FIFA 18 Career Mode: Best young left backs (LB) to sign

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Full backs have become more and more important over the past decade, often winning the ball and starting attacks, grabbing assists or making timely interventions in their own box. There are very few full backs you would consider as ‘world class’ at the minute, so signing players a few seasons before their peak looks to be the best option. 

READ: FIFA 19: Best young left backs (LB) to sign

How to choose the best young player on FIFA 18’s Career Mode

We are looking at the best left young backs on FIFA 18 Career Mode. These are players aged 23 and under who have an overall rating of at least 75 and the potential to reach at least 80. Players who are reliable now, but have the potential to be amongst the best in the world in their position.

Players can outgrow their potentials if they are regular starters and are playing exceptionally well, but be prepared to pay big money to bring in these young talents. This top 10 has been assembled by looking at player stats, potential and age. 

For a full list of all the best left backs, look at the table at the bottom of this page. 

Grimaldo (OVR 80 – POT 87)

Age: 21

Positions: LB

Club: Benfica

Country: Spain

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 88 stamina, 87 acceleration, 86 sprint speed

Cost: £33.9 million (release clause)

Wage: £11,000

A young left back with a superb potential, it was surprising that the 21-year-old Grimaldo was let go by Barcelona to join Benfica at the start of 2016. After a slow start, the Spaniard has begun to pick up the appearances, making 18 last season and five so far this campaign. His move to Benfica should allow him to crack on with his development under the radar, so don’t be surprised if the left back makes the move to mainland Europe in around five years’ time.

An 80 overall rating and 87 potential is a reasonable assessment for the talented full back, but whether you want to spend £33.9 million on the position is down to you. With £11,000 a week wages you will get a youngster with 88 stamina, 87 acceleration and 86 sprint speed, making him a danger going down that left flank.

Luke Shaw (OVR 79 – POT 84)

Age: 21

Positions: LB

Club: Manchester United

Country: England

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 84 sprint speed, 80 crossing, 80 acceleration

Cost: £23.7 million (release clause)

Wage: £80,000

Injuries and (lack of) fitness have impeded Luke Shaw’s development, as well as being thrust into the limelight too early. Being a promising left back at Southampton, Shaw was tipped to be the next Gareth Bale, but a big money move to Manchester United has stunted his growth. There is still time for the 21-year-old, but he hasn’t made more than 20 appearances in a season since moving to Old Trafford.

It’s unsurprising that Shaw has the ‘Injury Prone’ trait in FIFA 18, so you may want to hold off from signing him. However, the 79-rated player is in the final year of his contract and you may be able to snap him up for around £15 million or less in January. His 84 potential makes him worth a move, but his £80,000 wage may be a stumbling block. If you negotiate well, the use of 84 sprint speed, 80 crossing and 80 acceleration can be yours.

Jose Gaya (OVR 79 – POT 84)

Age: 22

Positions: LB, LM

Club: Valencia

Country: Spain

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 89 sprint speed, 83 acceleration, 82 balance

Cost: £26.8 million (release clause)

Wage: £28,000 

Jordi Alba left Valencia five years ago and they have found a replacement in the form of left back Jose Gaya. The 22-year-old can also operate as a left midfielder, making use of his 89 sprint speed on FIFA 18. After a rocky start, Gaya can be one of the stars to take Valencia back to the top end of the La Liga table, with the Mestalla side currently third in the division.

Gaya’s 79 overall and 84 potential is perfect for a mid-table club, with his £26.8 million price and £28,000 wages not breaking the bank. Besides his pace, the left back has 83-rated acceleration and 82 balance.

Lucas Digne (OVR 78 – 84)

Age: 23

Positions: LB

Club: Barcelona

Country: France

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 81 sprint speed, 81 sliding tackle, 80 stamina

Cost: £26.2 million (release clause)

Wage: £110,000

Players can often find it hard to say no to the big clubs, and you have to say moving to Barcelona has not hugely benefitted French international Lucas Digne. His performances at Lille back in 2013 earned him a move to PSG, but he didn’t settle there and was in and out of the side. A loan move to Roma got him back on track, but his £14 million deal to Barca means he is playing understudy to Jordi Alba, one of the best left backs in the world.

His lack of game time could be an advantage however, and you should aim to get hold of him for around the £20 million mark. If you guarantee first team football for the 23-year-old you may be able to bring down his £110,000 weekly wages and be rewarded with a 78 rated left back with an 84 overall. His 81 sprint speed, 81 rated sliding tackle and 80 stamina highlights he is not yet the finished article.

Benjamin Mendy (OVR 78 – POT 86)

Age: 22

Positions: LB, LWB

Club: Manchester City

Country: France

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 84 sprint speed, 82 crossing, 82 stamina

Cost: £23.5 million (release clause)

Wage: £75,000

After impressing early on at Manchester City, it’s a shame that new signing Benjamin Mendy has suffered a serious injury. The left full back or wing back has the "Injury Prone" trait, but his eight assists for Monaco last season may persuade you to make a move for the French international.

You will need to wait until at least January to snap up the flying full back, but for a relatively cheap £23.5 million release clause he will be worth the wait. For a Manchester City player his wages are also reasonable at £75,000 a week, for which you will receive his slightly harsh 78 overall rating but solid 86 potential. His best skills are his sprint speed (84), crossing (82) and stamina (82).

