Danny Higginbotham: Nathaniel Clyne can fill England's right-back "vacancy"

Southampton's English defender Nathaniel Clyne vies with Fulham's Swiss midfielder Pajtim Kasami during the English Premier League football match on October 26, 2013
© Getty Images
Former Southampton defender Danny Higginbotham tells Sports Mole that Saints star Nathaniel Clyne has the ability to be England's regular right-back.

Former Southampton defender Danny Higginbotham has backed Nathaniel Clyne to make England's right-back position his own.

The 23-year-old has been a part of a Saints rearguard that has kept six Premier League clean sheets in 10 outings this term.

Such form has been recognised by Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson, who called the full-back up to his squad for last month's Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia.

Clyne did not feature in either encounter, with his former Southampton teammate Calum Chambers, now of Arsenal, preferred by Hodgson, but Higginbotham has told Sports Mole that the former Crystal Palace defender can become a regular at senior international level if he continues to improve.

"He's carried on from where he finished last season. He's got himself in the England squad and rightly so. We all know how important full-backs are in the modern game and he's done unbelievably well," said Higginbotham.

"Chambers went to Arsenal and all of a sudden got in the England squad, yet most of last season he was behind Clyne in the pecking order [at Southampton] but Clyne couldn't get in the squad, which didn't seem right. Now he's in there as well and he seems like a very accomplished Premier League player who keeps getting better.

"It was a shame that he didn't get involved [in the two matches], but he has to believe that his time will come. There is a vacancy at right-back [with England]. Glen Johnson has had injuries, Kyle Walker is injured currently and you could argue that Chambers is more of a centre-back.

"If Clyne can keep giving a good account of himself, he can make the position his own."

Clyne has made eight appearances for England's Under-21 side.

England's coach Roy Hodgson walks off the pitch following the game against Estonia during a UEFA 2016 European Championship qualifying group E football match between England and Estonia in Tallinn, Estonia, on October 12, 2014
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