Football Manager 2019: Best Bargain Central & Defensive Midfielders

Depth in midfield is vital to the success of a team, but that can be expensive. Who are the best cheap midfielders in FM19?

Toby Durant by Toby Durant

Central midfielders are the heartbeat of a team, moving the ball forward in possession and making crucial passes but also helping in defensive situations, tracking runners and closing down space. Any squad that wants to compete for trophies needs to have a deep selection of central and defensive midfielders to rotate through the team.

How to find the best bargain defensive & central midfielders in Football Manager 2019

This article will look at the best bargain defensive and central midfielders in FM19. These players are natural at either position and can be bought for an initial fee of £5 million or less. They have a current ability of at least 131, making them solid squad players for nearly every club side around. Who are they? Let’s start with the five biggest bargains at defensive midfield.

For a full list of ALL the best bargain defensive & central midfielders in FM19, see the tables at the bottom of the page.

Adilson (CA 135 – PA 140)

Age: 31

Position: DM

Club: ATM

Country: Brazil

Best Attributes: Bravery (17), Work Rate (16), Tackling (15)

Value: £1.6 million

Wage: £9,250 a week

Adilson started his career with Gremio, getting his debut with the team in 2007. He played over 100 games for them before moving to Russia in 2012. After five years he returned to Brazil with Atletico Mineiro.

In FM 19 Adilson is a good athlete (14 natural fitness, 14 strength, 13 acceleration, 12 pace) with very good mental attributes (17 bravery, 16 work rate, 15 positioning, 15 concentration). He is very strong defensively (15 marking, 15 tackling) and is solid on the ball too (14 first touch, 12 technique, 11 passing).

Christian Gentner (CA 135 – PA 143)

Age: 32

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: Stuttgart

Country: Germany

Best Attributes: Work Rate (17), Natural Fitness (17), Teamwork (16)

Value: £2.6 million

Wage: £38,000 a week

Christian Gentner started his career with Stuttgart, getting his debut in February 2005. He played for the first team nearly 50 times before moving to Wolfsburg on a £2.3 million deal. He lasted there just three years before moving back to Stuttgart on a free transfer in 2010.

In FM 19 Gentner is a good midfielder who can run for days (17 natural fitness, 16 stamina). He has great mental attributes that help him diagnose attacks (17 work rate, 16 teamwork, 14 off the ball) and can keep the ball moving in possession too (14 technique, 14 first touch, 13 passing).

Javi Fuego (CA 135 – PA 145)

Age: 34

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: Villarreal

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: Teamwork (18), Work Rate (17), Positioning (16)

Value: £625,000

Wage: £22,500 a week

Javi Fuego started his career with Sporting Gijon, getting his debut in 2002. He played over 100 games for them before moving to Levante in 2007, but it wasn’t a move that would stick. He’d head to Recreativo in 2008 and then Ray Vallecano in 2010. There he amassed another 100 games before moving on and eventually landing with Villarreal in 2018.

In FM 19 Fuego is a good athlete despite his age (15 stamina, 13 strength, 12 pace) and has several terrific mental attributes (18 teamwork, 17 work rate, 16 positioning) that help him defensively. He can break up opposing attacks (14 tackling, 13 marking) and help launch his team forward (13 passing, 13 first touch, 12 technique).

Atiba Hutchinson (CA 135 – PA 140)

Age: 35

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: Besiktas

Country: Canada

Best Attributes: Teamwork (20), Positioning (19), Anticipation (18)

Value: £800,000

Wage: £16,750 a week

Atiba Hutchinson started his career with York Region Shooters in Canada in 2002, and first came to Europe with Swedish club Oster in 2003. He made a name for himself with Copenhagen, who he joined in 2006, and played nearly 200 games with. After a brief stint with PSV Eindhoven he joined Besiktas in 2013 and still plays there today.

In FM 19 Hutchinson has some of the best mental attributes you can find (20 teamwork, 19 positioning, 18 anticipation, 18 concentration) that underpins his play. He is still a reasonable athlete (16 natural fitness, 14 agility, 14 balance) and is good both defensively (12 marking, 12 tackling) and on the ball (12 passing, 12 technique).

Lassana Diarra (CA 135 – PA 140)

Age: 33

Position: DM

Club: Paris Saint-Germain

Country: France

Best Attributes: Determination (19), Natural Fitness (18), Work Rate (16)

Value: £2.2 million

Wage: £69,000 a week

Lassana Diarra started his career with Le Havre but quickly moved to Chelsea in 2005 where he showed he could play at the highest level. After moving around in England he joined Real Madrid in 2009 and played over 100 games for them. Since leaving them in 2012 he has played in Russia and Abu Dhabi before moving back to France and is now with PSG.

In FM 19 Diarra is still a very good defender (15 tackling, 13 marking) with some excellent mental attributes (19 determination, 16 teamwork, 16 work rate). He can keep the ball moving in possession (13 passing, 13 first touch, 12 technique) and still run all day (18 natural fitness, 15 stamina).

