Football Manager 2019: Best Young Centre Backs (CB)

Centre backs are vital pieces of any team. Who are the best young CBs in Football Manager 2019?

Toby Durant by Toby Durant

Quality centre backs are hard to pin down. Historically, they are late to develop and you need a lot of experience before you can play at a very high level, but recently things have changed. Youth, athleticism, and talent on the ball have taken over, with the likes of John Stones and Virgil van Dijk making massive moves, while in Europe Barcelona and Real Madrid have paired talented young centre backs with their experienced rocks to make a partnership that can do everything.

How to choose the best young centre backs (CBs) in Football Manager 2019

This article will look at the best young centre backs (CB) in Football Manager 2019. These are players that are aged 23 or under and have a potential ability of at least 140. These players are natural at the centre back position, and though any positional versatility is nice, we will not be taking bonus positions into account here. These are strictly the very best centre backs under the age of 23 in FM 19.

Milan Skriniar (CA 159 – PA 172)

Age: 23

Position: D (C)

Club: Inter

Country: Slovakia

Best Attributes: Marking (17), Determination (17), Tackling (16)

Value: £44.5 million

Wage: £54,000 a week

Milan Skriniar started his career with MSK Zilina, who he joined when he was 12. After 77 appearances he made a €20 million move to Inter in July 2017. He made his competitive debut for the team in the first match of the season and has already made some 40+ appearances for them, despite his young age and relative inexperience.

In FM 19 Skriniar is remarkable. He is entirely capable of stepping into the biggest club thanks to his well-developed mental attributes (17 determination, 16 concentration, 15 positioning) and fantastic defensive skills (17 marking, 16 tackling). Skriniar has good physicality (16 Strength, 16 Stamina, 15 jumping, 14 pace) and can pose a threat in possession (12 passing) and from set pieces (16 heading, 11 finishing).

Niklas Sule (CA 155 – PA 168)

Age: 22

Position: D (C)

Club: Bayern Munich

Country: Germany

Best Attributes: Strength (18), Balance (18), Pace (17)

Value: £47 million

Wage: £52,000 a week

Niklas Sule was with three clubs before he arrived at Hoffenheim, who gave him his senior debut with their reserve side. He only made six appearances there before making his first team debut in the Bundesliga in May 2013. Sule quickly established himself as a first-team regular, playing over 100 games for Hoffenheim before making a move to Bayern Munich in 2017 for £17.5 million. He has already made 30 appearances for the German giants as he quickly settled into their side too.

Football Manager players have long known about Sule’s impressive potential, and FM19 is no different. The Bayern centre back has excellent athleticism (18 strength, 18 balance, 17 pace, 17 jumping) and combines that with very solid defensive stats (15 marking, 15 tackling) and quality mental attributes (17 concentrations, 15 decisions, 15 determination, 15 positioning). He is already at a big club and valued highly at £47 million, but he is well worth the investment.

Daniele Rugani (CA 153 – PA 169)

Age: 23

Position: D (C)

Club: Juventus

Country: Italy

Best Attributes: Positioning (17), Stamina (16), Marking (16)

Value: £29.5 million

Wage: £64,000 a week

Daniele Rugani made his debut with Empoli in Serie B in 2013. He helped them achieve promotion and played some 70+ games for them before returning to parent club Juventus in the summer of 2015. It took him a little while to make his first start with Juventus, but he soon became a key piece of the defensive rotation for the Turin club and has now made over 50 appearances for the team.

In Football Manager 2019 Rugani is a well-balanced centre back. He has good athleticism (16 stamina, 15 strength, 15 pace) and solid mental attributes (17 positioning, 15 teamwork, 15 work rate), to go along with his strong defensive skills (16 marking, 14 tackling). Rugani can also help move the ball in possession (13 passing, 13 first touch, 12 technique).

Jose Gimenez (CA 152 – PA 168)

Age: 23

Position: D (C)

Club: Atletico Madrid

Country: Uruguay

Best Attributes: Heading (16), Work Rate (16), Teamwork (16)

Value: £24 million

Wage: £53,000 a week

Jose Gimenez made his senior debut for Uruguayan club Danubio. In April 2013 he made a £1 million move to Atletico Madrid and in September that year he made his debut for the team in a 4-2 La Liga win. He has made nearly 100 appearances for the team already while also becoming a regular for Uruguay.

