Top 10 Best Young Right-Backs In The World (2023)

Rico Lewis best young right-backs in the world
(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

While working as a pundit for Sky Sports, Jamie Carragher famously joked that:

“If you’re a full-back, you’re either a failed winger or a failed centre-back,” “No one wants to grow up and be a Gary Neville.”

Such was how right-backs were seen years ago. The position is mostly reserved for the least talented player in a team and regularly gets targeted by opposition teams.

However, there has been a drastic shift as regards the roles that right-backs play in modern soccer.

A once-forgotten position is now seen as one of the most important on the pitch.

More and more teams appear to be exploiting the advantage of the versatility offered by full-backs.

Such players not only help the team have a solid backline but also serve as added attacking outlets.

Club academies now place more emphasis on these roles, ensuring that talented youngsters are regularly produced as full-backs.

In this article, TOP SOCCER BLOG brings you the top 10 best young right-backs in the world.

1. Achraf Hakimi (PSG — 24 years old)

Achraf Hakimi best wingbacks in the world
(Photo by Hiroki Watanabe/Getty Images)

Achraf Hakimi has been around for so long that it’s easy to forget that he’s only just 24 years old.

He mainly plays as a right-back, but can be deployed in the left-back and winger positions.

The Moroccan is lightning quick, dynamic, powerful, and technically adept.

He is capable of playing long, accurate passes from defence to attack, instantly changing the direction of play.

Initially, Hakimi was a winger but became a defender due to his physical presence.

The former Real Madrid player is regarded as one of the best wingbacks in the world right now.

He helped Morocco reach the semi-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and has made 32 appearances for PSG this season, scoring 4 goals and providing 5 assists.

2. Reece James (Chelsea — 23 years old)

Reece James
(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Reece James came through the Chelsea academy, where he captained the under-18s to victory in the 2018 FA Youth Cup and was named Academy Player of the Season.

A productive loan spell at Wigan Athletic saw him promoted to the Chelsea first team upon his return in 2019.

Thereafter, he established himself as one of the best right-backs in the world.

He’s got all the attributes you could need from a right-back with strong crossing, speed, stamina, unbelievable strength, and solid defensive qualities.

3. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool — 24 years old)

Trent Alexander-Arnold Liverpool 2022
(Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)

Known for his range of passing, crossing, and assists, Trent Alexander-Arnold is one of the best right-backs in world football.

He has won every available trophy at Liverpool and won the 2019/20 PFA Young Player of the Year and the inaugural Premier League Young Player of the Season awards.

He has been named in the PFA Team of the Year 3 times.

Alexander-Arnold has registered 3 goals and 3 assists in 36 overall games this season.

4. Tariq Lamptey (Brighton — 22 years old)

Tariq Lamptey best young right-backs in the world
(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Like Reece James, Tariq Lamptey also came through the Chelsea academy but left the club due to limited playing chances.

Subsequently, he joined Brighton & Hove Albion, establishing himself as an integral member of the first team.

The Ghanaian is blessed with pace, low centre of gravity, dribbling, and works hard.

He has netted 1 goal and laid 1 assist in 26 games in 2022/23.

5. Malo Gusto (Lyon — 19 years old)

Malo Gusto best young right-backs in football
(Photo by Philippe Lecoeur/FEP/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Every year, Lyon produces at least one exciting young player, and this year ain’t different.

The latest youngster from the club is right-back, Malo Gusto.

Gusto is athletic, quick, and possesses all-round solid technical skills. He has the potential to become one of the best full-backs in the world.

The Frenchman also has good ball control, passing accuracy, and the ability to dribble past opponents.

He is one the best young footballers that emerged this season, attracting interest from several clubs.

Chelsea signed Malo Gusto in January on a deal until 2030. He was loaned back to Lyon until the end of the current season.

He had played 18 matches before injury forced him out till next season.

6. Diogo Dalot (Man Utd — 24 years old)

Diogo Dalot best young right-backs in soccer
(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Diogo Dalot came through at FC Porto and joined Manchester United in 2018.

