Defensive midfielders or CDMs are essential players in football as they can disrupt play through tackles and interceptions, while also helping to move the ball from defense to attack. That’s why you need to get a good defensive midfielder in FIFA 23 career mode to take your team to the next level.
Ideally, it would help to look for younger players who can grow through the seasons as the team progresses. Acquiring such talent in the first few seasons would not cost much; however, their value will skyrocket over time as you progress through career mode. In the section below, you might find a list of the best young CDMs to sign.
The ratings and potentials below are as of the May squad update for FIFA 23.
10 Romeo Lavia, Southampton
If you want to sign a good CDM on the cheap, Roméo Lavia would be the perfect man for you. A FIFA 23 signing will only cost a few million and the amount spent on the Belgian prodigy would undoubtedly be worth it.
Despite Southampton being relegated from the Premier League, the 70-rated player has been one of the best players this season. With his potential of 83 in the game, he will develop into a fantastic defensive midfielder in all the seasons you play in career mode.
9 Eric Martel, FC Köln
Like Roméo Lavia, Eric Martel is proving to be a great budget-friendly defensive midfielder to acquire when you’re running a club with little money. The German footballer has recently started gaining recognition for his excellent performances for FC Köln in the Bundesliga.
When we talk about his overall rating in career mode, he starts at 72 and has the potential to slide up to 84. He also adapts well to the center back role and if you are short on players for that position, you can trade Eric Martel and put him there.
8 Amadou Onana, Everton
Amadou Onana was instrumental in Everton avoiding relegation in the 2022-23 season, adding to the club’s legacy of never being relegated from the Premier League. The young prospect is solid on the ball and is considered the future of the Belgian midfield.
With a rating of 75 and a potential of 85, buying him would be a great option in the game. You can even turn him into a central midfielder and force him to play a Box to Box role due to his high attacking speed.
7 Samuel Ricci, Turin
Samuele Ricci is a very talented Italian CDM who has caught the attention of several top European clubs due to his outstanding performances for Torino in the recent Serie A season. career.
Basically, he starts with a 75 overall score and you can sign him for little money in the first few seasons. However, as it builds towards its 85 potential, its value will increase and you’ll have to pay big bucks to get your hands on it.
6 Oliver Skipp, Tottenham Hotspur
Oliver Skipp came through Tottenham Hotspur’s academy and finally became a regular starter for the North London-based club. He is a great CDM to buy in FIFA 23 career mode and has a rating of 77.
Over the course of the season, the young Englishman has the potential to reach 83 and may even exceed that with dynamic playmaking potential. Although he is not fast enough, his decent defense and dribbling make him a valuable player on the pitch.
5 Alan Varela, Boca Juniors
Argentina has produced a wealth of talented footballers throughout history, and Alan Varela is becoming one of the up-and-coming players to watch out for. He plays for Boca Juniors and always performs well in midfield, so you should consider him as one of the options for your club in FIFA 23.
He has an in-game rating of 76, which makes him decent enough for all top tier teams as well. Meanwhile, his potential is 85 and he will quickly surpass 80 in two or three seasons.
4 Boubacar Kamara, Aston Villa
Boubacar Kamara stands out as one of Aston Villa’s best players and the team managed by Unai Emery recently managed to secure a place in the European Conference League for the 2023-2024 season. He has impressive stats in FIFA 23 and his excellent defensive skills can help your team save some goals.
The French talent is sure to be a good signing for your club in career mode, thanks to his wonderful overall score of 80 and potential of 86. However, since you would have to spend around €35-40 million to get him, you can just sign him while he leads the club with a decent budget for transfers.
3 Eduardo Camavinga, Real Madrid
Eduardo Camavinga has emerged as arguably the brightest option in defensive midfield and has been fantastic for Real Madrid whenever he has the chance. Looking at his FIFA 23 numbers, he has a decent overall rating of 81 and an outstanding potential of 89, the highest of any player in this position.
In addition to his CDM role, he can also be used as a central midfielder and can help your team control the tempo. He could also be used as a left-back, as Carlo Ancelloti has done the same on several occasions.
2 Declan Rice, West Ham
Declan Rice has established himself as one of the best CDMs in world football and currently plays for West Ham in the English Premier League. He was in high demand in real life, with clubs such as Arsenal and Bayern Munich keen to sign the young Englishman.
Coming into FIFA 23’s career mode, he boasts an overall rating of 84, along with an impressive potential of 87, ultimately making him one of the best players for the role. He will go directly to the team and unlike most others on the list, you would not have to wait for him to grow.
1 Sandro Tonali, AC Milan
Sandro Tonali, the prodigy of FIFA 19 and FIFA 20, has fulfilled his potential and become one of AC Milan’s good players. The Italian defensive midfielder could be a perfect buy for your team in career mode due to his high work rate and overall stats.
He starts at 84 in the game and can reach the 88 cap, which could be exceeded if played often, and performs well. Additionally, it would help if a development plan was drawn up for Sandro Tonali to accelerate his growth.
Next: FIFA 23: The best young goalkeepers to enter career mode