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)
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)
Position: DM, M (C)
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)
Position: DM, M (C)
Best Attributes: Teamwork (18), Work Rate (17), Positioning (16)
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)
Position: DM, M (C)
Best Attributes: Teamwork (20), Positioning (19), Anticipation (18)
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)
Club: Paris Saint-Germain
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)
Position: DM, M (C)
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)
Position: M (C)
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)
Position: M (C)
Club: San Lorenzo
Best Attributes: Flair (17), Technique (17), Vision (17)
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)
Position: DM, M (C)
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)
Position: DM, M (C)
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
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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
|Gabi||DM, M (C)||Al-Sadd||Spain||34||146||159||£2.3m||£65k|
|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|