28 Sep 2020 11:50 AM +00:00

FIFA 18 Career Mode: Best cheap high potential defensive midfielders (CDM)

Finding a top talent for defensive midfield is hard work. To play as a holding midfielder, a players positioning is the most vital aspect of the game. They need to know when to hold their position and when to close down opponents. 

READ: FIFA 19: Best cheap high potential defensive midfielders (CDM)

It speaks volumes that no teenage CDM is rated higher than 77 on the game. With so few options, you're best off looking for a player who's at the beginning of their career. There are some incredibly talent defensive midfielders available, and you will be pleased to know that getting hold of them will not cost you an arm and a leg. 

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How to choose the best cheap high potential players on FIFA 18 Career Mode

We look at the best cheap high potential defensive midfielders (CDM) in FIFA 18’s Career Mode. These are players with a potential of at least 79 and they cost no more than £5 million. If you are looking for a young CDM to grow with the status of your club, these are the men you should be looking at.

For a full list of our cheap high potential defensive midfielders, visit the table at the bottom of this page.

Advantages of cheap high potential players

In signing these players, you can save a wealth of money. A saving of about £45 million could be on offer if you purchase the right player, but you have to make sure that the players hit their potential. To do this, you need to give them plenty of game-time and use them regularly in training. If you have a large squad, send your talented players out on loan. 


Oriol Busquets (OVR 66 – POT 85)

Age: 18

Positions: CDM, CM

Club: Barcelona B

Country: Spain

Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 74 strength, 73 stamina, 70 standing tackle

Cost: £2.3 million (release clause)

Wage: £1,000


Another Busquets, another defensive midfielder. No relation to enforcer Sergio, Barcelona B’s Oriol Busquets has as much potential to be just as good, if not better. The defensive or central midfielder has progressed from Spain U16s to the U19s, and is a regular for Barca B in the Segunda Division. 

The 18-year-old can be yours for just £2.3 million on Career Mode, and you should jump at the chance to sign him. Busquets’ 66 overall and 85 potential makes him a fantastic signing, especially with his wages just £1,000 a week. With 74 strength, 73 stamina and 70 standing tackle, the teenager is already capable of protecting your back four. 

Ronaldo Vieira (OVR 69 – POT 83)

Age: 18

Positions: CDM, CM

Club: Leeds United

Country: England

Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 79 sprint speed, 77 acceleration, 77 balance


Cost: £4.3 million (release clause)

Wage: £9,000

A permanent fixture in the Leeds United team and just 18, Ronaldo Vieira is set for big things. The defensive or central midfielder featured 38 times for the Elland Road club last season, and the England U20s international looks destined for the Premier League. Time will tell if that is with Leeds or if he is poached by a top-flight club.

With 79 sprit speed, 77 acceleration and 77 balance making up Vieira’s 69 rating, he will be the engine in front of the defence. For his 83 potential you will need £4.3 million and £9,000 a week for his wages. 

Boubacar Kamara (OVR 66 – POT 82)

Age: 17

Positions: CDM, CB

Club: Olympique Marseille

Country: France


Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 77 stamina, 74 aggression, 72 strength

Cost: £2.5 million (release clause)

Wage: £3,000

Marseille’s Boubacar Kamara has been given his opportunity in the Europa League this season, starting all three of their matches in the competition so far. With the club unbeaten in Europe after three fixures, Kamara’s performances should lead to more opportunities.

The defensive midfielder or centre back has a 66 overall rating on FIFA 18, with the potential to hit 82. Kamara, 17, will only cost £2.5 million and £3,000 a week in wages, a fantastic price given the Frenchman’s 77 stamina, 74 aggression and 72 strength. 

Tyler Adams (OVR 66 – POT 82)

Age: 18

Positions: CDM, RWB


Club: New York Red Bulls

Country: United States

Work rate: Medium/High

Best stats: 86 balance, 82 jumping, 80 stamina

Cost: £2.2 million (release clause)

Wage: £1,000

With MLS growing in recent years, American fans have been waiting for a home-grown talent to emerge. New York Red Bulls defensive midfielder and right wing back Tyler Adams could be the answer, with the 18-year-old making 22 starts in the MLS this season.

His 66 overall and 82 potential make Adams a fantastic signing on Career Mode, and you will need just £2.2 million to sign him. For wages as little as £1,000 a week you will get the 18-year-old’s 86 balance, 82 jumping and 80 stamina.

Rodney Kongolo (OVR 62 – POT 82)


Age: 19

Positions: CDM, CM

Club: Doncaster Rovers

Country: England

Work rate: Medium/High

Best stats: 77 strength, 72 sprint speed, 71 stamina

Cost: £1.5 million (release clause)

Wage: £880

Another promising star in England’s lower leagues, keep any eye on Rodney Kongolo over the next few seasons. The Doncaster Rovers defensive or central midfielder made the move from Manchester City during the summer, and has gone straight into League One Doncaster’s plans.

The 19-year-old Kongolo’s 62 overall is helped by 77 strength, 72 sprint speed and 71 stamina, with his potential at 82. You will need to wait until January to sign the youngster, where he will set you back just £1.5 million. With his starting wages only £880 a week, he is one the best bargains on FIFA 18.


