BEST FOOTBALL MANAGER 2022 LEFT-BACKS
BRIEF PROFILES ON SOME OF THE BEST YOUNG LEFT-BACKS IN FM22
We cover youth football and we love Football Manager. We’ve combined both to compile a list of the young left-backs that you should start scouting on your FM22 saves. They’re interesting prospects for clubs across the spectrum of football. They’re players that we like in real-life that look good in FM22.
WHAT ROLES CAN LEFT-BACKS PLAY IN FOOTBALL MANAGER 22?
Left-back is one of the most interesting positions in Football Manager 22. You can really change your teams play style dramatically just by how you deploy them. The different roles are as following:
- No-Nonsense Full-Back
- Complete Wing-Back
- Inverted Wing-Back
Each role serves a very different function. Inverted Wing-Back has become a fan favourite despite the unusual nature of the role, which sees the left-back tuck inside when your team has possession to help facilitate the build-up play, or to attack space as a dribbler, while maintaining their width out of possession.
The other four roles can be put on a spectrum from No-Nonsense Full-Back to Full-Back to Wing-Back and then to Complete Wing-Back in order of their attacking nature. The No-Nonsense role will typically suit lower-level left-backs with poor technical ability, allowing them to focus purely on their defensive role.
Full-Backs will still look to defend, but also offer width when needed as an overlapping runner. Wing-Backs will look to be more aggressive in all aspects of the play, while Complete Wing-Backs are attack first options that generally need to be supported by a midfielder that will stay deep and support them defensively.
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WHAT ATTRIBUTES ARE IMPORTANT FOR LEFT-BACKS IN FM22?
Obviously this is role dependent, but generally a core facet of a left-backs game will be their physical attributes. No-Nonsense Full-Backs will require strength predominantly, while the other roles all require good speed and stamina in order to cover the flank for a full 90 minute match.
In terms of mental attributes, positioning, concentration, decision-making, anticipation and off the ball are all crucial. In a match, left-backs need to make so many choices about their positioning and how much they can commit to an attack without allowing themselves to be exposed defensively, while some of those other attributes are critical for final third movement execution.
As (mostly) defence-first players, the technical focus will rely mainly on marking and tackling. Crossing will also be crucial, especially in a lower level team that plays a more direct style. Then as you move up the divisions some of the more attacking attributes will come into play: technique, passing, dribbling and first touch. Long throws are also definitely worth training if your left-back shows potential in that regard.
WATCH: 5 YOUNG PLAYERS YOU SHOULD BUY IN FM22
DATE OF BIRTH
LB, LW, RW
€11.5M – €35M
Once a winger, but converted into a left-back since first leaving Barcelona and then Borussia Dortmund to join Anderlecht, Sergio Gómez has the potential to be a very fun project player that can turn into a very good versatile player to have in your squad.
You will not be able to sign him in the first season of your save due to his recent arrival at Anderlecht, but he should be available to buy for around €20 million after that.
Gomez is an attacking left-back, that is also natural as a wing-back or left winger. He is quite fast, and has the technical skills you would expect for a player who was brought up as a left winger at Barcelona. Great crossing and corner taking mean he would pair nicely with a tall striker, while the defensive side of his game could still use a bit of developing.
DATE OF BIRTH
€14M – €43M
After a strong finish to last season, Miguel Gutiérrez has again found himself playing mostly reserve team football in 2021/22. With a contract that expires in 2024, this presents suitors with the chance to snare him away from Real Madrid for the right price.
At the start of your save, that price will be around €25 million. However, if you are willing to wait, that is likely to come down as he approaches the last year or two of his current contract.
Key to the Spaniards game is a solid set of physical attributes as well as good dribbling, technique, crossing and first touch, which make him a strong overlapping wing-back.
DATE OF BIRTH
€34M – €101M
Joško Gvardiol for €45 million when you start your save will deliver you a starting level left-back or centre-back that has the potential to develop into one of the best defenders in the game. It’s that simple. You either buy him at the start, or pay closer to €100 million to get him later.
The Croatian can play a multitude of roles, but he probably suits the following best; a full-back or winger-back on the left, or a ball-playing defender or wide-centre back in the centre.
Gvardiol’s high level physical attributes are central to his skillset, but he also brings elite level determination, work rate and tackling to round out his defensive package. Meanwhile, good passing, dribbling and first touch stats allow him to be an effective presence at left-back.
DATE OF BIRTH
€25M – €76M
Have €50 million to spare? Want a Dutch international that is already one of the best left-backs in the game? Then look no further than Owen Wijndal. Even better, if no one else bids on him beforehand, his contract that expires in 2023 means that the possibility of a solid deal in the summer of 2022 is likely.
In return, you get a solid defender that loves to attack and play with aggression. His ‘gets forward whenever possible’ trait tells you most of what you need to know, while his ‘crosses early’ trait could be a great combination with a solid target man like Lorenzo Lucca.
Other than that, he has no standout attributes, but instead has a wonderfully well-rounded set of attributes in the 12-15 range that will only develop further as he gets more minutes under his belt.
WHAT ARE FOOTBALL MANAGER WONDERKIDS?
Wonderkid is a cliché term that’s synonymous with Football Manager. They’re young prospects – usually aged 16 to 18 – that have elite-level potential in the game. Freddy Adu is a prominent example for older managers, while Youssoufa Moukoko is a current case. They’re the superstar youngsters that are must-buys on every save.
But it’s also subjective. A wonderkid at Accrington Stanley is completely different to a wonderkid at Manchester City. Essentially, the surroundings dictate the status.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD LEFT-BACK IN FOOTBALL MANAGER 2022?
Ideally, a good left-back will be a player that can do everything – defend adeptly, attack effectively, pass and cross dangerously.
You will need an athletic player, especially in the modern game. You need to have a left-back that can cope with athletic wingers and pose a threatg going forward, especially if you’re managing a team at the highest levels.
HOW DO YOU FIND THE BEST LEFT-BACKS IN FOOTBALL MANAGER 2022?
You can do so by utilising the player search tool, which enables you to specify the certain variables you’re looking for in your player – from age to specific attributes.
Make the most of your scouts, too. Send them to scout nations (rather than regions/contintents) for the best young centre-backs by defining their criteria – specifying under-23, four-start potential, etc. Alternatively, just scour the Scouted Football website!
HOW DO YOU DEVELOP YOUNG LEFT-BACKS IN FOOTBALL MANAGER 2022?
As always, pathways are paramount. You have to make sure that your youngsters have access to meaningful minutes at the appropriate levels. If you have a first-team ready talent, phase him into the team gradually, during pre-season ideally.
If your prospect needs a bit more polishing, the loan system is a valuable tool. But pathways to senior level minutes are key. Assess your youngsters on a case-by-case basis, decide what they need, and enact your decision.
WHERE CAN I BUY FOOTBALL MANAGER 2022?
Want to buy Football Manager 2022? Visit our friends at 2game.com and use this link and the code ‘SCOUTEDFTBL’ for 10% off your purchase.
David Alaba is the best, even if he plays at centre-backs in real life. Ben Chilwell and Kieran Tierney are highly-rated and relatively young. There’s also Jordi Alba, the old stalwart, at Barcelona.
There’s a solid selection of high-level young left-backs in Football Manager 2022, although all of them play for some of the biggest clubs in Europe – Alphonso Davies, Nuno Mendes, Renan Lodi. Théo Hernández should be gettable from AC Milan.