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 fullbacks 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 exceedingly rare. They are worth their weight in gold, and then some, as a result. But one way to get around such hefty price tags is to buy a young star and develop them into a world-beater.
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 aged 21 or under with at least 82 potential. These are the players that you should consider adding to your side as you progress through your FIFA 21 career mode.
Featured in the main body of the article are the five young left backs with the highest potential overall rating, whilst at the foot of the article you will find a full list of ALL 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 (£38 million)
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. Davies 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 after his arrival during the winter transfer window, 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 he is never truly out of the action enabling him to leave defenders for dead.
His 79 stamina is something to work on the training ground, however, with his influence in games currently liable to fade. His 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. Whilst that is not 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 Taveres Mendes (72 OVR – 87 POT)
Team: Sporting CP
Best Position: LWB, LM
Overall/Potential: 72 OVR / 87 POT
Value (Release Clause): £5.4m (£14.3 million)Wage: £2k per week
Best Attributes: 87 acceleration, 86 sprint speed, 82 agility
Nuno Taveres Mendes’ pace is enough to make opposition players think there must be two of him. The teenager won a starting role in Sporting CP’s side at the start of last season. Although he is typically deployed as a left midfielder, he is more than capable of filling in at left back when required.
Promoted from the U23 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, pace is Mendes’ biggest strength, but there is more to the teenager than that. His defensive ratings are good enough for him to converted to a left back full-time, even for those who intend to play in a back four.
His 68 standing tackle and 67 sliding tackle are adequate for a 17-year-old, still learning his trade, whilst his 70 defensive awareness indicates a natural affinity for the defensive side of the game. In terms of his development, focus should be on his 48 strength and 54 long passing, whilst improving his 40 shot power and 38 long shots would 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. But he should prove 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
Luca Netz: remember the name! Admittedly, at 17 it is perhaps too early to speculate just what the young German left back 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, Netz has nonetheless carved out an impressive reputation playing for the Berlin side’s second team in the Regionalliga Nordost, the fourth tier of the German football pyramid.
Netz’s 77 standing tackle is, by a distance, his best attribute. But his 70 acceleration and 69 sprint speed, not to mention his 68 sliding tackle rating, 68 dribbling, and 66 crossing suggest a strong all-round game.
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.
But 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 gamble worth taking considering his bargain price tag and small wage demands. As a long-term, it is certain to pay you back in spades.
Luca Pellegrini (72 OVR – 86 POT)
Team: Genoa (on loan from Juventus [Piemonte Calcio])
Best Position: LB
Overall/Potential: 72 OVR / 86 POT
Value (Release Clause): £5.9 (£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, with parent club Juventus, who purchased him for 22 million euros in 2019, sending him on loan first to Cagliari, where he had played in the second half of the 2018/19 season and now to Genoa.
Currently out of action after testing positive for the coronavirus earlier this month, Pellegrini is expected to return to first-team action after the international break, provided the Serie A season is not disrupted.
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, bit with 78 acceleration and 75 sprint speed he has enough pace to get up down and the touchline, whilst his 78 crossing ensures 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.
Pellegrini is not currently much of a goal scoring threat, with only 36 shot power, 35 long shots, and 30 finishing, but hard graft on the training pitch in this department could revolutionise his game. His release clause is quite high at £14.3 million, but his wage demands are modest at only £7k per week, so Pellegrini won’t be an undue burden on your finances while he develops his game.
Rayan Aït-Nouri (71 OVR – 86 POT)
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
Did Wolves do their scouting on FIFA? Aït-Nouri, who signed at Molineux on loan on deadline day from Ligue 1 side Angers, has the potential to develop into one of the world’s best in his position on FIFA 21. And he will be available to sign six months into your career mode save.
Aït-Nouri made 17 appearances last term in Ligue 1, contributing three assists in a team that conceded just 33 goals in 28 league matches, suggesting that whilst his greatest strength maybe in defence, he can contribute as an attacking outlet.
The 19-year-old starts with a 71 OVR rating, with the highlights on his stats sheet 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 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 such as the Premier League or the Bundesliga. But his wage demands and release clause are modest enough to make him a solid investment, all the more if you are seeking a fullback that is strong in the tackle.
All the best wonderkid left backs (LB) in FIFA 21
All the best wonderkid LBs/LWBs with a potential of 82 or more are listed 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||*Wolves*||£4.2m||£6k|
|Owen Wijndal||LB||20||77||86||AZ Alkmaar||£11.3m||£7k|
|Nuno Albertino Varela Tava||LB||20||72||85||Benfica||£5m||£6k|
|Brandon Williams||LB||19||75||85||Manchester United||£8.6m||£36k|
|Noah Katterbach||LB||19||70||84||1 . 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|
|Alejandro Centelles Plaza||LB||20||74||84||Valencia||£7.2m||£16k|
|Rúben Gonçalo Silva Nascimento Vinagre||LB||21||74||84||Wolves||£7.2m||£34k|
|Michał Karbownik||LB||19||68||83||Legia Warszawa||£1.6m||£2k|
|Alexandro Ezequiel Bernabei||LB||19||70||83||Club Atlético Lanús||£2.7m||£5k|
|Felix Agu||LB||20||70||83||Werder Bremen||£2.8m||£9k|
|Francisco Gabriel 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 Daniel Arteaga Zamora||LB||21||75||82||KRC Genk||£7.7m||£9k|
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