £8.3m the full-back is the costliest defender in the game. It doesn’t need to be said that you can only buy the defender if you have a bit of money saved up even after removing Reece James from your squad.
The English full-back provided an assist in his last match against Chelsea and Klopp is sure to rely on him as he misses out on the presences of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah due to AFCON. It will be up to the 23-year-old to conjure up some magic, be it creating chances or to even score the goals as Liverpool will be reinvigorated to keep in touch with Manchester City as they aim to be in the mix for the title race.
Alexander-Arnold is in the top 99 percentile when it comes to xA (xG which follows a pass that assists a shot), Shot-Creating Actions, passes attempted, and progressive passes when compared to other fullbacks and it is clearly obvious why you should opt for him if you have the budget to spare.
Option 2: Hop on the Tottenham Hype Train
Tottenham have looked more promising in the last few games and are undefeated under Antonio Conte so far. They still look a little bland in their attacking ability however they have been defensively quite solid so far so taking a chance on their exciting wingbacks could provide a great reward with little to no risk. Sergio Reguilon and Emerson Royal are the obvious candidates although Eric Dier could be a decent option too
Reguilon has amassed 4.4 points per game while Emerson has 2.8 and Dier has 3.7 at this juncture of the season and Reguilon plays 1.34 key passes per 90 with Royal trailing with 0.89 and Dier having 0.37. The Spanish full-back has put in 41 crosses so far during his time on the pitch while the Brazilian is not far behind with 30 crosses attempted while Dier due to his position has 0.
It is obvious that Reguilon (£5.3m) has the advantage attacking-wise over his other rivals in the squad. Emerson (£4.9m) is also a promising pick who has started every game under Conte. Dier's (£4.6m) central role means that he will offer no attacking threat although the odd-headed goal from corners and set pieces cannot be counted out.
Although Spurs' defensive abilities make him a decent option if you wish to amass some points while still having some money left over to spend.
Option 3: The Brighton conundrum
Brighton's explosive wingbacks have always been keeping people on alert as they offer consistency in the attacking and defensive end of the pitch. Tariq Lamptey (£4.5m) and Marc Cucurella (£5m) have good statistics that back up their inclusion into the squad. Lamptey has amassed 3.1 points per game while Cucurella has 4.3 points per game. The Englishman has totalled 34 points throughout the season while the Spaniard has 64.
Both full-backs have provided an assist apiece in the league. Lamptey has put in 23 crosses so far while Cucurella has delivered 40 crosses in the competition. The dilemma is that both fullbacks are playing really well but the Seagulls' form has dipped from their bright start at the season.
Although their recent win against Brentford, last-minute heroics to rescue a draw against Chelsea, and a win over Everton means that they might be on the rise again. Both full-backs provide a decent attacking threat and the team has been pretty defensively so far so they have a good chance of keeping some clean sheets in their next few games.
Option 4: Maybe risk it all for Lucas Digne or Kieran Trippier……
This one contrary to my first option doesn’t make much sense but Digne has proven to be a force to be reckoned with in terms of his attacking prowess in recent years at Everton. A public falling out with Rafael Benitez has derailed his Everton career and the Frenchman begins a new chapter at Aston Villa.
It is not really unheard of for players to undergo a honeymoon period when completing a move to a new club as they look to make a great first impression. It's not like it's a total risk with Digne having been familiar with the Premier League and it could prove to be a stroke of genius if it works out.
The same goes for Kieran Trippier as he makes his return to his homeland after establishing himself as Atletico's first choice right-back and winning a La Liga title with the team. The Englishman will be looking to aid Newcastle in their bid to steer clear of the relegation spot at the end of the season.
Trippier's attacking prowess during his time at Spurs was well established and if the English defender can reignite that kind of form for the Magpies he will prove to be a valuable addition at both ends of the pitch.