Football Manager 2024 Best Centre-Backs
Some of our favourite centre-backs to sign in Football Manager 2024
We’re ardent coverers of youth football and avid Football Manager fans. We’ve combined both to compile a list of the young centre-backs that you should start scouting on your Football Manager 2024 saves.
These aren’t exclusively the “best” but they’re intriguing prospects for clubs across the spectrum of football, available at a range of prices. They’re players that we like in real-life that look great in FM24.
Who are the best wonderkids in Football Manager 2024?
Here are the highest potential rated players in FC 24 Career Mode.
1. Erling Haaland – Manchester City – Age 22 – ST – 91 Overall/94 Potential
2. Vinicus Jr. – Real Madrid – Age 22 – LW – 89 Overall/94 Potential
3. Jamal Musiala – Bayern Munich – Age 20 – 86 Overall/93 Potential
4. Pedri – FC Barcelona – Age 20 – CM – 86 Overall/92 Potential
5. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia – SSC Napoli – Age 22 – LW/RW – 86 Overall/92 Potential
6. Florian Wirtz – Bayer Leverkusen – Age 20 – CAM/CM – 85 Overall/91 Potential
7. Jude Bellingham – Real Madrid – Age 20 – CAM/CM – 87 Overall/91 Potential
8. Rodrygo Goes – Real Madrid – Age 22 – RW/LW/ST – 85 Overall/91 Potential
9. Gavi – FC Barcelona – Age 18 – CM/LW – 83 Overall/90 Potential
10. Bukayo Saka – Arsenal – Age 21 – RW/RM – 86 Overall/90 Potential
11. Phil Foden – Manchester City – Age 23 – LW/RW – 85 Overall/90 Potential
12. Alex Balde – FC Barcelona – Age 19 – LB/RB – 81 Overall/89 Potential
13. Rasmus Hojlund – Manchester United – Age 20 – ST – 76 Overall/89 Potential
14. Gabri Veiga – Al-Ahli – Age 21 – CM/CAM – 78 Overall/89 Potential
15. Eduardo Camavinga – Real Madrid – Age 20 – CDM/CM/LB – 82 Overal 89 Potential
16. Enzo Fernandez – Chelsea FC- Age 22 – CM/CDM/CAM – 83 Overall/89 Potential
17. Xavi Simons – RB Leipzig – Age 20 – CAM/LW/RW – 80 Overall/89 Potential
18. William Saliba – Arsenal – Age 22 – CB – 83 Overall/89 Potential
19. Aurelien Tchouameni – Real Madrid – Age 23 – CDM/CM – 84 Overall/89 Potential
20. Sandro Tonali – Newcastle United – Age 23 – CDM/CM – 86 Overall/89 Potential
21. Matthijs de Ligt – Bayern Munich – Age 23 – CB – 86 Overall/89 Potential
22. Warren Zaire-Emery – Paris Saint-Germain – Age 17 – CM/CDM – 75 Overall/88 Potential
23. Antonio Silva – SL Benfica- Age 19 – CB – 78 Overall/88 Potential
24. Fabio Miretti – Juventus – Age 19 – CM/CAM – 75 Overall/88 Potential
25. Alejandro Garnacho – Manchester United – Age 19 – LW/LM – 75 Overall/88 Potential
26. Ansu Fati – Age 20 – Brighton – LW/ST – 78 Overall/88 Potential
Sebastián Boselli starred at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He was a key starter in a really good team that won it all, and his performances earned him a move to Argentinian giants River Plate.
As in real life, Boselli is an accomplished defender in FM24. He’s mobile, front-footed, intelligent and tenacious. The bonus? His ability to play at right-back, making him a prime candidate for a wide centre-back or brand-new inverted full-back roles. He shouldn’t cost much more than €15 million.
Described in-game as a “wonderkid”, Levi Colwill is by all accounts an outstanding centre-back talent on FM24. That’s reflected in his transfer value at the start of the game, which comes in at a whopping €143 million.
What do you get for a tenth of a billion? A 20-year-old with the core attributes of an elite-level starter. He’s tall, athletic, an intelligent defender, fantastic on the ball, and comes with the bonus of being left-footed. You’ll have to spend a bomb to sign him, but you’ll be getting one of the best that the game has to offer.
Zeno Debast has the hopes of Belgium pinned on him. As the old guard of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are phased out, Debast has been earmarked as the long-term replacement for both in due course. He has the potential to be so, too.
A starter at Anderlecht for two seasons, Debast stands out for his quality on the ball and general balance at the back; 15 for passing, 14 for composure and 13 for vision make him a good ball-player in FM24 already. His defensive style is predicated on brains rather than brute force. €20 million is the fee to get him out of Brussels.
If you’re not aware of Giorgio Scalvini, where have you been? He’s been a sure-thing wonderkid on Football Manager for a couple of years already, and FM24 is no different. The 2003-born defender has all the qualities of an elite-level centre-back already.
He has size and athleticism, a decisive reading of the game, intelligent positional sense, as well as a ‘professional’ mentality which should ensure his development will be strong and steady. There’s also scope to mould him as a midfielder, or at least use him in the vastly-improved libero role. His price reserves him for the elite of the elite.
Like the aforementioned Scalvini, António Silva has been one of Football Manager’s best young players – let alone centre-backs – since the 2023 version. A year older, Silva remains one of the very best you can buy on FM24.
And similar to Scalvini, Silva has the skillset that the elite-level teams demand from their centre-backs. He’s already a good defender – good in duels, solid in the air, quick over longer distances – and a valuable ball-player from the back. His two-footedness adds another layer to his game as well.
Benfica will drive a hard bargain, but you won’t go much wrong for somewhere between €40-50 million.
A starter at Sparta Praha for a couple of seasons now, Martin Vitík has been an increasingly prominent prospect on Football Manager for a few years now, and he’s better than ever in FM24.
His skillset is an interesting one because it comes with some significant highs and some worrying lows. He’s fast yet lacks stamina; he has good positional nous but little in terms of decision-making; he’s a promising ball-player yet is very one-footed. If you’re a talent-developing club, Vitík is worth a look if you’re in need of a centre-back.
What roles can centre-backs play in Football Manager 2024?
Centre-backs are one of the easiest roles to get wrong in your tactic, especially when playing at a lower level. The different roles available give scope for playing in different ways, setting foundations for how your teams play.
The different roles are:
- Central Defender
- Ball Playing Defender
- No-Nonsense Centre-Back
- Wide Centre-Back
The three ‘traditional’ roles are Central Defender, Ball Playing Defender and No-Nonsense Centre-Back. The downfall of many amateur FM24 players is leaning too heavily on Ball Playing Defenders, especially with personnel that are not equipped to play that way.
Sometimes, especially when playing at a lower level with technically limited players, it’s best to commit to playing No-Nonsense Centre-Backs and letting them focus on their defensive work.
Central Defenders and Ball Playing Defenders are the natural progression past this, as is the vastly-improved Libero role which will now step into the midfield line in certain situations, owing to FM24’s new positional play innovations.
These three roles all have a defend, stopper and cover duty. Stoppers will look to step into midfield and break up attacks early; covering defenders will look to sweep up from behind; centre-backs on the defend duty will hold the defensive line as normal. Be careful with how you mix these duties up!
The other two roles are more unconventional. The improved Libero role can act as a traditional sweeper when utilised in a back three, dropping deep and stepping on when possible. In a two, it will actively step into midfield to create overloads when combined with the correct full-back roles.
Lastly, there is the Wide Centre-Back role, which can only be used in a back three. The Wide Centre-Back really changes up how your team can play with possession, encouraging the WCB to support the attack in different ways depending on what duty they are set on.
On defend, they will look to support the attack from wide areas but stay deep. On support they will look to push further forward and overlap out wide, while on attack duty they will also look to dribble more.
What attributes are important for centre-backs in Football Manager 2024?
The base core attributes are pretty simple: Jumping reach, pace, strength, heading, marking, tackling, positioning, aggression, anticipation and concentration – essentially the best attributes for playing as a No-Nonsense Centre-Back are the core fundamentals.
But as you move up the divisions and acquire better players, other attributes – primary technical ones – will become important. The popular ball-playing defender role requires vision, technique, passing and first touch.
A Wide Centre-Back on attack duty will even require dribbling as an important attribute. And the Libero role requires a bit of everything: even flair.
Virgil van Dijk is (once again) the best centre-back in Football Manager 2024, along with the likes of Rúben Dias and Manuel Akanji.
William Saliba, Giorgio Scalvini and António Silva are three of the best young centre-backs in Football Manager 2024.
We recommend signing Sebastián Boselli and Adamo Nagalo on Football Manager 2024.