Long gone are the days of the one-dimensional defender stationed at left back, focused solely on cleaning up opposition attacking threats.
Now, the best full-backs are expected to be an attacking threat in their own right, overlapping to burst into the box and exploiting wide areas.
Unsurprisingly, players that can contribute to defensive solidity and serve as an attacking force are rare; they are worth their weight in gold, and then some, as a result.
One way to get around such hefty price tags is to buy a young star and develop them into a world-beater, which is why you’ll find all of the wonderkids at left back on this page.
Choosing the best wonderkid left backs (LB) on FIFA 21
To help you out, we have compiled a list of every left back in FIFA 21 who’s 21-years-old or younger with at least an 82 potential rating.
Featured in the main body of the article are the five best young left backs with the highest potential rating. At the foot of the article, you will find a full list of all of the best wonderkid left backs (LB) on FIFA 21.
Alphonso Davies (81 OVR – 89 POT)
Team: Bayern Munich
Best Position: LB
Overall/Potential: 81 OVR / 89 POT
Value (Release Clause): £20.3m (£38m)
Wage: £36k per week
Best Attributes: 95 Acceleration, 92 Speed, 85 Dribbling
A Champions League-winner with Bayern Munich last season, Alphonso Davies is widely considered to be the best young left back in the world. The Canadian made his name as a marauding left back with the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS, before moving to Bayern in January 2019.
He made just six appearances in the second half of the 2018/19 season, but enjoyed a breakthrough season a year later. Playing 46 times in all competitions in another all-conquering season for the German giants, Davies chipped in with ten assists and three goals.
All season, defences struggled to deal with his electric pace, with Davies flying up and down the left flank with frightening speed. Davies’ FIFA 21 ratings reflect that, with his 92 sprint speed and 95 acceleration meaning that he is never truly out of the action.
His 79 stamina is something to try to develop on the training ground, however, with his influence in games currently liable to fade. The wonderkid’s 68 crossing and 63 long shots are also facets of his game that you will want to focus on improving over time.
Davies is currently valued at just £20.3 million, with a release clause of £38 million. While that isn’t pocket change, for a player with his potential in such a coveted position, he is a surprisingly affordable option – particularly for one of Europe’s leading clubs.
Nuno Mendes (72 OVR – 87 POT)
Team: Sporting CP
Best Position: LWB, LM
Overall/Potential: 72 OVR / 87 POT
Value (Release Clause): £5.4m (£14.3m)
Wage: £2k per week
Best Attributes: 87 Acceleration, 86 Sprint Speed, 82 Agility
Nuno Mendes’ pace is enough to make opposition players think that there must be two of him. The teenager won a starting role in Sporting CP’s side at the start of last season. Even though he is typically deployed as a left midfielder, he is more than capable of filling in at left back when required.
Promoted from the under-23s team, Mendes played nine times for the first-team after the season resumed, and is expected to retain his starting spot throughout the 2020/21 season.
Blessed with 87 acceleration and 86 sprint speed in FIFA 21, pace is Mendes’ greatest, but there is more to the teenager than foot speed. His defensive ratings are good enough for him to convert to left back full-time, even for those who intend to deploy a back-four.
His 68 standing tackle and 67 sliding tackle are adequate for a 17-year-old who’s still learning his trade, while his 70 defensive awareness indicates a natural affinity for the defensive side of the game.
In terms of his development, the focus should be on his 48 strength and 54 long passing; improving his 40 shot power and 38 long shots would also add another dimension to his game.
Valued at £5.4 million on FIFA 21, with a release clause of £14.3 million, Mendes is not the most affordable player, particularly as he will not be ready to start for the sort of clubs that can pay the asking price. Still, he should prove to be a more than worthwhile investment in the long run.
Luca Netz (63 OVR – 86 POT)
Team: Hertha Berlin
Best Position: LB
Overall/Potential: 63 OVR / 86 POT
Value (Release Clause): £675k (£1.8m)
Wage: £450 per week
Best Attributes: 77 standing tackle, 70 acceleration, 69 sprint speed
Admittedly, at 17-years-old, it is perhaps too early to speculate just what Luca Netz might go on to achieve, particularly in the real world, but on FIFA 21, he is certainly destined for big things.
Yet to play a competitive senior game for Hertha Berlin, at the time of writing, Netz has nonetheless carved out an impressive reputation for the second team in the Regionalliga Nordost – the fourth tier of the German football pyramid.
Netz’s 77 standing tackle is, by some distance, his best attribute. That said, his 70 acceleration, 69 sprint speed, 68 sliding tackle 68 dribbling, and 66 crossing suggest a strong all-round game once he’s developed.
Netz also has considerable room for improvement, particularly with his 29 long shots and 32 shot power: weaknesses that can and should be addressed on the training pitch.
