Playing a three-at-the-back or wing back formation certainly has its uses in the real-world of football and on Football Manager 2021, provided that you have the right players in place.
It’s a very demanding role that emphasises the modern need for full-backs to be as skilled on the front foot as they are on the back foot.
So, to help you develop a top-class option at the wing back left position in FM 21, we’ve assembled all of the game’s wonderkids who are already suited to the role and boast high potential ability ratings.
Choosing the best wonderkid left wing back (LWB) in FM 21
All of the left wing back wonderkids on this list are 21-years-old or younger, have a position ability of at least 18 for WBL, and have a high potential ability (PA).
To be ranked here as one of the best young left wing backs, they had to have at least a 135 PA. The list also includes those with negative PA ratings, which randomise the player’s PA within a set range for each save of FM 21.
Each negative PA rating translates to an equivalent PA range as follows: -10 (170-200), -95 (160-190), -9 (150-180), and down to -1. The list of FM 21 wonderkids on this page includes -85 PA players, which gives them a range of 140 to 170, and those with superior negative PA ratings.
Below, you can see each of the top-five best young left wing backs featured, with a full list of all of the WBR wonderkids in FM 21 further down the page.
Bukayo Saka (140 CA / 160 PA)
Best Positions: WBL, AML, AMR
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 140 CA / 160 PA
Value: £26 million
Wages: £30,000 per week
Best Attributes: 17 Acceleration, 15 Teamwork, 15 Pace
Bukayo Saka made his debut for Arsenal under Unai Emery in the Europa League, stepping onto the pitch of Vorskla Poltava at 17-years-old. In the following season, 2019/20, the youngster continued to be given game time all over the left side, even after Mikel Arteta took the reins.
This season, and still only 19-years-old, Saka has been a starter for Arteta’s Gunners, playing all over the field. In just his first 12 games of the season, the Ealing-native had started in central midfield, on the left wing, right wing, in left midfield, and left back.
Getting the edge over the next player on this list due to his 140 CA, Saka stands as the best left wing back wonderkid in FM 21. Coming into the game with a set 160 PA, you know that you’ll get a top-class WBL if you put the time in to develop the young Englishman.
While the Londoner does carry a top rating for his left wing back positional bias, Saka is also capable of playing to the best of his abilities as a left or right attacking midfielder. Regardless of which position you play the Arsenal prospect in, his 17 acceleration, 15 agility, 15 pace, 13 stamina, 15 teamwork, 15 work rate, and 14 dribbling should see him put in valuable performances.
Luca Pellegrini (135 CA / 160 PA)
Team: Zebre (Juventus) – on-loan to Genoa
Best Positions: DL, WBL
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 135 CA / 160 PA
Value: £5.75 million
Wages: £35,557 per week
Best Attributes: 17 Aggression, 15 Crossing, 15 Work Rate
Playing for this third club in as many seasons, Luca Pellegrini continues to seek to build towards his highly-touted potential in Serie A. Having featured for AS Roma before going out on-loan to Cagliari Calcio in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 season, the Italian finds himself on-loan to a floundering Genoa CFC this season.
In the summer of 2019, Juventus paid £19.8 million to Roma to bring the capital’s local lad to the north. Now 21-years-old and playing regularly for Genoa as a left midfielder and left back, this should be Pellegrini’s last season out on-loan before he’s given a real chance in the Juve squad.
In FM 21, if you need a defence left wonderkid, Pellegrini will likely be one of the first players who you look to sign. He ranks as the best left back wonderkid in the game and is perfectly suited to playing a bit higher up as a left wing back.
Pellegrini is a very well-rounded full-back already, carrying ratings of 13 tackling, 12 marking, 12 passing, 15 crossing, 13 dribbling, 14 off the ball, 15 work rate, 13 teamwork, 14 stamina, and 15 balance. With these as the Italian wonderkid’s base, he’s already a decent addition to a starting XI.
Viktor Korniienko (125 CA / 155 PA)
Team: Shakhtar Donetsk
Best Positions: WBL
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 125 CA / 155 PA
Value: £2.1 million
Wages: £5,250 per week
Best Attributes: 17 Work Rate, 16 Bravery, 16 Determination
Having made his way through the Shakhtar Donetsk youth system while being a regular for Ukraine’s youth sides, Viktor Korniienko has finally made his way into his club’s starting XI. Last season gave the left back his first chance to showcase his skill in the Premier Liga and the Europa League Qualifying round, being out on-loan to FK Mariupol.
With Shakhtar Donetsk this season, Korniienko has been the team’s first-choice left back. The Poltava-native played a key role in the 2-3 triumph over Real Madrid in the Champions League, assisting Tetê’s opening goal, and kept Achraf Hakimi in check during the scoreless tie with Inter Milan.
While the 125 CA would indicate that he’s not quite ready to be a regular starter, the Ukrainian’s 155 PA makes him one of the best left wing back wonderkids to sign in FM 21. Furthermore, with 13 crossing, 12 dribbling, 14 passing, 12 tackling, 17 work rate, and 15 pace, Korniienko has strong enough ratings in critical areas to be considered for regular starts.
As a team in Football Manager 2021, Shakhtar Donetsk presents a prime opportunity for a double swoop of two of the best young wing backs. For the left side, you can bring in Korniienko, and for the right side, you can sign Brazilian wonderkid Dodô.
