FIFA 19 Career Mode: Best young defensive midfielders (CDM) to sign

Looking for a youngster to protect your defence for the next decade? Here are all the best young defensive midfielders (CDM) to sign on FIFA 19’s Career Mode.

Alastair Pusinelli by Alastair Pusinelli

Defensive midfielders play such a crucial role. Often, they are responsible in protecting the back four, so need to have great positional sense, marking, interceptions and tackling in the middle of the park. In attack, they must also be comfortable on the ball, able to hit short and long passes, and make sure they don’t push too far forward. 

A tricky position to buy for, and even harder to find a young player to come in and play as a holding midfielder for your side. There are a few gems out there, which you can develop over the next few seasons to rival the likes of N’Golo Kante (OVR 89) and Casemiro (OVR 88).

How to choose the best young defensive midfielders (CDMs) on FIFA 19 Career Mode

We are looking at the best defensive midfielders (CDMs) aged 23 and under at the start of FIFA 19’s Career Mode. They have a starting overall of at least 75 but can reach a potential of 80 or higher. These are players who are in and around the first team at the moment, but can go on to become some of the best holding midfielders on the planet.

Players can surpass their potentials in Career Mode, but they must be churning out quality performances for a considerable length of time. Men with such high potentials will not come cheap, however, but you can still make a saving by signing them earlier in their careers.

For a full list of ALL our best young defensive midfielders (CDMs) on Career Mode, see the table at the end of this page. 

Julian Weigl (OVR 80 – POT 86)

Age: 23

Positions: CDM, CM

Club: Borussia Dortmund

Country: Germany

Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 86 interceptions, 85 short passing, 83 reactions

Cost: £28 million

Wage: £40,000 a week

A regular fixture in the Borussia Dortmund team, Julian Weigl can clearly go on and be one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. Just 23, Weigl has close to 130 appearances for BVB and has earned five caps for the German national team. Whether he needs to leave Dortmund to take the next step in his career remains to be seen.

Abilities of 86 interceptions, 85 short passing and 83 reactions take Weigl’s overall to 80, but this can reach a superb potential of 86. You are looking at a reasonable fee of £28 million to sign him, with wages of £40,000 a week. 

Wilfred Ndidi (OVR 80 – POT 85)

Age: 21

Positions: CDM, CM

Club: Leicester City

Country: Nigeria

Work rate: Medium/High

Best stats: 92 stamina, 90 jumping, 85 aggression

Cost: £28 million

Wage: £44,000 a week

Leicester looked lost after losing N’Golo Kante to Chelsea, but in Wilfred Ndidi they have a fantastic successor. The 21-year-old Nigerian arrived at the King Power in January 2017, and has gone on to make 68 appearances for the Foxes, scoring some memorable long-range strikes among his four goals for the club.

Ndidi has an 80 overall rating on FIFA 19, which can rise to a potential of 85. Attributes of 92 stamina, 90 jumping and 85 aggression will cost you £28 million and wages of £44,000 a week. 

Tiemoue Bakayoko (OVR 80 – POT 85)

Age: 23

Positions: CDM, CM

Club: AC Milan (on loan from Chelsea)

Country: France

Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 87 aggression, 84 standing tackle, 83 stamina

Cost: n/a

Wage: £75,000 a week

Tiemoue Bakayoko was brought in by Chelsea to provide added steel alongside N’Golo Kante in midfield, but after a woeful, the former Monaco star has been loaned out to AC Milan. Still 23 at the start of Career Mode, there is plenty of time for the defensive or central midfielder to get his career back on track and add to his sole French cap.

87 aggression, 84 standing tackle and 83 stamina give Bakayoko an 80 overall rating and 85 potential. You will need to wait until his loan spell finishes to sign him where you are looking at a fee around £26 million with £75,000 a week wages.

Marcos Llorente (OVR 79 – POT 87)

Age: 23

Positions: CDM

Club: Real Madrid

Country: Spain

Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 84 short passing, 81 long passing, 80 interceptions

Cost: £28 million

Wage: £97,000 a week

Yet to make an impression at Real Madrid, but a loan spell at Deportivo Alaves in 2016/17 saw him earn a spot in the Madrid first team. He has only made 24 appearances for the club, but with Mateo Kovacic (OVR 83) going out to Chelsea for the season, opportunities should come his way. 

Former Spain U21 international Llorente has a 79 overall on the game which can improve to a potential of 87. His skills of 84 short passing, 81 long passing and 80 interceptions will cost around £28 million, but you should be able to get his £97,000 a week wages reduced in exchange for a stronger role at your club. 

Lucas Tousart (OVR 79 – POT 85)

Age: 21

Positions: CDM, CM

Club: Lyon

Country: France

Work rate: Medium/High

Best stats: 86 aggression, 85 stamina, 84 strength

Cost: £25 million

Wage: £38,000 a week

It was a superb campaign for Lucas Tousart last year, with the 21-year-old racking up 50 appearances for Lyon as they finished third in the league. With Lyon playing a midfield diamond, Tousart sits at the base and has to show great positional sense when the ball goes into wide areas.