Gabi (CA 146 – PA 159)

Age: 34

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: Al-Sadd

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: Concentration (18), Work Rate (16), Concentration (16)

Value: £2.3 million

Wage: £65,000 a week

Gabi started his career with Atletico Madrid and debuted with them in 2004. He struggled to break into the first team though, and after a loan spell with Getafe he moved to Real Zaragoza. After four strong years with them he had shown his quality and returned to Atletico Madrid where he played 350 games, leaving this summer for Al-Sadd in Qatar.

In FM 19 Gabi is a terrific distributor of the ball (15 passing, 14 technique, 12 vision). He is very strong mentally (18 leadership, 18 concentration, 16 composure, 16 work rate) and still has solid athleticism (15 strength, 14 natural fitness, 13 stamina). Gabi can also threaten from set pieces (15 corners, 13 free kick taking)

Xavi (CA 145 – PA 184)

Age: 38

Position: M (C)

Club: Al-Sadd

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: Vision (20), Passing (20), Decisions (20)

Value: £1.3 million

Wage: £170,000 a week

Xavi came up through the Barcelona youth system and was part of the team that reinvigorated the Catalan giant, spurring them on to greatness at every level. He played over 700 games with Barcelona winning 8 La Liga titles and 4 Champions league trophies as well as Euro 2008 & 2012 and the 2010 World Cup with Spain.

In Football Manager 2019 Xavi is still a genius (20 vision, 20 decisions, 19 anticipation). He is still terrific on the ball (20 passing, 19 first touch, 18 technique) and can find teammates with ease. His athleticism is all gone (7 pace, 7 acceleration) and you may only get a year out of him, but if you need someone to distribute the ball, then Xavi is your man.

Fernando Belluschi (CA 140 – PA 146)

Age: 34

Position: M (C)

Club: San Lorenzo

Country: Argentina

Best Attributes: Flair (17), Technique (17), Vision (17)

Value: £300,000

Wage: £5,000 a week

Fernando Belluschi started his career with Newell’s Old Boys in 2002 before moving to River Plate in 2005. In 2007 he moved to Europe with Olympiacos. He soon moved to Porto but didn’t really stick there either. In 2016 he moved back to Argentina with San Lorenzo.

In FM 19 Belluschi is a remarkably creative player (17 flair, 17 vision, 17 technique, 16 passing). He can take on defenders (16 first touch, 15 dribbling) and threaten the goal too (15 long shots, 15 free kick taking)

Christian Noboa (CA 137 – PA 140)

Age: 33

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: Zenit

Country: Ecuador

Best Attributes: Vision (15), Teamwork (15), Composure (15)

Value: £3.2 million

Wage: £34,500 a week

Christian Noboa started his career with Emelec in Ecuador, getting his debut in 2004. He moved to Russian side Rubin Kazan in 2007 and then Dynamo Moscow in 2012. He arrived with Zenit St. Petersburg in 2017 and has amassed over 70 caps for Ecuador.

In FM 19 Noboa is a hard-working midfielder with great mental attributes (15 teamwork, 15 vision, 15 composure). He can help defensively (13 positioning, 12 marking, 11 tackling) and move the ball (14 technique, 13 passing). He has good speed for a central player (14 pace, 14 stamina, 13 acceleration) and run at defenders with the ball too (13 dribbling).

Fran Rico (CA 135 – PA 141)

Age: 30

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: Granada

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: Teamwork (16), Vision (16), Decisions (16)

Value: £3.3 million

Wage: £10,250 a week

Fran Rico started his career with Pontevedra in 2005 but moved to Real Madrid in 2008. He never got a first team appearance however, and moved to Granada in 2011 where he’s played over 100 games, but he has spent the last two years on loan with Eibar.

In FM 19 Rico is a quality midfield option. He has terrific mental attributes to pick apart the opposition (16 vision, 16 decisions, 16 teamwork) and the technical ability to match (16 first touch, 15 passing, 15 technique). He has reasonable athleticism too (13 stamina, 13 balance, 12 agility).

