The beauty of a defender is that their careers last longer than attackers. They also peak later, so if you can find a top defender at a young age, you are on to a winner. After a period where there was a lack of promising defenders coming through, we now seem to be spoilt for choice. So on your FIFA 17 Career Mode try to secure one of the following, and you will have a solid defence for over a decade.
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Aymeric Laporte (OVR 84 – POT 88)
After a superb season for Athletic Bilbao last season, it looked a certainty that Aymeric Laporte would be in the France squad at Euro 2016, but football can be a cruel game at times, and an injury ruled him out of the tournament. The 22-year-old now looks set to make his debut for Les Bleus after being selected to face Bulgaria and Holland. Being rated at 84 at his age is incredible, and all of his defensive stats are all over 85. With a contract until 2020, you may need to bid over £35m to sign him, but his relatively affordable wages of £65,000 make him worth the money.
Jose Maria Gimenez (OVR 83 – POT 88)
In 54 games last season, Atletico Madrid conceded just 21 goals. Much of the credit will go to central defender Diego Godin and goalkeeper Jan Oblak, but with 21-year-old Jose Maria Gimenez a mainstay in the side, he deserves to take the plaudits. On FIFA his 83 rating is supported by 90 jumping, 89 aggression and 87 sliding tackles. He can be yours for around £30m and £58,000 wages, which is a great price considering he can be in your side for more than 12 seasons.
Serge Aurier (OVR 83 – POT 88)
It looked as if Serge Aurier was to leave Paris Saint-Germain in the summer after insulting teammate Angel Di Maria and then manager Laurent Blanc. But his form this season proved they made the right decision to keep him, and his rise may have been behind the decision to let David Luiz go. However, the Ivory Coast right or centre back has been given a two-month prison sentence for assaulting a prison officer, which puts his future into doubt once more. You shouldn’t have such problems with the 23-year-old on career mode, with his 93 jumping, 87 stamina and 85 sprint speed an asset for any side. He should cost you around £27m and £65,000 for his wages, and given his potential, he’s worth making a move for.
Ricardo Rodriguez (OVR (OVR 83 – 86)
Chelsea were amongst a whole host of clubs linked with Swiss international left back Ricardo Rodriguez over the summer, but Wolfsburg kept hold of the 24-year-old. At his age, he can be part of your side for as long as ten years, and with 90 crossing, 84 free kick accuracy and 83 penalties, he is an attacking threat. He will only set you back around £25m, with wages of £65,000.
Marquinhos (OVR 82 – POT 88)
With David Luiz departing Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, Marquinhos now has the chance to step up. The 22-year-old was deemed too good to put on the bench last season, so he was shoe-horned in at right back, and made the position his own. He will now get the chance to impress in his more natural position at centre back where he shone for Brazil during the Olympics. With sliding (86) and standing (85) tackles absolutely superb, as well as 84 interceptions & marking, he is a very reliable defender and would be a perfect signing for any top side, either as a starter or a promising backup. With a fee of around £25m needed to secure him as well as £50,000 wages, he is a very tempting buy.
Samuel Umtiti (OVR 82 – POT 87)
If it hadn’t been for a French injury crisis just before Euro 2016, Samuel Umtiti probably wouldn’t be at Barcelona right now. Aymeric Laporte, Rafel Varane and Kurt Zouma were all ruled out of the tournament, giving 22-year-old Umtiti an opportunity. He replaced Adil Rami in the starting line-up halfway through the campaign, and after some starring performances, the Spanish champions came calling. Judging by his improve FIFA stats, who could blame them, with 87 jumping, 86 interceptions and 85 standing tackles. However, he has just signed for Barca, so he could cost you £35m to sign, but his wages of £58,000 could tempt you enough to make the purchase.
Luke Shaw (OVR 81 – POT 89)
If it hadn’t been for a couple of nasty injuries, Luke Shaw could be amongst the world’s best left-backs, but still only 21 years old, he still has plenty of time to make it to the top. The former Southampton man holds 88-rated sprint speed as well as 83 acceleration & stamina. Despite his potential, you may be able to snap up the England starlet for as little as £25m, with only £36,000 wages.
Layvin Kurzawa (OVR 81 – POT 88)
With three goals in four games so far this season, Layvin Kurzawa is displaying his potential. Maxwell has served Paris Saint-Germain well over the past few seasons, but there are signs now that Kurzawa will be new manager Unai Emery’s choice at left back. The 24-year-old has 82 acceleration as well as 81-rated crossing, short passing, sliding tackles and jumping. If you wish to sign him straight away on career mode, he will cost you just over £25m, and £43,000 for wages.
Niklas Sule (OVR 81 – POT 87)
Attentions to turn to Germany as now, and Niklas Sule is the man looking to follow Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng as part of the next formidable German defence. 21-year-old Sule was one of the stars in Germany’s journey to the Olympic final, and with a 6 foot 5 frame, he is tough to beat. His 93 strength, 86 standing tackle and 84 interceptions make him a superb acquisition on FIFA 17, and only for around £22m and £14,000 wages. With 79 appearances already for Hoffenheim, spanning five seasons, he has a wealth of experience for a player of his age.
Kurt Zouma (OVR 80 – POT 89)
A nasty knee injury has dented Kurt Zouma’s progress, but with the Chelsea centre back expected back soon, their defensive troubles could be corrected. A back four of Cesar Azpilicueta, Zouma, David Luiz and Marcos Alonso would dispose of the old guard, and perhaps take the defensive shackles off at Stamford Bridge. The 21-year-old Frenchman holds 85 strength, 84 jumping and 83 tackles, which could be yours for around the £25m mark. His wages of £36,000 tempt you even more and could be brought on by any side, even as an initial substitute.