David Wagner wants Tommy Smith and Kyle Dempsey to go head to head for Huddersfield Town’s right-back berth.
Dempsey arrived in a £300,000 summer move from Carlisle United as a midfielder, but has also played both full-back roles for Town this season in the course of 15 appearances (five starts).
And head coach Wagner, whose full-throttle system gives plenty of responsibility to wide players, believes the 20-year-old is well suited to playing down the right.
Former Manchester City player Smith, 23, has been first pick at right-back, with his 18 starts in 21 appearances overall this term including Tuesday’s 5-0 home Championship win over Charlton Athletic.
But Wagner wants Dempsey, who played on the right side of midfield after coming off the bench against Charlton, to provide Smith with competition.
“Kyle is very football intelligent and able to play in different positions, which is useful for us,” explained Wagner, whose side host Fulham on Saturday.
“In the longer term, centre midfield could be his position, but at this stage, I see him on the right-hand side.
“Full-backs are key in our system, and he is fit enough and fast enough, with good endurance and good strength in his body.
“Sometimes he needs more confidence on the ball, but this will come with experience, and he is a very good talent.
“Tommy Smith is our only other specialist right-back, because Martin Cranie is a more defensive-orientated player, and Kyle can provide the right competition.”