Due to the evolution of football over the years, the fullbacks have been evolved to become players who are both defensively resolute and offensively threatening.
These five players from Europe’s Top 5 leagues are statistically the best-attacking full-backs this season.
#5. Jordi Alba – 2 goals and 8 assists
Jordi Alba is easily among the Top 3 left-backs of this decade and it is the consistency of his attacking game that has made him a crucial member of the Barcelona team. In fact, he has 15 goals and 57 assists for the Catalan club in 298 appearances.
This season, Alba has continued to be a massive attacking threat down the left-hand side and has formed a brilliant understanding with Lionel Messi. When Ousmane Dembele doesn’t start, Alba provides the necessary pace on counter-attacks.
This season, the Spaniard has contributed with two goals and eight assists in 35 La Liga appearances and only six players in the league have more assists than him. Among the Barcelona players, he is the second highest assist provider behind Leo Messi.
#4. Andrew Robertson – 11 assists
Liverpool’s famous left-back, John Arne Riise, said in December 2018 that Andrew Robertson must add more goals to his game and rightly so as the left-back has scored only once in 76 appearances for the Reds. However, when it comes to assists, the Scott has 18 to his name of which 13 were provided this season across all competitions.
Robertson is a mainstay in the Liverpool defence alongside Virgil van Dijk and has started 36 league games this season.
In the 36th league game of the season against Huddersfield Town, Robertson assisted his 11th and final goal of the season and thus equalled a Premier League record for most assists by a defender in one season which was previously achieved by two Everton full-backs, Leighton Baines (in the 2010-11 season) and Andy Hinchliffe (in the 1994-95 season). However, the record was broken on the final matchday of the season by a teammate of Robertson’s.
#3. Trent Alexander-Arnold – 1 goal and 12 assists
By providing the assist for Liverpool’s final Premier League goal of the 2018/19 season, Trent Alexander-Arnold made Premier League history by becoming the first defender to assist 12 goals in a season.
The England international shared right-back duties with Joe Gomez in the first half of the season but after an injury kept Gomez out for several months, Alexander-Arnold had to play almost every game for the Reds.
He started only 27 Premier League games this season and still managed to break the all-time assists record for a defender because he takes a considerable number of crossed free-kicks and corners for his side. In the entire league, only two players had more assists than him this season and both those players are forwards.
#2. Joshua Kimmich – 2 goals and 12 assists
Joshua Kimmich started his career as a midfielder and hence, he has turned into one of the best offensive full-backs in the game at the moment. In fact, he has nine goals and 32 assists to his name while playing as a right-back in 91 games.
This season, Kimmich has chipped in with two goals and 12 assists and has started and played the full 90 minutes in every single Bundesliga game so far. That being said, Kimmich had 13 assists in only 29 league games last season.
The German is the second highest assist provider in the Bundesliga at the moment with one game left to play. The only player with more assists than him is Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho who has 14 assists.
#1. Kenny Lala – 5 goals and 9 assists
Kenny Lala is not a household name in football but after his performance this season, Lala could be on his way to a top European club in the summer and then, people will take notice.
The Strasbourg full-back helped his club win the Coupe de la Ligue this season but it is his contributions in the league that has caught the eye. In 32 Ligue 1 games, the 27-year-old has 5 goals and 9 assists to his name. Only Téji Savanier, Nicolas Pepe and Angel Di Maria have more assists than him this season.
Lala is a huge threat going forward as his stats suggest and he is equally good defensively. It is no surprise that he’s being linked with a summer move to the Premier League with Manchester City and Arsenal among his potential destinations.