The one position in the Premier League that has seen a huge surge in quality lately has been the left back position. After the initial rise of the wing back system last season, most teams eventually preferred to deploy a back four.
This has brought us back to the classic full back scenario, where the lung busting overlapping runs from the left backs are a common sight. Here are the top 5 left backs to look out for in the upcoming season :-
5. Luke Shaw :-
Not many players are able to salvage their careers after the tumulus injury problems that someone like Luke Shaw has faced. After 4 seasons of uncertain game time and injury layoffs, Shaw finally came into his own last season, showing glimpses of being the player that he was during his time at Southampton.
Luke Shaw had a very successful spell at Manchester United last season where they finished 6th in the Premier League Table. The Englishman is known for his marauding runs forward, both through the wing and the middle. His defensive side of things has also massively improved last year. With the club’s renaissance under Solskjaer, Shaw might just continue to have an even better season with a lot more attacking freedom given to his play. Also at 24, Shaw has all the years to reach the heights that were billed on him in his early days. We can only expect Shaw to be more involved for United this season and play an important role as the season progresses.
4. Jose Holebas :-
Jose Holebas has seen it all in his football career. From playing for Viktoria Kahl in Germany’s 6th tier league to playing for Roma and now Watford, Holebas has had quite a journey. The 35 year old can play both as a left back and a left winger and has been involved with Watford since 2015.
The German born Greek international is an aggressive presence in the back, and can lunge into tackles and challenge strongly in the air. His crosses from the left wing are right there amongst the very best in the Premier League at the moment. His quality on the dead ball means that he is also the team’s designated set piece taker. Pretty neat for a full back heading into the summit of his career.
Holebas has been quite effective and manager Javi Garcia can only hope that Holebas continues to perform in a similar fashion in the upcoming season.
3. Ben Chilwell :-
Ben Chilwell’s promise has been well known for some time, but last season had been the 22 year old’s real breakthrough campaign. Now a full England international, Chilwell had made 36 appearances for the Foxes, and is looking increasingly assured defensively, having made big improvements in terms of decision making and with his positional play. He is also taking greater responsibility offensively, picking the right moments when to drive forward and hit space.
2. Lucas Digne :-
Lucas Digne was one of the two Barcelona defenders that Everton brought in last summer to shore up their defence under manager Marco Silva. The 26 year old arrived at Goodison, and unsurprisingly has been an upgrade on an ageing Leighton Baines.
After a slow start to last season, the Frenchman had given a string of impressive displays and has made the left back spot his own. He has a good tactical understanding of the game, is quick and can attack as well as he defends. Digne has scored 4 goals and provided as many assists in the Premier League last season, with his delivery from wide and dead balls now a key weapon in the Toffees arsenal. He’s also been solid defensively, averaging over two tackles per game.
1. Andrew Robertson :-
Andy Robertson joined Liverpool at the beginning of the 2017-18 season and soon grew into one of the most crucial players for the Reds. His boundless energy, electrifying pace and startling dynamism is quite the combination, particularly for an international captain who has just turned 25.
Robertson was one of the stars for Liverpool last season. Not many had heard about the Scottish defender and against all the odds, the former Hull City defender did a phenomenal job for Liverpool. He made 11 assists last season and contributed a significant amount for the Reds while going forward. Robertson has no real weakness, and holds the record for the most assists in a single Premier League season.