The top 10 left backs in the world right now

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Jason Ence

November 11th, 2021

Few positions in soccer require the defensive prowess, technical ability, and work rate that fullback or wingback does.

However, given the fact that less than 13 percent of humans have a dominant left foot, good left backs are even tougher to find.

Let’s break down the 10 best left backs in the world today, based on long-term performance and current form. 

10. Alex Sandro, Juventus

A long-time starter for the Brazilian national team and Juventus, the 30-year-old is having a slow start to this campaign, with just one goal and no assists in 15 appearances for his club.

However, he is a consistent performer and defends well, which has become important, as his pace has begun to wane. He is also a very accurate passer, completing nearly 85% of his attempts this season.

9. Ben Chilwell, Chelsea

After starting the season on the bench, Chilwell has reclaimed his spot as Chelsea’s starting left back, with goals in three of his five Premier League starts this season.

Just 24 years old, Chilwell should also see plenty of time for England, with whom he has recorded a goal and assist in his three World Cup qualifiers this year.

8. Jordi Alba, Barcelona

A long-term fixture of the Spanish national team, Alba’s pace and crossing ability make him a threat anytime he is on the ball.

In 11 appearances this season in La Liga and Champions League, Alba has assisted on five goals and leads the team in key passes per match.

At 32, his best years are behind him, but he continues to be a leader for the Catalan side.

7. Robert Gosens, Atalanta

Gosens has made the move from left mid to left wingback with Atalanta, and he has thrived in the role.

So far this season in eight appearances across Serie A and Champions League, Gosens has registered two goals. He has also become a key player for the German national team and was one of their best performers at Euro 2020.

Injuries have hampered his season, including a thigh injury suffered in late September that will keep him out likely another month.

6. Ferland Mendy, Real Madrid

The 26-year-old Frenchman took over the starting left back role this season for Real Madrid, finally unseating Marcelo, and he has done quite well.

A terrific dribbler, Mendy is quite fast and provides plenty of attacking prowess down the left, and he uses his strength and size to muscle players off the ball.

He missed the start of the season for Madrid and has made just six appearances for them this season, but in two Champions League starts he has completed nearly 97% of his passes.

5. Luke Shaw, Manchester United

While his form has taken a dip over the past month, few left backs have taken the strides forward over the past year that Shaw has.

A key reason for England’s success at Euro 2020, Shaw scored a goal in the final and assisted three others during the tournament.

He has two assists in 14 matches for Manchester United this season, and the 26-year-old is finally starting to realize some of the promise he had before a gruesome broken leg in 2015 derailed his progress.

4. Raphael Guerreiro, Borussia Dortmund

The best goalscoring left back on the list, Guerreiro has found the back of the net three times this season for Dortmund in Bundesliga play.

Few run more per match than Guerreiro, and he has become a key component both in Dortmund’s setup, as well as for Portugal. In 25 matches last season, he scored five goals and set up 10 more, and is second in shots per match for Dortmund this year.

3. Andrew Robertson, Liverpool

Robertson is a key cog in the Liverpool machine under Jurgen Klopp, and few can cross the ball better than he can.

He had just two assists this season in 11 matches, but he has greatly improved his defensive play at the expense of pushing forward in attack.

His form this season is down, but over the past three years, few left backs have impacted matches the way he does.

2. Alphonso Davies, Bayern Munich

There may not be a faster player in the sport than Davies, whose blistering pace not only puts fear into the hearts of opposing defenses, it allows him to chase down attackers who think they’re in on goal.

Arguably the best left back in the world two years ago, his attacking form has dipped somewhat, but the 21-year-old has yet to sniff his prime.

He has four assists in 13 appearances for Bayern this year, but has just one goal in the past season and a half.

1. Theo Hernandez, AC Milan

Hernandez was brought in two years ago from Real Madrid, and he has lit the San Siro ablaze with his performances for Milan.

Just 24 years old, he recently got called up to the French national team, where he scored a phenomenal stoppage-time winner against Belgium.

He has a penchant for scoring long-range goals for the Rossoneri as well, and in 10 starts for Milan this season, he has a goal and three assists.

Hernandez has a rare combination of speed and strength that not only makes him a solid defender, but terrorizes every defense that tries to stop him.