Football Manager 2019: Best Young Midfielders (Attacking, Defensive, and Central)

Midfielders are vital components of any team, but quality young players can be hard to find. Who are the best young midfielders (attacking, defensive & attacking) FM19?


Midfielders are vital to the success of a squad, but they can be hard to come by. An all-rounder is expensive, a physically strong player is rare, and one that can create goals? Forget about it. The Luka Modrics and Paul Pogbas of the world are far beyond the range of most clubs, and in any case don’t have many prime years left. So why not focus on finding a young star?

How to find the best young midfielders in Football Manager 2019

This article will be looking at the best young midfielders in FM19. These players are all aged 23 or younger and are natural at defensive midfield, central midfield, or attacking midfield. They won’t be cheap to buy, but if you start a career with one of the teams that owns them then they can lead you to glory or even pull in a squad-rejuvenating transfer fee.

For a complete list of ALL the best young midfielders see the tables at the bottom of the page.

Young attacking midfielders

All these players are natural at attacking midfield. They can create and score goals almost at the drop of a hat and are the next Mesut Ozil or David Silva. These are the best young attacking midfielders in Football Manager 2019.

Bernardo Silva (CA 161 – PA 170)

Age: 23

Position: AM (RC), M (RC) 

Club: Manchester City

Country: Portugal

Best Attributes: Agility (18), Dribbling (17), Vision (17)

Value: £52 million

Wage: £100,000 a week

Bernardo Silva was a star for the Benfica youth system, joining them at the age of 8. He rose through their ranks and made his debut with the reserves in August 2013. In October of that year he made his one and only appearance for the Benfica first team. In 2014 he joined Monaco on loan and then permanently the next season for £16 million. He was brilliant for Monaco, creating chances and helping them win the Ligue 1 title before joining Manchester City for £46 million in May 2017.

In FM 19 Bernardo Silva is a monster. On the ball he is a magician (17 dribbling, 17 first touch, 17 technique) who can create for himself with his dribbling or others with his terrific mental attributes (17 vision, 17 flair, 17 work rate). He also has solid physical traits if you want to play him wide too (18 agility, 15 acceleration, 14 pace).

Dele Alli (CA 158 – PA 176)

Age: 22

Position: AM (RLC), M (C), ST

Club: Tottenham

Country: England

Best Attributes: Stamina (19), Natural Fitness (18), Flair (17)

Value: £44.5 million

Wage: £100,000 a week

Dele Alli had to work his way through the lower leagues before ascending to the highest level. He started his career with MK Dons and made his debut for them at just 16 in 2011. He played over 60 games across four years for them before making a £5 million move to Tottenham where he soon established himself as a first-team player and a crucial piece for England as well.

In FM 19 Alli is all creativity. He can move the ball in possession (16 technique, 15 passing, 15 dribbling) but can also pick a killer ball (17 flair, 16 anticipation, 15 vision) and finish himself (16 finishing). Alli also has terrific physical traits so he can keep running, and producing, all day long (19 stamina, 18 natural fitness, 16 agility).

Marco Asensio (CA 157 – PA 185)

Age: 22

Position: AM (RLC), M (C) 

Club: Real Madrid

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: Long Shots (18), Technique (18), Finishing (18)

Value: £52 million

Wage: £145,000 a week

Marco Asensio came up through the Mallorca youth system, making his debut with them in 2013. It wasn’t long before Spain’s biggest sides were interested, and Real Madrid purchased Asensio in November 2014 for around £4 million. After a few years on loan Asensio started to make a big impact with Real Madrid and has already made over 50 appearances for them, being a vital part of their success in recent years.

In FM 19 Asensio is a remarkable player. He is brilliant in front of goal (18 finishing, 18 long shots, 18 technique) and can still create for other players too (17 flair, 16 passing, 16 composure). He also has good physical traits (15 pace, 15 natural fitness, 14 acceleration) and can play on either wing as well.

