FIFA 20: Top 10 Central Defensive Midfielders (CDMs) to buy in Career Mode & Ultimate Team – Kante, Busquets, Casemiro & more

It may not be the most glamorous position, but a quality CDM is vital to success in any game mode.

There is a plethora of attacking talent in the modern football world. Creative talents like Kevin De Bruyne and Paulo Dybala receive the headlines for their incisive passes and deadly finishing, but those that try to stop them rarely do.

However, to compete on FIFA 20 in any game mode you have to have someone that can combat those creative types. That’s where the central defensive midfielder or CDM comes in.

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While not every formation strictly uses the CDM position, these defensive midfielders are usually comfortable in the centre of midfield as well and can break up opposition play to win you back the ball.

How to choose the best Central Defensive Midfielders (CDMs) on FIFA 20 Career Mode & Ultimate Team

In this article, we are looking at the very best players in FIFA 20 that have their primary position as the CDM role.

READ MORE: FIFA 20: Top 10 Centre Backs (CBs) to buy in Career Mode & FUT

We don’t care about age, price, nationality, or where they are based. These are simply the very best CDMs that FIFA 20 has to offer in Career Mode and are not special or in-form cards in Ultimate Team.

For a full list of ALL the best attacking midfielders (CAMs) on Career Mode, look at the table at the end of this page. 

N’Golo Kante (OVR 89 – POT 90)

Age: 28

Position(s): CDM, CM

Club: Chelsea

Country: France

Value: £59.4 million (Release Clause: £117.3 million)

Wage: £212,000 a week

FUT Price: 384,000 PS4 / 305,000 Xbox One

Unsurprisingly, N’Golo Kante tops our list of the best CDMs in FIFA 20. The Chelsea midfielder was at the heart of both Leicester’s surprising Premier League triumph and the return of the French national team to the top of world football.

In FIFA 20 Kante boasts a ridiculous 97 stamina, 92 interceptions, 91 standing tackle, and 90 defensive awareness to be the most devastating CDM in the game. He is also solid on the ball, with 86 short passing and 81 long passing.

Sergio Busquets (OVR 89 – POT 89)

Age: 30

Position(s): CDM, CM

Club: Barcelona

Country: Spain

Value: £49.5 million (Release Clause: £101.5 million)

Wage: £270,000 a week

FUT Price: 24,000 PS4 / 24,000 Xbox One

Sergio Busquets is far from the most popular player in the world, but that is the price paid for being the midfield enforcer for a team like Barcelona.

Busquets has been with Barcelona for his whole career, getting his first team debut in 2008 – he has 8 La Liga winners medals as well as three Champions League ones.

READ MORE: FIFA 20 Career Mode: All the best young right backs

Busquets isn’t just a defensive master though. Sure, his 90 defensive awareness, 89 interceptions, and 86 standing tackle are very good, but he can play on the ball with 89 short passing and 88 ball control. His FUT price is exceptionally low due to his poor 43 sprint speed, so Busquets isn’t the perfect FIFA 20 CDM.

Casemiro (OVR 87 – POT 90)

Age: 27

Position(s): CDM

Club: Real Madrid

Country: Brazil

Value: £56.7 million (Release Clause: £120.5 million)

Wage: £257,000 a week

FUT Price: 15,000 PS4 / 16,000 Xbox One

Another water carrier for a traditionally forward-thinking side, Casemiro has long been the foundation for Real Madrid to build from. He made the move from Sao Paulo to Real Madrid in 2013, and after a year’s spell on loan with Porto he became a key part of the first team in 2015.

Casemiro is a physical monster in FIFA 20, with 90 strength, 89 stamina, and 87 jumping. This only plays up his 87 standing tackle, 86 interceptions, and 86 sliding tackles. He can play on the ball too, with 84 short passing and 84 long passing.

Fernandinho (OVR 87 – POT 87)

Age: 34

Position(s): CDM

Club: Manchester City

Country: Brazil

Value: £17.6 million (Release Clause: £32.5 million)

Wage: £180,000 a week

FUT Price: 16,000 PS4 / 17,500 Xbox One

Fernandinho seemingly came out of nowhere when he joined Manchester City in 2013. He spent his career first with Atletico Paranaense in Brazil and then Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine.

