Football Manager 2019: Best Bargain Centre Backs (CB)

Having reliable centre backs is vital for teams at any level, but buying the very best can be expensive. Who are the best bargain CBs to buy on a budget?

Toby Durant by Toby Durant

Centre backs have always been costly, but the recent £75 million deal for Virgil van Dijk has only served to explode the market for quality centre backs. Not every team can afford that kind of price tag, for most teams in FM 19 even £10 million is too much for one player, but if you want to improve your squad, you’ll need to bring in some extra quality.

The best bargain centre backs in Football Manager 2019

This article will be looking at the very best bargain centre backs in Football Manager 2019. These are players whose natural position is centre back and that can be bought for an initial fee of £5 million or less. You may need to play around with add-ons such as lump sums after a certain number of appearances, but they don’t impact your transfer budget like the initial fee does, so it is a good way to work around a small transfer budget. Here are the best bargain centre backs in FM 19.

For a full list of ALL the best FM 19 bargain CBs see the table at the bottom of the page.

Pepe (CA 150 – PA 165)

Age: 35

Position: D (C)

Club: Besiktas

Country: Portugal

Best Attributes: Bravery (19), Marking (18), Tackling (17)

Value: £1.5 million

Wage: £86,000 a week

Pepe started his career with Maritimo in Portugal, but was soon snapped up by Porto. He only played three years there before Real Madrid came calling, and in 2007 he made a £20 million move to the Spanish giants. He played over 200 games for Real and won three La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues. He was also part of Portugal’s Euro 2016 winning squad.

In FM 19 Pepe is still an excellent defender. He has some terrific mental attributes (19 bravery, 17 positioning, 16 anticipation) to go along with his strong defensive stats (18 marking, 17 tackling, 17 heading). He still has reasonable athleticism too (15 natural fitness, 15 jumping, 14 strength, 12 pace).

Naldo (CA 147 – PA 161)

Age: 35

Position: D (C)

Club: Schalke

Country: Brazil

Best Attributes: Jumping (20), Heading (18), Anticipation (17)

Value: £2 million

Wage: £52,000 a week

Naldo arrived in Europe in 2005 with Werder Bremen, he played 173 games for them before moving to Wolfsburg in 2012 where he racked up another 100+ games and then joined Schalke in 2016. Naldo may be a centre back, but his 6’6″ frame has allowed him to be a goal threat too, scoring 46 Bundesliga goals to date.

In FM 19 Naldo also carries an aerial threat (20 jumping, 18 heading) to both defend and attack. He has good mental attributes (17 anticipation, 16 positioning, 16 composure) to help make up for a lack of pace (11), and he is still a solid defender (14 marking, 13 tackling).

Geromel (CA 145 – PA 155)

Age: 32

Position: D (C)

Club: GRE

Country: Brazil

Best Attributes: Tackling (16), Leadership (16), Marking (15)

Value: £4.2 million

Wage: £8,500 a week

Geromel started his career in Portugal with Chaves and then Vitoria Guimaraes before he made a £2 million move to Koln in 2008. He played over 100 games for the German side before loan spells with Mallorca and finally Brazilian team Gremio. He joined Gremio permanently in 2014 and has played over 100 games for them in total. 

In Football Manager 2019 Geromel is a pretty good option for a lot of teams. He still has reasonable athleticism (15 jumping, 14 strength, 13 pace), and has strong mental attributes (16 leadership, 15 positioning, 15 work rate). He is also good defensively (16 tackling, 15 marking, 15 heading) and can participate a little in possession (13 technique, 12 first touch, 11 passing).

Walter Kannemann (CA 142 – PA 145)

Age: 27

Position: D (LC)

Club: GRE

Country: Argentina

Best Attributes: Work Rate (18), Bravery (18), Aggression (17)

Value: £1.8 million

Wage: £10,250 a week

Walter Kannemann has spent his whole career in South and Central America. He started playing with San Lorenzo in 2010 before moving to Atlas in Mexico in 2015. He played just a season there before he moved to Gremio in Brazil. He won his first senior cap with Argentina in September 2018.