Thomas Lemar (CA 154 –  PA 171)

Age: 22

Position: AM (LC), M (L) 

Club: Atletico Madrid

Country: France

Best Attributes: Free Kick Taking (17), Technique (17), Corners (17)

Value: £30.5 million

Wage: £110,000 a week

Thomas Lemar made his breakthrough in club football with Caen in Ligue 2. He made a handful of appearances with them in 2013-14 and then became a regular in 2014-15 when they were promoted into Ligue 1. His performances with them made him an attractive target to big teams, and Monaco came in with a £3 million move in the summer of 2105. Along with Bernardo Silva, Lemar was a tremendous asset for Monaco, but he soon made a big money move to Atletico Madrid for £63 million.

In FM 19 Lemar is a set-piece master (17 free kick taking, 17 corners) that can also create in open play (16 passing, 16 first touch, 15 vision). He has good athleticism (15 pace, 15 acceleration) and is solid in front of goal too (13 finishing).

Angel Correa (CA 153 – PA 165)

Age: 23

Position:

Club: Atletico Madrid

Country: Argentina

Best Attributes: Flair (19), Technique (17), Passing (16)

Value: £23 million

Wage: £60,000 a week

Angel Correa started his career with San Lorenzo in Argentina, coming to Europe in 2014 after Atletico Madrid made a £5 million offer for him. Correa made his debut with the Atleti in August 2015 and quickly became a vital piece of their first team, and has now played over 100 games with them.

In FM 19 Correa is excellent on the ball (17 technique, 16 dribbling, 16 first touch). He can create for those around him (19 flair, 16 passing, 15 vision) and play on either wing too (14 pace, 14 acceleration). Correa is also decent in front of goal (13 finishing).

Young central midfielders

These players are all natural at central midfield. They can do a little bit of everything, from launching attacks, making incisive passes, and win the ball back. They are the next Xavi or Pogba.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (CA 166 – PA 184)

Age: 23

Position: AM (C), M (C)

Club: Lazio

Country: Serbia

Best Attributes: Natural Fitness (20), Strength (19), Bravery (19) 

Value: £57 million

Wage: £96,000 a week

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic started his career with Vojvodina in Serbia but quickly moved to Genk in Belgium. He only played one season there before Lazio made a £13 million move for the midfielder and bought him to Italy where he soon turned into a star.

In FM 19 Milinkovic-Savic is already one of the best midfielders around. He is physically incredible (20 natural fitness, 19 strength, 19 balance, 17 jumping, 15 stamina) and has strong mental attributes too (19 bravery, 18 off the ball, 18 determination). All of that helps his technical skills, which are good no matter where you look (18 heading, 16 technique, 15 finishing, 15 passing, 14 tackling).

Saul (CA 157 – PA 169)

Age: 23

Position: DM, M (RC)

Club: Atletico Madrid

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: Concentration (17), Vision (16), Passing (16)

Value: £39 million

Wage: £205,000 a week

Saul joined Atletico Madrid in 2008 as a 14-year-old and soon made his debut with the first team. He has already played over 125 games for Atleti and has broken into the Spain team, winning 14 caps to date.

In FM 19 Saul is an incredibly well-rounded player. He has good physical traits (14 pace, 14 stamina, 13 acceleration) and is mentally very strong (17 concentration, 16 vision, 16 anticipation, 15 flair, 15 decisions). Saul is good coming forward (16 passing, 16 technique, 15 first touch) and without the ball (14 tackling, 13 marking).

Naby Keita (CA 155 – PA 170)

Age: 23

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

Club: Liverpool

Country: guinea

Best Attributes: Work Rate (18), Stamina (17), Off The Ball (17)

Value: £40.5 million

Wage: £120,000 a week

Naby Keita first came to Europe with FC Istres in France, but only played a year there before moving to Red Bull Salzburg. He played two seasons there before heading to RB Leipzig in Germany where he spent another two years before making a huge £54 million move to Liverpool this summer.

In FM 19 Keita is a superb all-rounder. He is physically strong (17 stamina, 17 agility, 16 natural fitness) and mentally good (18 work rate, 17 off the ball, 16 teamwork). On the ball Keita can progress possession (16 dribbling, 16 technique, 13 first touch, 13 passing) and win the ball back (14 tackling, 11 marking).

