The full-back is a crucial member of a modern football team, as they execute the dual role of a winger and defender.
In earlier years, a full-back’s role was restricted to his defensive responsibilities. However, the modern full-back is not only expected to be a solid presence in defense but also to contribute to the team’s attacking endeavors.
The summer transfer window is just a month away, and clubs will look to reinforce their ranks ahead of next season. Transfer fees have witnessed a steep rise over the last decade, and full-backs have been one of the benefactors, demanding high prices in the transfer market.
On that note, let’s take a look at five of the most expensive left-backs in the world.
Who are the most expensive left-backs in the world?
#5 Luke Shaw | Manchester United | €37.5 million
The English full-back was bought from Southampton on a €37.5 million record move in 2014, making him the world’s most expensive teenager at the time. There were huge expectations on his young shoulders, and he succumbed under intense media scrutiny at a global club like Manchester United.
Adding to this, the Red Devils had a rotating cast of defenders after the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, and the youngster felt the absence of a leader in defense. Constant injury problems also proved to be a major hindrance in Shaw’s development. However, the guidance of Ole Gunnar Solskjær has given the left-back a new lease of life.
Shaw now plays a crucial role in Manchester United’s gameplay in the final third, adding width to their attacks and committing opposition to allow the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani to exploit the empty spaces.
The 25-year-old left-back has displayed immense confidence with the ball at his feet, making 8.7 passes per 90 minutes, including 5.51 progressive passes and 2.01 key passes per 90.
Shaw has a pass completion rate of 85% in the Premier League this season, with 6 assists across all competitions. The Englishman also scored a memorable goal in the Manchester derby this season in one of his best career performances.
#4 Ferland Mendy | Real Madrid | €48 million
One of Los Blancos’ modern greats, Marcelo, is nearing the end of his footballing career, and Mendy has been tipped to be the Brazilian’s long-term replacement. Marcelo has made a mere 18 appearances this season, compared to Mendy’s 38.
Mendy has been regarded by many as Real Madrid’s best signing since Toni Kroos, having enjoyed the most first-team minutes among the club’s new recruits. In less than two full seasons at the club, the 25-year-old left-back has notched up 70 appearances for Los Merengues, with 3 goals and 4 assists to his name.
While Real Madrid is known for big splurges in the transfer market, Mendy’s €48-million signing in 2019 is great value for money, considering the Frenchman’s flying start to life as a Madridista.