Top three: Greatest Premier League left-backs

Since the Premier League was formed in 1992, who have been the three best left-backs?

Hayden Atkins
Published 04/26/2013 13:17 by Hayden Atkins, read by 1,663 people.

From the strikers to the wingers to the playmakers, some very special players have graced the Premier League.

But a position that is so often overlooked is full-back - and here is a look at three of the best left-backs that have featured in the English top-flight.

3. Dennis Irwin

Dennis Irwin was an Ireland international left-back that played predominantly for Manchester United between the years of 1990 and 2001. In his time at United, Irwin made over 368 appearances over 11 years, winning seven League titles, three FA Cups, one league cup and a Champions League.

During his time at United, Ferguson was quoted saying that Irwin was he greatest pound-for-pound signing after his transfer from Oldham Athletic. 

In addition to his fantastic trophy record at United, Irwin featured heavily in the Republic of Ireland international team and was part of the squad that reached the last 16 of the 1994 World Cup. 

2. Ashley Cole

Voted England player of the year in 2010, Ashley Cole is one of England's most successful full-backs. But it is his club form for London clubs Arsenal and Chelsea that has seen him rise to one of the best performing left-backs of the decade in the Premier League.

Cole turned professional at boohooed club Arsenal during the 1998/99 season, and was a key player during Arsenal's famous "invincible" season of 2003/04, where Cole featured 32 times, despite fierce competition for places. 

In 2006, Cole left Arsenal to join rival London club Chelsea, where Cole has gone on to made 207 appearances to date. Cole is also one of an elite group that has reached 100 caps for England, and is one of only seven to reach this amount, joining the likes of David Beckham and Bobby Charlton in this elite club.

1. Graeme Le Saux

Named twice in the PFA's Team of the Year, Graeme Le Saux is one of the greatest English defenders of the Premier League era. Le Saux begun his club career for Chelsea, debuting in 1989. He scored eight league goals during this four-year stint that ended in 1993.

During those four years, Le Saux won the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Uefa Super Cup. 

However, it was during his spell at Blackburn Rovers where Le Saux began to show his worth. In the 1994/95 season Le Saux won his greatest honour, along with the likes of Alan Shearer and Tim Flowers, when Rovers lifted the Premier League trophy that season.

Le Saux also made 36 appearances for the England national team, making him one of the most successful English full-backs to ever play in the Premier League.


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