Football Manager 2019 Wonderkids: Best Defenders (CB, RB & LB) to Sign

Looking for the best wonderkid defenders on FM19? Here are ALL the best left backs, right backs and centre backs to sign.

Alastair Pusinelli by Alastair Pusinelli

Finding a wonderkid defender is tough work in Football Manager, with so much composure needed to play in defence. That comes with experience, but there are a handful of defenders who already possess the physicality to deal with dangerous forwards.


How to choose the best wonderkid defenders on Football Manager 2019

We are looking at the best wonderkid defenders on Football Manager 2019. We have separated them into centre backs (DC), right backs (DR) and right wing backs (WBR) as well as left backs (DL) and left wing backs (WBL). All of our wonderkids are teenagers aged 19 and below. 

We have sorted our wonderkids by looking at potential ability (PA), something that is only given as a guideline in-game on FM 19. These players can be called upon now, but they will become some of the best player in the world in the future. 

Centre backs (DC)

Our CBs have a PA of at least 140, with our top three names you should recognise from denying attackers in Europe. 

Dayot Upamecano (CA 135 – PA 172)

Age: 19

Positions: D (C)

Club: RB Leipzig

Country: France

Best stats: 18 pace, 17 balance, 16 bravery

Value: £6.8 million

Wage: £42,000 a week

One of a few men to take the route from Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg to RB Leipzig in the German Bundesliga, Dayot Upamecano is growing into a top defender. Aged just 19, the French U21 international has 47 Bundesliga appearances to his name, and you wouldn’t be surprised if a big club tried to pry him from Leipzig’s grasp in the next year or two. 

On FM 19, abilities of 18 pace, 17 balance and 16 bravery take Upamecano to a 135 CA, which should rise to a potential of 172. With a value of £6.8 million and wages of £42,000 a week, the defender is a realistic transfer in your first season in charge. 


Matthijs de Ligt (CA 138 – PA 160-190)

Age: 18

Positions: D (C)

Club: Ajax

Country: Holland

Best stats: 16 determination, 15 passing, 15 bravery

Value: £7.3 million

Wage: £11,000 a week

Linked with a move to either Barcelona or Bayern Munich, Matthijs de Ligt looks to be staying loyal to Ajax after a fantastic few seasons. Still only 19, the centre back has already made over 80 appearances for the club and has been rewarded with the vice-captaincy. 

A 138 CA on Football Manager 2019 can improve to a potential between 160 and 190, so expect growth from his 16 determination, 15 passing and 15 bravery attributes. Valued at £7.3 million with a wage of just £11,000 a week, De Ligt can be targeted straight away. 

Dan-Axel Zagadou (CA 127 – PA 157)

Age: 19

Positions: D (C)

Club: Borussia Dortmund

Country: France

Best stats: 18 jumping reach, 17 composure, 17 strength

Value: £4.6 million

Wage: £4,000 a week

Dan-Axel Zagadou may not have had the regularity of the other two centre backs in their respective careers so far, but that could be about to change. Before this season, the 19-year-old central defender had only made 16 appearances for Borussia Dortmund, but with Sokratis joining Arsenal, a spot in the starting lineup has opened up, with the Frenchman adding nine starts this year. 

On FM19, abilities of 18 jumping reach, 17 composure and 17 strength lift Zagadou to a 127 CA, which can grow to a potential of 157. The France U20 international has a value of just £4.6 million and £4,000 a week wage. 

All the best wonderkid centre backs (DC) on Football Manager 2019

Matthijs de Ligt18D (C)
Dayot Upamecano19D (C)RB LeipzigFrance135172£7m£41k
Ethan Ampadu17D (C)
Malang Sarr19D (LC)NiceFrance124<140£3m£8k
Reece Oxford19D (C)
West HamEngland122<140£5m£20k
Alessandro Bastoni19D (C)Parma*Italy116<140£2m£13k
Dan-Axel Zagadou19D (C)Borussia DortmundFrance126157£5m£4k
Panagiotis Retsos19D (RLC)Bayer LeverkusenGreece128154£6m£3k
Gabriele Corbo18D (C)BolognaItaly100<140£2m£2k
Lukas Mai18D (C)Bayern MunichGermany111150£2m£4k
Ben Wilmot18D (C)WatfordEngland111150£1m£5k
Rick van Drongelen19D (LC)HamburgHolland121149£2m£11k
Ibrahima Konate19D (C)RB LeipzigFrance124147£4m£17k

Right backs and right wing backs

For our RBs, we have dropped the starting PA to 130, with the position harder to play due to so many attributes required in both attack and defence. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold (CA 146 – PA 170)

Age: 19

Positions: D (R), WB (R)

Club: Liverpool

Country: England

Best stats: 16 determination, 15 acceleration, 15 pace

Value: £35 million

Wage: £40,000 a week

Trent Alexander-Arnold is already an England international aged 19, and his rise last season saw him snatch a spot to the World Cup in Russia. The Liverpool man is very versatile, with his best position on FM 19 actually right wing back, but he can also play as a conventional right back, and a defensive, central or right midfielder.

The teenager’s 16 determination, 15 acceleration and 15 pace stats take his CA to 146, which can improve to a very strong potential of 170. His value of £35 million and £40,000 a week wages rule out a move anytime soon but keep tabs on him in the seasons ahead. 

Achraf Hakimi (CA 134 – PA 159)

Age: 19

Positions: D (R), WB (R)

Club: Borussia Dortmund (on loan from Real Madrid)

Country: Morocco

Best stats: 17 work rate, 17 pace, 17 natural fitness

Value: £7 million

Wage: £26,000 a week

It seemed surprising to see Achraf Hakimi loaned out to Borussia Dortmund after impressing in 17 appearances for Real Madrid last season. The summer arrival of fellow right back Alvaro Odriozola saw him loaned out to the Bundesliga, where he is well in the mix under Lucien Favre with eight appearances, a goal and no less than six assists. 

