Best full-back partnerships in world football currently

The role of the full-back is so complex and developed in the current climate.  

Apart from protecting the flanks, they also have to act as an extra attacking option as part of the modern-day tactical trend of having five attackers occupying five vertical zones in the final third but the influence of Pep Guardiola has seen the emergence of the “inverted full-back” and it has become more prominent in European football.

Let’s see some of the best full-back partnerships in world football at the moment:

6. Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro

After the departure of Joao Cancelo to Manchester City in the summer, it was reported back in August that Maurizio Sarri was keen to deploy winger Juan Cuadrado at right-back for the upcoming campaign. 

It happened that way and the Colombian proved to be a reliable option at both ends of the pitch. Cuadrado with his attacking abilities also came out as an x-factor for Juve whenever they hit on the counter. 

5. Ricardo Pereira and Ben Chilwell

There might be areas where Chilwell has to improve but there’s no doubt that the duo works together magnificently, with Ricardo Pereira establishing himself s one of Europe’s most complete right-backs.

The two have a very interesting role in Brendan Rodgers’ 4-1-4-1 at the King Power Stadium, positioning themselves high and wide to facilitate overloads on the flanks and allowing wingers to tuck inside to combine with the likes of Jamie Vardy and James Maddison. 

While Chilwell has improved in his defensive roles, Pereira has registered some great stats like dribbles completed (2.1) and tackles (4.3) per 90 minutes this season.

4. Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy

Despite the availability of Marcelo this season, Ferland Mendy gets to feature because he’s ultimately Los Blancos’ long-term number one left-back. 

Mendy has been one of the best when it comes to blocking but Real Madrid are yet to see him at his full capabilities. He’s also shown signs of forming a strong and healthy partnership with the long-time right-back Carvajal.

3. Achraf Hakimi and Raphael Guerreiro

Lucien Favre’s switch to a 3-4-3 at the start of December ultimately saved his job and turned Dortmund into title contenders, with wing-backs Achraf Hakimi and Raphael Guerreiro playing a pivotal role in the dynamic system.

The pair brings out the best in each other and Dortmund come out as very strong when attacking from either flank, all credit goes to this partnership. Hakimi excels in combination play and exploits all the available space, while Guerreiro plays calmly in tight spaces.

Together the duo has combined for 20 Bundesliga goal contributions this term and are without a doubt the most exciting pair, providing a new system and style to their game.

2. Alphonso Davies and Benjamin Pavard

Hansi Flick since his arrival has been brilliantly using the concept of asymmetrical full-backs. 

Niko Kovac’s former assistant has given all the license to Alphonso Davies to play at a free roam position so Bayern can overload the left flank, while the technically sound Benjamin Pavard does enough to create back three in the Bayern defense.

The Frenchman has proven to be very skillful in the final third as well this season, making five Bundesliga goal contributions.  However, since the Champions League game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, it has been all Davies, who’s swiftly established himself as potentially the best left-back in a matter of months.

1. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson

As expected, the Liverpool duo is undoubtedly the best at the moment in all the departments a full-back should be and probably even more. While the impact of Virgil Van Dijk and Alisson on Liverpool’s defense is unquestionable, it’s the duo that cannot be underestimated in any way. 

Klopp’s functional midfield allows these two to serve as Liverpool’s fourth and fifth attackers in what’s usually a 2-3-5 attacking build-up, with Robertson’s super fast sprints and Arnold’s fantabulous crossing, not ignoring the fact that both can interchange duties as well.

Arnold’s solo sprint against Leicester City which was converted beautifully by him and Robertson’s several assists to Salah are a proof of it. The pair has contributed to 22 Premier league goal contributions this term, while their switching the flanks in the build-up is something only this dynamic duo can do it so elegantly.

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