Ranking the five best left-backs in world football right now - Theo Hernandez AC Milan
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Ranking the five best left-backs in world football right now

Left-backs have never been more important or rounded than they are right now, a once afterthought that has been transformed into one of the most demanding roles in football.

With a significant shortlist of candidates, attempting to rank the finest five left-backs in world football proved a challenging task and there are certainly some omissions that can feel hard done by here.

Here are the five best left-backs in world football right now.

5. Federico Dimarco – Inter Milan

Federico Dimarco’s return to Inter Milan is a real feel-good tale. The left-back came through the ranks at the San Siro but was allowed to leave for Swiss side Sion after just one league appearance.

Inter soon spotted the error in their judgement and brought Dimarco back to the club, where loan spells at Parma and Hellas Verona helped him develop into one of the most influential left-backs in the league. Across the last two seasons, he has thrived as part of Simeone Inzaghi’s wing-back system, offering elite production from the left flank and cementing a place in the Italian national team.

Dimarco helped Inter to the Champions League final last season and has been directly involved in 17 Serie A goals since the start of last season. A marauding presence with gifted technical ability, it’s taken time but the 26-year-old has begun to thrive at the top level.

4. Andy Robertson – Liverpool

Andy Robertson holds a significant advantage over most names on this list – longevity.

Since arriving at Liverpool from relegated Hull City in 2017, Robertson has rarely dropped below excellent in a red shirt. The Scotland captain has won every available honour under Jurgen Klopp, earning fan favourite status for his lung-busting antics at Anfield.

He holds the record for Premier League assists by a defender (58), alongside teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold, a duo that has set standards for full-back pairings in recent campaigns.

The 30-year-old is one of the most well-rounded full-backs in football, despite fitness issues this season.

3. Alejandro Grimaldo – Bayer Leverkusen

There will be internal investigations going on at Europe’s top clubs after missing out on the signing of Alejandro Grimaldo.

Bayer Leverkusen snapped up the left-back from Benfica on a free transfer and have reaped the rewards, with Grimaldo helping propel the club’s push for a maiden Bundesliga crown. The Spaniard has been sensational since swapping Lisbon for Leverkusen, scoring nine times and providing 11 assists in the German top flight this season.

Whether accelerating down the touchline to join the attack or floating freely into midfield, Grimaldo’s influence on Xabi Alonso’s league leaders is unmissable. He’s arguably been the signing of the season in Europe’s top five leagues and the driving force in Leverkusen’s bid to wrestle the Bundesliga from Bayern Munich’s long-standing grip. That dream is edging closer to reality.

2. Alphonso Davies – Bayern Munich

It’s often said that the one thing defenders hate is pace. But what about attackers? Surely the negation of speed is the most frustrating thing a forward can endure?

Alphonso Davies has made multiple forwards second guess their game in recent seasons, with the Canadian arguably the quickest footballer around right now. There’s more to Davies than sheer speed, however, with his quality in advanced areas of the pitch used with a more attacking role for the national team.

He ranks in the top five per cent of left-backs in Europe’s top five leagues for pass completion, successful take-ons, progressive carries and shot-creating actions per 90 minutes.

1. Theo Hernandez – AC Milan

Theo Hernandez has evolved into a buccaneering bullet train at AC Milan, a flying full-back who has been a menace to Serie A defences.

It takes a talent to become a star name at AC Milan from left-back, but Hernandez is just that. His partnership with Rafael Leao down the left adds the x-factor to Stefano Pioli’s side, with Hernandez an elite ball-carrier with the pace and power to leave opposition challenges trailing.

He has five goals and three assists in Serie A so far this season and has been named as a summer transfer target for Bayern Munich, amid suggestions Alphonso Davies could be Real Madrid-bound.

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