All the best bargain defensive midfielders on Football Manager 2019

Name Pos Club Country Age CA PA Value Wage
Adilson DM ATM Brazil 31 135 140 £1.6m £9.25k
Christian Gentner DM, M (C) VfB Stuttgart Germany 32 135 143 £2.6m £38k
Javi Fuego DM, M (C) Villarreal Spain 34 135 145 £625k £22.5k
Atiba Hutchinson DM, M (C) Beşiktaş Canada 35 135 140 £800k £16.75k
Lassana Diarra DM Paris SG France 33 135 140 £2.2m £69k
Pablo Guiñazú DM, M (C) Talleres Cba. Argentina 39 135 148 £425k £3k
Jesús Molina DM Monterrey Mexico 30 134 142 £3.8m £15.5k
Michel DM, M (C) GRE Brazil 28 134 142 £2.6m £8.75k
Igor Zubeldia DM, M (C) Real San Sebastian Spain 21 134 142 £1.7m £10k
Marcos Llorente DM, M (C) R. Madrid Spain 23 134 155 £2.9m £20k
Hudson D (R), WB (R), DM, M (C) SPO Brazil 30 134 136 £2.4m £4.7k
Daniel Torres DM, M (C) Alavés Colombia 28 134 145 £3.8m £17k
Rithely DM, M (C) INT Brazil 27 133 135 £3.1m £9k
Pape Diop DM, M (C) Eibar Senegal 32 133 144 £2.1m £16.75k
Gabriel DM, M (C) COR Brazil 25 133 143 £2.2m £7.5k
Makoto Hasebe D (C), DM, M (C) Eintracht Frankfurt Japan 34 133 135 £625k £18k
Miguel Veloso DM, M (C) Genoa Portugal 32 132 148 £3.8m £18k
Leonardo Ponzio DM, M (C) River Argentina 36 132 144 £575k £3.8k
Lucas Silva DM, M (C) CEC Brazil 25 132 151 £3.4m £34.5k
Tomas Soucek DM, M (C) Slavia Prague Czech Republic 23 132 145 £1.7m £3.1k
Alison DM SAN Brazil 25 132 138 £2.3m £5.5k
Víctor Camarasa DM, M (C) Cardiff Spain 24 132 145 £3.8m £16.25k
Stijn Schaars DM, M (C) SC Heerenveen Holland 34 132 135 £425k £5k
Robert Piris DM FLA Paraguay 23 132 142 £1.2m £5.5k
Patrik Hrosovsky DM, M (C) Viktoria Plzen Slovakia 26 131 132 £3.6m £5.25k
Alfred N’Diaye DM, M (C) Málaga Senegal 28 131 140 £3.3m £29k
Henrique DM, M (C) CEC Brazil 33 131 143 £1m £13k
Markel DM Getafe Spain 32 131 139 £1.9m £7k
Igor Denisov DM, M (C) Lokomotiv Moscow Russia 34 131 144 £500k £29.5k
Riccardo Montolivo DM, M (C) Milan Italy 33 131 156 £1.6m £80k
Matheus Fernandes DM, M (C) BOT Brazil 19 131 150 £1.6m £5.5k
Íñigo Eguaras DM, M (C) Zaragoza Spain 26 131 139 £1.2m £6.25k
Stéphane Mbia D (C), DM, M (C) Toulouse FC Cameroon 32 131 148 £3.2m £22.5k

All the best bargain central midfielders on Football Manager 2019

Name Pos Club Country Age CA PA Value Wage
Gabi DM, M (C) Al-Sadd Spain 34 146 159 £2.3m £65k
Xavi M (C) Al-Sadd Spain 38 145 184 £1.3m £170k
Fernando Belluschi M (C) San Lorenzo Argentina 34 140 146 £300k £5k
Christian Noboa DM, M (C) Zenit Ecuador 33 137 140 £3.2m £34.5k
Fran Rico DM, M (C) Granada Spain 30 135 141 £3.3m £10.25k
Neri Cardozo AM (L), M (LC) Racing Club Argentina 31 135 140 £3.7m £9.5k
Andreas Samaris DM, M (C) SLB Greece 29 135 145 £1.9m £41k
Diego Valeri AM (C), M (RLC) Portland Argentina 32 135 139 £2.7m £35k
Rubén Pardo M (C) Real San Sebastian Spain 25 135 149 £3.8m £6.8k
Bibras Natkho DM, M (C) Olympiakos Israel 30 135 140 £2.7m £28k
Yaya Touré DM, AM (C), M (C) Olympiakos Ivory Coast 35 135 175 £750k £74k
André Horta AM (LC), M (C) LAFC Portugal 21 134 160 £2.5m £26k
Bruno Henrique DM, M (C) SEP Brazil 28 134 137 £2.7m £9k
Moisés AM (C), M (C) SEP Brazil 30 134 140 £3.1m £9k
Patrick AM (LC), M (C) INT Brazil 25 134 137 £3.7m £8k
Gustavo Blanco DM, AM (C), M (C) ATM Brazil 23 134 148 £3.6m £7.5k
Guido Rodríguez DM, M (C) América Argentina 24 133 146 £3m £14k
Adrián González M (C) Málaga Spain 30 133 133 £3.9m £20k
Roberto Torres AM (C), M (C) Atletico Pamplona Spain 29 133 139 £2.9m £11k
Sebastian Rode DM, M (C) Borussia Dortmund Germany 27 133 144 £3.9m £51.5k
Daler Kuzyayev DM, M (RC) Zenit Russia 25 133 140 £3.3m £26.5k
Édgar Barreto DM, M (C) Sampdoria Paraguay 33 133 140 £1.3m £21k
Gaku Shibasaki AM (LC), M (C) Getafe Japan 26 133 144 £3.8m £18k
Dennis Aogo D (L), DM, M (C) VfB Stuttgart Germany 31 133 141 £3.6m £26k


Toby Durant