FIFA 18 Career Mode: Best young centre backs (CB) to sign

Top quality sides are built on their defences, so who will you sign to bolster your defensive line? We’ve compiled ALL the best CBs aged 24 and under on FIFA 18.

Alastair Pusinelli by Alastair Pusinelli

With no defensive foundation, your team will fall apart. There are plenty of defensive options on FIFA 18’s Career Mode, but with centre backs peaking later than other positions, if you pick up a top-quality young centre half you are sorted for the next decade. 

READ: FIFA 19: Best young centre backs (CB) to sign

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How to choose the best young players on FIFA 18 Career Mode

We are looking at the best centre backs aged 24 and under on FIFA 18. These are all players with a starting overall of at least 82 but with the potential to hit 83 and beyond. Players can outgrow their potential on Career Mode, but they need to be playing regularly and they need to be playing well. Young players do not come cheap, so be prepared to splash the cash, but if you can find that man to be at your club for 10 years, it will be worth it. We have sorted our list by looking at player stats, potential and age.  

Raphael Varane (OVR 85 – POT 92)

Age: 24

Positions: CB

Club: Real Madrid

Country: France

Work rate: Medium/High

Best stats: 86 standing tackle, 85 sliding tackle, 85 strength

Cost: £92.1 million (release clause)

Wage: £154,000

It was only a matter of time before Raphael Varane became a regular starter for Real Madrid, with the young Frenchman eclipsing centre back Pepe (OVR 86) last season. At the age of 24 he is already the star man in the French back-line, and it won’t be long before the reins are passed on from Sergio Ramos at the Bernabeu.

His £91.1 million release clause and £154,000 a week wages may price you out of a move for Varane. He does have an 85 overall rating with an outrageous 92 potential, which is the highest for a centre back on the game. His best skills are his 86 standing tackle, 85 sliding tackle and 85 strength.  

Eric Bailly (OVR 84 – POT 89)

Age: 23

Positions: CB

Club: Manchester United

Country: Ivory Coast

Work rate: Medium/High

Best stats: 87 aggression, 85 strength, 85 standing tackle

Cost: £60.1 million (release clause)

Wage: £132,000

After an impressive 18 months at Villarreal, centre back Eric Bailly made the big money move to Manchester United in 2016. The 23-year-old has slotted straight in to Jose Mourinho’s first choice side, and the Ivorian looks to be settling after some injury niggles last season.

Consistency is now what Bailly needs to get his 84 overall rating on FIFA 18 closer to his potential of 89. His stats of 87 aggression, 85 strength and 85 standing tackle shows how talented he is, but it’s down to you whether he is worth his £60.1 million release clause. His £132,000 a week wages are steep, so you will need to make room in your finances to bring Bailly in.   

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Aymeric Laporte (OVR 84 – POT 89)

Age: 23

Positions: CB

Club: Athletic Bilbao

Country: France

Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 88 standing tackle, 86 marking, 85 heading accuracy

Cost: £67.9 million (release clause)

Wage: £31,000

Despite captaining France at U17, U18, U19 and U21 level, somehow Aymeric Laporte has never represented the senior national team. Because of that, the door remains open for the Athletic Bilbao defender to represent Spain, with the 23-year-old being one of La Liga’s most consistent performers for the past four seasons. 

The centre back’s 88 standing tackle, 86 marking and 85 heading accuracy make up his impressive 84 overall rating. His potential of 89 means he will set you back £67.9 million to sign him, but his wages of £31,000 a week balance out the deal. 

Niklas Sule (OVR 83 – POT 89)

Age: 21

Positions: CB

Club: Bayern Munich

Country: Germany

Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 94 strength, 86 standing tackle, 85 heading accuracy

Cost: £49.7 million (release clause)

Wage: £69,000

The next quality defender on the Bayern Munich conveyor belt is Niklas Sule. Following in the footsteps of Lucio, Dante, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels, the 21-year-old Sule looks to be the real deal following his £22 million move from Hoffenheim.

