Each soccer position is unique. They all have unique requirements that suit different types of soccer players. However, a fast player would be particularly suited to one specific position. Having played in every soccer position at some point, I can tell you what position is best for a fast player.
The best soccer position for a fast player is the position of the winger. This position is best because the winger is expected to cover a large area of the field and move quicker than any other player. Speed is an advantage for a winger more than any other position in soccer.
To explain why I believe this is true, let me explain the four reasons why a winger is a perfect position for a fast player.
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Why Winger Is the Best Position for a Fast Player
In a game of soccer, the winger is positioned on the outside of the soccer field. Their role is to stay close to the outside of the field and create chances for the forwards to score a goal.
The role of a winger includes:
- Supporting the defenders
- Supporting the forwards
- Creating chances for the forwards
- Dribbling with the ball
- Drawing out the defenders
- Spreading the width of the play
- Contribute to goals scored for the team
Each of these roles is vital to being a great winger. But there are four specific reasons I believe that you should use your fastest player on the team as the winger.
1. A fast winger is more effective at supporting the forwards
The entire purpose of soccer is to win the game by scoring more goals than the opposition. (Find out how to increase your chance of scoring a goal, in this article I wrote.)
A fast winger can increase a team’s chances of scoring a goal by effectively supporting the forwards.
There are several ways a winger supports the forwards.
- Providing crosses
- Playing through balls
- Drawing out the defenders
- Contributing goals for the team
A faster player benefits each of these areas.
A faster player can get to the ball quicker than a slower player can. This means that they have more time to use the ball in a way that benefits the team.
(If you want tips and recommendations on how to improve your speed on the field, check out my article – How to Run Faster in Soccer: Drills, Tips, and Techniques.)
2. A fast winger is more effective at supporting the defenders
The key part of outscoring the opposition in a soccer game is preventing the other team from scoring. It is much easier to beat a team that has scored no goals than it is to beat a team that is scoring regularly.
Having a fast player as a winger can make the team more successful in this area.
A winger has the freedom to move up and down the entire length of the soccer field. In this position, a significant part of their role is to support the defense as well as the forwards.
The wingers support the defense by being an extra player at the back during an attack by the opposition as well as being available for the defenders to pass the ball to them when they are moving the ball away from the defensive area.
The greater speed a winger has, the sooner they can get back to support the defenders and increase the effectiveness of the entire team.
3. A fast winger can take on more players
Another critical requirement of a winger is to take on the players in front of them. Being fast is an advantage in this area.
Being fast is an advantage because it increases the chance that the winger will be able to get away from the opposition player quicker than a slower player could.
Have a look at this video of the top 10 wingers below.
Notice how many times these wingers use their pace to get away from the opposition players around them.
Using a fast player as a winger is not only an advantage to that position, but it also provides a benefit to the whole team.
4. A fast winger can keep the game moving
The fourth reason that the best position for a fast player is a winger is that it keeps the game moving at a higher tempo.
Keeping the game moving quickly can be an advantage for many teams.
It keeps the other team on the back foot and more likely to make mistakes. It also causes the opposition players to tire more quickly as they spend a lot of time chasing the ball and chasing the game.
There are multiple reasons that a faster player can keep a soccer game moving faster.
- They can get to the ball quicker and move it forward.
- They can support the other players on their team to provide an option for them to pass too.
- If they are taking a set-piece, then they can get to the location of the kick quicker than a slower player could.
- They can cover more distance with the ball at their feet.
Having a fast player as a winger is a huge asset for any soccer team. It has the potential to be the difference between winning and losing a game.
But there may be some occasions where you are not playing with a winger, or you already have the perfect player for a winger. Where do you put your fastest player then?
Alternative Position to a Winger for a Fast Player
If, for whatever reason, you can’t use your fastest player as a winger, then there is one other position that I would suggest using them.
I can work well to use your fastest player as a striker.
This is because there is a significant advantage to having a fast player in the position of striker.
If you want a more detailed explanation of a striker’s role in soccer, look at this article I wrote, but let me also give you a brief description here.
You can also check out this comparison of a striker vs a forward and find out what the difference really is.
The primary role of a striker is to score goals for their team.
To do this, they have to be in possession of the ball.
And to gain possession of the ball, they need to get to it before anyone else.
Being fast gives the striker an advantage over slower players because they can get to the ball before the other players around them.
A striker in possession of the ball is more likely to score than a striker without the ball.
If you need an alternative position to place a fast player on a soccer team, I would choose the position of striker.
Allocation positions on a soccer team is a challenging job, but if you have a fast player, I would recommend playing them in the position of winger. And if that doesn’t work, then use them as a striker.
For more information on soccer positions check out one of my previous articles: