BEST FOOTBALL MANAGER 2022 CENTRE-BACKS

BRIEF PROFILES ON SOME OF THE BEST YOUNG CENTRE-BACKS IN FM22

We cover youth football and we love Football Manager. We’ve combined both to compile a list of the young centre-backs that you should start scouting on your FM22 saves. These aren’t necessarrily “best”, but they’re interesting prospects for clubs across the spectrum of football. They’re players that we like in real-life that look good in FM22.

If you’re looking to buy FM 2022, use this link and the code ‘SCOUTEDFTBL’ for 10% off – and it gives us a little kickback too. You can find more in-depth player reports in the Scouted Football Handbook, our quarterly magazine.

WATCH: 5 YOUNG PLAYERS YOU SHOULD BUY IN FM22

LAST UPDATED: APRIL 1, 2022

JULES KOUNDÉ

Sevilla centre-back Jules Koundé

DATE OF BIRTH

12/11/1999 (22)

POSITIONS

CB, RB

CLUB

Sevilla CF

NATIONALITY

France

VALUE

€40M – €120M

JUles Koundé's FM22 attributes

This is one for those of you managing the big clubs. You know what the deal is here; Jules Koundé has an €80 million release clause and Sevilla will expect you to pay every penny of it in order to allow him to join your club.

Naturally, what you are getting in return is a centre-back already playing at a Champions League level that will continue to eventually develop into one of the best defenders in Football Manager 2022.

As an added bonus, he can also do a role for you at right back. But his usefulness as a ball-playing defender or a wide centre-back means you will want to be playing him centrally. Wide centre-back (At), anyone?

GIORGIO SCALVINI

Atalanta centre-back Giorgio Scalvini

DATE OF BIRTH

11/12/2003 (17)

POSITIONS

CB

CLUB

Atalanta BC

NATIONALITY

Italy

VALUE

€4.4M – €13.5M

Giorgio Scalvini's FM22 attributes

A high performer in Italy’s under-19 team in real life, Giorgio Scalvini looks like an equally exciting prospect in game. At his best, he turns into a high class defender in FM22 and is well worth the €2 million sum he can be purchased for on day one.

Though his set of mental attributes is not the strongest at the start of the save (he is only 17) his physical and technical attributes should make him capable of playing minutes at senior level straight away depending on the level you are playing out.

But for a low cost, high upside option for centre-back, there are not many better options, especially given how comfortable he is playing everybody’s favourite centre-back role: ball-playing defender.

OUMAR SOLET

Red Bull Salzburg's Oumar Solet

DATE OF BIRTH

07/02/2000 (21)

POSITIONS

CB

CLUB

FC Red Bull Salzburg

NATIONALITY

France

VALUE

€8.6M – €26M

Oumar Solet's FM22 attributes

If you need a starting defender and you can afford Oumar Solet at the start of your save, he is a no brainer. His stats are wonderful well-rounded and will naturally only improve with minutes. He is so technically strong that he has the versatility to play in defensive or central midfield.

But obviously you want to maximise his strengths in the heart of your defence. He is 192cm tall, with decent speed and strength, paired with excellent passing to kick-start attacks for your team.

It will cost you somewhere in the region of €20 million to sign him, and from there he has the potential to be a 10-year set-and-forget player as long as the growth of your club can keep pace with his development into a Champions League level player.

DAN-AXEL ZAGADOU

Borussia Dortmund's Dan-Axel Zagadou

DATE OF BIRTH

03/06/1999 (22)

POSITIONS

CB, LB

CLUB

Borussia Dortmund

NATIONALITY

France

VALUE

€14M – €43M

Dan-Axel Zagadou's FM22 attributes

A Football Manager favourite returns. Dan-Axel Zagadou is the perfect player to target at the end of season one as he winds down his expiring contract. It’s as simple as this, if you can afford him, you should sign him.

First and foremost, he is left-footed, meaning he can slot into the left side of your central pairing or trio – a position that is often not easy to fill. But he also has excellent ball-playing defender stats, as well as being a huge physical presence with a high strength attribute and his 196cm height.

He starts the game with a long term knee injury, so you can’t sign him in the first window. Though you could look to get him in on a cut-priced deal in January rather than waiting to fight it out with rival teams for his signature at the end of the season.

WHAT ARE FOOTBALL MANAGER WONDERKIDS?

Wonderkid is a cliché term that’s synonymous with Football Manager. They’re young prospects – usually aged 16 to 18 – 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 CENTRE-BACK IN FOOTBALL MANAGER 2022?

The ideal centre-back is a complete one – an athletic player that can defend in different scenarios, from covering space behind the backline todefending in one-v-ones and dominating in the air, as well as being productive in possession.

Centre-backs of that ilk are extremely rare. Therefore, you need one that fits your style. Make sure that he fits within the team principles, as well as next to the proposed partner.

HOW TO FIND THE BEST CENTRE-BACKS IN FOOTBALL MANAGER 2022?

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 scout nations (rather than regions/contintents) for the best young centre-backs by defining their criteria – specifying under-23, four-start potential, etc. Alternatively, just scour the Scouted Football website!

HOW TO DEVELOP YOUNG CENTRE-BACKS IN FOOTBALL MANAGER 2022?

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.

WHERE CAN I BUY FOOTBALL MANAGER 2022?

Want to buy Football Manager 2022? Visit our friends at 2game.com and use this link and the code ‘SCOUTEDFTBL’ for 10% off your purchase.

Virgil van Dijk and Rúben Dias are the best centre-backs in FM22, as per the ratings. Underneath them, there’s the likes of PSG’s Marquinhos, Chelsea’s Thiago Silva, as well as Inter’s Stefan de Vrij and Milan Škriniar.

The best young centre-backs in FM22 include Matthijs de Ligt, Dayot Upamecano, Ronald Araújo, Jules Koundé, Fikayo Tomori, William Saliba, Alessandro Bastoni and Éder Militão.