The six-foot-five German international has 94 strength, 86 standing tackle and 85 heading accuracy on FIFA 18, but the 83-rated player will come at a cost of £49.7 million. You will have to wait until January to sign and nurture Sule’s 89 potential, with his wages of £69,000 a week possible to be reduced in exchange for playing time.

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Marquinhos (OVR 83 – POT 89)

Age: 23

Positions: CB

Club: Paris Saint-Germain

Country: Brazil

Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 86 sliding tackle, 85 jumping, 85 standing tackle

Cost: £55 million (release clause)

Wage: £66,000

Following the departure of David Luiz to Chelsea in 2016, PSG’s Marquinhos moved in from right back to centre back. He and Brazil teammate Thiago Silva are a defensive rock for Paris, and they help balance out the attacking threats of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani. The question still remains whether Marquinhos can cut it at the highest level, with the 6-1 humiliating loss to Barcelona last season still fresh in the memory.

The 83-rated Marquinhos has an 83 rating on FIFA 18 with the potential to hit 89. That overall consists of 86 sliding tackle, 85 jumping and 86 standing tackle, but it will take £55 million to snap him up. £66,000 is a fair weekly wage for the Brazilian, but will you make the move?

Samuel Umtiti (OVR 83 – POT 88)

Age: 23

Positions: CB

Club: Barcelona

Country: France

Work rate: Medium/High

Best stats: 87 jumping, 86 interceptions, 85 standing tackle

Cost: £55.2 million (release clause)

Wage: £119,000

It’s been a rapid rise of Barcelona centre back Samuel Umtiti, with few having heard of the Frenchman before Euro 2016. The 23-year-old was thrust into Didier Deschamps’s squad following injuries to Kurt Zouma, Jeremy Mathieu and Aymeric Laporte, and then had to feature when Adil Rami was suspended. His collected performances at the tournament earned him a £22 million move to Barca.

He is now a regular at the Nou Camp, often selected ahead of Javier Mascherano, and if he continues his development, he can become one of the best centre backs in the world. It still doesn’t warrant a £55.2 million transfer fee and £119,000 a week wages, so you may want to wait a season or two to snap Umtiti up. His stats of 87 jumping, 86 interceptions and 85 standing tackle are impressive.

Jose Maria Gimenez (OVR 83 – POT 87)

Age: 22

Positions: CB

Club: Atletico Madrid

Country: Uruguay

Work rate: Medium/High

Best stats: 90 jumping, 89 aggression, 87 sliding tackle

Cost: £53.3 million (release clause)

Wage: £46,000

A part of the impenetrable Atletico Madrid back-line, Jose Maria Gimenez is learning off club and country teammate Diego Godin. The 22-year-old has been a regular starter for Atleti since 2014 and his responsibility in the future will be to make sure the defence stays strong after Godin’s departure. 

The Uruguayan Gimenez has an 83 overall rating on FIFA 18 consisting of 90 jumping, 89 aggression and 87 sliding tackle. His £53.3 million release clause and £46,000 a week wages are worth it for a man with a 87 potential, but it’s up to you whether to spend that kind of money on a centre back. 

Jonathan Tah (OVR 82 – POT 88)

Age: 21

Positions: CB

Club: Bayer Leverkusen

Country: Germany

Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 91 strength, 86 standing tackle, 82 marking

Cost: £45.3 million (release clause)

Wage: £41,000

Heavily linked with a move away from Bayer Leverkusen over the summer, Jonathan Tah is developing into one of Europe’s finest defenders. The 21-year-old already has over three seasons of Bundesliga football under his belt, moving from Hamburg to Leverkusen in 2015.

His 91 strength, 86 standing tackle and 82 marking make him tough to get past in FIFA 18, with his 82 overall and 88 potential making him a fantastic signing in Career Mode. His price of £45.3 million and £41,000 weekly wages are decent compared to others on this list, so the German Tah should definitely be considered. 