Adrien Rabiot (CA 154 – PA 165)

Age: 23

Position: M (C)

Club: Paris Saint-Germain

Country: France

Best Attributes: Passing (17), Vision (16), Composure (16)

Value: £29 million

Wage: £52,000 a week

Adrien Rabiot moved around a lot in his youth career, arriving at Paris Saint-Germain in 2010 at the age of 15. He made his debut with them in 2012 before going to Toulouse on loan. When he returned, Rabiot was firmly in the first-team and has made nearly 150 appearances for PSG already.

In Football Manager 2019 Rabiot is a well-rounded player. He has good physical traits (16 balance, 15 stamina, 15 natural fitness) and is mentally strong (16 vision, 16 composure, 15 decisions). On the ball Rabiot can move possession well (17 passing, 15 technique, 15 first touch) and also works hard to win it back (14 tackling, 13 work rate, 11 marking).

Bruno Fernandes (CA 152 – PA 161)

Age: 23

Position: AM (C), M (C)

Club: Sporting

Country: Portugal

Best Attributes: Flair (17), Vision (16), Long Shots (16)

Value: £24 million

Wage: £49,500 a week

Bruno Fernandes started his career with Novara in Italy, playing one year with the first team before moving to Udinese and then Sampdoria where he established himself as a talented midfielder. In 2017 he made a £7.5 million move to Sporting and became a goal-scorer too while breaking into the Portugal national team.

In FM 19 Fernandes is an impressive player. He has good physical traits (14 pace, 14 acceleration) and is mentally strong across the board (17 flair, 16 vision, 15 composure, 15 work rate). He is a creative force in the midfield (16 passing, 15 technique, 14 crossing) and can find the back of the net (16 long shots, 14 free kick taking, 12 finishing).

Young defensive midfielders

These players are all natural at CDM. They are ball-winners but also capable of pushing the team forward and being the back-board when in possession. They are the next N’Golo Kante or Sergio Busquets

Rodri (CA (149 – PA 163)

Age: 22

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: Atletico Madrid

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: Positioning (17), Teamwork (16), Anticipation (16)

Value: £14.5 million

Wage: £86,000 a week

Rodri came up through the Atletico Madrid youth system before moving to Villarreal in 2013. He soon got into the reserve side, and in December 2015 he made his first team-team debut for them. He ended up playing more than 60 games for them before making an £18 million move back to Atletico this summer.

In FM 19 Rodri is a terrific base for a forward-thinking team. He has well-developed mental attributes (17 positioning, 16 anticipation, 16 teamwork) meaning he rarely gets out of position. He can also win the ball back (15 tackling, 12 marking) and push forward quickly (14 technique, 14 passing).

Lucas Torreira (CA 146 – PA 165)

Age: 22

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: Arsenal

Country: Uruguay

Best Attributes: Positioning (17), Passing (16), Composure (16)

Value: £26.5 million

Wage: £75,000 a week

Lucas Torreira first came to Europe with Pescara in 2013. He soon made a £1.3 million move to Sampdoria and played over 70 games for them, breaking into the Uruguay team and making a huge £26 million move to Arsenal in the summer.

In FM 19 Torreira is a very well-rounded player. He can push forward and play well in possession (16 passing, 16 first touch, 15 technique) and work to win the ball back when lost (15 tackling, 14 marking). He has some really good mental attributes (17 positioning, 16 anticipation, 16 composure) and good physical tools as well (16 stamina, 15 agility, 13 pace).

Ruben Neves (CA 146 – PA 168)

Age: 21

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: Wolves

Country: Portugal

Best Attributes: Passing (17), Vision (17), Technique (16)

Value: £26.5 million

Wage: £50,000 a week

Ruben Neves started his career with Porto, joining them at the age of 8 and rising through their academy to make his senior debut at just 17. He played over 50 games for his boyhood club before making a £16 million move to Wolves while they were still in the Championship. He was influential in their promotion to the Premier League last season and will be in their efforts to stay up this year.

In FM 19 Neves is more of a deep lying playmaker than out-and-out ball-winner. His talent on the ball (17 passing, 16 technique, 14 first touch) allows him to move it around well and his quality mental attributes (17 vision, 15 anticipation) means he can pick a pass too.