He made his debut with the Brazilian national team in 2011 and has been instrumental in Man City’s move up to the top of the Premier League.

READ MORE: All the best 2020 Contract Expiry signings on FIFA 20 Career Mode

Fernandinho is comfortable with and without the ball. His 89 interception, 87 defensive awareness, and 86 standing tackle combine with 86 short passing and 83 long passing make him one of the more complete players around. Like some others though, a lack of pace makes him a marginal FUT player.

Fabinho (OVR 86 – POT 89)

Age: 25

Position(s): CDM

Club: Liverpool

Country: Brazil

Value: £45.5 million (Release Clause: £87.5 million)

Wage: £122,000 a week

FUT Price: 32,000 PS4 / 40,000 Xbox One

Fabinho came to prominence as part of the Monaco side that won Ligue 1 in 2016-17. He stayed at Monaco for another season before leaving for Liverpool in May 2018 for £40 million.

Fabinho can run all day with his 88 stamina, and he’ll take the ball away with 88 interceptions and 87 standing tackle. He can also move the ball with 84 short passing and 82 long passing.

Rodri (OVR 85 – POT 90)

Age: 23

Position(s): CDM, CM

Club: Manchester City

Country: Spain

Value: £42.3 million (Release Clause: £81.4 million)

Wage: £135,000 a week

FUT Price: 32,000 PS4 / 40,000 Xbox One

Rodri came up with Villarreal and made a move to Atletico Madrid in 2018. He didn’t stay their long though, as Manchester City came calling and activated his €70 million release clause to bring him across in July 2019.

READ MORE: All the best young centre backs (CB) to sign on FIFA 20 Career Mode

Rodri is more of a possession player than a defensive maestro. He has 85 short passing, 85 composure, and 82 long passing. He also brings 84 interceptions and 84 standing tackle to the team. With that 90 potential, he is an excellent career mode player.

Axel Witsel (OVR 85 – POT 85)

Age: 30

Position(s): CDM, CM

Club: Borussia Dortmund

Country: Belgium

Value: £28.4 million (Release Clause: £46.8 million)

Wage: £99,000 a week

FUT Price: 8,000 PS4 / 8,500 Xbox One

Axel Witsel made his name with Zenit St Petersburg and an early part of Belgium’s ‘golden generation’. He made his international debut in 2008 and has over 100 caps for his country.

After a brief stint in China, Witsel returned to Europe with Borussia Dortmund in 2018 and has been a key part of their push back to the top of the Bundesliga.

READ MORE: All the best young strikers (ST & CF) to sign on FIFA 20 Career Mode

In FIFA 20 Witsel possesses a superb 92 composure to go along with 89 short passes and 84 long passes. His defensive stats are a little less impressive, so he is perhaps best used in a game you expect to dominate possession, but with 85 standing tackle, 83 sliding tackle, and 82 stamina he can still win the ball back for you.

Blaise Matuidi (OVR 85 – POT 85)

Age: 32

Position(s): CDM, CM

Club: Piemonte Calcio

Country: France

Value: £22.5 million (Release Clause: £37.1 million)

Wage: £131,000 a week

FUT Price: 8,500 PS4 / 10,000 Xbox One

Blaise Matuidi is one of the best known CDMs in the world thanks to his role at the base of the midfield with PSG, France, and now Juventus. He’s racked up over 50 goals for club & country despite his more defensive deployment.

Matuidi can run for days with his 90 stamina, while his 86 interceptions, 86 sliding tackle, 85 defensive awareness, and 83 short passes make him a highly effective player for any tactic or formation. Given his age, he will be a better FUT player than long-term option in career mode.

Idrissa Gueye (OVR 84 – POT 84)

Age: 29

Position(s): CDM, CM

Club: Paris Saint-Germain

Country: Senegal

Value: £23.9 million (Release Clause: £44.1 million)

Wage: £99,000 a week

FUT Price: 2,900 PS4 / 3,100 Xbox One

Idrissa Gueye first came to prominence with a move to Premier League side Aston Villa in 2015. After their relegation he was snapped up by Everton, making over 100 appearances in three years before making a £30 million move to PSG this summer.

