Rovers’ right-back dilemma


One position that Rovers have seemed to chop and change so far this season is the right-back spot.

In the league, the place has been shared by Ryan Nyambe and Paul Caddis. The Checkatrade Trophy has also seen Lewis Travis get a go. But who should be the number one choice for the position?

We decided to take a look at each of the three natural right-backs in our club – Paul Caddis, Ryan Nyambe or Lewis Travis.

You can also vote for who you would start at right-back in the coming months.

Paul Caddis

Minutes played this season (all competitions): 1,239

Paul Caddis joined Rovers in the 2017 Summer Transfer Window following a successful trial, including Caddis scoring a brace in Rovers’ 8-0 demolition of York City.

He’s gone on to play 1,239 minutes for Rovers this season – 969 in the league, 90 in the FA Cup and 180 in the Carabao Cup.

Rovers fans have seen a mixed bag of performances from Caddis, causing a mixed bag of views on the right-back.

He’s a stable defender which can give the defence the stability it needs. However, a problem with Caddis is that he struggles to make it up the pitch at the speed that Rovers need to create a successful counter-attack. He also struggles with aerial battles, as he is only 5ft 7in (1.7 metres) tall.

Ryan Nyambe

Minutes played this season (all competitions): 855

The young Namibian full-back came through Rovers’ youth setup at Brockhall, and Nyambe implemented himself in the side last year when the manager at the time Owen Coyle brought him in to see if he could help solve the defensive problem.

Nyambe kept his place in the side when current gaffer Tony Mowbray came into the club, but he has faced competition for the full-back spot since Caddis came into the squad.

The 19-year-old has played 855 minutes so far this season – 540 in the league, 225 in the Checkatrade and 90 in the Carabao Cup.

Like Paul Caddis, there’s been a mixture of opinions over Ryan Nyambe.

Rovers fans seem to like the young Namibian’s pace and the speed he gets forward, and he’s eager to make it into the box. However, this leaves Rovers exposed at the back when Nyambe’s gone forward. He’s also hesitant to put a tackle in, which allows the opposition’s wingers to put the ball in the box.

Lewis Travis

Minutes played this season (all competitions): 180

Lewis Travis loves to get forward with the ball and attack the opposition’s full-backs. I’ve liked the look of Travis for a few seasons of watching the U23’s/Reserves. Travis was also mentioned in our “Rovers’ youth prospects” article.

READ MORE: Rovers’ youth prospects

Travis has played 180 minutes for the first team this season, with all of those coming in the Checkatrade Trophy.

He’s an attacking full-back who, like previously mentioned, wants to go forward with the ball. However. a problem with Travis may be that he may be too lightweight for this league. However, he’ll learn that over time if given the minutes he needs.

So, who should become the first-choice right-back?

So far this season, neither Caddis or Nyambe have been consistently up to the standards that we’ll need to achieve our dream of promotion. Does this mean Travis should be the first choice?

I’m one of those who believes that youth players should get a chance in the first team. And that’s what I believe Travis should get. A chance.

It may not work out, but Travis should get a go on Saturday away to Bury. They’re bottom of the league so it should be the best chance we’ll have in a league game to bring the full-back in. If it works, keep him in. If it doesn’t. then the first-team experience in a lower league – like Scott Wharton at Cambridge United – may be the best for both Rovers and Travis.

None of our fans will know who’ll eventually become the first choice, but whoever it is will need to provide the balance of attack and defence that we require.

We asked our Twitter followers (@rovers_chat) about who they’d want as the right-back at Bury. The poll is below with some of your thoughts.

Who would you like to see as the main choice right-back for Rovers?

Thanks for reading

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