Former Liverpool great Jamie Carragher once quipped, “Nobody grows up wanting to be a Gary Neville,” highlighting why right-backs were not considered the most essential players on a football field. But, times are changing now, and in the current scheme of things, the role of a right-back has become a very crucial one.
Over the years, players such as Cafu, Dani Alves, helped in changing the perception about the role of full-backs, and how they can contribute both offensively and defensively.
Right-backs are no longer looked upon as players, who are there to make up numbers on the field, rather their tireless running up and down the flanks is a skill, few players in the world can boast.
Recently, we cooked up a list of 5 best goalkeepers in the world, in the calendar year 2019-20, and today, we will continue to build our team, with full-backs the next position in-line.
Here is a list of the top 5 right-backs in the world, on basis of 2019-20 season.
5) Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United / England)
After two stellar seasons with Crystal Palace, Aaron Wan-Bissaka made the jump to Manchester United as the Red Devils shelled out £45 million on the young Englishman. In just his first season, Wan-Bissaka has become one of the best right-backs in the Premier League.
The 22-year-old has won 84.6% of his duels as per Opta, and he maintains the best tackling rate across all of Europe. He’s almost a throwback in the days when modern full-backs often get criticised for forgetting their main job, that is to ‘defend’.
Wan-Bissaka’s output going forward, and crossing needs to be brushed up, but it seems United finally have a successor to Gary Neville. A wily, strong, and confident right-back, he’s got all the ingredients to become a superstar.
4) Ricardo Periera (Leicester City / Portugal)
When the foxes opted to spend €22 million on the little known Portuguese full-back in 2018, few would have expected Ricardo Periera to make such an instant impact.
He finished fourth on the ranking for most tackles last season whilst also picking up Leicester City’s Player of the Year award, and Players’ Player of the Year award.
Fast forward to 2019-20, Periera has more tackles than anyone else in the Premier League, and he also chipped in with three goals and two assists, meaning he’s a potent attacker as well. Such has been his consistency that the 26-year-old is already being linked to some European elites.
3) Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich / Germany)
If not for his obsession to play in the midfield, Joshua Kimmich could easily have been the best right-back in the world. He joined Bayern Munich in 2015 and was able to replace club legend, Philip Lahm without much of a fuss.
Under Pep Guardiola, Kimmich made the seamless transition to a deep-lying playmaker, and he hasn’t looked back since. The 25-year-old isn’t the fastest player on the pitch, but he’s an intelligent customer, who utilizes space and passing to do wonders with the ball.
The German contributed four goals and eight assists for Bayern across all competitions in 2019-20 before the season was cut short due to the Coronavirus crisis.
2) Achraf Hakimi (Borussia Dortmund / Morocco)
Despite being just 21-years old, Achraf Hakimi is already being linked to Bayern, Juventus, and many more European giants. It seems almost like a fairytale for a player, who just two seasons ago, was deemed surplus to requirements by his parent club Real Madrid.
As a consequence, Hakimi joined Dortmund on two-year loan and he has been a stellar performer since moving across to Germany. As a testament to his versatility, the Moroccan has played at left-back, at his favoured right-back and at times, Hakimi has been deployed further up the pitch as well.
In 2019-20, he has racked up seven goals and has laid on a further 10 assists. After the end of this season, he will return to Real Madrid and is expected to compete with Dani Carvajal for a place in the starting XI.
1) Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool / England)
The journey from being an understudy to Nathaniel Clyne to becoming the best right-back in the world, Trent Alexander-Arnold’s meteoric rise has been there for all to see. In just the space of two years, he has become a key cog in Liverpool’s all-conquering juggernaut.
At just 21-years of age, Alexander-Arnold has already earned a reputation as a dead-ball specialist, his vision and passing range are sublime, and many Reds supporters want him to play in the midfield so that he can see more of the ball.
Defensively Trent may not be the most fearsome tacklers, but he makes up for it, with his incredible pace. Offensively, he’s one of the best of his trade, having scored two goals and providing a staggering 14 assists for Liverpool across all competitions.
The sky is the limit really for Trent Alexander-Arnold, who despite his young age, has played for England at a World Cup, has won the Champions League already, and is very close to adding a Premier League winners’ medal to his trophy cabinet.
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