At 27, Kannemann offers a lot more than other players on this list. He is a good athlete (15 strength, 14 jumping, 13 pace) and an excellent defender (16 tackling, 16 marking, 15 heading). He also brings strong mental attributes to the position (18 bravery, 18 work rate, 15 positioning).

Jose Maria Basanta (CA 140 – PA 147)

Age: 34 

Position: D (C)

Club: Monterrey

Country: Argentina

Best Attributes: Tackling (16), Heading (15), Positioning (15)

Value: £950,000

Wage: £12,250 a week

Jose Maria Basanta has played the majority of his career in Argentina. He came up through the Monterrey youth system but debuted with Estudiantes. He rejoined Monterrey in 20018 and played over 200 games before moving to Italian club Fiorentina, but that lasted only a year before he returned to Monterrey.

In FM 19 Basanta is a very solid defender. He brings good athleticism for his age (15 stamina, 15 natural fitness, 14 pace, 14 strength) and has good defensive stats (16 tackling, 15 marking, 15 heading). His mental attributes are also strong (15 positioning, 15 anticipation, 15 determination).

Jose Fonte (CA 137 – PA 146)

Age: 34

Position: D (C)

Club: LOSC Lille

Country: Portugal

Best Attributes: Leadership (20), Heading (16), Positioning (16)

Value: £875,000

Wage: £52,000 a week

Jose Fonte started his career with Portuguese club Sporting in 2002, and he stayed in his home country until 2007 when he came to Crystal Palace. After three years there, Southampton swooped in with a bid of £1.2 million for him while they were still in League One. He came up with the team into the Premier League and didn’t look out of place.

In FM 19 Jose Fonte has excellent mental attributes (20 leadership, 16 positioning, 16 work rate) to go along with solid defensive stats (16 heading, 15 tackling, 14 marking). He does have reasonable athleticism (15 strength, 15 jumping, 13 stamina) but no pace (9).

Paolo Goltz (CA 136 – PA 144)

Age: 33

Position: D (C)

Club: Boca

Country: Argentina

Best Attributes: Leadership (17), Work Rate (16), Marking (16)

Value: £1.9 million

Wage: £5,000 a week

Paolo Goltz started his career with Huracan and played 166 games there before moving on. He played over 100 games with Lanus and then moved up to Mexico with America. After recording another century he came to Boca Juniors in 2017.

In FM 19 Goltz is a strong defender (16 marking, 15 tackling) with solid athleticism for his age (14 natural fitness, 13 strength, 11 pace). His mental attributes are very good (17 leadership, 16 work rate, 16 bravery) which helps his overall game too.

Alejandro Arribas (CA 136 – PA 141)

Age: 29

Position: D (C)

Club: Pumas

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: Heading (16), Bravery (16), Tackling (15)

Value: £4 million

Wage: £15,500 a week

Alejandro Arribas has moved around a lot in his career. Pumas are his seventh team and his first outside of Spain. He came up through Rayo Majadahonda in Madrid and during his career spent a year with Sevilla where he picked up a Europa League winners medal.

In FM 19 Arribas has a lot of attributes to like. His athleticism is good (15 strength, 14 jumping, 13 pace) and his defensive stats are very nice (15 tackling, 15 marking) too. Mentally Arribas is pretty strong (16 bravery, 15 positioning, 15 work rate).

Henrique (CA 136 – PA 149)

Age: 31

Position: D (C)

Club: COR

Country: Brazil

Best Attributes: Natural Fitness (17), Leadership (15), Bravery (15)

Value: £2.6 million

Wage: £22,500 a week

Henrique came up through the Coritiba youth system in Brazil, making his debut in 2006. In 2008 he made a big €8 million move to Barcelona but was immediately loaned out and never played a game for them. Henrique bounced around Europe on loan before settling in Brazil with Palmeiras. He returned to Europe with Napoli for the 2014-15 season before going back to Brazil once more.

