Today's football pattern has changed with many managers looking to buy and train players that are good with wing-backs, unlike full-backs in the olden days' football. Wing-backs in football have given many big teams a good flow pattern of football going on the attack. Let us look at the top wing-backs in the football world today.
7. Ferland Mendy
Signed from Lyon in the summer of 2019 for €48 million, Mendy’s arrival coincided with the drastic dip in Marcelo’s form. As the Brazilian struggled through injuries and fitness. It became clear that he was no longer the same player, making Zidane look to Mendy for taking up the number one spot at the left-back. Fortunately for him, Mendy did not disappoint him. The Frenchman proved to be the perfect replacement for Marcelo. Positionally astute, Mendy is also a quick dribbler with an eye for a pass. He is also quite two-footed.
6. Joao Cancelo
Arguably Pep Guardiola's shrewdest move in the 2020/21 season was tweaking Cancelo's role to allow him to push into centre midfield when City played out from the back, then beyond. The switch allowed Cancelo to morph into a creative force averaging 1.6 key passes per game, behind only Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez, and saw him named to the PFA Team of the Year.
5. Trent Alexander-Arnold
It's fair to say that watchers of Euro 2021 were robbed of seeing one of the game's best attacking full-backs when the Liverpool star sustained a thigh injury in the closing stages of his country's friendly with Austria. Alexander-Arnold averaged 1.9 crosses per game (joint second-best in the Premiership)
4. Alphonso Davies
The 19-year old player was born in Ghana but grew up in Canada. He joined Bayern Munich from MLS side Vancouver Whitecap FC of United States. Davies is regarded as the best wing-back in this generation regarding his speed and composure with football; his attacking threat is thrilling. His arrival has forced Bayern to play their former left-winger David Alaba as a central defender. Internationally, Davies plays for Canada, and he is the youngest player to score for his country at 16. Davies has been presented with Bundesliga Rookie of the Season 2020.
3. Reece James
James is an academy graduate of the Chelsea football club. He went on a loan spell to Wigan Athletic in the 2018/2019 season; after the season. He returned to Chelsea senior team last season under new manager Frank Lampard. Since then, he has been a utility player to Lampard. His strength is one of the things you can count for, moving forward and backwards. The 21-year-old right-back made his first senior debut in September 2019 and was recorded as the youngest player to score in the Champions League competition (in the 4-4 draw against Ajax).
2. Zeki Celik
Zeki Celik was superb for Lille last season as the underdogs lifted the title ahead of Paris Saint-Germain. He's superb at offering overlapping runs down the right and he's an asset down that flank. While a number of clubs looked at him in the summer, Celik stayed at Lille. At just 24, he has plenty of growing to do and could become one of the most reliable full-backs in Europe over the next few years.
1. Achraf Hakimi
The rumours were that Real Madrid didn’t particularly want to let Achraf Hakimi leave after his blazing loan spell at Borussia Dortmund. After joining Inter Milan in 2020, however, the Moroccan right-back became one of the standouts in Antonio Conte’s side, providing creativity in abundance and even chipping in goals. Now he's part of Les Galactiques in Paris, alongside the likes of Ramos, Neymar and Mbappe, providing overlapping runs for Messi and Di Maria. It says a lot of the Moroccan's ability that he's one of the stars of this side, despite the wealth of other superstars in the team. He's still got his best years ahead of him, too.
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