Ranking the best third kits in club football right now (2021)

Barcelona will debut their latest third kit against Bayern Munich
Barcelona will debut their latest third kit against Bayern Munich

The concept of third kits can trace its roots to the early 1930s, when alternate kits were donned to commemorate a certain occasion. However, with the increasing commercialization of football in recent times, clubs have adopted the custom of releasing a new third kit every other season.

Bizarre third kits released by Puma

In an absolute shocker of a move, sporting conglomerate Puma decided to revamp the widely-accepted shirt design under the hood of innovation. Nevertheless, the resulting output turned out to be so bizarre that it could end up hurting the sales of the company.

With no crest on the left side of the chest and an ugly rendition of the club's name printed at the center, Puma released the said range to widespread disapproval. A hoard of clubs who have tie-ups with Puma will have to sport the same kind of third kits in the 2021-22 season. Manchester City and AC Milan are the biggest teams to be associated with this range of apparel.

Considering the varied range of creativity that the designers put in whilst creating a shirt, opinions are bound to be divided. Nevertheless, there are some solid third kits in the market right now that have been widely accepted. On that note, let's take a look at 5 of the best third kits of the 2021-22 season:

#5 Ajax

Ajax have had some classy kits over the years
Ajax have had some classy kits over the years

The Eredevise champions are back with another season where they'll bid for the Dutch title yet again. This time, however, they'll do so whilst donning a classic third kit, inspired by none other than reggae legend Bob Marley.

The new design pays a hearty tribute to the Jamaican singer and his song, 'Three Little Birds'. The striking red, green and gold stripes are completely identical to Marley's brand, giving their third kit a glamorous retro look.

With a matt black background containing logos of red color, Ajax have produced one of the most iconic third kits in recent history. The Dutch giants will be looking forward to winning some major silverware this season to commemorate their breathtaking third kit.

#4 Leeds United

Leeds won the Championship by a record 93 points
Leeds won the Championship by a record 93 points

Easily the most exciting side in the Premier League, Leeds United revealed their third kit via their social media outlets. Adidas has introduced a new set of colors for the Peacocks, designing their third kit with a backdrop of lilac.

The subtle purple color, coupled with the combination of blue and white on the crest, comes off as really appealing to the eye. A pair of shorts and socks of the same shade complete a simple but elegant third kit.

Led by the enigmatic Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds have had a rocky start to the Premier League this season. They remain winless after four games, sitting just one place above the relegation zone. Fans at Elland Road will be hoping that this new third kit brings some luck to the club.

Also read: Most valuable Premier League XI at the moment (September 2021)

#3 Barcelona

FC Barcelona unveil new signing Luuk de Jong
FC Barcelona unveil new signing Luuk de Jong

In sharp contrast to their home jersey, Barcelona recently released a stunning third kit exclusively meant for the Champions League. The Blaugrana kick off their UCL journey for the 2021-22 season against Bayern Munich, where they'll debut their newly availed third kit.

This release is inspired by different parts of the famous city, showcasing some vivid patterns of different locations. Keeping with the classic Blaugrana look, Nike introduced an exceptional new take on the traditional red and blue stripes of Barcelona.

Young local artists included some significant institutions in the the design of the third kit that become apparent when you take a closer look. The unique third kit is probably one of the few things Barcelona fans have to rejoice about.

#2 Manchester United

Manchester United debuted their latest third kit against Southampton
Manchester United debuted their latest third kit against Southampton

Manchester United have started this season in style, scoring 11 goals in just four games. The high-flying Red Devils occupy the top spot in the Premier League with three victories from four games. Interestingly, their only draw came whilst wearing their latest third kit.

Paying homage to the retro shirts of the 90s, Manchester United released a stunning blue third kit, with black patterns all over the front. The design creates a distinctive 'M' shape, giving the kit a cutting edge look.

United are currently bossing the performance as well as appearance departments in the Premier League. Fans will have to wait a little while to see their talisman in their latest blue jersey, with Cristiano Ronaldo having already made his second United debut against Newcastle.

#1 Arsenal

New signing Ben White flaunting Arsenal's third kit
New signing Ben White flaunting Arsenal's third kit

Finishing in the top spot for a change, Arsenal's third kit of the current season is generating more buzz than the team's actual performances. Inspired by the two away kits launched by Nike in 1994 and 1995, this third kit stands out from the rest due to its catchy aesthetic look.

This latest alternative release by Adidas is modeled after the iconic 'Blue Lightning' kits of the 1990s. Majorly navy blue in color, the shirt also flaunts a turquoise design with red and white logos. The shorts are of dark blue color, similar to the socks.

Unfortunately, Arsenal debuted this classy third kit in a 2-0 away loss to Premier League newbies Brentford. Even though the Gunners were shot down comprehensively by the Bees, they sure did go down in style. At the time of writing, Arsenal sit in 16th place, having lost three of their opening four games.

Also read: 5 most valuable Mino Raiola clients right now

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Edited by Henno van Deventer
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