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Best La Liga left-backs of 2021

Sat 11 December 2021 | 7:00

Who are on the list of best La Liga left-backs in 2021? Who got to outperform others in the Spanish top-flight last season and who is on a banging form in the current campaign? Follow us below as we take a deeper look at the stats of the greatest La Liga left-backs of 2021.

Some might think that the Spanish top-flight is not what it used to be and they might be right in some aspects. But the famous La Liga still has the pizazz needed to be considered one of the best leagues in the world of football. We have had some great additions to the Spanish league in recent years and are slowly seeing new names replace the older generation in each position.

One of the main roles in any modern football game, especially in La Liga, is the full-back role, which has turned into a vital part of almost any manager’s tactics in recent years. We got to see some incredible performances from full-backs in the 2020-21 season and some of the best performers are still continuing to wow everyone with their form in the new campaign. Surely you too are eager to find out who the

best La Liga left-backs of 2021

are and how they have performed in the new season so far.

While you are about to see some of the old timers on the list of top La Liga left-backs of 2021, there are also new additions to the list as we got to be introduced to a number of exciting talents over the course of the previous season. So read on as we take a closer look at the careers of these footballers and get to analyze their performances.

Best La Liga left-backs in 2021

From Barcelona’s Jordi Alba to Real Madrid’s Ferland Mendy and Celta Vigo’s Javi Galan, there are number of quite thrilling talents amongst this calendar year’s best performers. So without further ado, here is everything you need to know about the top La Liga left-backs of 2021.

Marcos Acuna

Julen Lopetegui has been quite lucky to have one of the

best La Liga left-backs of 2021

in his roster. Marcos Acuna’s consistency both at the back and in the frontlines has been pivotal for the Spanish side’s tactics in the course of the two seasons that he has been with the club. Acuna first arrived at

Sevilla

from

Sporting CP

for €11 million in the summer of 2020 and has since managed to live up to the billing with phenomenal performances week-in week-out. The Argentina international is versatile enough to be deployed on either side of the pitch and has come in handy whenever the need has arisen in the one and a half years that he has spent with Sevilla.

Acuna made a total of 37 appearances in the 2020-21 campaign and even managed to bag himself a goal and four assists in the process, which helped Sevilla to a fourth spot finish behind Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and of course Barcelona.  The 30-year-old has certainly earned his spot on the list of 2021 best La Liga left-backs and has managed to keep his fine form in the new season. His defensive prowess has helped Lopetegui’s side in keeping their conceded goals to a bare minimum.

The La Liga side have conceded a mere number of 11 goals in 14 games this season, which is one of the lowest and obviously best records in the league. Perhaps none of this would have been possible if it weren’t for Acuna’s phenomenal form. As one of the best La Liga left-backs of 2021, the Argentine has already made more than 15 appearances this season and has already managed to score a goal while adding two more assists to his tally.

Javi Galan

Celta Vigo

have usually been the bane of Barcelona in important league games and Javi Galan will certainly add to their squad strength in the coming months. The Spaniard proved to be one of the

best La Liga left-backs of 2021

during his days at Huesca as he helped the club rise through the ranks to earn a promotion to the Spanish top-flight. Huesca’s promotion to La Liga from the second tier was the boost Galan needed to further solidify his status as one of the best left-backs in Spain.

He got to make a total of 37 appearances for

Huesca

before joining Celta Vigo for €4 million in the 2021 summer transfer window. While some struggle to find their feet at their new clubs early on in their first season, Galan managed to keep his form while improving on his performances every week. Being on the list of 2021 best La Liga left-backs, Galan has already made more than 15 appearances for his new side and has made his first assist for the club as well.

The 27-year-old is an immensely versatile player, who is able to run up and down the pitch in no time, switching from his offensive form to his defensive tactics in no time. Of course Galan is far away from being the very best left-back in the Spanish top-flight, but it is difficult not to recognize and appreciate what he has done for both Huesca and Celta Vigo. We will now have to wait and see if the €6-million-rated footballer’s impressive run of form can last until the end of the season or not.

Yuri Berchiche

Yuri Berchiche’s 2020-21 season was incredibly enough that even though he has lost almost one-third of the current campaign, he has still managed to find his way into the list of

best La Liga left-backs in 2021

. Berchiche was fine enough during his first and only season at

Paris Saint-Germain

in 2017 that he convinced Athletic Bilbao to pay €24 million to acquire his services in 2018. Since then, the Spaniard has been a vital part of the Spanish club and has performed at his peak to help side finish in a better position on the league table.

As one of the best La Liga left-backs of 2021, the former PSG defender made a total of 29 appearances for Bilbao and helped them finish right in the middle of the league table. Berchiche is currently sidelined due to injury and has missed a good chunk of the new season all because of his fitness issues, whose recovery dates are still unknown. The 31-year-old was certainly a great addition to Athletic Bilbao’s squad in 2018 and his form was exceptional during the 2020-21 campaign.

But perhaps such a months-long injury could prove too heavy to handle for Berchiche as the club’s manager Marcelino Garcia Toral is happy with his current loyal defender Mikel Balenziaga, who has been with Los Leones since 2013. Yuri Berchiche’s current market value stands at around €8 million as he is still considered to be one of the best La Liga left-backs of 2021. The only question that remains is that will the Spaniard ever manage to turn the tides in his favor once he returns from injury or not.

Mikel Balenziaga

Next on our list of

2021 best La Liga left-backs

is Mikel Balenziaga, who has so far managed to fill in Yuri Berchiche’s shoes at

Athletic Bilbao

with strong and consistent performances. The only thing that most managers need from their players is consistency and Balenziaga has somehow delivered what his manager has asked of him in the current season. The Spaniard is a true veteran of the game as he has spent several years playing as a defender in the Spanish top-flight. Balenziaga actually started Bilbao Athletic as he joined the club for €1 million back in 2008.

He went on to join the club’s senior side only a couple of months after initially joining the club early in the summer of the same year. Balenziaga went on to spend some time out on loan at CD Numancia in 2009 before finally joining

Real Valladolid

on a free transfer deal in 2011. The Spanish defender used to be Bilbao’s main man at the back after returning to the club for half a million Euros in 2013. Having succumbed to the power of aging in recent seasons, Balenziaga had turned into a mere substitute in the club’s roster.

With Yuri Berchiche’s injury sidelining the Spaniard for an unknown period of time, however, Mikel Balenziaga has been rejuvenated in recent weeks, which has led to his spectacular form. He has already made more than 10 appearances for his side in the Spanish top-flight and set to become Bilbao’s main man at the back once again, at least for the rest of the current campaign.

The three-time Supercopa de Espana winner also had an incredible run of form in the 2020-21 season as he got to make a total of 28 appearances for Athletic Bilbao and helped the club win their third Spanish Super Cup.

Aihen Munoz

Aihen Munoz is one of the most exciting prospects in the Spanish top-flight thanks to his outstanding performances so far. The Spaniard is only 24 years old, yet has already managed to become Real Sociedad’s main man at the back, helping them become potential challenge for the likes of Atletico Madrid and

Real Madrid

. Munoz is an original product of Sociedad’s youth academy and has earned his place amongst the club’s senior squad by outperforming his peers at every level.

While the Spanish defender only got to make a total of 19 appearances in the 2020-21 season due his manager’s rotation-based tactics, the current campaign has shown a lot more promise for Munoz, who has already played in more than 12 games for

Real Sociedad

. Munoz helped his side win the 2019-20 Copa del Rey and has since turned into a vital part of his club’s plans.

Aihen Munoz might have earned a spot on the list of best La Liga left-backs of 2021, but it is of utmost importance that the defender helps his side keep the intensity that they have had so far for the rest of the season.

With Barcelona struggling to find their form in the Spanish top-flight, the third spot on the league table seems to be up for grabs, which is why we are going to see quite a close and thrilling competition between clubs such as Sevilla, Real Betis, Rayo Vallecano and Real Sociedad.

Alex Moreno

Alex Moreno might not be Manuel Pellegrini’s first choice when it comes to the Europa League, but the 28-year-old is certainly his manager’s first choice when it comes to the Primera Division. Moreno is definitely one of the

greatest La Liga left-backs of 2021

thanks to his remarkable performances week-in week-out. Real Betis have come a long way since their 2018-19 season, during which they finished in the bottom-half of the league table with 41 points.

This terrible run of form was all before Moreno’s arrival in the summer of 2019, when the Spaniard joined Betis from

Rayo Vallecano

for €7 million. Since then, the full-back has helped his side turn the tides in their favor as they are now amongst the top-5 in the league. Moreno is considered to be a veteran in Spanish thanks to his experience in playing for clubs such as Mallorca, Elche and Rayo Vallecano before joining Real Betis.

The 28-year-old made a total of 25 appearances for Los Verdiblancos in the 2020-21 season and helped them finish in a Europa League spot as they finished the season only a single point behind Real Sociedad. Considering the fact that Moreno was not Betis’ main defender in the last campaign, it seems that Pellegrini has started to trust the Spaniard more than before, which is obviously due to the fact that Moreno is without a doubt one of the best La Liga left-backs of 2021. Alex Moreno has already made more than 15 appearances for Real Betis in the new campaign and has even managed to bag himself a goal and two assists in the process.