READ MORE: Best young right wingers (RW & RM) to sign on FIFA 20 Career Mode

Gueye is a superb defensive player, with 90 standing tackle, 90 stamina, and 89 interceptions. He can also move the ball well with 81 short passing.

Javi Martinez (OVR 84 – POT 84)

Age: 30

Position(s): CDM, CB

Club: Bayern Munich

Country: Spain

Value: £23 million (Release Clause: £37.9 million)

Wage: £113,000 a week

FUT Price: 4,800 PS4 / 4,700 Xbox One

Javi Martinez has been a key part of the Bayern team thanks to his ability to play in midfield and at centre back. Moving to Germany in 2012 from Athletic Bilbao, Martinez has racked up over 200 appearances, seven Bundesliga titles and a Champions League winners medal.

Martinez has a strong 85 defensive awareness along with 86 standing tackle and 85 sliding tackle. He is solid in the air with 85 jumping and 87 heading accuracy, but his 50 sprint speed is an issue.

All the best Central Defensive Midfielders (CDM) on FIFA 20

N’Golo KanteCDM
28ChelseaFrance8990£59.4m£212k384k / 305k
Sergio BusquetsCDMCM30BarcelonaSpain8990£49.5m£270k24k / 24k
CasemiroCDM27Real MadridBrazil8790£56.7m£257k15k / 16k
FernandinhoCDM34Man CityBrazil8787£17.6m£180k16k / 17.5k
FabinhoCDM25LiverpoolBrazil8689£45.5m£122k32k / 40k
RodriCDMCM23Man CitySpain8590£42.3m£135k32k / 40k
Axel WitselCDMCM30Borussia DortmundBelgium8585£28.4m£99k8k / 8.5k
Blaise MatuidiCDMCM32Piemento CalcioFrance8585£22.5m£131k8.5k / 10k
Idrissa GueyeCDMCM29PSGSenegal8484£23.9m£99k2.9k / 3.1k
Javi MartinezCDMCB30Bayern MunichSpain8484£23m£113k4.8k / 4.7k
Lucas LeivaCDM32LazioBrazil8484£18.5m£64k5.2k / 4.7k
William CarvalhoCDMCM27Real BetisPortugal8385£24.8m£31k2.9k / 3k
Danilo PereiraCDMCM27PortoPortugal8383£21.6m£19k2.8k / 4.2k
IllarramendiCDMCM29Real SociadadSpain8383£19.8m£38k2.7k / 2.3k
Ever BanegaCDMCMCAM31SevillaArgentina8383£17.6m£23k2.9k / 2.2k
Lucas TorreiraCDMCM23ArsenalUruguay8287£24.3m£72k1.2k / 1.4k
Thomas DelaneyCDMCM27Borussia DortmundDenmark8283£20.7m£74k1.3k / 1.2k
Daniele De RossiCDM35Boca JuniorsItaly8282£6.3m£21k1.1k / 950
Wilfred NdidiCDMCM22Leicester CityNigeria8184£18.5m£66k850 / 750
Marcelo BrozovicCDMCM26InterCroatia8183£17.6m£61k1.7k / 900
Abdoulaye DoucoureCDMCM26WatfordFrance8184£18m£66k1k / 900
Luka MilivojevicCDMCM28Crystal PalaceSerbia8182£15.8m£59k700 / 700
Luiz GustavoCDMCB31FenerbacheBrazil8181£12.2m£65k850 / 750
FernandoCDMCM31SevillaBrazil8181£12.2m£20k850 / 750
Marco ParoloCDMCM34LazioItaly8181£6.3m£49k700 / 800
Lucas BigliaCDMCM33MilanArgentina8181£7.7m£41k1.5k / 1k

READ MORE: FIFA 20 – Top 10 Centre Backs to sign

Toby Durant

First Console: SNES / Favourite Game: Halo 2 / Currently Playing: Madden 20