Tousart has 86 aggression, 85 stamina and 84 strength which contribute to his 79 overall, which can grow to an 85 potential. £25 million will get you the France U21 international with £38,000 a week needed for his wages. 

Jean-Philippe Gbamin (OVR 79 – POT 84)

Age: 23

Positions: CDM, CB, CM

Club: Mainz

Country: Ivory Coast

Work rate: Medium/High

Best stats: 85 aggression, 83 strength, 83 stamina

Cost: £22 million

Wage: £23,000 a week

Mainz’s Jean-Philippe Gbamin has two seasons under his belt in the Bundesliga now and has all the makings of a top player. 31 appearances last year for the Ivory Coast international shows how much he is valued by Die Nullfunfer.

On FIFA 19 Gbamin has abilities of 85 aggression, 83 strength and 83 stamina. Those give the defensive midfielder, centre back or central midfielder a 79 overall, rising to a potential for 84. He will cost around £22 million with wages of £23,000 a week. 

Jefferson Lerma (OVR 79 – POT 84)

Age: 23

Positions: CDM, CM

Club: Bournemouth

Country: Colombia

Work rate: Medium/High

Best stats: 90 stamina, 84 jumping, 83 aggression

Cost: £24 million

Wage: £48,000 a week

After impressing at Levante, Jefferson Lerma made the £25 million switch to Bournemouth over the summer. The defensive or central midfielder played in all four of Colombia’s World Cup fixtures in Russia, capping a fine season.

Abilities of 90 stamina, 84 jumping and 83 aggression take Lerma to a 79 overall, which can improve to a potential of 84. With him having just signed for the Cherries, you will need £24 million to snatch him, but you will have to wait until January and pay his £48,000 a week wages. 

Santiago Ascacibar (OVR 78 – POT 84)

Age: 21

Positions: CDM

Club: Stuttgart

Country: Argentina

Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 92 stamina, 90 aggression, 87 balance

Cost: £20.1 million (release clause)

Wage: £21,000 a week

After yet another poor tournament, Argentina interim head coach Lionel Scaloni has opened the door for young talent, with Stuttgart’s Santiago Ascacibar making his debut in September. The 21-year-old had a great first campaign in the Bundesliga making 29 appearances and is a clear enforcer with his 10 yellows and one red card.

92 stamina, 90 aggression and 87 balance take Ascacibar to a 78 overall which can hit an 84 potential. You may be able to pick him up for just under his £20.1 million release clause, but his £21,000 a week wages will rise. 

Jorrit Hendrix (OVR 77 – POT 82)

Age: 23

Positions: CDM, CM

Club: PSV Eindhoven

Country: Holland

Work rate: Medium/High

Best stats: 85 stamina, 83 long passing, 80 aggression

Cost: £13 million (release clause)

Wage: £12,000 a week

39 appearances for Jorrit Hendrix at PSV last season highlights how important he is to their plans, with the 23-year-old the joint-highest rated defensive or central midfielder at the club on FIFA 19. Surprisingly, Hendrix made his Dutch national team debut in September 2016, but hasn’t appeared since, something that deserves to change in the coming months.

Hendrix’s 77 overall can improve to a potential of 82 in Career Mode. His attributes of 85 stamina, 83 long passing and 80 aggression will cost you a £13 million release clause with wages upwards of £12,000 a week. 

Alfa Semedo (OVR 76 – POT 85)

Age: 21

Positions: CDM, CM, CB

Club: Benfica

Country: Guinea Bissau

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 89 stamina, 85 strength, 81 aggression

Cost: £18 million

Wage: £7,000 a week

Alfa Semedo has just re-signed for Benfica after showing a great first season in professional football with Moreirense. The defensive and central midfielder or centre back played 34 times for the club last season, seeing the Bissau-Guinean switch back to Benfica where he has picked up five appearances so far in the campaign. 

A 76 overall consisting 89 stamina, 85 strength and 81 aggression can grow to a potential of 85 for Semedo. £18 million in January can get you the 20-year-old along with wages upwards of £7,000 a week. 

All the best young defensive midfielders (CDM) on FIFA 19

Wilfred Ndidi21CDM
Julian Weigl22CDM
Borussia DortmundGermany8086£28m£40k
Tiemoue Bakayoko23CDM
AC Milan*France8085n/a£75k
Lucas Tousart21CDM
Marcos Llorente23CDMReal MadridSpain7987£28m£97k
Jean-Philippe Gbamin22CDM
MainzIvory Coast7984£22m£23k
Jefferson Lerma23CDM
Santiago Ascacibar21CDMStuttgartArgentina7884£20.1m£21k
Jorrit Hendrix23CDM
Alfa Semedo20CDM
Mauro Arambarri22CDM
Ellyes Skhiri23CDM
Nathaniel Chalobah23CDM
Uros Racic20CDM
Tomas Soucek23CDMSlavia PrahaCzech Rep.7583£18M£880
Marc Roca21CDM
Diadie Samassekou22CDMRB SalzburgMali7585£13m£23k
Sander Berge20CDM
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa22CDM
Thiago Maia21CDM
Manuel Locatelli20CDMSassuolo*Italy7585n/a£38k
Baptiste Santamaria23CDM
Daniel Amartey23CDM


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