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Top 10 Premier League left-backs (Ranked)

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Highlights

  • In the Premier League, left-backs are now required to be solid in defense while also posing a threat in attack.
  • Andy Robertson from Liverpool has stood out as the top left-back in the league, and some would even say in the world, especially since playing under Jurgen Klopp.
  • Destiny Udogie has emerged as a rising star for Tottenham, impressing with his defensive abilities and attacking prowess. At only 21 years old, he has the potential to become an outstanding player.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a surge in the significance of full-backs in the Premier League, with left-backs standing out as some of the most crucial players in the division.

Traditionally, players on the left side of the defense were mainly tasked with defensive duties. However, nowadays, they’re also expected to contribute to the team’s attacking plays. This shift is evident in teams like Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

Regardless of who’s stationed on the left flank, they’re required to constantly shuttle between defense and attack, providing both defensive stability and an additional threat in the attacking third.

Ranking factors

  • Impact – how effective the player was in terms of generating a string of positive results and what trophies the player helped win for their respective team.
  • Ability – how talented the player was on an individual basis
  • Consistency – how each player was able to maintain a high level of form over a time duration of longer than six months at a time.
Rank Player Club
1 Andy Robertson Liverpool
2 Destiny Udogie Tottenham Hotspur
3 Josko Gvardiol Manchester City
4 Oleksandr Zinchenko Arsenal
5 Luke Shaw Manchester United
6. Pervis Estupinan Brighton & Hove Albion
7 Antonee Robinson Fulham
8 Vitaliy Mykolenko Everton
9 Rico Henry Brentford
10 Ben Chilwell Chelsea

10. Ben Chilwell

Top 10 Premier League left-backs (Ranked)

Switching from one Chelsea left-back to another, the struggles of Cucurella at Stamford Bridge have only emphasized Ben Chilwell’s significance to the Blues, particularly evident throughout the 2022/23 season. His impact rivaled that of Reece James, with both full-backs significantly altering Chelsea’s game when fully recovered from their injuries. Despite facing recurring injury setbacks, Chilwell remains a crucial asset to Chelsea’s offensive strategies, notably contributing four goals solely in league matches.

However, his battle with injuries persists, and under Mauricio Pochettino’s management, Chilwell has often been deployed more akin to a left-winger when in good health, while Levi Colwill takes up the left-back position instead. This shift in role might be a reason for his diminished ranking. Moreover, a subpar performance in a 4-1 loss against Liverpool hasn’t done him any favors in proving his worth.

9. Rico Henry

Top 10 Premier League left-backs (Ranked)

Brentford has had a tough time in the 2023/24 season. While much of their struggles in the Premier League have been attributed to Ivan Toney’s suspension during the first half of the season, the absence of Rico Henry has been equally significant for the team. Henry, who has been sidelined with a knee injury since September, is a key player for the Bees.

The 26-year-old full-back is known for his attacking prowess and defensive solidity, making him invaluable in the modern game. In the 2022/23 season, he featured in almost all of Brentford’s league games and even contributed with two assists. Although he’s been absent recently, once he returns, he’ll undoubtedly remind everyone of his importance to Thomas Frank’s team.

8. Vitaliy Mykolenko

Top 10 Premier League left-backs (Ranked)

It’s been quite a journey, but Vitaliy Mykolenko has really settled into his role as a left-back for Everton in the Premier League. Thanks to Sean Dyche’s guidance, he’s found his stride at Goodison Park, overcoming his initial struggles. As a Ukrainian international, he’s become a key player for the team.

Given Everton’s uphill battle after a 10-point deduction in the league, they need all hands on deck, especially with the threat of another deduction looming. Mykolenko has stepped up admirably to the challenge so far. Not only has he been rock-solid in defense, but he’s also making a mark in attack, having scored a couple of goals already this season, making it one of his most productive seasons since joining the club.

7. Antonee Robinson

Top 10 Premier League left-backs (Ranked)

Since arriving from Wigan in 2020, Robinson has been a linchpin in Fulham’s defense. He really shone under Marco Silva’s coaching in 2022/23, and he’s continuing to impress in the English top flight.

He’s versatile, and able to shut down wingers or contribute creatively. At 26, he’s got a well-rounded skill set that’s attracted interest from several clubs, including Liverpool. They’re on the lookout for a backup left-back, and possibly even someone to eventually take over from Andy Robertson (more on him later).