His remarkable potential ensures that, with the right training and development path, the 17-year-old could, from a modest starting point, become a superstar. It is certainly a risk worth taking, considering his bargain price tag and small wage demands.
Luca Pellegrini (72 OVR – 86 POT)
Team: Genoa, on-loan from Piemonte Calcio (Juventus)
Best Position: LB
Overall/Potential: 72 OVR / 86 POT
Value (Release Clause): £5.5m (£14.3m)
Wage: £7k per week
Best Attributes: 78 Crossing, 78 Acceleration, 75 Sprint Speed
A Roma youth product, Luca Pellegrini has experience playing for multiple Serie A clubs. Parent club Juventus, who purchased him for €22 million in 2019, sent him on-loan to Cagliari Calcio, where he had played in the second half of the 2018/19 season, and now he’s with Genoa.
Last season, Pellegrini chalked up 24 appearances for Cagliari in the league, providing six assists, with the Sardinian side finishing 14th in the table – ten points clear of the relegation places.
Pellegrini isn’t one of the fastest left backs, but with 78 acceleration and 75 sprint speed, he has enough pace to get up and down the touchline. Furthermore, his 78 crossing ensures that he has enough quality to do damage in the final third.
To develop the Italian into a more complete defender, you would do well to focus on his 72 standing tackle rating, as well as his 68 awareness and 60 sliding tackle. His 68 positioning and 62 interceptions are also areas in which Pellegrini can better his game.
Rayan Aït-Nouri (71 OVR – 86 POT)
Team: Wolverhampton Wanderers (on-loan from Angers SCO)
Best Position: LB
Overall/Potential: 71 OVR / 86 POT
Value (Release Clause): £4.2m (£11.2m)
Wage: £6.3k per week
Best Attributes: 76 balance, 72 ball control, 72 sliding tackle
Rayan Aït-Nouri, who signed at Molineux on-loan from Ligue 1 side Angers, has the potential to develop into one of the world’s best in his position on FIFA 21.
The French full-back made 17 appearances last term in Ligue 1, contributing three assists to a team that conceded just 33 goals in 28 league matches, suggesting that whilst his greatest strength may be in defence, he can contribute as an attacking outlet.
The 19-year-old starts at 71 OVR, with the highlights on his ratings sheet being his 76 balance and 72 ball control, whilst he also has ratings of over 70 for both standing and sliding tackle.
The glaring weakness in his game is a lack of pace, with Aït-Nouri’s 66 acceleration and 70 sprint speed being below par for a modern full-back. That, added to his 63 stamina, means that Aït-Nouri’s attacking endeavours may be limited in the early season of your Career Mode, particularly if you are playing in a fast-paced and physical league, like the Premier League or the Bundesliga.
That said, his wage demands and release clause are modest enough to make him a solid investment, especially if you are seeking a full-back that is strong in the tackle.
All of the best young wonderkid left backs (LB) in FIFA 21
All of FIFA 21’s best wonderkid LBs and LWBs with a potential of 82 or more are listed in the table below:
|Alphonso Davies||LB||19||81||89||Bayern Munich||£20.3m||£36k|
|Nuno Mendes||LB||18||72||87||Sporting Lisbon||£5.4m||£2k|
|Luca Netz||LB||17||63||86||Hertha Berlin||£675k||£450|
|Rayan-Aït Nouri||LB||19||71||86||Wolverhampton Wanderers||£4.2m||£6k|
|Owen Wijndal||LB||20||77||86||AZ Alkmaar||£11.3m||£7k|
|Brandon Williams||LB||19||75||85||Manchester United||£8.6m||£36k|
|Noah Katterbach||LB||19||70||84||FC Koln||£3.2m||£6k|
|Vitaliy Mykolenko||LB||21||76||84||Dynamo Kyiv||£9m||£450|
|Liberato Cacace||LB||19||73||84||Sint-Truidense VV||£5.4m||£5k|
|Rúben Vinagre||LB||21||74||84||Wolverhampton Wanderers||£7.2m||£34k|
|Michał Karbownik||LB||19||68||83||Legia Warszawa||£1.6m||£2k|
|Alexandro Bernabéi||LB||19||70||83||Club Atlético Lanús||£2.7m||£5k|
|Felix Agu||LB||20||70||83||Werder Bremen||£2.8m||£9k|
|Francisco Ortega||LB||21||70||83||Vélez Sarsfield||£2.8m||£6k|
|Nilton Varela Lopes||LB||19||70||82||Belenenses||£2.5m||£2k|
|Manuel Sánchez de la Peña||LB||19||70||82||Atlético Madrid||£2.5m||£10k|
|Gerardo Arteaga||LB||21||75||82||KRC Genk||£7.7m||£9k|
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