Hakimi has abilities of 17 work rate, 17 pace and 17 natural fitness on the game, giving a CA of 134. A potential of 159 values him at £7 million with wages of £7,000 a week, but you cannot get hold of him until his loan spell has finished. 

Josha Vagnoman (CA 120 – PA 155)

Age: 17

Positions: D (RL), WB (RL)

Club: Hamburg

Country: Germany

Best stats: 17 natural fitness, 16 work rate, 15 bravery

Value: £2.1 million

Wage: £16,000 a week

With just three appearances and only 81 minutes for Hamburg, it’s surprising to see Josha Vagnoman so far up in FM 19, but aged 17 he has plenty of time to become a quality right back. Now in the Germany U19 squad, he can play anywhere in defence making him a great signing if it’s versatility you’re after. 

Vagnoman’s 120 CA can rise to a reliable potential of 155, so his abilities of 17 natural fitness, 16 work rate and 15 bravery will receive greater support as he improves. Valued of £2.1 million with a £16,000 a week you can move for the defender straight off the bat. 

All the best wonderkid right backs (DR) and right wing backs (WBR) on Football Manager 2019

Trent Alexander-Arnold19D (R)
WB (R)
M (RC)
Raoul Bellanova18D (R)
WB (R)
AC MilanItaly94<140£100k£1k
Diogo Dalot19D (R)
WB (R)
Man UnitedPortugal124<150£14m£25k
Achraf Hakimi19D (R)
WB (R)
Borussia Dortmund*Morocco134159£7m£26k
Reece James18D (RC)
WB (R)
Josha Vagnoman17D (RL)
Moussa Wagué19D (R)
WB (R)
Barcelona BSenegal112<130£1m£4k
Mateu Morey18D (R)
WB (R)
Barcelona BSpain85<140£1m£1k
Ethan Laird16D (RL)
WB (R)
Man UnitedEngland85<130£100k£1k
Alex Robles19D (RC)
WB (R)
Dujon Sterling18D (RC)
WB (R)
AM (R)
M (R)
Louis Beyer18D (RC)
WB (R)
Fernando19D (R)
WB (R)
Cody Drameh16D (R)
WB (R)

Left backs and left wing backs

We’ve stuck with a 130 minimum PA on the left-hand side of defence, with these players tasked with getting down the flank and supplying the left footed cross for their side. 

Gian-Luca Itter (CA 120 – PA 156)

Age: 19

Positions: D (L), WB (L)

Club: Wolfsburg

Country: Germany

Best stats: 16 teamwork, 15 pace, 15 natural fitness

Value: £2.1 million

Wage: £4,000 a week

Short of senior football but with a bright future, keep an eye on Gian-Luca Itter over the next season or two. The 19-year-old left back or wing back has played just six times for the Wolfsburg first team, but has progressed from the Germany U15 to U20 squad. 

Itter has a 120 CA on the game, rising to a potential of 156. His stats of 16 teamwork, 15 pace and 15 natural fitness takes his value to £2.1 million with a wage of £4,000 a week. 

Josh Tymon (CA 107 – PA 154)

Age: 19

Positions: D (L), WB (L)

Club: Stoke

Country: England

Best stats: 17 determination, 15 bravery, 14 marking

Value: £750,000

Wage: £7,000 a week

Josh Tymon is another player short of consistent first team experience. The Stoke left back has made just five appearances for the club, which all came last season, spending the second half of the campaign on loan at MK Dons. He did play in the Premier League with Hull in 20116/17 however, so expect him to bounce back.

Aged just 19, England U20 international Tymon has stats of 17 determination, 15 bravery and 14 marking on FM 19. A 107 CA can improve up to a potential of 157, and with a value of £750,000 and £7,000 there is very little to lose in making a move for the youngster.

Juan Miranda (CA 117 – PA 140-170)

Age: 18

Positions: D (L), WB (L)

Club: Barcelona

Country: Spain

Best stats: 19 determination, 14 pace, 14 stamina

Value: £1.2 million

Wage: £4,000 a week

Juan Miranda has made his Barcelona debut this season, and with Jordi Alba the only recognised left back in the first team, expect more opportunities for the 18-year-old. The left back is currently in the Spain U19 squad, having been a success in the U17 side where he made 20 appearances, scoring three times.

Valued at £1.2 million with £4,000 a week wages, Miranda has a 117 CA on FM 19, which can improve to a potential between 140 and 170. His best attributes include 19 determination, 14 pace and 14 stamina. 

All the best left backs (DL) and left wing backs (WBL) on Football Manager 2019

Juan Miranda18D (L)
WB (L)
M (L)
Barcelona BSpain117169£1m£3k
Alex Centelles18D (L)
WB (L)
Valencia BSpain105<140£500k£2k
Lewis Gibson17D (LC)EvertonEngland92<130£500k£3k
Gian-Luca Itter19D (L)
WB (L)
Josh Tymon19D (L)
WB (L)
M (L)
Ian Maatsen16D (L)
WB (L)
Federico Ermacora18D (L)
WB (L)
Juan Castillo18WB (L)
M (L)
Joel Lopez16D (L)ArsenalSpain70<130£50k£100
John Kitolano18D (L), WB (L)WolvesNorway103137£500k£10k
Marc Cucurella19D (L)
WB (L)

A = Age
CA = Current Ability
PA = Potential Ability
V = Value
W = Wage

*Denotes player on loan


First console: GameBoy Color / Favourite Game: Assassin's Creed 2 / Currently playing: Football Manager 2020