Football Manager 2019: Best young left backs (LB)

Full backs are always hard to find, especially left-sided ones. Who are the best young left backs and left wing backs in FM 19?

Toby Durant by Toby Durant

Quality left backs are difficult to find. It has typically been the hardest position to fill in Football Manager over the past several years, and this time is no different. Impressive left backs often get advanced up the field to be pacy wingers, or are simply snapped up by big clubs desperate to improve at the position.


How to choose the best young left backs in Football Manager 2019

In this article we will be looking at the best young left backs, including left wing backs, in Football Manager 2019. These players have the maximum 20 position score at either left back or left wing back and are aged 23 or under. Some can play other positions too but we aren’t too concerned about that, after all why play a really good left back at centre back or left midfield when they are so hard to come by in the first place? So, who are the best young left backs in FM19?

Lucas Hernandez (CA 150 – PA 168)

Age: 22

Position: D (LC)

Club: Atletico Madrid

Country: France

Best Attributes: Tackling (15), Marking (15), Pace (15)

Value: £13.75 million

Wage: £49,000 a week

Lucas Hernandez first signed for Atletico Madrid’s youth team at age 11. He rose through their academy system and made his first-team debut in December 2014, aged just 18. He has already made 50+ appearances for Atletico and featured in every game for France during their triumphant World Cup this summer.

In FM 19 Hernandez is a very well balanced full back. He has good speed (15 pace, 14 acceleration), and can help up the pitch when his team has the ball (13 passing, 12 technique, 11 crossing). However, it is without the ball that he really excels. Defensively Hernandez is very good (15 tackling, 15 marking) and his has solid mental attributes to help him progress (15 bravery, 14 positioning, 14 decisions).

Benjamin Mendy (CA 149 – PA 160)

Age: 23

Position: D (L), WB (L)

Club: Manchester City

Country: France

Best Attributes: Strength (17), Work Rate (16), Pace (16)

Value: £25 million

Wage: £100,000 a week

Benjamin Mendy started his career with Le Havre, making his first team debut in 2011, before leaving for Marseille and then Monaco. In July 2017 he made a massive £52 million move to Manchester City after helping Monaco lift the Ligue 1 title the previous season. Unfortunately, Mendy suffered a serious knee injury in September 2017 and is only just recovering from it.

In FM 19 Mendy is an exceptional talent. He is very physical (17 strength, 16 pace, 15 acceleration) and excellent going forward (17 crossing, 14 passing, 13 technique). Without the ball Mendy is strong too (14 tackling, 12 marking) and he has some very impressive mental attributes (16 work rate, 15 off the ball, 14 teamwork). 


Jose Gaya (CA 148 – PA 158)

Age: 23

Position: D (L), WB (L)

Club: Valencia

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: Acceleration (17), Pace (16), Technique (16)

Value: £12.25 million

Wage: £57,000 a week

Jose Gaya is an academy graduate of Valencia and has not played for another club at any level. He made his senior debut for Valencia’s reserves in 2012, and played his first La Liga game in April 2014. He has already made over 100 appearances for Valencia and made his senior debut for Spain this year.

Gaya is a familiar name to seasoned Football Manager players, and in FM19 he is still a very good option for basically every team. He is fast (17 acceleration, 16 pace) and can really contribute coming forward (16 technique, 15 passing, 14 dribbling, 14 crossing). Defensively Gaya is a strong option (14 tackling, 11 marking) and he has solid mental attributes too (16 off the ball, 15 work rate, 15 decisions).

Alex Grimaldo (CA 146 – PA 160)

Age: 22

Position: D (L), WB (L), M (L)

Club: SLB

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: Technique (16), Passing (16), Crossing (15)

Value: £16 million

Wage: £18,250 a week

Alex Grimaldo came up through the Barcelona youth system, but left for Benfica in December 2015 in an effort to get first team football. He made his first-team debut for the Portuguese team in January 2016 and has now made over 50 appearances for his club.

In Football Manager 2019 Grimaldo has solid speed (14 pace, 14 acceleration) and is excellent in the opposition third (16 technique, 16 passing, 15 dribbling, 15 crossing). Defensively Grimaldo is not amazing, but he is still very good (14 tackling, 12 marking).

