Versatile right-backs are becoming an ever-more important position in football. Just look at Dani Alves or, more recently, Trent Alexander-Arnold, who combined their deft defensive tact with an ability to become a significant threat in the attack. Let's look at the top 10 right-backs in the world this 2023/24 season.
10. Ben White — Arsenal
When thinking of the best right backs today, Ben White's name may not immediately come to mind, but his talent assures his presence on the list.
The shift to right-back is new for White. Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta acquired the former Brighton center-back to fulfill his natural position. But he's excelled at right-back this 23/24 season and is helping the Gunners achieve more clean sheets.
9. Giovanni Di Lorenzo — Napoli
The best right-back in Serie A? That's Napoli and Italy team captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo. The 30-year-old continues to perform strongly at the right-back position, highlighted by his superb passing accuracy up the field. He led Napoli to their first Serie A title last season since Maradona's double in the late 1980s.
8. Denzel Dumfries — Manchester United
Dutch defender Denzel Dumfries is enjoying another bright start to the Inter Milan 23/24 season. The solid and disciplined right-back has also scored three goals and notched three assists in 9 games this 23/24 season.
He also played instrumental in Holland's 2022 World Cup run to the semi-finals.
7. Dani Carvajal — Real Madrid
Dani Carvajal has been a staple at the right-back position for Los Blancos for a decade. The 31-year-old Spaniard may have lost a step but is as dependable as ever.
Another Champions League title this season would tie him with former and fellow Madridista Paco Gento for the players with the most UCL titles of all time.
6. Trent Alexander Arnold — Liverpool
Liverpool starts two of the best full-backs in the game. On the left, Andy Robertson, and on the right, his partner in crime, Trent-Alexander Arnold. Arnold may not be the most defensively skilled right back in the game, but he makes up for it with his offensive prowess.
The 25-year-old's foot is so good Klopp often deploys him at midfield. Liverpool's vice-captain notched 13 assists during that 19/20 Premier League title-winning season. He's got 18 goals and 78 assists today in 280 matches for the Reds, perhaps none more important than this one.
5. Joao Cancelo — Barcelona
The dynamic right-back Joao Cancelo is off to a fast start at Barcelona, not surprising given his excellence at Manchester City, where he bagged nine goals and 22 assists in 158 appearances.
The Portuguese full-back has picked up where he left off on loan for Bayern Munich last season, threatening in the attack while providing extra security in the back. Cancelo fills in for Barca's former right-back Jules Kounde, who would otherwise be on this list if he weren't also a superb center-back.
4. Kyle Walker — Manchester City
Kyle Walker is one of England's four versatile right-backs. The 33-year-old continues to power Manchester City's defense, providing the strength and pace Pep needs to operate total football.
Note: Cancelo might have a word with us on Walker ranking above him.
3. Kieran Trippier — Newcastle United
Kieran Trippier also enters the conversation whirling about who is England's best right back. Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate often selects Trippier to start. And for good reason. The 33-year-old is back to his best at Newcastle United, providing a comprehensive list of skills for a defender, including five assists in his eight appearances in seven games this 23/24 season.
2. Reece James — Chelsea
When fit, Reece James is the ideal right back. The 23-year-old Chelsea Blue has offensive and defensive specialties and can flank wide and invert into the midfield. He's the so-called “Rolls Royce” of defenders. He notched six goals and ten assists in 39 appearances during the 2021/22 season. Let's hope this generational talent can remain healthy and return to his best.
1. Achraf Hakimi — PSG
Achraf Hakimi is no stranger to this list and this primary position where he appeared for the last two seasons. The 24-year-old Moroccan has proved his all-around consistency on both ends of the pitch, starting the 23/24 campaign with three goals and two assists in just eight games for PSG.
Defend, dribble, pass, and attack — the €70 million valued Hakimi (almost double his Real Madrid days) is a crucial player on Luis Enrique's side. Best RB in the world? We think so.