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Ranked! The 10 best left-wingers in the world

Premier League
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There was a time where left-wingers were all left-footed and their sole job was to whip balls into big forwards. Not anymore.

With football evolving, some of the most talented players in the world play wide on the left, using trickery, pace and creativity to light up sides across Europe. The left-winger is a danger man.

Note, this is different to our list of the best forwards and the best strikers in the world. Here, we're just looking at players whose best position is over on the left flank.

So who would you go for? Here are our choices...

10. Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich)

Leroy Sane

(Image credit: PA)

The German’s star has waned since leaving Manchester City in the summer of 2020. 

Injuries and a loss of confidence saw Bayern’s €60m signing rotated with Kingsley Coman on the left of their attack throughout last season, as fans questioned his application. 

Yet eight goals and nine assists already this term indicate a player returning to his best. On his day, Sane still retains the deadly touch.

9. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

Marcus Rashford

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No one played more for Jose Mourinho at Manchester United and arguably no one has been as reliable under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. Rashford’s explosive bursts, eye for the net and improved creativity has been a constant bright spark for United, in good times and bad and over the last three years or so, the 24-year-old has become one of the best attackers in Europe. 

8. Ansu Fati (Barcelona)

Ansu Fati

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At just 19, Fati has already made 50 appearances for the Barcelona first team, scoring 16 goals and laying on a further six for his team mates. Now bestowed with the no.10 shirt only recently worn by Lionel Messi, the Spaniard is tasked with leading the Catalan giants into a bold new era. A supreme finishing ability and composure on the ball suggests he’s got what it takes. 

7. Jack Grealish (Manchester City)

Champions League odds, Manchester City, jack Grealish

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When Pep Guardiola was asked about the record fee that Manchester City shelled out for Jack Grealish, he answered that, well, he’s only 26. That says a lot about how much the Catalan thinks his star can improve. 

Not that he’s not already one of the most exciting forwards in the world already. Grealish is a magnet to the ball and defenders just can’t seem to cope with his feints, flicks and feverish energy. He makes things happen in dangerous areas and in the past 18 months, he’s added a consistency to his game that’s left every defender who faces him wishing they were doing anything else that weekend. He may well become City’s talisman in months and years to come.

6. Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli)

Lorenzo Insigne

(Image credit: PA)

The diminutive winger was one of the standout performers of Italy’s triumphant Euro 2020 squad, constantly driving his team forward with his pace and close control. He scored twice en route to Wembley, including the winner in a breathtaking clash against Belgium in the last eight. 

The Napoli captain has taken that form into the new season, scoring five and setting up four goals in 13 appearances so far. The 30-year-old is ageing like a fine wine. 

5. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

Raheem Sterling

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Is Raheem Sterling underrated? Well… yeah. Though he’s not often the first name on the Manchester City team sheet these days, it’s a different story for England - and for all those doubters suggesting younger, newer starlets should have started for the Three Lions at Euro 2020, Sterling more than proved them wrong.

Sterling is still just 26. The Brent-raised forward is devastating in the final third, has immaculate movement and his speed and awareness are world-class. He’s been doing this for years now, has refined his game to become a lethal weapon for club and country - and he might not even be at his peak, yet… 

4. Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur)

Top active Premier League scorers

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While all around him at Tottenham has slowly turned to mush over the last few years, Son has remained his usual guarantee of goals and work-rate. 

The South Korean’s tally of four Premier League goals is almost half of Spurs’ total tally this season and, once again, he’s standing up to be counted in the absence of Harry Kane, who appears to have downed tools. The 29-year-old’s graft deserves more, and Antonio Conte’s arrival in north London will hopefully help the winger bag his first club silverware.

3. Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)

Vinicius Junior

(Image credit: PA)

Real Madrid’s move from signing outright galacticos to the stars of the future has had mixed results, to say the least. But Vinicius Jr’s development this season into the star that they thought Eden Hazard would be does at least give their recruitment that justification they were sort of on the right track. 

Vini has been electric down the left for Carlo Ancelotti, using his samba skill and directness to change games for Los Blancos like no one else can in that side. He’s showing the consistency that he lacked in his game and taking on the responsibility that Real always thought he could. He’s only going to improve from here. 

2. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)

PSG forward Neymar

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Neymar is the only player on this list - and one of only a handful in world football - who can be described as genuinely unplayable when he’s in the mood. 

The Brazilian can humiliate opponents, pick a pass, score from nothing, and bring an entire stadium to its feet if he fancies it. A far more complete playmaker than most wingers, the 29-year-old is happiest dropping deeper and affecting his team’s build up play, which goes some way to explain the less than impressive stats.

Should he score and assist more? Yes. But does anyone really care when the 29-year-old turns on the magic?

1. Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane celebrating

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There arguably isn’t a footballer in the world like Sadio Mane. He’s right-footed but capable of using his left, his head or whatever part of his body necessary to get the pass, shot, cross or whatever is needed for his team. He’s the ultimate attacking weapon with speed, physicality, trickery and superb awareness of the game around him.

And if you think he’s not quite been on form for a while, the stats say the opposite. He still scores high for xG and chance creation. He’s still dangerous in and around the area. He’s still integral to Liverpool and a big reason that they’re back with a vengeance this time around. The worst thing you can do is underestimate the man. 

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