Jay Fulton (OVR 70 – POT 81)

Age: 23

Positions: CDM, CM

Club: Swansea City

Country: Scotland

Work rate: Low/High

Best stats: 76 strength, 76 heading accuracy, 75 aggression

Cost: £4.9 million (release clause)

Wage: £28,000


Flirting with a breakthrough at Swansea City is defensive or central midfielder Jay Fulton. The 23-year-old made 11 appearances in the Premier League last season as the Swans beat the drop, but opportunities have since been harder to come by. 

With a high defensive and low attacking work rate, Fulton is the perfect player to sit in front of your back four. His 70 overall consists of 76 strength, 76 heading accuracy and 75 aggression, with a potential of 81. £4.9 million is what it will take to sign him, but you will need to negotiate his £28,000 a week wages. 

Pepe (OVR 68 – POT 81)

Age: 20

Positions: CDM

Club: Estoril

Country: Portugal

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 69 long passing, 69 composure, 69 reactions


Cost: £3.7 million (release clause)

Wage: £4,000

Having progressed from Portugal U15s all the way through to the U21s, defensive midfielder Pepe is a hot prospect. The 20-year-old has been loaned from Benfica to Estoril, but the move has been made permanent on FIFA 18.

Pepe has a reliable 68 rating on FIFA 18, and his potential of 81 means he can be at your club for the rest of his career. 69 long passing, 69 composure and 69 reactions may look like ordinary stats, but it means he is a well-rounded player and will be a consistent performer in the future. You will need only £3.7 million to sign him on Carer Mode, with his wages at £4,000 a week. 

Eboue Kouassi (OVR 67 – POT 81)

Age: 19

Positions: CDM

Club: Celtic

Country: Ivory Coast


Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 77 stamina, 70 reactions, 70 strength

Cost: £3.2 million (release clause)

Wage: £12,000

Despite already being an Ivory Coast international, Eboue Kouassi is still in the early stages of his career. The 19-year-old’s impressive early form for Krasnodar saw him make the move to Celtic in January 2017, but he's made just seven appearances for the Scottish champions since. 

The defensive midfielder's 67 overall rating consists of 77 stamina, 70 reactions and 70 strength, with his potential a solid 81. You will need to find £3.2 million to sign Kouassi and a further £12,000 a week for his wages. 

Philip Billing (OVR 67 – POT 81)

Age: 21

Positions: CDM, CM


Club: Huddersfield Town

Country: Denmark

Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 74 shot power, 74 strength, 72 long shots

Cost: £3.5 million (release clause)

Wage: £16,000

Huddersfield Town have been one of the stories of the Premier League season so far, with the PL new boys 11th in the table. Defensive or central midfielder Philip Billing has been a regular for the club over the past three seasons, with the six-foot-four Dane a tough man to beat in midfield.

You will need £3.5 million to get hold of the 67-rated Billing, with his potential allowing him to grow to 81. With 74 shot power, 74 strength and 72 long shots he is a danger from deep, but his weekly £16,000 wages may encourage you to explore other options.

Lorenzo Callegari (OVR 64 – POT 81)


Age: 19

Positions: CDM

Club: Paris Saint-Germain

Country: France

Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 81 balance, 78 long passing, 76 short passing

Cost: £1.9 million (release clause)

Wage: £7,000

Paris Saint-Germain have the superstars of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe now, but they have never been slow to promote their own youth players. Adrien Rabiot, Presnel Kimpembe and Alphonse Areola all come from the youth team, and Lorenzo Callegari could be the next man to step up. The defensive midfielder made his debut for the club last season, and with Blaise Matuidi leaving last summer, there is a gap that needs filling.

Callegari’s 64 overall rating consists of 81 balance, 78 long passing and 76 short passing. With an 81 potential, you should consider the £1.9 million move for the France U19 international, whose wages are £7,000 a week. 


More cheap high potential defensive midfielders

Player Age Pos Club Country OVR/ POT C W
Yosuke Ideguchi20CDM CMGamba OsakaJapan70/ 80£3.2m£6k
Lebogang Phiri22CDM CMGuingampSouth Africa70/ 80£4.8m£11k
Artem Timofeev23CDM CMSpartak MoscowRussia69/ 80£2.4m£21k
Yan Eteki19CDM CM CBSevilla AtleticoCameroon68/ 80£2.1m£2k
Jordan Rossiter20CDMRangersEngland68/ 80£2.5m£18k
Kevin Balanta20CDMDeportivo CaliColombia68/ 80£2m£1k
Esteban Rolon22CDM CMMalagaArgentina67/ 80£3.1m£9k
Victorien Angban20CDM CMWaasland-BeverenIvory Coast70/ 79£3.5m£6k
Fran Beltrán18CDM CMRayo VallecanoSpain69/ 79£2.1m£3k
Fede20CDM CM CBSevilla AtleticoSpain69/ 79£2.3m£3k
Sebastian Salazar21CDMCMIndependienteColombia69/ 79£2.1m£2k
Kalvin Phillips21CD CMLeedsEngland69/ 79£2.8m£12k
Victor Guzman19CDM CMPachucaMexico69/ 79£2.5m£12k
Jeando Fuchs19CDM RB LBSochauxFrance68/ 79£2.1m£3k
Habib Maiga21CDM LBSaint-ÉtienneIvory Coast67/ 79£2.2m£12k
Kim Geon Ung19CDM CBUlsan HyundaiSouth Korea65/ 79£1.7m£1k

C = Cost

W = Wage

Let us know the talented players you have signed on Career Mode in the comments section below.


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