But one thing’s clear: Robinson won’t be sold on the cheap.

6. Pervis Estupinan

Top 10 Premier League left-backs (Ranked)

When Marc Cucurella left Brighton for Chelsea, fans were worried about the gap he’d leave behind, given his stellar performances. But his replacement, Estupinan, who cost a fraction of what Brighton received for Cucurella, has been remarkable.

Estupinan, hailing from Ecuador, made waves in Spain with Villarreal, and he’s seamlessly adapted to life at the Amex Stadium under Roberto De Zerbi. Brighton isn’t quite the same team without him, especially considering his attacking prowess from the left flank. In the 2022/23 season, he contributed with a goal and five assists, crucial in Brighton’s qualification for the Europa League. And he’s continued that impressive form into the 2023–24 season, already tallying five goals in the league.

5. Luke Shaw

Top 10 Premier League left-backs (Ranked)

There were moments when people questioned whether Luke Shaw was the right fit for Manchester United’s left-back position in the long run. He faced regular criticism from Jose Mourinho. However, he’s proven his doubters wrong with outstanding performances, securing his spot as the primary left-back for both club and country when he’s in good shape.

During the 2022/23 season under Erik ten Hag’s management, Shaw shined, contributing significantly to Manchester United’s qualification for the Champions League. Unfortunately, he suffered a muscle injury, causing him to miss a significant portion of the current season. Though he’s back on the field now, he’s still working his way back to full form.

4. Oleksandr Zinchenko

Top 10 Premier League left-backs (Ranked)

If Oleksandr Zinchenko had been on almost any other team in the Premier League over the past few years, we’d probably already know how talented he is. He didn’t get much playtime at the Etihad Stadium, but at Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, he’s become a crucial player, taking on a different role that lets him bolster the midfield and help with attacking moves.

His first season with Arsenal was almost unforgettable, except they fell short in the league to Manchester City. Zinchenko’s technical skills are top-notch, and his experience from being on winning teams is invaluable for a squad packed with young players. Despite some shaky moments, he’s been a regular starter, though there have been even some clashes with Ben White. If Arsenal wants to keep up in the title race, Zinchenko’s going to be essential to their plans.

3. Josko Gvardiol

Top 10 Premier League left-backs (Ranked)

During the summer transfer window, Josko Gvardiol joined Manchester City amid high praise as one of the most promising young talents in football. Having thrived at RB Leipzig, Pep Guardiola made a significant investment to secure his services for the Etihad, and Gvardiol has certainly justified the hype surrounding his arrival.

The Croatian defender seems unfazed by pressure and displays a level of calmness in City’s defense that belies his young age. Despite early struggles for the team, particularly in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, Gvardiol has remained solid. The prospect of his further development is daunting for the rest of the Premier League, as he’s bound to only improve with time.

2. Destiny Udogie

Top 10 Premier League left-backs (Ranked)

Destiny Udogie has emerged as a shining star in the Premier League, making a significant impact on Tottenham Hotspur’s defense. Whether he’s holding the fort at the back or surging forward with the ball, his performances have been nothing short of exceptional under Ange Postecoglou’s management.

With five goal contributions already, Udogie’s debut season in the Premier League has been impressive. His presence has played a vital role in Spurs’ success this year, reflecting positively on Postecoglou’s leadership. At just 21 years old, Udogie’s potential suggests that Tottenham may have secured their left-back for the foreseeable future.

1. Andy Robertson

Top 10 Premier League left-backs (Ranked)

Partnering with Trent Alexander-Arnold on the opposite side of the pitch, Andy Robertson has truly transformed the role of the full-back in modern football. It’s quite remarkable, considering he was acquired for a mere £8 million in 2017 from the relegated Hull City, marking one of Jurgen Klopp’s most astute signings. Throughout his tenure with the Reds, Robertson has consistently demonstrated his prowess, providing at least ten assists in three out of six Premier League seasons. His combination of speed, endurance, determination, and composure not only establishes him as the top left-back in the Premier League but also potentially across Europe.

Although the 2022/23 season witnessed a slight dip in performance for Robertson and the Liverpool team as a whole, the Scottish player still managed to tally an impressive eight assists. Despite enduring a significant portion of the 2023/24 season on the sidelines due to injury, he’s expected to seamlessly reintegrate into the squad as Jurgen Klopp strives to conclude his tenure at Liverpool on a high note.

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