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The 10 Best Left Backs In The World Right Now, Ranked

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The 10 Best Left Backs In The World Right Now, Ranked

World football has seen some exceptional left-backs over the years from Ashley Cole to Roberto Carlos, setting the standard high for new up-and-coming lefties to try their trade in the forgotten position.

Full-backs are no longer the forgotten men on the football pitch. Indeed, some of the players on this list are integral to the way their club and country set up. Not just defenders, but also invaluable attackers, creators, scorers, set-piece takers and jack of all trades.

We've used a number of stats from last season to quantify our rankings, as well as a player's overall contribution to the game in recent times. So who makes it into our top 10?

All stats come from WhoScored.com and are correct as of the publish date.

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10) Lucas Digne, Everton/France

2020/21 Season Stats:

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  • 30 appearances
  • 0 goals
  • 7 assists
  • 2.4 clearances per game
  • 1.5 key passes per game

The Frenchman ranks alongside Richarlison, James Rodriquez and Abdoulaye Doucoure as Everton Director of Football Marcel Brand's best signings. The 27-year-old, who inked a new contract until 2025 in February, created more chances than any Everton player last season. He faces a battle for fitness ahead of the new Premier League season after injuring a thigh during France's match against Portugal at Euro 2021.

Lucas Digne created more chances than any Everton player last season (Image: PA)
Lucas Digne created more chances than any Everton player last season (Image: PA)

9) Raphael Guerreiro, Borussia Dortmund/Portugal

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2020/21 Season Stats:

  • 25 appearances
  • 5 goals
  • 10 assists
  • 0.9 clearances per game
  • 2.0 key passes per game

Nicknamed The Battery for his all-energy style up and down the left, Guerreiro is reportedly a transfer target for Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid. The French-born Portuguese opened his country's Euro 2021 scoring against Hungary, but notched an own goal during the following battering at the hands of Germany. Graduated from France's Clairefontaine academy, whose former attendees include Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud and Thierry Henry.

Real Madrid are said to be monitoring the progress of Raphael Guerreiro (Image: PA)
Real Madrid are said to be monitoring the progress of Raphael Guerreiro (Image: PA)
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8) Ben Chilwell, Chelsea/England

2020/21 Season Stats:

  • 27 appearances
  • 3 goals
  • 5 assists
  • 1.7 clearances per game
  • 1.1 key passes per game

Made an immediate impact after his move to Chelsea from Leicester last summer. After an injury hitch kept him out of the line-up, his first appearance, in the Carabao Cup, saw him cross for Olivier Giroud to score against Barnsley. He then became the first Chelsea defender to score on his Premier League debut and played every minute of the Champions League semi-final and final. Only two outfield players started more for the Blues in 2020/21.

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Ben Chilwell made an immediate impact after his move to Chelsea from Leicester City last summer (Image: PA)
Ben Chilwell made an immediate impact after his move to Chelsea from Leicester City last summer (Image: PA)

7) Jordi Alba, Barcelona/Spain

2020/21 Season Stats:

  • 34 appearances
  • 3 goals
  • 5 assists
  • 0.9 clearances per game
  • 1.5 key passes per game

At 32, it's a testament to Jordi Alba's tenacity and consistency that he's still on this list. The Euro 2012 champion, and scorer in the final, was still an ever-present in the team during Spain's run to the semi-final in 2021. One of the 18 Barcelona stars reportedly on the transfer list, according to president Joan Laporta, the Catalonian may have to agree a pay cut or move on later this summer, which should prick up the ears of managers all over Europe.

Jordi Alba reached the Euro 2020 semi-final with Spain this summer (Image: PA)
Jordi Alba reached the Euro 2020 semi-final with Spain this summer (Image: PA)

6) Alex Sandro, Juventus/Brazil

2020/21 Season Stats:

  • 20 appearances
  • 2 goals
  • 1 assists
  • 2 clearances per game
  • 0.7 key passes per game

Despite a season disrupted by a positive COVID test, the Brazilian completed 87.7% of his passes in Serie A and 85.4% in Juve's five Champions League appearances. The 30-year old scored one and conceded only two goals for the Selecao as Brazil progressed unbeaten to the Copa America final against old rivals Argentina, where they will seek a second-straight and 10th total continental title.