Luke Shaw (CA 144 – PA 156)

Age: 22

Position: D (L), WB (L)

Club: Manchester United

Country: England

Best Attributes: Pace (16), Acceleration (16), Work Rate (16)

Value: £22.5 million

Wage: £150,000 a week

Luke Shaw was once the premier young talent in England, but injuries have severely hampered his growth. He was a graduate of the Southampton academy, and made 60 appearances for them before Manchester United snapped him up in 2014 for around £30 million. Shaw played well for United to start with, but a catastrophic double leg fracture and Jose Mourinho have stymied his development as a player.

In FM 19 Shaw is still a quality young left back. He possesses good pace (16 pace, 16 acceleration) and solid defensive skills (14 tackling, 14 marking). Shaw is a hard working player (16 work rate, 15 off the ball, 14 teamwork) and is very useful going forward (14 technique, 13 passing, 13 dribbling, 11 crossing).

Kieran Tierney (CA 142 – PA 170)

Age: 21

Position: D (LC), WB (L)

Club: Celtic

Country: Scotland

Best Attributes: Determination (19), Bravery (17), Acceleration (16) 

Value: £13.25 million

Wage: £18,000 a week

Kieran Tierney has risen through the Celtic youth academy to become the first-choice left back for the Scottish champions. At just 21 he has played nearly 100 games for the team already, and he has won 12 caps with Scotland.

In FM 19 Tierney is an excellent defensive full back. He has a very good head on his shoulders (19 determination, 17 bravery, 16 leadership) which underpins his defensive stats (15 tackling, 15 work rate, 10 marking). Tierney is not as strong going forward as others, but he can still contribute at the other end of the pitch (14 crossing, 12 technique, 12 passing).

Jordan Lukaku (CA 137 – PA 149)

Age: 23

Position: D (L), WB (L)

Club: Lazio

Country: Belgium

Best Attributes: Strength (18), Pace (17), Off The Ball (17)

Value: £7.75 million

Wage: £25,500 a week

Jordan Lukaku, younger brother of Manchester United striker Romelu, made his senior debut with Anderlecht and then moved to Oostende to get more first team football. In July 2016 he made a €5 million move to Lazio, where he has gone on to become a first team choice for the Italian side. He has also won seven caps for Belgium, though he was not part of the World Cup 2018 squad.

In FM 19 Lukaku is a very physical full back (18 strength, 17 pace, 16 natural fitness, 15 balance) and is great on the ball (15 dribbling, 13 first touch). He can produce at the sharp end of the pitch (14 crossing, 13 technique, 11 passing) and is a solid defender (13 tackling, 11 marking). He possesses very good mental attributes that will aid his progression too (17 off the ball, 16 teamwork, 16 bravery).

Ferland Mendy (CA 136 – PA 150)

Age: 23

Position: D (L), WB (L)

Club: Olympique Lyonnais

Country: France

Best Attributes: Pace (16), Acceleration (16), Work Rate (15)

Value: £7.75 million

Wage: £22,500 a week

Ferland Mendy came up through the Le Havre youth system, making nearly 50 appearances for the first team before he made a €6 million move to Lyon in 2017. With Lyon Mendy became a regular in the first XI immediately.

In Football Manager 2019 Mendy is a quick full back (16 pace, 16 acceleration) who is well-balanced between attack and defence. Without the ball Mendy can break up attacks (13 marking, 12 tackling) and works hard (15 work rate, 14 off the ball, 14 teamwork). Coming forward he can put deadly balls into the box (14 crossing) and keep the ball moving in possession (13 technique, 12 passing).

Antonio Barreca (CA 135 – PA 149)

Age: 23

Position: D (L), WB (L)

Club: Monaco

Country: Italy

Best Attributes: Crossing (15), Pace (15), Determination (15)

Value: £6.75 million

Wage: £41,500 a week

Antonio Barreca is a product of the Torino youth system. He made his senior debut with the team before heading off on loan first to Cittadella and then Cagliari. In summer 2018 Monaco came in with a big £10.75 million offer for him and bought him over the Alps. Barreca has also received 13 caps for Italy’s Under-21 side.

In FM 19 Barreca is well-balanced. He has good speed (15 pace, 14 acceleration), can put in a deadly ball (15 crossing), pass well (14 technique, 13 passing) and defend (14 tackling, 13 marking). He has reasonable mental attributes too (15 determination, 14 teamwork, 13 work rate) to round off his talents. Barreca can do pretty much everything for any team.

