As the game of football has evolved, so has the right back position. Now vital offensively and defensively, a huge responsibility is placed on the heads of those who occupy this position.
In recent times, the expectation of this position has grown, upping the responsibilities to include becoming the catalyst for counter-attacking play, and over-lapping wingers to whip crosses into the box. This is all while performing the defensive duties of halting skilful wingers or covering loose balls down the channel.
A young player who can fulfil all aspects of this role is a hot commodity in the football world now. So here, we’re taking a peek into the next generation of the modern-day right backs set to make the position their own in Football Manager 2021.
Choosing the best wonderkid right backs (RB) in FM 21
For a player to be considered as a wonderkid in this list, there are three pieces of criteria they have to meet with these being: an age of 21-years-old or younger; a positional rating of at least 18 in the right back position; and a minimum 140 potential ability rating or -85 (140-170) PA range.
In Football Manager 21, potential ability (PA) is shown in a couple of ways, with one being a number between zero to 200 to indicate how high a player’s current ability rating can rise under the right conditions, such as coaching, game time, and form.
The second way that potential is shown is by a PA range, which a player’s current ability can reach in each new save game, varying between saves. The PA range is classified by a negative PA rating, which follows this pattern: 10 (170-200), -95 (160-190), -9 (150-180), down to -1.
It’s also worth noting that the commonly used term right back is described in Football Manager is ‘defence right’ or ‘DR’ for short.
The top-five players with the highest potential feature in the body of the article, but you can find a table of all of the best DR wonderkids at the foot of the page.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (160 CA / 178 PA)
Best Positions: DR, WBR
Current Ability/Potential Ability: (160 CA / 178 PA)
Value: £55 million
Wages: £75,000 p/w
Best Attributes: 18 Crossing, 17 Technique, 17 Passing
Just a normal lad from Liverpool whose dream came true, the mercurial rise of Trent Alexander-Arnold started after a long-term injury to Nathaniel Clyne, back in the 2017/18 season. The then 18-year-old took this opportunity by the horns, cementing himself as a first-team player and one of England’s brightest prospects.
Appearing a staggering 145 times so far for the Reds, he has assisted an outstanding 38 goals and scored a further eight himself. During this time, he’s become synonymous with the modern wing-back role, redefining the position for future generations while still learning his trade in the process.
Signing this incredible talent will come at a very hefty price, but in doing so, you will have secured the right back role for years to come. Getting Alexander-Arnold ensures that both goals and assists come flooding in from an unsuspecting position.
The Englishman’s fantastic assist record is backed-up on FM 21 by his 18 crossing, 17 passing, and 16 vision. His undeniable ability going forward is somewhat shadowed by his weaker defensive stats, though, which read 13 tackling, 13 positioning, and 13 marking. However, with time and development, these can improve.
Achraf Hakimi (154 CA / 169 PA)
Team: Inter Milan
Best Positions: DR, WBR, MR
Current Ability/Potential Ability: (154 CA / 169 PA)
Value: £26 million
Wages: £133,560 p/w
Best Attributes: 19 Pace, 17 Natural Fitness, 17 Acceleration
A product of Real Madrid’s illustrious Castilla academy, Achraf Hakimi found little game-time in the Spanish capital, so a two-year loan deal with Borussia Dortmund was engineered. His chances proved more fruitful in Germany, with a great record of 12 goals and 17 assists in his 73 appearances.
After returning to Madrid, he soon sought pastures new; his performances had caught the eye of Inter Milan, who splurged £36 million on the versatile right back. Being utilised on either flank throughout his career, Hakimi has been deployed as a right midfielder in-front of a back-three for the Italian club.
Hakimi possesses amazing fitness stats in FM 21, as shown by his 17 natural fitness, 16 stamina, and 15 work-rate. Pair those with his 19 pace, and you have a lightning-quick player terrorising opponents in every match. Developing his 11 tackling, 11 marking, and 11 decisions will help to round out the young Moroccan’s game defensively.
As Inter Milan only purchased Hakimi in the 2020 summer transfer window, they aren’t willing to let him go on the cheap – instead, demanding a sizeable figure. Waiting and negotiating a deal may provide a more reasonable sum to seal the signature of this first-team-ready right back wonderkid.
Reece James (141 CA / 168 PA)
Best Positions: DR
Current Ability/Potential Ability: (141 CA / 168 PA)
Value: £25.5 million
Wages: £60,000 p/w
Best Attributes: 16 Determination, 16 Consistency, 16 Crossing
Progressing at a time when Chelsea are focusing more on youth development will only further Reece James’ claim on a starting position. A one-year loan spell to Wigan Athletic in the 2018/19 season was all of the persuading that current manager Frank Lampard needed to gift the youngster an opportunity to shine.
