FIFA 19 Wonderkids: Best Defenders (CB, RB & LB) to sign in career mode

Looking for a wonderkid defender on Career Mode? We look at ALL the best wonderkid defenders at centre back (CB), right back (RB) and left back (LB) in FIFA 19.

Alastair Pusinelli by Alastair Pusinelli

The saying goes, attack wins you games, but defence wins you titles. It is so important to have a strong defence on FIFA 19 Career Mode, and that doesn’t just go for your starting back line. Injury cover and having talented young defenders coming through will help you tremendously, but with so much poise required to play at the back these days, finding a wonderkid defender is a tough task.


How to choose the best wonderkid defender for FIFA 19 Career Mode

In this piece, we are looking at the best wonderkid defenders on FIFA 19. These are centre backs (CBs), right backs (RBs), left backs (LBs) and wing backs (RWBs & LWBs). They are aged between 16-19 at the start of Career Mode with an overall rating of 65 or more and with the potential to hit 80 or higher. 

Remember players can outgrow their potentials if they are playing incredibly well for an extended period. Just because these players are young and can have low starting overalls, it will not make them cheap. To devise our best wonderkids, we have looked at player stats, potential and age.

A full list of all the best wonderkid defenders in FIFA 19 Career Mode look at the table at the end of the page. 

Centre backs (CB)

Centre backs are tasked with making sure the goalkeeper has as little to do as possible. Finding a young star to come into your defence is hard work, with centre halves not peaking until around the 30 age mark.

Matthijs de Ligt (OVR 80 – POT 91)

Age: 19

Positions: CB

Club: Ajax

Country: Holland

Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 87 strength, 82 standing tackle, 81 marking

Cost: £28.9 million (release clause)

Wage: £11,000 a week

Last year’s top wonderkid centre back keeps his place, with both Matthijs de Ligt’s overall and potential improving. Aged just 18, De Ligt has already made over 60 appearances for Ajax, earning him a call up to the Dutch national team last year. Barcelona and Tottenham have been linked with the wonderkid, and with so much talent, clubs would be queuing up to sign him if he decided to leave his homeland.

Attributes of 87 strength, 82 standing tackle and 81 marking take De Ligt to an 80 overall, which is very strong for a teenage centre back. His potential of 91 would make him level with the best defender in FIFA 19 Sergio Ramos, so you will need to match his release clause of £28.9 million and improve his £11,000 a week wages to get hold of him. 


Dayot Upamecano (OVR 76 – POT 88)

Age: 19

Positions: CB

Club: RB Leipzig

Country: Borussia Dortmund

Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 89 strength, 84 sprint speed, 84 standing tackle

Cost: £20.1 million (release clause)

Wage: £22,000 a week

Another talented centre half, Dayot Upamecano claimed a starting spot for RB Leipzig last season, taking him into the France U21 side. It was an up-and-down campaign for Leipzig as they finished outside the Champions League places, but with such a young squad, they will be back.

Upamecano’s 76 overall can improve to a superb 88 potential, with his best stats his 89 strength, 84 sprint speed and 84 standing tackle. To sign the 19-year-old, you must match his £20.1 million release clause with wages of £22,000 a week. 

Panagiotis Retsos (OVR 75 – POT 85)

Age: 19

Positions: CB, RB, LB

Club: Bayer Leverkusen

Country: Greece

Work rate: Medium/High

Best stats: 79 standing tackle, 77 short passing, 76 stamina

Cost: £15 million (release clause)

Wage: £21,000 a week

Staying in Germany, Panagiotis Retsos joined Bayer Leverkusen last season, and soon became a regular in the back four. Mainly deployed as a centre back, Retsos can also play in either full back position, making him a real asset for managers. The day after he signed for Leverkusen, Retsos made his Greece debut, as he looks to learn off experienced defenders Kostas Manolas (OVR 85) and Sokratis (OVR 84).

Retsos holds abilities of 79 standing tackle, 77 short passing and 76 stamina on FIFA 19. His 75 overall and 85 potential make him a great man to have on the bench and then break into the first team, and you can sign him for his £15 million release clause and wages of £21,000 a week. 


Diogo Leite (OVR 74 – POT 87)

Age: 19

Positions: CB

Club: Porto

Country: Portugal

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 80 aggression, 77 standing tackle, 75 heading accuracy

Cost: £17 million

Wage: £6,000 a week

A man you may not have heard of is Porto centre back Diogo Leite. The 19-year-old has only come into the first team at the club this season, but with five appearances so far, he looks to be a firm part of manager Sergio Conceicao’s plans.

On FIFA 19’s Career Mode, Portuguese U21 international Leite can improve from a 74 overall to an 87 potential rating, with his stats including 80 aggression, 77 standing tackle and 75 heading accuracy. £17 million will be needed to sign him, with wages starting at £6,000 a week. 