In Football Manager 2019 Henrique is a quality option for more attack-minded teams. He can get involved in build-up play (14 passing, 13 technique, 12 first touch) and is still a good defender (14 tackling, 14 marking). He is a strong athlete (17 natural fitness, 14 strength) and solid mentally too (15 bravery, 15 leadership, 14 composure).

Dante (CA 135 – PA 140)

Age: 34

Position: D (C)

Club: OGC Nice

Country: Brazil

Best Attributes: Determination (18), Bravery (18), Tackling (16)

Value: £575,000

Wage: £52,000 a week

Dante spent just two years playing senior football in Brazil before moving to Lille in 2003. He moved to Belgium in 2005 and then Germany in 2008 before making a £3.8 million move to Bayern Munich in 2012.

In FM 19 Dante has brilliant mental attributes (18 bravery, 18 determination, 16 composure) and is still a very good defender (16 tackling, 15 marking, 15 heading). He is a powerful player (16 strength) too.

All the best bargain centre backs in Football Manager 2019

PepeD (C)BeşiktaşPortugal35150165£1.5m£86k
NaldoD (C)Schalke 04Brazil35147161198463251614
GeromelD (C)GREBrazil32145155£4.2m£8.5k
Walter KannemannD (LC)GREArgentina27142145£1.8m£10.25k
José María BasantaD (C)MonterreyArgentina34140147£950k£12.25k
José FonteD (C)LOSCPortugal34137146£875k£52k
Paolo GoltzD (C)BocaArgentina33136144£1.9m£5k
Alejandro ArribasD (C)PumasSpain29136141£4m£15.5k
HenriqueD (C)CORBrazil31136149£2.6m£22.5k
DanteD (C)OGC NiceBrazil34135140£575k£52k
Niklas MoisanderD (C)SV WerderFinland32135138£3.2m£34.5k
Jonathan MaidanaD (C)RiverArgentina33135143£2.4m£8.8k
Javier PinolaD (LC)RiverArgentina35135140£650k£3.9k
AlexisD (C)Al-Ahli (KSA)Spain32135140£2.2m£30.5k
LuisãoD (C)SLBBrazil37135153£625k£45.5k
Anderson MartinsD (C)SPOBrazil30135146£3.5m£10k
Steve von BergenD (C)Young BoysSwitzerland35134134£400k£12.5k
Juan ForlínD (C), DMOviedoArgentina30134145£2.75m£11k
Armend DallkuD (RC)PrishtinaAlbania35134150£26.5k£875
Nicolás ParejaD (C)AtlasArgentina34133155£2.3m£14.75k
Xabi EtxeitaD (C)HuescaSpain30133138£3m£20k
Víctor CuestaD (C)INTArgentina29133133£950k£6.5k
Joris GnagnonD (C)SevillaFrance21133145£2.3m£24.5k
Curtis DaviesD (C)DerbyEngland33132140£3.4m£25k
Fabricio ColocciniD (C)San LorenzoArgentina36132158£500k£2.75k
Zouhair FeddalD (C)Real HispalisMorocco29132140£2.7m£15.5k
Salvatore BocchettiD (C)Spartak MoscowItaly31132149£4m£31k
Matías SilvestreD (C)EmpoliArgentina33132139£1.6m£19k
Fernando TobioD (C)TolucaArgentina28132136£1.8m£12.25k
BrenoD (C)VDGBrazil28132145£2.5m£25k
Aïssa MandiD (RC)Real HispalisAlgeria26132142£2.7m£16.5k
CalaD (C)Las PalmasSpain28132136£3.1m£9.5k
Robert ArboledaD (C)SPOEcuador26132139£2.1m£8.5k
Éric BotteghinD (C)FeyenoordBrazil30132135£4.2m£8k
Nicolas Isimat-MirinD (C)PSVFrance26132135£4.1m£9k
Simon DeliD (C)Slavia PragueIvory Coast26132135£2.4m£5.25k
David AbrahamD (C)Eintracht FrankfurtArgentina31132134£3.2m£24k


Toby Durant