He struggled to nail down a starting spot and was sent on loan. He returned from loan and forced his way into the team.

The Portuguese has good dribbling skills and is noted for his involvement in counter-attacks by making crosses or long passes.

Furthermore, his physique enables him to perform well in aerial duels.

He has made 32 appearances this season, scoring 1 goal as well as providing 3 assists.

Dalot started in the 2023 EFL Cup final as Manchester United beat Newcastle United 2-0 at Wembley Stadium, winning his first trophy with the club.

7. Pedro Porro (Tottenham Hotspur — 23 years old)

Pedro Porro best young right-backs in the world
(Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

On deadline day of the 2023 January transfer window, Tottenham Hotspur signed Pedro Porro on loan from Sporting with an obligation to buy in the summer.

The Spanish right-back has already made name for himself before earning that move.

Pedro Porro clinched a Primeira Liga and Taça da Liga double with Sporting and earned a spot in the Primeira Liga Team of the Year.

Pedro Porro’s strength include his dribbling, crossing, and tackling, and he excels in all three.

He’s always looking to push forward, but he also possesses the positional sense to avoid leaving exploitable gaps for opposing wingers.

8. Arnau Martínez (Girona — 19 years old)

Arnau Martínez best young right-backs in football
(Photo by Sergio Ruiz / Pressinphoto / Icon Sport)

Arnau Martínez came through Barcelona’s La Masia academy but found senior football at Girona, becoming the youngest goalscorer in the club’s history.

He has been one of the best young players in La Liga this season, making 24 appearances.

Martinez is always looking to attack down the flank and contribute to his team’s attacking play.

9. Devyne Rensch (Ajax — 20 years old)

Devyne Rensch best young right-backs in the world
(Photo by ProShots/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Devyne Rensch came through the Ajax academy and was awarded as the best talent of the club’s youth academy in 2020. He broke into the senior team afterward.

Rensch played fewer games last season after losing his starting spot to fellow right-back Noussair Mazraoui.

Before the start of the 2022/23 season, he expressed his wish to play a more decisive role after struggling to find his form in the previous season and after the departure of Mazraoui.

However, Ajax also brought in Jorge Sánchez for the position. But Rensch regained his form and became the starter.

He has made 31 appearances so far, scoring 3 goals and providing 1 assist.

However, what makes Rensch one of the best young right-backs in the world is his strong defensive skills.

His ability to read the game, anticipate opposition attacks, and position himself correctly.

10. Rico Lewis (Man City — 18 years old)

Rico Lewis best young right-backs in the world
(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Rico Lewis joined Manchester City at the age of 8 and captained the club’s under-18 side last season.

He was named on the bench for the first time in Manchester City’s first game of the 2022/23 season and made his Premier League debut a week later.

In November 2022, Lewis scored his first Champions League goal against Sevilla, becoming the all-time youngest scorer on a first start in a Champions League match and City’s youngest-ever Champions League scorer, aged 17 years and 346 days.

In 2022, he was shortlisted for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year Award.

Despite the presence of the likes of Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo, Lewis has played 18 matches for Pep Guardiola’s side this season.

Honourable Mentions:

19-year-old Vinicius Tobias is undoubtedly one of the best young right-backs in the world at the moment.

In April 2022, Real Madrid signed Vinicius Tobias on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk until the end of the 2022/23 season.

As Real Madrid had already utilized all available non-EU slots for the first team squad, Tobias was assigned to the Castilla team.

He is highly rated at the club and is expected to become part of the first team very soon.

Jeremie Frimpong of Bayer Leverkusen is one of the most talented young full-backs in football, and has already attracted a lot of clubs.

Other notable young right-backs in the world include:

  • Josip Stanisic (Bayern Munich — 22 years old)
  • Vanderson (Monaco — 21 years old)
  • Tino Livramento (Southampton — 20 years old)
  • Neco Williams (Nottingham Forest — 21 years old)
  • Lutsharel Geertruida (Feyenoord — 22 years old)
  • Joe Scally (Borussia Monchengladbach — 20 years old).
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