Alphonso Davies (152 CA / 150-180 PA)
Team: Bayern Munich
Best Positions: DL, WBL
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 152 CA / -9 PA
Value: £31.5 million
Wages: £87,627 per week
Best Attributes: 19 Acceleration, 17 Pace, 15 Work Rate
Born in Buduburam, Bayern Munich snagged this wonderkid in January 2019 from the Vancouver Whitecaps. Alphonso Davies had already become the youngest active MLS player, scoring 12 goals and 14 assists for the club in 81 appearances. The step-up to elite European football didn’t present a leap too far for the teenager either, breaking into the first-team of the German champions less than a season after crossing the Atlantic.
Still only 20-years-old, Davies is already a Champions League winner, German league and cup champion, and a regular for his national team. By the 17-game mark for Canada, the left defender had already tallied five goals and eight assists, also being given time as a left and right winger.
Bayern Munich’s prized wonderkid enters FM 21 with a -9 PA, meaning that his PA in any given save can range up to to 180. Even at the low end of this range, Davies ranks among the best young left wing backs in the game.
Capable of playing anywhere down the left side, but best suited as a left back or left wing back, the Canadian speedster is already worthy of a starting job, thanks to his 152 CA. That rating is pumped up by Davies’ coveted 19 acceleration, 17 pace, 15 stamina, 15 natural fitness, 15 work rate, 15 aggression, 14 dribbling, and 14 first touch.
Nuno Mendes (133 CA / 150-180 PA)
Best Positions: DL, WBL
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 133 CA / -9 PA
Value: £6 million
Wages: £4,132 per week
Best Attributes: 16 Natural Fitness, 15 Acceleration, 15 Pace
Nuno Mendes has been a part of the Sporting CP set-up since he was 10-years-old, making his way through the academy system and consistently being brought into Portugal’s youth teams. At the end of last season, he broke into the first-team as a left midfielder, starting six games in the role.
The Portuguese defender of Angolan descent showed enough at the back end of 2019/20 for manager Rúben Amorim to put his full trust in him. Through the first 11 games of the season, in all competitions, Mendes started ten of them, being given the left flank of what is often a condensed 3-4-2-1 formation.
Having only turned 18-years-old over the summer, Mendes has plenty of time to reach his full potential which, in FM 21, stands him as one of the best left wing back wonderkids to sign. The youngster’s 133 CA is usable in a starting XI, but the true appeal of Mendes is his -9 PA, which could see him start with a PA from 150 to 180.
Despite his age, this wonderkid carries several high ratings that will enable FM 21 managers to give him the game time needed to reach his potential ability. His 14 crossing, 14 dribbling, 14 first touch, 13 passing, 13 tackling, 14 determination, 13 work rate, and 13 strength combine to make Mendes a useful player anywhere down the left flank.
All the best wonderkid left wing backs (LWB) in FM 21
In the table below, you can find all of the best WBL wonderkids in Football Manager 2021 sorted by their PA, with the young players holding negative PAs listed by their lowest potential ability.
|Name||Age||Team||CA||PA (Range)||Wages (p/w)|
|Luca Pellegrini||21||Zebre (Juventus) – on-loan to Genoa||135||160||£35,577|
|Viktor Korniienko||21||Shakhtar Donetsk||125||155||£5,250|
|Alphonso Davies||19||Bayern Munich||152||-9 (150-180)||£87,627|
|Nuno Mendes||18||Sporting||133||-9 (150-180)||£4,132|
|Gianluca Frabotta||21||Zebre (Juventus)||119||145||£3,558|
|Owen Wijndal||20||AZ Alkmaar||130||-85 (140-170)||£3,800|
|Vitaliy Mykolenko||21||Dynamo Kyiv||125||-85 (140-170)||£9,250|
|Juan Miranda||20||Barcelona B (on-loan to Betis)||125||-85 (140-170)||£7,269|
|Riccardo Calafiori||18||AS Roma||104||-85 (140-170)||£13,004|
|Noah Katterbach||19||FC Köln||120||-85 (140-170)||£1,750|
|Josha Vagnoman||19||Hamburger SV||122||-85 (140-170)||£7,010|
|Liberato Cacace||19||Sint-Truidense VV||118||-85 (140-170)||£6,250|
|Jesús Vázquez||17||Valencia B||100||-85 (140-170)||£1,600|
|David de la Víbora||17||Real Madrid B||80||-85 (140-170)||£325|
|Fredrik André Björkan||21||FK Bodø/Glimt||128||140||£835|
|Mladen Devetak||21||FK Vojvodina Novi Sad||107||139||£900|
|Marco Sala||21||U.S. Sassuolo (on-loan to SPAL)||114||139||£3,046|
|Lennart Czyborra||21||Atalanta (on-loan to Genoa)||122||139||£14,000|
|Felix Agu||20||SV Werder Bremen||123||137||£8,224|
|Gian-Luca Itter||21||SC Freiburg||120||137||£8,786|
|Ryan Giles||20||Wolverhampton Wanderers (on-loan to Coventry)||108||135||£2,500|
If your team needs a long-term star in the left wing back role, sign one of the WBL wonderkids of FIFA 21 shown above.