Since returning from Wigan, James has gone on to make 49 senior appearances for the Blues, proving his manager right to put so much faith in him. During his impressive run in the first team, the English wonderkid has provided three goals and five assists for the London club .
Excelling in physical and mental attributes, James’ 16 determination, 16 consistency, and 14 composure mixed with his 15 stamina, 15 strength, and 15 acceleration are a brilliant base to build upon.
Polishing up his 13 tackling and ten vision will make this young talent even more effective at right back. Chelsea will want to keep hold of this prospect, but with some negotiation, they will part with James – albeit through gritted teeth.
Tariq Lamptey (135 CA / 165 PA)
Team: Brighton & Hove Albion
Best Positions: DR, WBR
Current Ability/Potential Ability: (135 CA / 165 PA)
Value: £25.5 million
Wages: £5,000 p/w
Best Attributes: 20 Acceleration, 16 Agility, 16 Pace
Tariq Lamptey sealed a move to Brighton & Hove Albion in January 2020, for an absolute steal of £2.97 million. Despite prominently featuring for Chelsea’s youth sides, the competition for right back with previous wonderkid Reece James made a move to the English coast even more appealing.
Through his short career, he’s been used equally at right midfield in front of a back-three and in his natural right back role. Lamptey has provided Brighton with one goal and four assists in his 17 appearances so far, gaining plaudits for his pacey and direct approach to the game.
A staggering burst of 20 acceleration is tucked within Lamptey’s locker, with a decent 14 stamina and 14 work rate bolstering his athletic capabilities. This wonderkid is ready to mould, starting a save as a diamond in the rough. Developing his six strength, ten decisions, and 11 tackling will have him owning the right back role in any team.
Brighton will ask for a fee somewhere in the region of £50 million, plus varying clauses to be compensated for letting such a talent leave the club. Some experienced negotiators may be able to bring that valuation down a touch, though.
Takehiro Tomiyasu (133 CA / 162 PA)
Best Positions: DR, DC
Current Ability/Potential Ability: (133 CA / 162 PA)
Value: £5.25 million
Wages: £16,026 p/w
Best Attributes: 16 Natural Fitness, 15 Determination, 15 Versatility
Starting his career in his native Japan with Avispa Fukuoka, Takehiro Tomiyasu made a move to Europe in 2018, joining Belgian side Sint-Truiden. An international debut and 41 club appearances later, Serie A side Bologna came calling in July 2019, signing the defender for a fee of £8.1 million.
Tomiyasu slid straight into the Italian team, claiming a starting berth along their back-line and proving to be more than capable at either right back or centre back. While he missed only a handful of games last season, through injuries, the talented defender has played every minute of Bologna’s campaign so far this season.
The Japanese international is versatile in defence with a positional score of 20 at centre back and 18 in right back, making him an excellent choice for shoring up a team’s defensive game.
Impressive 14 pace, 15 stamina, and 15 tackling stand out amongst Tomiyasu’s all-rounded stats for either position that he’s chosen to play. Available for around £26.5 million, this DR wonderkid could potentially be a bargain for your team as well.
All the best wonderkid right backs (RB) in FM 21
Below, you’ll find the full list of all of the best young defence right wonderkids in Football Manager 21. The right backs are sorted by their potential ability, with the players hosting a PA range being listed by their lowest potential.
|Name||Age||Team||CA||PA (Range)||Wages (p/w)|
|Achraf Hakimi||21||Inter Milan||154||169||£133,560|
|Tariq Lamptey||19||Brighton & Hove Albion||135||165||£5,000|
|Max Aarons||20||Norwich City||135||160||£18,000|
|Emerson||21||Barcelona (on-loan at Real Betis)||140||159||£25,500|
|Moussa Wagué||21||Barcelona (on-loan at PAOK)||125||155||£9,726|
|Pedro Porro||20||Manchester City (on-loan at Sporting CP)||135||154||£30,000|
|Jordan Lotomba||21||OGC Nice||126||150||£11,250|
|Colin Dagba||21||Paris Saint-Germain||124||145||£21,030|
|Vladimir Loroña||21||Club Xolos Tijuana||114||144||£3,600|
|Facundo Mura||21||Club Estudiantes||121||143||£3,262|
|Louis Beyer||20||Borussia Mönchengladbach||126||143||£4,112|
|Sergiño Dest||19||Barcelona||132||-85 (140-170)||£70,295|
|Devyne Rensch||17||Ajax||107||-85 (140-170)||£1,100|
|Tomás Esteves||18||Porto (on-loan at Reading FC)||113||-85 (140-170)||£3,443|
|Ki-Jana Hoever||18||Wolverhampton Wanderers||98||-85 (140-170)||£12,000|
|Josha Vagnoman||19||Hamburger SV||122||-85 (140-170)||£7,010|
If you’re looking for the next evolution of right back for your squad in Football Manager 21, you’ll find them in the table of the best young DRs above.