Dalbert (OVR 77 – POT 84)

Age: 23

Positions: LB, LWB, LM

Club: Inter Milan

Country: Brazil

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 91 sprint speed, 91 acceleration, 83 agility

Cost: £17.6 million (release clause)

Wage; £42,000

Inter Milan couldn’t compete with the financial firepower of some of their Serie A rivals this summer, but after a promising back end of last season they are well set for the campaign. The Brazilian Dalbert takes his position at left back, he often launches counter-attacks and links up well with Ivan Perisic.

The 23-year-old will only set you back £17.6 million and £43,000 weekly wages, a pretty good deal for a man with an 84 potential. His 77 rating consists of an electrifying 91 sprint speed, 91 acceleration and 82 agility.

Jordan Lukaku (OVR 77 – POT 83)

Age: 22

Positions: LB

Club: Lazio

Country: Belgium

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 91 sprint speed, 87 acceleration, 86 strength

Cost: £16.7 million (release clause)

Wage: £34,000

Brother of new Manchester United front man Romelu, Jordan Lukaku made the move to Lazio a year ago. After impressing in Belgium for Oostende, the 22-year-old has slowly continued his development in Italy, but with Lazio opting for a rare 3-5-1-1 formation, the young Lukaku doesn’t really fit into the system. With Stefan Radu and Senad Lulic the other left back options, don’t be surprised if the Belgian international moves on again over the next 12 months.

Being technically the third choice left back at Lazio can play to your advantage, as you may get hold of him for less than his £16.7 million release clause, which is a great price. You could talk him down from his £34,000 a week wages in exchange for more regular football, so it's possible to get the 77 rated left back on the cheap. His 83 potential makes him perfect for a bottom half top tier club, and his 91 sprint speed, 87 acceleration and 86 strength makes him an exciting player to use just like his older brother.

Abdul Baba Rahman (OVR 77 – POT 83)

Age: 22

Positions: LB, LM

Club: Chelsea

Country: Ghana

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 83 sprint speed, 81 acceleration, 78 standing tackle

Cost: £18 million (release clause)

Wage: £71,000

Antonio Conte was determined to find a left wing-back this summer, but with Baba Rahman already in his ranks, he didn’t need to look elsewhere. A serious injury sustained on loan at Schalke last season would have been in his thinking, and after Loic Remy left for Las Palmas, Baba took his place in Chelsea’s Premier League squad. The door is now open for the 22-year-old Ghanaian to feature in Chelsea's blue once again, but a move back to Schalke in some form in January looks likely, with Baba not given a squad number this season.

His 77 rating is useful but his 83 potential is even more so. An £18 million release clause is good price, but you will want to get his weekly wages of £71,000 reduced. 83 sprint speed, 81 acceleration and 78 standing tackles shows there is enough there to work with.

Jonny (OVR 77 – POT 83)

Age: 23

Positions: LB, RB

Club: Celta Vigo

Country: Spain

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 87 stamina, 82 sliding tackle, 80 marking

Cost: £20.2 million (release clause)

Wage: £18,000

‘Wrong-footed’ full backs are a rarity these days, but the right-footed Jonny finds himself more often at left back than on the right at Celta Vigo. The 23-year-old has been a La Liga regular for over five seasons, an incredible effort at his age. The question is now whether he can kick on and make the move to a big club.

The left or right back has a £20.2 million release clause on Career Mode, with his wages £18,000 a week. Those prices for a 77 rated full back is about right in today’s market, but his 83 potential makes him a great move. 87 stamina means he can churn out the appearances for you, and his 82 sliding tackles and 80 marking makes him reliable when called upon. 

Terence Kongolo (OVR 77 – POT 82)

Age: 23

Positions: LB, CB

Club: AS Monaco

Country: Netherlands

Work rate: Medium/High

Best stats: 86 jumping, 84 sliding tackle, 82 standing tackle

Cost: £17.4 million (release clause)

Wage: £25,000

Part of Monaco’s summer overhaul, left back Terence Kongolo was brought in to replace Benjamin Mendy. The 23-year-old can also play as a centre back, and his defensive tendencies provide more balance to the attacking Monaco side. Well over 100 appearances for Feyenoord shows he already has plenty of experience at such a young age.

His 86 jumping, 84 sliding tackle and 82 standing tackle shows he is reliable at the back, and his 77 rating and 82 potential make him a safe acquisition. His abilities open him up to a lot of clubs of different abilities, but his summer move means you will have to wait until January to send him. 

Other star young left backs

Name Age Pos . Club Country OVR POT
Jetro Willems23LBEintracht FrankfurtNetherlands7781
Aaron Martin20LBEspanyolSpain7684
Emerson22LWB LBRomaItaly7680
Antonio Barreca22LBTorinoItaly7586
Theo Hernandez19LBReal MadridFrance7585
Rafa Soares22LBFulham*Portugal7583
Andrew Robertson23LB LWBLiverpoolScotland7582
Arthur Masuaku23LB LWBWest HamDR Congo7581
Douglas Santos23LBHamburgBrazil7581
Yannick Gerhardt23LB LM CMWolfsburgGermany7581
Jonathan Silva23LBSporting LisbonArgentina7580

*Denotes players on loan

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Who are you going to sign on Career Mode? Let us know in the comments section below