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Igor Smolnikov: the best cheap right-back around

At less than a thousand coins, you can’t go wrong here.

FC Zenit St. Petersburg vs FC Rubin Kazan - Russian Premier League Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images

One of the most over-looked right-backs in FUT 17 has to be Zenit and Russia’s Igor Smolnikov. I’ve used this guy a lot (for over 500 games) - I first got him to link with Axel Witsel during EA access, and he hasn’t left my team since. I've tried other RBs - Carvajal, Lahm, Walker, Bellerin, De Marcos, Abate, Florenzi - and none of them match him. This man is incredible, and I have yet to find a better player than him.

Price: 750

Games: 510

Goals: 11

Assists: 61

Chem. Style: Sentinel

I played him for ~500 games in this squad:

My first, and favorite squad of FUT 17
FUTHEAD

And now I've upgraded to this:

My current WL team (Mauricio and Witsel are interchangeable)
FUTHEAD

Pace: 10/10

Blistering. Even without a chemistry style boosting this, he's incredibly fast. He feels even faster than 87 in game, and I've never had an issue with his pace. He can keep up with the fastest wingers, even the Aubameyangs/Walcotts of the world. His pace allows him to catch up with any attacker if he gets caught out of position, and is an incredible asset when going forward.

Dribbling: 9/10

Hardly puts a foot wrong - it feels in the 80s. He's quick on the turn, and has incredible ball control. He can beat most wingers and full-backs he comes up against. He's no Messi, but he feels good on the ball.

Shooting: 8/10

Surprisingly good. He has good positioning in and around the box, and he's often in position to stab home a shot during a goal mouth scramble or score a tap in. His long shots aren't great, but he can really hit them - he often collects the clearance from a corner, and can more often than not hit a shot on target. More than sufficient for a defensive full back.

Passing: 10/10

Perfect for a full back. He has a great cross on him, and his short and long passing is fantastic, allowing him to get involved in build up play. Most of his assists are from killer through balls played to my strikers, or from a perfect cross into the box.

Defending: 10/10

Incredible - feels far better than 78. He has great marking, interceptions and tackling, and he can stop almost any attacker. He's always in the right place to stop an attack, or to make a perfect tackle. His marking allows him to stay right next to any winger or attacker, preventing them from getting away.

Physical: 10/10

Feels very strong in game, and with his decent aggression, he wins a lot of challenges. His good jumping means he can defend far post headers, and can hold his own against most players.

Final Thoughts

All in all, he is fantastic - the best RB I've used. He may be a little hard to link, but just give him a strong link to TOTGS/OTW Giuliano (best CAM in the game) or Witsel (one of the best box to box midfielders around), or even a weak link to IF Promes (best RW in the game), and he'll be set. He genuinely plays like an 85 rated player, and will be a valuable asset in all parts of your team.