Thursday, 18 Jul 2024

The Rise of the Right-Back: The Best Men’s Soccer Right-Backs in 2022-23

Right-backs have long been considered an essential but often overlooked position in football. However, in recent years, the role has evolved and become more dynamic, adding excitement and unpredictability to the game. The best right-backs possess a combination of positional awareness, lightning-fast speed, and the ability to support their teams in both defense and attack.

Frimpong: Leverkusen’s Rising Star

best right backs

One player who has been making waves in the right-back position is Leverkusen’s Jeremie Frimpong. The 22-year-old Dutchman joined Leverkusen from Celtic in 2021 and immediately impressed with his speed and attacking prowess. In the 2022-23 season, Frimpong’s partnership with winger Moussa Diaby reached new heights under the guidance of manager Xabi Alonso. He scored nine goals, created 66 chances, and provided 10 assists in all competitions. Frimpong’s breakout season has attracted interest from top clubs like Manchester United, Bayern Munich, and Barcelona, making him one of the most sought-after young talents in the game.

Di Lorenzo: Napoli’s Versatile Weapon

Giovanni Di Lorenzo may not specialize in any particular area, but his versatility and tactical understanding make him a key player for Napoli. He can defend, progress possession, play inside, stay outside, and contribute in various ways. Di Lorenzo played a crucial role in Napoli’s title-winning campaign, leading the team as their captain and helping them secure their first Serie A title in over three decades. As he approaches 30, Di Lorenzo shows no signs of slowing down and will continue to be an important figure in Napoli’s quest to defend their crown.

Carvajal: Real Madrid’s Relentless Defender

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Dani Carvajal has been a mainstay in Real Madrid’s squad for the past decade. As a homegrown player in a team of global stars, Carvajal’s aggressive and win-at-all-costs mentality has made him a fan favorite. Despite recent injury problems and intermittent form, Carvajal always rises to the occasion when it matters most. His influence within the Madrid squad has grown, and he recently became one of the club’s captains. Carvajal’s leadership and defensive prowess will continue to be invaluable for Real Madrid in the upcoming season and possibly in Euro 2024.

Cancelo: The Aggressive Portuguese Star

Joao Cancelo had a standout season with Manchester City, showcasing his technical brilliance and versatility. The 29-year-old Portuguese right-back recorded impressive statistics, contributing both defensively and offensively. Despite losing his spot in Manchester City’s lineup and a loan spell at Bayern Munich that didn’t quite meet expectations, Cancelo remains a highly regarded player with a bright future. As transfer rumors swirl around him, Cancelo will be looking to prove himself and regain his form in the upcoming season.

Alexander-Arnold: Liverpool’s Playmaking Defender

Trent Alexander-Arnold is no ordinary right-back. Blessed with exceptional passing range, creativity, and vision, he could challenge for the Ballon d’Or if he weren’t playing in a defensive position. Jurgen Klopp’s decision to deploy him as a right-back with midfield duties has paid off, allowing Liverpool to utilize his playmaking abilities to the fullest. However, opponents have also capitalized on his defensive vulnerabilities. With new signings and Klopp’s tactical adjustments, Alexander-Arnold may find himself playing more as an extra midfielder rather than a conventional defender in the upcoming season.

Koundé: France’s Versatile Asset

Jules Koundé may prefer to play as a center-back, but his versatility has made him a valuable asset at both the club and national team level. He often functions as a third central defender, providing defensive stability and allowing his teammates more freedom to attack. His disciplined and hardworking nature has made him a favorite among managers. As he continues to develop, Koundé will likely continue to shine as a right-back for Barcelona and the French national team.

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James: Chelsea’s Rising Star

At just 23 years old, Reece James has already established himself as one of the best young right-backs in the world. His versatility and contribution to Chelsea have earned him praise from former managers and experts. James has the potential to become one of the world’s best players and will be a key figure under the guidance of new manager Mauricio Pochettino. As Chelsea aims to secure a top-four finish and James aims to stay fit, the 2023-24 season could be a defining one for his career.

Walker: Manchester City’s Resolute Defender

Kyle Walker has been a consistent force in Manchester City’s defense for the past decade. Known for his exceptional one-on-one defending skills, Walker has been instrumental in shutting down opponents’ attacks. Despite turning 33, Walker continues to perform at a high level and has become an on-field leader for Manchester City. With rumors of a potential move to Bayern Munich and some friction between him and manager Pep Guardiola, Walker’s future remains uncertain. However, his contributions to Manchester City’s success cannot be overshadowed.

Trippier: Newcastle’s Transformative Signing

Kieran Trippier’s move from Atletico Madrid to Newcastle raised eyebrows, but he quickly proved his worth. Trippier played a pivotal role in helping Newcastle secure a top-four finish and qualify for the Champions League. His experience at the highest level and leadership qualities make him an essential player for Newcastle as they continue to build a competitive squad. Trippier’s ability to contribute both defensively and offensively has been crucial to Newcastle’s success.

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Hakimi: PSG’s Dynamic Right-Back

Achraf Hakimi has thrived in PSG’s star-studded lineup, taking advantage of the attacking focus of their key players. The 24-year-old Moroccan right-back consistently delivers solid numbers in attack while also improving his defensive work rate. Hakimi’s performances have garnered interest from top clubs, but for now, he seems likely to stay at PSG. As the squad undergoes changes, Hakimi’s elite play and adaptability will be vital for PSG’s continued success.

FAQs

  1. How were the best right-backs selected?
    The best right-backs were selected based on their performances in the 2022-23 season, considering factors such as their contributions in defense and attack.

  2. Are there any young talents to watch in the right-back position?
    Yes, both Jeremie Frimpong and Reece James are young talents with immense potential who have already made a name for themselves in the football world.

  3. Will there be any transfers involving these right-backs?
    Transfer rumors surround several of these players, but it remains to be seen how the upcoming season will unfold and whether any transfers will occur.

  4. Who are the most versatile right-backs on the list?
    Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Achraf Hakimi exhibit versatility in their ability to contribute effectively both defensively and offensively.

Conclusion

Right-backs have undergone a transformation in recent years, becoming crucial players in both defense and attack. From rising stars like Jeremie Frimpong and Reece James to experienced veterans like Dani Carvajal and Kyle Walker, the right-back position offers a plethora of talent and excitement on the football field. As the game continues to evolve, the importance of this position will only grow. So, keep an eye on these players as they navigate the challenges of the upcoming season and make their mark on the football world.

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