Theo Hernandez (CA 134 – PA Range 150-180)

Age: 20

Position: D (L), WB (L)

Club: Real San Sebastian

Country: France

Best Attributes: Natural Fitness (16), Pace (15), Stamina (15)

Value: £2.6 million

Wage: £62,000 a week

Theo Hernandez came up through the Atletico Madrid academy before making the switch to Real Madrid in July 2017. He played the 17/18 season with Real but this season is on loan to Real Sociedad (Real San Sebastian in FM19). He has also progressed to the French Under-20 team.

In FM 19 Hernandez has good athleticism (16 natural fitness, 15 pace, 15 stamina, 14 acceleration) that helps him get up and down the touchline. He can keep the ball moving in possession (14 technique, 12 passing) and go past defenders (14 dribbling). Defensively he is solid (12 tackling, 12 marking) and he can deliver a good ball into the box in several ways (14 free kick taking, 11 crossing, 11 corners).

All the best young left backs on Football Manager 2019

NamePosClubCountryAgeCAPA/PA RangeValueWage
Lucas HernándezD (LC)A. MadridFrance22150168£13.75m£49k
Benjamin MendyD (L), WB (L)Man CityFrance23149160£25m£100k
José GayàD (L), WB (L)ValenciaSpain23148158£12.25m£57k
Álex GrimaldoD (L), WB (L), M (L)SLBSpain22146160£16m£18.25k
Luke ShawD (L), WB (L)Man UtdEngland22144156£22.5m£150k
Kieran TierneyD (LC), WB (L)CelticScotland21142170£13.25m£18k
Jordan LukakuD (L), WB (L)LazioBelgium23137149£7.75m£25.5k
Ferland MendyD (L), WB (L)OLFrance23136150£7.75m£22.5k
Antonio BarrecaD (L), WB (L)AS MonacoItaly23135149£6.75m£41.5k
Theo HernándezD (L), WB (L)Real San SebastiánFrance20134>150£2.6m£62k
Aarón MartínD (L), WB (L)Mainz 05Spain21134156£4.7m£15.5k
JorgeD (L)FCPBrazil22134150£6.25m£36.5k
Guilherme AranaD (L), WB (L)SevillaBrazil21133166£4.7m£24.5k
Baba RahmanD (L), WB (L)Schalke 04Ghana23133151£10.25m£86k
Ayrton LucasD (L), WB (L)FLUBrazil20132147£2.4m£5.25k
BernardoD (RL), DMBrightonBrazil23132146£12m£25k
Ben ChilwellD (L), WB (L), M (L)LeicesterEngland21131156£15.75m£65k
Cristian RamírezD (L), WB (L)KrasnodarEcuador23130145£2.1m£18.5k
Marcelo SaracchiD (L), WB (L)RB LeipzigUruguay20129146£6.75m£26k
Rubén DuarteD (LC), WB (L)AlavésSpain22129146£2.6m£13k
Robin GosensD (L), WB (L), M (L)AtalantaGermany23129141£4.4m£9.5k
AngeliñoD (L), WB (L), M (L)PSVSpain21129140£3.4m£9k
Toni LatoD (L), WB (L)ValenciaSpain20127>140£2.2m£11.25k
RogérioD (L), WB (L)SassuoloBrazil20127>130£3.9m£12k
Diego GonzálezD (LC), DMMálagaSpain23127145£2.2m£5.5k
Birger MelingD (L), WB (L)RosenborgNorway23127137£550k£1.2k
Jonathan SilvaD (L)LeganésArgentina23127136£2.4m£10.75k
Nicola MurruD (L), WB (L)SampdoriaItaly23126138£3.6m£21k
Júnior FirpoD (L), WB (L)Real HispalisSpain21125>140£1.9m£13k
Jannes HornD (L), WB (L)1. FC KölnGermany21125147£3.2m£13.75k
Júnior TavaresD (L)SampdoriaBrazil21125147£1m£925
Matthew TargettD (L), WB (L)SouthamptonEngland22125145£7.25m£35k
Hamza MendylD (L), WB (L)Schalke 04Morocco20125143£4.3m£13.5k
Mykola MatvienkoD (LC)ShakhtarUkraine22125140£3.7m£7.25k
Maximilian MittelstädtD (L), WB (L), M (L)Hertha BSCGermany21125137£4.3m£775k
CajuD (L)APOELBrazil22125>110£475k£2.8k


Toby Durant