Modern left-wingers are known for their ability to dribble directly at defenders, often cutting inside to become direct threats to the goal. Cristiano Ronaldo's ascent at Manchester United became the archetype for today's wingers. With that in mind, let's look at the top left-wingers in the world this 2023/24 season.
Note: Future GOAT Kylian Mbappe is not on this list since he's not exclusively a left-winger.
10. Jack Grealish
He's taken a back seat to Jérémy Doku recently, but Jack Grealish played an instrumental role in Manchester City's treble last season. Under the tutelage of coach Pep Guardiola, the England international continues to thrive as one of City's key playmakers even if his natural position is more of a roaming central midfielder.
Marcus Rashford was a man in form for the Red Devils last season, scoring 30 goals in 56 matches. It's been a rough start for Rashford this term, perhaps the off-field distractions and United's team woes have thrown off his game.
The 26-year-old has scored 125 goals and notched 72 assists during his United career. Once Rashford regains his confidence, he'll quickly reemerge as one of the Premier League's best left-wingers. Of course, emerging star Alejandro Garnacho may have something to say about that.
8. Kingsley Coman
Things seem to happen when Kingsley Coman hits the pitch — that's why Xavi wanted the left winger when he took over the coaching role at Barcelona. Xavi could sure use him now.
The pacy Coman has one of the best dribble rates for Bayern Munich this season, a club he's been at since 2015. One could argue that rising star Jeremy Doku is better than him and Jack Grealish but we still opted for Coman on this list. Plus, he snatched the game-winner against PSG in the 2020 Champions League final.
7. Kaoru Mitoma
Kaoru Mitoma has quickly become one of the best left-wingers in the Premier League. It's remarkable to think Brighton only paid €3M for his services while the likes of Jack Grealish went for €117M and Mykhaylo Mudryk for €70M.
The Japanese starlet scored ten goals and provided eight assists last season. He's on par to match those stats this term with three goals and six assists in 23 games.
While 31-year-old Neymar may have hung them up in Europe with a big-money move to Saudi Arabia, he still reserves a spot on this list. The former Barcelona and PSG ace is a threat whenever he enters the pitch. Indeed, there were the good old days for Neymar, but we can still watch him on the international stage with Brazil, new haircuts and all.
5. Gabriel Martinelli
He seems to glide by right backs on the touchline with ease — that's Arsenal left winger Gabriel Martinelli. The 22-year-old is enjoying another stellar season with the Gunners, whom he scored 15 goals for and provided 6 assists the prior season.
4. Rafael Leão
Portuguese star Rafael Leão knows how to cook it up on the left wing for AC Milan. In many ways, he's the complete winger: strong, skillful on the touchline, and a good finisher. He scored 15 and assisted 10 in 35 appearances last term.
Need an elite game-changer? Leão is your man and deserves to be up there with the best.
3. Heung-min Son
Everybody loves Sonny. Heung-min Son has easily been one of the best Premier League wingers for the last few seasons. In 2022, he became the first Asian player to win the EPL Golden Boot, scoring 23 goals. He's already got ten goals and four assists this season after scoring 14 and putting up six assists last season. But does the 31-year-old stick around a trophyless Tottenham for too much longer?
2. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia
The two-footed Georgian Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is the best left-winger in the Serie A. The 22-year-old tormented right-backs last season, scoring 14 goals and assisting 17. He's notched five goals and assists in 22 games this season. As of December 2023, he converted the most successful dribbles in the Champions League group stages with 24.
While he's been heavily linked with a transfer to Real Madrid, Vini Jr has secured that starting spot, and that means only one thing: Khvicha's next destination could be Barcelona.
1. Vinicius Junior
Karim Benzema once told his teammates not to pass to Vini Junior for fear he'd continue to lose the ball. But the Brazilian has come a long since his teens, maturing into one of the most dynamic left-wingers in the game today.
Vini Jr. was pivotal in Real Madrid's 2022 Champions League title. He became Benzema's key strike partner. The Frenchman subsequently won the 2022 Ballon d'Or, disrupting the Ronaldo and Messi hegemony. But now it is Vini Junior himself who's a top candidate for football's most prestigious award.
Before his thigh injury in November, which put him out for at least ten weeks, the Brazilian scored six goals and provided four assists in 13 matches.