Julian Weigl (CA 144 – PA 160)

Age: 22

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: Borussia Dortmund

Country: Germany

Best Attributes: Teamwork (19), Composure (18), Decisions (18)

Value: £16.25 million

Wage: £69,000 a week

Julian Weigl has come up through the 1860 Munich youth system, breaking into the first team in February 2014. At the start of the 2014-15 campaign, at just 18 years old, he was named captain of the first team. After that season he made a move to Borussia Dortmund and quickly established himself with their first-team and has played over 80 games for them while also making his debut for Germany.

In FM 19 Weigl is an extremely smart player (19 teamwork, 18 composure, 18 decisions, 17 anticipation, 16 positioning). The German international is talented on the ball (15 technique, 15 first touch, 14 passing) and a good base for teams to attack from. Defensively Weigl is good too (13 tackling, 12 marking)

Wilfred Ndidi (CA 143 – PA 152)

Age: 21

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: Leicester City

Country: Nigeria

Best Attributes: Work Rate (17), Anticipation (17), Stamina (17)

Value: £22.5 million

Wage: £75,000 a week

Wilfred Ndidi was born in Lagos but made his big breakthrough with Genk in Belgium. He debuted in January 2015 and played some 60 games before agreeing to a £17 million move to Leicester in December 2016. Since then he has been a stalwart for the Foxes, playing over 60 games and breaking into the Nigeria side.

In FM 19 Ndidi is a terrific athlete (17 natural fitness, 17 stamina, 15 jumping) who can run forever. With his endless running comes a player with good defensive skills (16 tackling, 12 marking) and well-developed mental attributes (17 anticipation, 17 work rate, 15 determination).

All the best young attacking midfielders on Football Manager 2019

NamePosClubCountryAgeCAPAValueWage
Bernardo SilvaAM (RC), M (RC)Man CityPortugal23161170£52m£100k
Dele AlliAM (LRC), M (C), STTottenhamEngland22158176£44.5m£100k
Marco AsensioAM (LRC), M (C)R. MadridSpain22157185£52m£145k
Thomas LemarAM (LC), M (L)A. MadridFrance22154171£30.5m£110k
Ángel CorreaAM (LRC), STA. MadridArgentina23153165£23m£60k
Bruno FernandesAM (C), M (C)SportingPortugal23152161£24m£49.5k
Mikel OyarzabalAM (LRC)Real San SebastianSpain21146167£8m£38.5k
Maximilian MeyerAM (C), M (C)Crystal PalaceGermany22144164£25m£125k
Dani CeballosAM (C), M (C)R. MadridSpain21142168£9.5m£51k
Amine HaritAM (LC), M (L)Schalke 04Morocco21142159£14m£26k
Ondrej DudaAM (C), M (C)Hertha BSCSlovakia23141142£12.25m£17.25k
Giovani Lo CelsoDM, AM (C), M (C)Real HispalisArgentina22141164£11.75m£41k
Kai HavertzAM (C), M (C)Bayer 04Germany19140176£18.75m£26k
Joaquín CorreaAM (LC), M (L)LazioArgentina23140157£12m£41.5k
Filip KrovinovicAM (RC), M (C)SLBCroatia22139155£12.5m£11.5k
OtávioAM (LRC), M (R)FCPBrazil23139155£12.5m£15k
Jack GrealishAM (LRC), M (RLC)Aston VillaEngland22138156£15m£35k
James MaddisonAM (C)LeicesterEngland21138160£28m£55k
Enis BardhiAM (LC), M (LC)LevanteFYR Macedonia22138150£7m£11k
Pablo FornalsAM (C), M (C)VillarrealSpain22138160£7m£32k