In FM 19 Jose Gimenez is a strong defender (15 marking, 15 tackling) who has excellent mental attributes (16 work rate, 16 teamwork, 16 bravery) that compliment his play well. He’s a good athlete too (15 strength, 15 stamina, 13 pace) and can pose a threat in the air (16 heading, 13 jumping).

Alessio Romagnoli (CA 151 – PA 169)

Age: 23

Position: D (C)

Club: AC Milan

Country: Italy

Best Attributes: Anticipation (17), Marking (16), Stamina (16)

Value: £25 million

Wage: £110,000 a week

Alessio Romagnoli started his career with Roma, making his senior debut at the age of 17 in December 2012. He spent some time on loan to Sampdoria, but in August 2015 he made a €25 million move to AC Milan. He quickly became a regular for Milan and is closing in on 100 appearances for them already.

In FM 19 Romagnoli is a very well-established centre back. He possesses good athleticism (16 stamina, 15 jumping, 14 pace) and is mentally strong (17 anticipation, 15 positioning, 15 teamwork). He has great defensive skills already (16 marking, 15 tackling), and is good on the ball too (13 passing, 13 technique, 12 first touch).

Andreas Christensen (CA 149 – PA 171)

Age: 22

Position: D (C), DM, M (C)

Club: Chelsea

Country: Denmark

Best Attributes: Composure (18), Anticipation (17), Pace (17)

Value: £24 million

Wage: £80,000 a week

Andreas Christensen came up through the Brondby youth system but left for Chelsea on a free transfer before he made his senior debut. He made his professional debut for Chelsea in an October 2014 League Cup tie before heading to Borussia Monchengladbach for a two-year loan spell where he played 62 games and gained some invaluable experience. Christensen signed a new deal with Chelsea in January 2018 and has already played 20 games for Denmark.

In FM 19 Christensen has some positional flexibility, being accomplished at both defensive midfield and centre midfield, as well as competent at right back. He has very good pace (17) for a centre back and is mentally strong (18 composure, 17 anticipation, 16 positioning). He is strong on the ball (13 passing, 13 technique) and defensively (14 marking, 14 tackling).

Davinson Sanchez (CA 149 – PA 165)

Age: 22

Position: D (C)

Club: Tottenham Hotspur

Country: Colombia

Best Attributes: Tackling (16), Strength (15), Stamina (15)

Value: £28.5 million

Wage: £65,000 a week

Davinson Sanchez started his career with Atletico Nacional in Colombia before moving to Ajax for nearly £6 million in 2016. He played just one impressive season there before Spurs swooped in with a massive £42 million transfer bid in August 2017. He completed his move to England and has played nearly 50 games for Spurs already.

In Football Manager 2019 Sanchez is quite raw, but he has some very good attributes already. He is superb defensively (16 tackling, 14 marking) and can help the team when in possession (14 passing, 14 technique), he’s a good athlete (15 strength, 15 stamina, 14 pace) but mentally isn’t quite on the same level, yet, as some others (14 anticipation, 13 positioning).

Benjamin Pavard (CA 148 – PA 170)

Age: 22

Position: D (RC)

Club: Stuttgart

Country: France

Best Attributes: Composure (18), Anticipation (17), Tackling (16)

Value: £31 million

Wage: £20,500 a week

Benjamin Pavard came through the Lille youth system, making his debut for the team’s reserve side in 2014 and his Ligue 1 and first-team debut in January 2015. He made a £4 million move to Stuttgart in 2016 and quickly became a first-team regular for the German side. Pavard is usually a centre back but played right back for France at the 2018 World Cup, where he scored the goal of the tournament against Argentina and collected a winners medal.

Pavard is exceptionally versatile and can play anywhere across the back four and also at defensive midfield. He has good physical traits (15 natural fitness, 14 pace, 14 jumping), and some very strong mental attributes (18 composure, 17 anticipation, 16 positioning). He is good defensively (16 tackling, 14 marking) and great on the ball for a defender (14 passing, 14 technique, 12 first touch).

Joe Gomez (CA 146 – PA 175)

Age: 21

Position: D (RC)

Club: Liverpool

Country: England

Best Attributes: Determination (18), Pace (15), Strength (15)

Value: £33 million

Wage: £28,000 a week

Joe Gomez came up through the Charlton Athletic youth system, making his senior debut in August 2014 in a League Cup game. In June 2015 Liverpool signed Gomez for £3.5 million, but he quickly suffered a serious knee injury in international duty, stymieing his development. He has made nearly 40 appearances for Liverpool since arriving, and has won 7 full caps for England to date.