Alex Sandro has been paramount to Juventus' success in the Serie A (Image: PA)
Alex Sandro has been paramount to Juventus' success in the Serie A (Image: PA)

5) David Alaba, Bayern Munich/Austria

2020/21 Season Stats:

  • 30 appearances
  • 2 goals
  • 3 assists
  • 1.8 clearances per game
  • 0.9 key passes per game

Joint second with 12 crosses completed at Euro 2012, David Alaba captained Austria to their first Euros knockout stage in their history, while appearing at left-back, centre-back and left-midfield. His acceleration and stamina have seen him make over 400 appearances for Bayern, including 10 Bundesliga titles plus Champions League victories last season and in 2012/13. Austrian Footballer of the Year seven times, the 29-year-old has also been selected to the UEFA Team of the Year on three occasions.

David Alaba captained Austria to their first Euros knockout stage in their history (Image: PA)
David Alaba captained Austria to their first Euros knockout stage in their history (Image: PA)

4) Alphonso Davies, Bayern Munich/Canada

2020/21 Season Stats:

  • 22 appearances
  • 1 goal
  • 2 assists
  • 1.2 clearances per game
  • 0.9 key passes per game

Speed kills and Alphonso Davies has it to burn, literally - reportedly reaching a top speed of 35.6kmh as he chased back during a match against Arminia in February. The youngest player since Roque Santa Cruz in 1999 and the first Canadian to score for Bayern, the explosive youngster started life on the wing at Vancouver Whitecaps. Since joining Bayern in January 2019 he has established himself at left-back where his closing speed helps him press as well as making him dangerous in the attacking third. Has scored nine goals in 23 appearances for his country.

Since joining Bayern Munich in January 2019, Alphonso Davies has established himself at left-back (Image: PA)
Since joining Bayern Munich in January 2019, Alphonso Davies has established himself at left-back (Image: PA)

3) Luke Shaw, Manchester United/England

2020/21 Season Stats:

  • 30 appearances
  • 1 goal
  • 5 assists
  • 1.2 clearances per game
  • 2.3 key passes per game

With Jose Mourinho's 'special' brand of man-management firmly in his rear-view mirror, Luke Shaw has blossomed under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United and Gareth Southgate for England. The 25-year-old has been one of the stars of Euro 2021, lucky slippers and all, earning the nickname Shawberto Carlos from his England teammates. Going into his side's semi-final with Denmark, Shaw was joint second in assists in the tournament, ahead of veterans such as Jordi Alba and David Alaba, while his crossing accuracy was ahead of both Alaba and Andy Robertson.

Luke Shaw has been one of England's standout players at this summer's European Championships (Image: PA)
Luke Shaw has been one of England's standout players at this summer's European Championships (Image: PA)

2) Theo Hernandez, AC Milan/France

2020/21 Season Stats:

  • 33 appearances
  • 7 goals
  • 5 assists
  • 1.5 clearances per game
  • 1.3 key passes per game

Persuaded by technical director Paolo Maldini, who knows a thing or two about playing left-back, to join AC Milan in 2019, Theo Hernandez rapidly emerged as one of Europe's best left-backs. Full of clever runs going forward, his defensive vision and strength make him a tough proposition for attackers. PSG had made an agreement in principle to sign him before Euro 2021 but Milan are understandably not willing to countenance the move.

Theo Hernandez rapidly emerged as one of Europe's best left-backs (Image: PA)
Theo Hernandez rapidly emerged as one of Europe's best left-backs (Image: PA)

1) Andy Robertson, Liverpool/Scotland

2020/21 Season Stats:

  • 38 appearances
  • 1 goal
  • 7 assists
  • 1.8 clearances per game
  • 1.7 key passes per game

In October 2020, when the Liverpool defence was cratered by Virgil van Dijk's injury at the hands/feet of Jordan Pickford, it meant other members of the unit needed to step up. Cue 27-year-old Andy Robertson growing into a leadership role for the Anfield outfit to go with his 37 assists in four seasons. His energy and work-rate saw him become the first Scottish captain to lead his side out at a major tournament in 23 years at Euro 2021. Robertson led the tournament in crosses attempted (32) and crosses completed (12) despite Scotland's exit at the group stage of the competition.

Andy Robertson has assisted a staggering 37 time in four seasons for Liverpool (Image: PA)
Andy Robertson has assisted a staggering 37 time in four seasons for Liverpool (Image: PA)

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona, ​Alphonso Davies, Luke Shaw, Bayern Munich, Andy Robertson

Colin Hubbuck
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