As the football season comes to a close, we take a look at some of the fullbacks who have impressed us over the course of the English Premier League. These wide defenders are some of the most important players in the game, vital to both, the team's attack and defense, and yet most of them are under-appreciated by the general populace.
Here's a look at 5 of the best young fullbacks plying their trade in England:
- Hector Bellerin
The young Spaniard chose the winters of London over the warmth of sunny Spain, leaving La Masia to develop at the Arsenal, and how has he developed! Beginning his football education as a right midfielder, he's turned into one of the league's best attacking right backs, ably aided by his searing speed which has so often been an asset for the Gunners whenever he has been found out of possession. Arsene Wenger recently compared him to Arsenal legend Lauren, and if the wiry defender continues his development, he may even surpass his 'Invincible' compatriot.
- Eric Dier
The 22 year old Tottenham man has had a particularly impressive season. He's played across all defensive positions for the Spurs and has performed admirably in every one of them. His great form and occasional goals have helped the Spurs maintain their push for their first league title in over fifty years! His exploits won him and England cap, and he even got a decisive goal for them in their win against World Champions Germany!
- Cédric Soares
Signed from Sporting CP, Cédric Soares has made an immediate impact at Southampton, replacing the departing Nathaniel Clyne, the right back fit into the Saints line-up with ease, as if he's played in the EPL for years. His great form, along with the rest of the Southampton defenders has been an essential factor in them going on a long streak of clean sheets! Needless to say, Clyne's departure hasn't been missed
- Luke Shaw
Manchester United signed the young fullback for 30 million pounds from Southampton at the start of the 2014-15 season, then a world record transfer fee for a player still in his teens. He even made his full England debut while still a teenager playing for Southampton. Since then, he has developed year over year, adding attacking nous and defensive intelligence to his gameplay. His performance in his debut season for the Red Devils was such that he made the left back position his own and has commanded it since then, until a horrific injury put him out of action this season.
- Ben Chilwell
Hailing from Milton Keynes, the 19 year old left back has barely played for Leicester City in the Premier League, but Arsenal have already tried to sign him and had their efforts rebuked. Even Tottenham Hotspurs have the young defender on their radar. The young lad has come through Leicester's academy and has been amazing at the youth levels – the reason for all the interest in him. Currently he earns a paltry salary – by footballing standards – of 800 pounds per week, but it could all change in a matter of months.
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