Right backs (RB) and right wing backs (RWB)

The role of right backs have changed in the past two decades, with seemingly their attacking output more important than what they achieve defensively. If you can find a wonderkid who can perform both roles equally, do everything you can to keep hold of him. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold (OVR 78 – POT 88)

Age: 19

Positions: RB

Club: Liverpool

Country: England

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 83 crossing, 82 acceleration, 79 sprint speed

Cost: £25.3 million (release clause)

Wage: £41,000 a week

Trent Alexander-Arnold was a fringe player coming through at Liverpool a year ago, but an injury to Nathaniel Clyne (OVR 80) saw the 19-year-old take his starting spot at the club, and later his place in the England squad. Alexander-Arnold made 33 appearances for the Reds last season as they made the Champions League final and he then appeared for his country at the World Cup in Russia. 

The 19-year-old’s abilities of 83 crossing, 82 acceleration and 79 sprint speed take Alexander-Arnold to a 78 overall rating, which can improve to a superb 88 potential. A bid of £25.3 million will trigger his release clause, with his wages currently £41,000 a week.

Achraf Hakimi (OVR 75 – POT 85)

Age: 19

Positions: RB, LB

Club: Borussia Dortmund (on loan from Real Madrid)

Country: Morocco

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 89 sprint speed, 80 acceleration, 78 stamina

Cost: n/a

Wage: £46,000 a week

Achraf Hakimi was thrown into the deep end for Real Madrid, with an injury to Dani Carvajal (OVR 84) causing the youngster to start against Tottenham in the Champions League. The 19-year-old held his own and went on to make 17 appearances. However, with Alvaro Odriozola (OVR 80) joining Los Blancos, Achraf has been sent out on loan to Borussia Dortmund, and you wonder if there is still a future at the Bernabeu for the Moroccan international. 

Abilities of 89 sprint speed, 80 acceleration and 78 stamina take Achraf to a 75 overall, rising to an 85 potential. You will need to wait until next season to sign him for around £19 million, with wages of £46,000 a week. 

Diogo Dalot (OVR 72 – POT 84)

Age: 19

Positions: RB, LB

Club: Manchester United

Country: Portugal

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 80 aggression, 79 stamina, 78 jumping

Cost: £8.5 million (release clause)

Wage: £28,000 a week

The signing of Diogo Dalot looked a strange one from Porto, but in just a handful of appearances so far at Old Trafford, fans have given the Portuguese the seal of approval. The 19-year-old right or left back made eight appearances for his previous employers last season, taking him into the Portugal U21 squad.

Dalot’s 72 overall contains abilities of 80 aggression, 79 stamina and 78 jumping which will improve as he approaches his 84 potential. £8.5 million is all you need to sign him, but you will need to wait until January to make a move and pay his £28,000 a week wages. 

Dodo (OVR 71 – POT 84)

Age: 19

Positions: RB

Club: Vitoria Guimaraes

Country: Brazil

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 91 acceleration, 90 agility, 89 sprint speed

Cost: £7 million

Wage: £3,000 a week

Dodo is a very short full back, standing just 5’5” tall, but he makes up for that with his pace. The 19-year-old impressed in 2016 and 2017 with Coritiba back in his native Brazil, earning him a move to Shakhtar Donetsk, but he only made three appearances last season. He’s gone out loan to Vitoria this year to recapture his form. 

That loan deal has been made permanent on FIFA 19’s Career Mode, as Shakhtar only appear on the ‘Rest of World’ section on the game. That means you can sign Dodo straight away for around £7 million, with wages of £3,000 a week. With a 71 overall rising to an 84 potential, you should make a move for the youngster who hold abilities of 91 acceleration, 90 agility and 89 sprint speed. 

Left backs (LB) and left wing backs (LWB)

It’s a mirror image at left back, but it’s often these days they are the only left footed player in the side, making it imperative they get forward and provide the crosses into the box. 

Milton Valenzuela (OVR 70 – POT 80)

Age: 19

Positions: LB

Club: Columbus Crew (on loan from Newell’s Old Boys)

Country: Argentina

Work rate: High/High

Best stats: 83 balance, 80 agility, 78 acceleration

Cost: n/a

Wage: £6,000 a week

Milton Valenzuela has made 27 appearances for Columbus Crew this season following his loan move from Newell’s Old Boys. With the Crew going strong in fourth place in the MLS Eastern Conference, he must be doing something right, having also been called up to the Argentina U20 squad. 

Attributes of 83 balance, 80 agility and 78 acceleration take Valenzuela to a 70 overall, rising to a potential of 80. Another man out on loan, but you will be able to sign Valenzuela for less than £5 million in January and wages of £6,000 a week.

Tyrell Malacia (OVR 69 – POT 80)

Age: 19

Positions: LB

Club: Feyenoord

Country: Holland

Work rate: High/High

Best stats: 85 acceleration, 83 sprint speed, 83 balance

Cost: £2 million (release clause)

Wage: £4,000 a week

In his first season of professional football, Feyenoord left back Tyrell Malacia made 14 appearance’s, including a full 90 minutes in the Champions League against Napoli. He is well on course to better that this year, with the 18-year-old chalking up six fixtures and scoring his first goal for the club.

