BEST FIFA 22 DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDERS
BRIEF PROFILES ON SOME OF THE BEST YOUNG DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDERS IN FIFA 22 CAREER MODE
We cover youth football. For all you FIFA players, we’ve picked out a few of our favourite young defensive midfielders that would be suitable signings on your Career Mode saves. From Declan Rice to Eric Martel, these are some of the best young CDMs in FIFA 22.
You can find our best and most detailed reports in the Scouted Football Handbook, our quarterly magazine in which we profile 25 of the world’s best up-and-coming talents, with additional features and interviews also included.
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FIRST-TEAM DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDERS IN FIFA 22
One of the best young deep-lying playmakers in the world, Manuel Locatelli has enjoyed a strong start to life as a Juventus player after his move in the summer of 2021 in the wake of Italy’s Euro 2020 success.
Whatever he lacks in pace, Locatelli makes up for in other areas of his game. He is solid defensively, an excellent passer, confident in possession, and is also good for a shot from range.
In terms of defensively dominant anchoring CDMs, it is hard to go past West Ham’s Declan Rice. A blessed tackler, with the physicality to match it with anyone, Rice is also a reliable passer of the ball.
While not the quickest or most destructive attacking player, Rice is as solid as it gets and has key stats in the right areas to still make him a net positive in possession in FIFA 22 Career Mode. He won’t be cheap, but if you are leaking goals, he is a great defensive option.
Sandro Tonali is the jack of all trades defensive midfielder. He is quick, aggressive, a solid passer, a decent dribbler, capable in front of goals, and he can defend. What’s the catch? Other than the fact that signing him from AC Milan will set you back around €60 million, there isn’t one really.
In fact, given he can grow an additional eight overall points, Tonali will only get better and surely develop into one of the best midfielders in the game if given the right amount of playing time.
YOUNG DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDERS FOR THE FUTURE IN FIFA 22
David Ayala has taken the newly well-trodden path of players moving from some of South America’s biggest clubs to MLS. In Ayala’s instance, that meant leaving four-time Copa Libertadores winning and 10-time Argentine champions Estudiantes for Portland Timbers.
Ayala is a shuttling defensive midfielder that likes to receive and carry the ball through midfield. His speed and dribbling are his best attributes, although he has a lot to build on to become capable of competing at a high level in one of Europe’s top five leagues. Thankfully, he has the potential to grow up to 16 overall points.
Manchester City’s academy quietly continues to churn out a stack of high quality young players. Next off the production line is Belgian defensive midfielder Romeo Lavia, who has been at the club since signing from Anderlecht in 2020.
Lavia has *a lot* of developing to do, but has all the hallmarks of a player that should develop into an excellent screener of the defence, with a rounded skillset that only lacks shooting as a strength.
On loan at Austria Wien from RB Leipzig this season, Eric Martel has put together a solid Austrian Bundesliga season with plenty of senior experience to prepare him for his return to Germany.
In FIFA 22 Career Mode, he looks like a big, solid defensive midfielder that wields his 6’2” frame to be a physical midfield destroyer. Obviously, he is not the complete package, but his size gives you a lot to work with as he develops the technical side of his game.
WHAT ARE FIFA WONDERKIDS?
Wonderkids are what every Career Mode manager looks for in FIFA. They’re young prospects – usually aged 16 to 19 – that have elite-level potential in the game. Freddy Adu is a prominent example for older managers, while Youssoufa Moukoko is a current case. They’re the superstar youngsters that are must-buys on every save.
But it’s also subjective. A wonderkid at Accrington Stanley is completely different to a wonderkid at Manchester City. Essentially, the surroundings dictate the status.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER IN FIFA 22?
The answer to this question depends on your team, its style, and the role you want the defensive midfield to fulfill. You may want a ball-winner, ball-player, ball-progressor, or a combination of all three.
The basis remains fairly similar across all three roles, though – you want a defensive midfielder that is mobile and intelligent, capable of executing the basic responsibilites of the DM.
HOW TO FIND THE BEST DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER IN FIFA 22?
You can do so by utilising the player search tool, which enables you to specify the certain variables you’re looking for in your player – from age to specific attributes.
Make the most of your scouts, too. Send them to look for the best young defensive midfielders by defining their criteria – specifying under-23, four-start potential, etc. Alternatively, just scour the Scouted Football website.
HOW TO DEVELOP YOUNG DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDERS IN FIFA 22?
As always, pathways are paramount. You have to make sure that your youngsters have access to meaningful minutes at the appropriate levels. If you have a first-team ready talent, phase him into the team gradually, during pre-season ideally.
If your prospect needs a bit more polishing, the loan system is a valuable tool. But pathways to senior level minutes are key. Assess your youngsters on a case-by-case basis, decide what they need, and enact your decision.
The highest rated defensive midfielders in FIFA 22 are N’Golo Kanté, Casemiro, Joshua Kimmich, Fabinho, Sergio Busquets, Rodri, Wilfred Ndidi and Marcelo Brozović.
Declan Rice, Sandro Tonali, Manuel Locatelli, Xaver Schlager, Boubacar Kamara, Ibrahim Sangaré, Mattéo Guendouzi and Bruno Guimarães are some of the best young defensive midfielders in FIFA 22.