Gomez is comfortable at centre back and both full back spots in Football Manager 2019, but he is most natural in the middle of the back four. He’s a well-rounded athlete (15 strength, 15 pace, 15 jumping) and is good on the ball too (15 first touch, 14 technique, 12 passing). He can break up opposition attacks (15 tackling, 14 marking) and has several strong mental attributes too (18 determination, 15 composure, 14 work rate).

Clement Lenglet (CA 146 – PA 160)

Age: 23

Position: D (C)

Club: Barcelona

Country: France

Best Attributes: Concentration (16), Strength (15), Tackling (15)

Value: £7.25 million

Wage: £46,500 a week

Clement Lenglet began his career with Nancy, making his debut for them in Ligue 2 in September 2013. He helped them win promotion in the 2015-16 season before moving to Sevilla in August 2017 for £3.9 million. They turned a healthy profit when they sold the Frenchman to Barcelona for £31.5 million this summer.

Lenglet has a good head on his shoulders already (16 concentration, 15 work rate, 15 anticipation) and is a good athlete too (15 jumping, 15 strength, 14 pace). He is strong defensively (15 tackling, 13 marking) and solid on the ball (13 passing, 12 first touch, 11 technique, 11 dribbling) for a centre back.

All the best young FM 19 centre backs (CB)

Name Pos Club Country Age CA PA/PA Range Value Wage
Milan Skriniar D (C) Inter Slovakia 23 159 172 £44.5m £54k
Niklas Süle D (C) FC Bayern Germany 22 155 168 £47m £52k
Daniele Rugani D (C) Juventus Italy 23 153 169 £29.5m £64k
José Giménez D (C) A. Madrid Uruguay 23 152 168 £24m £53k
Alessio Romagnoli D (C) Milan Italy 23 151 169 £25m £110k
Andreas Christensen D (C), DM, M (C) Chelsea Denmark 22 149 171 £24m £80k
Davinson Sánchez D (C) Tottenham Colombia 22 149 165 £28.5m £65k
Benjamin Pavard D (RC) VfB Stuttgart France 22 148 170 £31m £20.5k
Joe Gomez D (RC) Liverpool England 21 146 175 £33m £28k
Clément Lenglet D (C) Barcelona France 23 146 160 £7.25m £46.5k
Kurt Zouma D (C) Everton France 23 146 162 £25m £46k
Presnel Kimpembe D (C) Paris SG France 22 146 171 £18m £12.5k
Jonathan Tah D (C) Bayer 04 Germany 22 145 169 £17m £52k
Victor Lindelöf D (RC) Man Utd Sweden 23 144 157 £20.5m £120k
Manuel Akanji D (C) Borussia Dortmund Switzerland 22 143 162 £14m £43k
Nathan Aké D (LC), DM Bournemouth Holland 23 141 161 £16m £40k
Yeray D (RC) A. Bilbao Spain 23 141 152 £8m £36.5k
Mario Hermoso D (LC) Espanyol Spain 23 139 149 £6.75m £19k
Abdou Diallo D (LC) Borussia Dortmund France 22 139 159 £15.5m £69k
Wallace D (C) Lazio Brazil 23 139 155 £10m £29k
Niklas Stark D (C), DM, M (C) Hertha BSC Germany 23 138 154 £8.5m £20.5k
Matthijs de Ligt D (C), DM Ajax Holland 18 138 >160 £7.25m £11k
Rúben Dias D (C) SLB Portugal 21 138 162 £10.5m £25k
Unai Nunez D (RC) A. Bilbao Spain 21 138 152 £5.75m £20.5k
Nikola Milenkovic D (RC) Fiorentina Serbia 20 137 >140 £9m £19k
Eder Militao D (RC), WB (R), DM FCP Brazil 20 137 166 £9.5m £15k
Yerry Mina D (C) Everton Colombia 23 137 154 £16.5m £120k
Mouctar Diakhaby D (C) Valencia France 21 136 157 £5.5m £13.5k
Rob Holding D (C) Arsenal England 22 136 155 £1.25m £25k


Toby Durant