Utility players in football are very necessary for every football team. Someone who is able to play multiple positions can be a vital asset, especially when injuries might have decimated your starting XI. These “jack of all trades” when it comes to football have proved to be invaluable to most coaches over the years. Today we look at some of the best utility players in the game right now.
1. David Alaba – Real Madrid
The Austrian international is one of the most talented players in world football right now. The newly signed Real Madrid player is a very solid left-back, but what stands him out is his ability to play multiple positions with the same level of excellence and efficiency. Alaba has demonstrated this expertise when playing for his former club side Bayern Munich and the Austrian national team. At Bayern, he played primarily at left-back but also featured many times in the midfield or occasionally as a center-back.
2. Ilkay Gundogan – Manchester City
The German international is another very versatile footballer who can play many positions especially across the middle of the park. The Manchester City player usually operates as a central midfielder and on the odd occasion a defensive midfielder. Last season he featured predominately as an attacking midfielder especially when teammate Kevin De Bruyne was injured. Gundogan flourished in that role for the Cityzens as his goals helped propel them to a third English Premier League title in four years.
3. Joshua Kimmich – Bayern Munich
Kimmich is another German international who is adept at playing multiple positions. The Bayern Munich player started out in defense as a full-back, before later graduating to the midfield, where he plays usually in the center or defensive midfield positions where has continued to perform admirably. In the Euro 2020, Joshua Kimmich was used as a wing-back. His midfield control and creativity were invaluable in helping Munich claim another treble during the 2019-2020 season.
4. Saul Niguez – Chelsea
The Chelsea midfielder is another player capable of playing in multiple positions well. He usually features in many roles playing across the middle of the park. However, if push comes to shove, he’s been known to fill in the full-back positions and as a center-back. His versatility and reliability came to the fore in helping Atletico claim a rare Spanish La Liga title.
5. Marcus Llorente – Atletico Madrid
The 27-year-old Spaniard was one of the best midfielders in La Liga last season. Llorente has improved a lot in his game of the years, and is gradually becoming one of the top utility players in football. Initially, he started out as a defensive midfielder, but has played as a playmaker in front of a back four. Marcus Llorente is also capable of playing in more advanced positions, such as a second striker, central or box-to-box midfielder. On other occasions, he also played as a right wingback for Atletico Madrid, or a right back in a four-man defence for the Spanish national team.
6. Emre Can – Borussia Dortmund
Another German who is quite at good playing in different positions. Apart from playing in the central and defensive midfield roles, the Borussia Dortmund player has also featured in the full-back positions.
7. James Milner – Liverpool
The Englishman has no doubt been one of the best utility players in football in the last decade. The 35-year-old began is playing career as a winger with Leeds United, but played as central midfielder for Aston Villa. He was used as a box-to-box midfielder during his time at Manchester City. However, since he joined Liverpool in 2015, Milner has played at left back, filled at right back and used in defensive and attacking roles in midfield.
- Sergi Roberto – Barcelona
- Marcel Sabitzer – Bayern Munich
- Achraf Hakimi – PSG
- Alessandro Florenzi – AC Milan
- Daley Blind – Ajax
- Emilio Nsue – Equitorial Guinea
- Raúl Albiol – Villarreal CF
- Stuart Dallas – Leeds United
- Joao Cancelo – Manchester City
- Ashley Young – Aston Villa
- Nacho – Real Madrid
- Oleksandr Zinchenko – Manchester City
- Juan Cuadrado – Juventus
- Iñigo Lekue – Athletic Bilbao