What is a winger in soccer?
Wingers are the workhorses of the offense. Wingers are a specific type of midfielder that specializes in playing closer to the touchline in the area outside of the penalty box. They must have lots of endurance to cover the entire field and transition quickly from offense to defense. Wingers tend to have a stronger foot depending on which side of the field they are assigned. Wingers are gifted passers with strong crossing abilities and vision to make overlapping runs or create give and go plays. Not all offensive formations will have designated wingers; at the professional level, the outside fullback often flexes into the offense and plays in the style of a winger.
Pace on the Wings
You'll often hear announcers talk about pace on the wings, or pace out wide, referring to two players who often play on the edges of the pitch and possess lots of speed. The first is the fullback or wideback. The fullback is a wide defender, who often possess the most speed, as they are asked to move up the pitch to support the attack and get back to be part of the defense when their team loses the ball.
Wings, either categorized as a midfielder or forwarding depending on the player and formation, are more attacking players who play out wide. They will often have the most speed because they are asked to cover so much ground in the middle of the pitch and in the attack, they're asked to run in behind defenders for goal scoring chances.