Pervis Estupinan

Next on our list of

top La Liga left-backs of 2021

is Pervis Estupinan, who has been a vital part of Villarreal’s squad since joining the Spanish club in the 2020-21 season. The Ecuador international is only 23 years old and has already managed to prove his worth to both his club and country in recent years.

Despite his young age, Estupinan is quite an experienced player thanks to all the loan spells that he has spent at various clubs such as UD Almeria, RCD Mallorca and CA

Osasusa

. Having spent several years out on loan as a Watford player, Estupinan finally joined Villarreal for €16 million in the September of 2020 and has since become one of his club’s main defenders.

The Ecuadorian is gaining more and more prominence as a talented left-back in the Spanish top-flight. He made a total of 33 appearances for the Yellow Submarine in the previous campaign and even got himself two assists in the process. The new season seems to be a bit more promising for the young defender as he has already appeared in more than 15 games for Emery’s side. Estupinan might not have had a legendary season with Villarreal in Spain’s top-tier league last season, but he still got to win the Europa League by beating Manchester United in the final.

Jordi Alba

Few players can be amongst the best in a league as long as Jordi Alba. Even Real Madrid’s legendary left-back Marcelo has not been able to keep up with his Spanish counterpart as he has lost the phenomenal form that he used to have back when Cristiano Ronaldo was still a Real Madrid player. Jordi Alba has been simply incredible for Barcelona throughout the years and gets to show everyone how important he is for the Catalan club every season.

Alba joined Barcelona from Valencia for €14 million in the summer of 2012 and has since been an unbelievable asset for his side. Aside from helping Barca win numerous trophies such as five La Liga titles, five Copas del Rey, three Spanish Super Cups, the FIFA Club World Cup and the Champions League, the Spaniard has been truly loyal to his club and has stuck with his side through thick and thin in recent years.

With Lionel Messi’s departure, Alba and Gerard Pique were the only ones left from Barcelona’s legendary squad of the early 2010s. Of course the gang is getting back together since Xavi’s return as the club’s new manager and Dani Alves’ subsequent return as a new right-back. The Spain international earned his spot on the list of greatest La Liga left-backs of 2021 with his phenomenal form in the 2020-21 season, during which he got to make 35 appearances in the league and a total of 49 appearances across all competitions.

Alba got to score 5 goals while providing a massive 16 assists in the process of those 49 games. These stats alone are enough to put Alba on the list of greatest left-backs ever. Imagine how legendary the Spaniard’s career has been thanks to his consistency every year. The 32-year-old has already made more than 15 appearances for the Blaugrana this season and has managed to provide 5 assists in the process, which is a stunning record for a left-back.

Barcelona supporters are definitely thankful for the blessing that is Jordi Alba and are hopeful that the Spanish left-back won’t become a Marcelo in near future.

Ferland Mendy

Real Madrid’s Marcelo is still considered to be a phenomenal left-back by millions around the world. But there is no denying the fact that the Brazilian is a long way away from his best days in Spain. The 33-year-old was once believed to be the ultimate full-back thanks to his prowess in both defense and offense, which had turned the Brazil international into one of the greatest left-backs in the world.

With Marcelo’s days as Real Madrid’s main defender slowly coming to an end, another young left-back has already stepped up to replace the aging footballer. This particular player is none other than Ferland Mendy, who has finally managed to overshadow Marcelo as the club’s main man at the back. Many came and tried, but all failed to replace the Brazilian on the left flank.

It seems, however, that Mendy has got both the talent and the strength to gradually become his side’s one and only left-back for years to come. While the Frenchman is not as adept of a winger as Marcelo, he is by far a better defender thanks to his physicality and strength. Of course that does not mean that Mendy is not capable of delivering jaw-dropping performances in the frontlines.

The France international joined Real Madrid from Olympique Lyon for a whopping €48 million in 2019 and has since turned into an important asset at his new club. Ferland Mendy’s performance during the 2020-21 season was worthy of applause as he got to make a total of 26 appearances in the league alone, which was more than enough to earn the Frenchman a spot on the list of best La Liga left-backs of 2021.

He is gradually warming up to his new manager Carlo Ancelotti as he is hoping to complete the process of becoming his club’s main left-back in the near future. But the new season is not as easy as it was before. While Zinedine Zidane had his trust invested in Mendy, it seems that Ancelotti has other plans for his defense as he seems to deploy David Alaba on the left flank from time to time. The former Olympique Lyon defender has only made a total of 9 appearances across all competitions this season, which is certainly not what Mendy had hoped for. Of course as one of the best La Liga left-backs of 2021, the 2019-20 La Liga champion is still an integral part of his squad and can bounce back to turn the tides in his favor in the near future.

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