Malacia’s 69 overall can improve to a potential of 80, with his best attributes his 85 acceleration, 83 sprint speed and 83 balance. The Dutch U20 international can be picked up for just £2 million with wages of £4,000 a week. 

Kik Pierie (OVR 68 – POT 80)

Age: 18

Positions: LB, CB

Club: Heerenveen

Country: Holland

Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 73 jumping, 73 acceleration, 72 sprint speed

Cost: £1.8 million (release clause)

Wage: £3,000 a week

Staying in Holland, Heerenveen left or centre back Kik Pierie made an incredible 34 appearances last season, aged just 18. The Dutch U19 international picked up four assists during that time, with the US-born defender set for a bright future.

The youngster has stats of 73 jumping, 73 acceleration and 72 sprint speed, taking Pierie’s overall to 68. This can improve to a useful potential of 80, which will cost just £1.8 million and wages of £3,000 a week. 

Gian-Luca Itter (OVR 67 – POT 85)

Age: 19

Positions: LB

Club: Wolfsburg

Country: Germany

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 70 acceleration, 70 dribbling, 69 jumping

Cost: £2.8 million

Wage: £10,000 a week

Gian-Luca Itter has the greatest potential out of our left backs, with the Wolfsburg defender getting a taste of first team action last season. He made five appearances last year, but that didn’t stop him from getting call-up to both the Germany U19 and U20 sides. You sense that he is just about to make that big breakthrough in the Bundesliga.

70 acceleration, 70 dribbling and 69 jumping five Itter a 67 overall, rising to a potential of 85. £2.8 million is an absolute steal given his talent, along with his £10,000 a week wages.

All the Best Wonderkid Defenders on FIFA 19

Player Age Pos Club Country OVR POT Wage
Matthijs de Ligt 18 CB Ajax Holland 80 91 £28.9m
Trent Alexander-Arnold 19 RB Liverpool England 78 88 £25.3m
Dayot Upamecano 19 CB RB Leipzig France 76 88 £20.1m
Achraf Hakimi 19 RB
Borussia Dortmund * Morocco 75 85 n/a
Panagiotis Retsos 19 CB
Bayer Leverkusen Greece 75 85 £15m
Malang Sarr 19 CB
Nice France 74 83 £13m
Diogo Leite 19 CB Porto Portugal 74 87 £17m
Jules Kounde 19 CB Bordeaux France 73 86 £12m
Ibrahima Konate 19 CB RB Leipzig France 73 84 £10m
Dario Maresic 18 CB Sturm Graz Austria 72 84 £6.6m
Diogo Dalot 19 RB
Man United Portugal 72 84 £8m
Boubacar Kamara 18 CB
Marseille France 71 87 £8m
Dodo 19 RB Vitoria Brazil 71 84 £7m
Rick van Drongelen 19 CB
Hamburg Holland 71 83 £5m
Nehuen Perez 18 CB Argentinos Juniors Argentina 70 84 n/a
Perr Schuurs 18 CB Ajax Holland 70 82 £3.6m
Kevin Danso 19 CB Augsburg Austria 70 80 £4.1m
Milton Valenzuela 19 LB Columbus Crew* Argentina 70 80 £0
Dan-Axel Zagadou 19 CB
Borussia Dortmund France 69 83 £4.2m
Tyrell Malacia 18 LB Feyenoord Holland 69 80 £2m
Moussa Wague 19 RB Barcelona Senegal 69 81 £2.5m
Victor Nelsson 19 CB
Nordsjælland Denmark 69 80 £2m
Declan Rice 19 CB
West Ham Rep. Ireland 69 83 £4m
Takehiro Tomiyasu 19 CB Sint-Truiden Japan 69 81 £2m
Zinho Vanheusden 18 CB Standard Liege* Belgium 68 82 n/a
Nicolas Cozza 19 CB
Montpellier France 68 84 £2.8m
Kik Pierie 17 LB
Heerenveen Holland 68 80 £1.8m
Reece Oxford 19 CB
West Ham England 68 81 £1.9m
Kevin Ruegg 19 RB
FC Zurich Switz. 67 84 £2.5m
Alessandro Bastoni 19 CB Parma* Italy 67 87 n/a
Gian-Luca Itter 19 LB Wolfsburg Germany 67 85 £2.8m
Sofiane Alakouch 19 RB Nimes France 67 80 £1.5m
Lloyd Kelly 19 LB
Bristol City England 67 83 £2.3m
Juan Miranda 18 LB
FC Barcelona Spain 66 81 £1.8m
Juan Berrocal 18 CB Sevilla Spain 66 80 £1.8m
Owen Wijndal 18 LB AZ Alkmaar Holland 66 80 £1.4m
Ruben Vinagre 19 LWB Wolves Portugal 66 82 £1.5m
Lorenzo Pellegrini 19 LB Roma Italy 65 83 £1.7m
Sikou Niakate 18 CB Valenciennes* France 65 81 n/a
Tom Edwards 19 RB
Stoke England 65 82 £1.4m
Trevoh Chalobah 18 CB
Ipswich England 65 81 £1.3m


Alastair Pusinelli

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