Allt the best young central midfielders on Football Manager 2019

NamePosClubCountryAgeCAPAValueWage
Sergej Milinkovic-SavicAM (C), M (C)LazioSerbia23166184£57m£96k
SaúlDM, M (RC)A. MadridSpain23157169£39m£205k
Naby KeïtaDM, AM (C), M (C)LiverpoolGuinea23155170£40.5m£120k
Adrien RabiotM (C)Paris SGFrance23154165£29m£52k
Bruno FernandesAM (C), M (C)SportingPortugal23152161£24m£49.5k
ArthurM (C)BarcelonaBrazil21152175£32m£83k
Corentin TolissoDM, M (C)FC BayernFrance23152165£30.5m£120k
Leon GoretzkaAM (C), M (C)FC BayernGermany23150173£25.5m£140k
Franck KessiéDM, M (C)MilanIvory Coast21149169£18.5m£70k
Rodrigo BentancurDM, M (C)JuventusUruguay21147167£20m£32k
Alekandr GolovinAM (LC), M (C)AS MonacoRussia22147168£20.5m£48.5k
Lorenzo PellegriniM (C)RomaItaly22147170£20m£57k
Bryan CristanteAM (C), M (C)RomaItaly23146163£18.75m£16k
Harry WinksM (C)TottenhamEngland22145155£29m£50k
Lucas PaquetáAM (LC), M (C)FLABrazil20145170£9.25m£4.3k
Amadou DiawaraDM, M (C)NapoliGuinea20145167£17.5m£22.5k
Julian WeiglDM, M (C)Borussia DortmundGermany22144160£16.25m£69k
Stanislav LobotkaAM (C), M (C)VigoSlovakia23144156£11.5m£35.5k
Leandro ParedesDM, M (C)ZenitArgentina23143152£11.25m£78k
Nabil BentalebDM, M (C)Schalke 04Algeria23143160£14.75m£86k
Marco BenassiM (C)FiorentinaItaly23143156£15m£35k

All the best young defensive midfielders on Football Manager 2019

NamePosClubCountryAgeCAPAValueWage
RodriDM, M (C)A. MadridSpain22149163£14.5m£86k
Lucas TorreiraDM, M (C)ArsenalUruguay22146165£26.5m£75k
Rúben NevesDM, M (C)WolvesPortugal21146168£26.5m£50k
Julian WeiglDM, M (C)Borussia DortmundGermany22144160£16.25m£69k
Wilfred NdidiDM, M (C)LeicesterNigeria21143152£22.5m£75k
Tiémoué BakayokoDM, M (C)MilanFrance23140162£19m£110k
Frenkie de JongD (C), DM, M (C)AjaxHolland21138150£7.75m£13.25k
Santiago AscacibarDM, M (C)VfB StuttgartArgentina21138155£9m£34.5k
Jean-Philippe GbaminD (C), DM, M (C)Mainz 05Ivory Coast22137146£13.25m£34.5k
Thiago MaiaDMLOSCBrazil21136141£7.75m£52k
Denis ZakariaDM, M (C)Borussia M’gladbachSwitzerland21136158£7.75m£34.5k
Marcos LlorenteDM, M (C)R. MadridSpain23134155£2.9m£19.75k
Diadie SamassekouDM, M (C)FC RB SalzburgMali22134162£6.75m£7.5k
Igor ZubeldiaDM, M (C)Real San SebastianSpain21134142£1.7m£10.5k
Declan RiceD (C), DM, M (C)West HamIreland19134157£21.5m£3k
Jorrit HendrixD (C), DM, M (C)PSVHolland23134152£5.5m£4.5k
Lucas TousartDM, M (C)OLFrance21134154£7m£31k
Douglas LuizDM, M (C)GironaBrazil20133152£14m£40k
Marko GrujicDM, M (C)Hertha BSCSerbia22133156£14m£25k
Tomas SoucekDM, M (C)Slavia PragueCzech Republic23132145£1.7m£3.1k
Amadou HaidaraDM, M (C)FC RB SalzburgMali20132165£5.5m£5.75k
Lewis CookDM, M (C)BournemouthEngland21132169£13.25m£35k
Manuel LocatelliDM, M (C)SassuoloItaly20132157£6.5m£22.5k
Leander DendonckerD (C), DM, M (C)WolvesBelgium23132145£9.75m£38k
Robert PirisDMFLAParaguay23132142£1.2m£5.5k

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Toby Durant

Deputy Editor at RealSport. A life-long gamer, I have been with RealSport since 2016 and spent time covering the world of Formula 1, NFL, and football for the site before expanding into esports.

 

I lead the site's coverage of motorsport titles with a particular focus on Formula 1. I also lead RealSport's Madden content while occasionally dipping my toe into Football Manager and esports coverage of Gfinity Series events.

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