Eric Dier (OVR 82 – POT 87)

Age: 23

Positions: CB, CDM, CM

Club: Tottenham Hotspur

Country: England

Work rate: Medium/High

Best stats: 90 aggression, 87 strength, 83 shot power

Cost: £43.5 million (release clause)

Wage: £75,000

No one knows whether Eric Dier is a centre back or defensive midfielder yet, and that uncertainty has hampered his development. The 23-year-old Spurs man has the ability, and it is refreshing for a young English player to come through the ranks in a foreign country, with Dier an academy graduate from Sporting Lisbon. At Tottenham he has come on leaps and bounds, but he really needs to knuckle down if he is to reach the top – is this really a player that Manchester United were willing to pay £50 million for in the summer?

On FIFA 18 the centre back, defensive or central midfielder is rated at 82 with a very strong 87 potential. For £43.5 million and £75,000 a week wages you will receive a player with 90 aggression, 87 strength and 83 shot power. Where he plays is down to you. 

Antonio Rudiger (OVR 82 – POT 86)

Age: 24

Positions: CB, RB

Club: Chelsea

Country: Germany

Work rate: Medium/High

Best stats: 89 aggression, 84 standing tackle, 83 strength

Cost: £41.5 million (release clause)

Wage: £92,000

It’s early doors, but Antonio Rudiger looks to be a useful bit of business from Chelsea. The centre or right back slots into the back three perfectly, with many Blues fans thinking he should be selected ahead of club captain Gary Cahill. At the age of 24 he still has much to learn, and Antonio Conte may have a new rock to build his defence on. 

The German international has an 82 overall rating on FIFA 18 with the potential to reach 86. His 89 aggression, 84 standing tackle and 83 strength are impressive stats, with his £41.5 million release clause making him a slightly cheaper option than others. You will need to wait until at least January to snatch him from Stamford Bridge where his weekly wages will cost £92,000. 

More young centre backs

Player Age Pos. Club Country OVR POT
Andreas Christensen 21 CB CDM Chelsea Denmark 81 90
Davinson Sanchez 21 CB Tottenham Colombia 81 88
Michael Keane 24 CB Everton England 81 87
Daniele Rugani 22 CB Juventus Italy 80 88
Jemerson 24 CB Monaco Brazil 80 86
John Brooks 24 CB Wolfsburg USA 80 85
Matija Nastasic 24 CB Schalke Serbia 80 84
Diego Llorente 23 CB CDM R. Sociedad Spain 79 87
Alessio Romagnoli 22 CB AC Milan Italy 79 87
Victor Lindelof 22 CB Man United Sweden 79 86
Kurt Zouma 22 CB Stoke* France 79 86
John Stones 23 CB Man City England 79 85
Clement Lenglet 22 CB Sevilla France 79 84
Jannik Vestergaard 24 CB ‘Gladbach Denmark 79 84
Willi Orban 24 CB RB Leipzig Germany 79 82
Niklas Stark 22 CB CDM Hertha Berlin Germany 78 85
Ruben Semedo 23 CB Villarreal Portugal 78 85
Jorge Mere 20 CB FC Koln Spain 78 84
Yeray 22 CB Athletic Bilbao Spain 78 84
Kevin Wimmer 24 CB Austria Stoke 78 83
Lucas Hernandez 21 CB LB Atletico Madrid France 77 88
Presnel Kimpembe 21 CB PSG France 77 86
Vallejo 20 CB Real Madrid Spain 77 85
Wallace 22 CB Lazio Brazil 77 85
Mauricio Lemos 21 CB CDM Las Palmas Uruguay 77 83
Wesley Hoedt 23 CB Southampton Netherlands 77 83
Harry Maguire 24 CB Leicester England 77 83

*Denotes players on loan

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Who are you going to sign on Career Mode? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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Alastair Pusinelli

First console: GameBoy Color / Favourite Game: Assassin's Creed 2 / Currently playing: Football Manager 2020

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