Be right back? The surprising glamour position of the EPL.

Arsenal's Hector Bellerin during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at The Emirates , London on 01 Jan 2017 (Photo by Kieran Galvin/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Arsenal's Hector Bellerin during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at The Emirates , London on 01 Jan 2017 (Photo by Kieran Galvin/NurPhoto via Getty Images) /

Who are the EPL’s top right backs?

Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin flying down the right side from his right back position is the one and only place that the Gunners had representation on last year’s EPL Best XI.   Formerly the Premier League’s Best XI right back year after year belonged to Gary Neville, so if you can remember that era, the evolution of right-back into a dangerous attacking role filled with some of the fastest players in world football must be a shock to the system.

The position in youth soccer that usually belongs to the slow kid who was signed up against their will and would rather be playing Minecraft is currently full of some of the most exciting players on teams at the top of the table.  Arsenal fans hope and believe that Bellerin will be the best right-back in the EPL for years to come but there are plenty of fantastic players who will give him competition for the best right-back in England over the next few seasons.  Here are the top five plus an honorable mention.

Not really a right-back (but worth a mention) …

Victor Moses, RWB Chelsea – Mentioning Moses here might be cheating a little bit as he is playing a wing-back role in Chelsea’s new formation under Antonio Conte.  That said, he has been one of the revelations of the first-half of the season after spending many summers wondering which club he would be loaned to next.   With 12 wins and counting to finish the calendar year, Chelsea is relying on Moses’ attacking prowess and defensive coverage from the back on the right side of the pitch to keep their momentum going.

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  1. Seamus Coleman, RB Everton – It feels like Coleman has been at Everton forever but the newly appointed permanent Republic of Ireland captain and Everton’s player of the year in 2014 is not the flashiest player on this list, but is considered dependable and during transfer windows is often mentioned as a target of bigger clubs. Having just past 200 appearances for Everton, Coleman is a steady presence in the side that looks a solid bet to finish seventh in the EPL.
  1. Nathaniel Clyne, RB Liverpool – Bought from the Southampton talent assembly line, Nathaniel Clyne has entered his prime and is playing a big part in Liverpool’s resurgence into second place in the current Premier League table. With speed to burn, strong in the tackle and ideal in support of Liverpool’s right wingers, Clyne is unlucky to be deputy right-back for England. In most England squads, Clyne has the talent to make the right back position his own but at the moment, he is kept out by this list’s number 3.
  1. Kyle Walker, RB Tottenham – Arguably England’s best player at Euros 2016 (which granted wasn’t a tough list to top), Walker is electric in attack and difficult to break down on defense. His pace is frightening and his full-back partnership with Danny Rose for Spurs and England is exceptional as the two rank the highest on for Spurs. Walker also seems to have some of his best games against Arsenal.  It is difficult to believe that Kyle Walker was bought from Aston Villa for only 4 million pounds in 2009.

Antonio Valencia, RB Man Utd – Also bought in 2009 but for 16.75 million pounds was Antonio Valencia.

Manchester United’s player of the month for November

is a converted right-winger who mostly plays in attack or the center of midfield in 2018 South American qualifiers for Ecuador. Valencia has also

won United’s player of the year in 2012

but seems to have a hot-cold relationship with many Manchester United fans who get frustrated with his straight-forward approach to his position.  Last year, Valencia was ranked

the fastest footballer on the planet

and while he does have a pretty significant card collection for club and country, he is not showing any signs of slowing down despite being 31 years old with outstanding work rate and commitment for Jose Mourinho’s side.

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  1. Hector Bellerin, RB Arsenal – Graceful is rarely a description used for any EPL player, let alone defender, but Bellerin is a stylish, graceful player that Arsenal fans are fortunate to have. The 21-year-old Spaniard is showing world-class potential and is the subject to many tributes from YouTube and other sources for running ‘ridiculously fast’.  Finally getting a chance with his national team having been kept out by Spanish full-backs Dani Carvajal and Cesar Azpilicueta, Bellerin is part of the refreshed Spanish lineup that is replacing the stalwarts from Spain’s cup-winning teams in 2008, 2010 and 2012.   With a recently signed six and a half-year contract, Bellerin should be scaring EPL defences for years to come.

With La Liga on Christmas break and the Premiership in full swing, Barcelona will likely have a few scouts watching right backs in England at the position they need an upgrade at the most.  The five right backs on this list are likely not going anywhere this transfer window.