Football Manager 2020: All the best young centre backs (DC) to sign – Sule, de Ligt, & more

A strong defence is crucial if you want to lift trophies. These are the guys to buy.

Toby Durant by Toby Durant

Every Football Manager player loves to sign forwards and score a hat-full of goals. The successful managers know that preventing goals is even more important.

Building a strong defence starts with the centre backs. Those who are tasked with keeping track of, and stopping, those high-priced strikers are crucial to a team’s success but can be hard to find.

Bringing in a talented young player is a smart way of solidifying your defence for years to come and can sometimes be more financially viable than buying an established and well-known players.

How to choose the best young centre backs (DC) in Football Manager 2020

In this article we will look at the best young centre backs in Football Manager 2020. These players are aged 23 or younger and have centre back as their primary position.

Remember, star ratings only rank players with reference to their level within your team. That means the only way to truly see which players are best is by looking at their current ability (CA). Ranked out of 200, Virgil van Dijk is the best centre back in the game with a CA of 178.

So, who are the best young centre backs in Football Manager 2020?

Niklas Sule (CA 155 – PA 165)

Age: 23

Position(s): D (C)

Club: Bayern Munich

Country: Germany

Best Attributes: 18 strength, 18 balance, 17 pace

Value: £51 million

Wage: £49,500 a week

The young Bayern star tops our list. Niklas Sule rose to prominence at 1899 Hoffenheim before making the move to the German giants in 2017. Sule quickly took up a key role in the heart of the Bayern defence, and has become a regular in the international side too.

READ MORE: Football Manager 2020 – The best young strikers (ST) to sign

In Football Manager 2020 Sule is a star. With 18 strength, 17 jumping, and 17 pace he has the physical tools to deal with almost anyone. Sule also brings 17 concentration, 16 heading, and 15 marking to shut down opposing attacks. With his 155 CA and room to improve he more than earns that £51 million value.

Matthijs de Ligt (CA 154 – PA 160-190)

Age: 19

Position(s): D (C)

Club: Zebre (Juventus)

Country: Holland

Best Attributes: 17 heading, 16 determination, 16 work rate

Value: £34.5 million

Wage: £200,000 a week

Matthijs de Ligt became a world-renowned defender in 2018 as he took the armband for Ajax despite his young age and led them to an incredible Champions League semi-final appearance before making a move to Juventus in the summer.

De Ligt doesn’t have as flashy stats as Sule, but still a teenager and with a potential ability cap of 190 he could soon be a Ballon D’or winner. His 17 heading and 16 work rate keep him competitive on set pieces, while his 15 marking, 15 tackling, and 15 passing makes him the perfect modern centre back.

Joe Gomez (CA 152 – PA 165)

Age: 22

Position(s): D (RLC)

Club: Liverpool

Country: England

Best Attributes: 17 determination, 16 pace, 15 tackling

Value: £33.5 million

Wage: £75,000 a week

Joe Gomez started his career with Charlton Athletic but moved to Liverpool in 2015 for £3.5 million. After some seasoning and development he broke into the first team in 2017 and has been a member of the first team squad ever since.

READ MORE: Football Manager 2020 – The best young attacking central midfielders (AMC) to sign

Gomez is remarkably flexible and can play both full back positions well, but he’s most at home in the middle. His 16 pace keeps him capable against long balls while he also has 15 heading, 15 tackling, and 15 positioning.

Lucas Hernandez (CA 151 – PA 170)

Age: 23

Position(s): D (LC)

Club: Bayern Munich

Country: France

Best Attributes: 17 pace, 17 determination, 17 tackling

Value: £29.5 million

Wage: £225,000 a week

A second Bayern player. Lucas Hernandez started his career with Atletico Madrid, breaking into the first team in 2014 and soon became a regular. After being a key part of France’s World Cup triumph he drew outside eyes, and moved to Bayern in 2019 for a massive £68 million.

Hernandez possesses 17 pace and 17 determination and can play very well at left back too. With 17 tackling, 15 marking, and 14 heading he is more than comfortable with playing in the middle. Hernandez’s value of £29.5 million feels very low, but with a massive wage bill of £225,000 a week he will be very tough to sign.

Ruben Dias (CA 150 – PA 171)

Age: 22

Position(s): D (C)

Club: Benfica

Country: Portugal

Best Attributes: 18 aggression, 18 natural fitness, 17 determination

Value: £23.5 million

Wage: £23,500 a week

One of an exciting generation of young Portuguese players, Ruben Dias is an exciting young centre back. He rose through the ranks at Benfica and broke into the first team in 2017 and then the national team in 2018.

READ MORE: Football Manager 2020 – The best assistant managers to hire

In FM20 Dias blends strong mental traits like 17 determination, 16 leadership, and 16 teamwork with 16 strength and 16 marking to be a really tough player that can strengthen nearly any back line. He also has a very nice 171 PA.

Eder Militao (CA 150 – PA 170)

Age: 21

Position(s): D (RC), WB (R)

Club: Real Madrid

Country: Brazil

Best Attributes: 18 natural fitness, 16 anticipation, 15 pace

Value: £27 million

Wage: £51,000 a week

Eder Militao started his career in Sao Paulo before moving to Portuguese side Porto in 2018. Having proved himself up to the European club level he was snapped up by Real Madrid for around £42 million.

Militao brings excellent natural fitness (18) to keep running all day. He’s also got 16 anticipation, 15 tackling, 15 marking, and 15 pace. With good room for growth up to that 170 PA he can soon be a world-beater.

Benjamin Pavard (CA 148 – PA 168)

Age: 23

Position(s): D (C)

Club: Bayern

Country: France

Best Attributes: 18 composure, 17 anticipation, 16 tackling

Value: £34 million

Wage: £115,000 a week

Yet another Bayern player. Pavard made his mark at the 2018 World Cup by scoring the goal of the tournament. From there Stuttgart defender became more of a household name and eventually made a move to Bayern Munich.

READ MORE: FM20 Touch – Best tactics & formations to use

Bayern’s third young centre back has super mental talents, with 18 composure, 17 anticipation, and 16 decisions. He also brings 16 tackling, 14 marking, and 14 passing too. Pavard can also play right back.

Jonathan Tah (CA 147 – PA 169)

Age: 23

Position(s): D (C)

Club: Bayer Leverkusen

Country: Germany

Best Attributes: 18 strength, 17 pace, 17 jumping

Value: £21.5 million

Wage: £49,500 a week

Jonathan Tah started his career at Hamburg and quickly broke into the first team. In 2015 he moved to Bayer Leverkusen and has been a key part of their first team since 2017. He got his international debut in 2016 but missed out on a spot at the 2018 World Cup.

In FM20 Tah is physically fearsome. He brings 18 strength, 17 pace, and 17 jumping. He’s also got 16 composure, 15 tackling, and 15 marking. This combination makes Tah a terrific signing for basically any team.

Andreas Christensen (CA 147 – PA 165)

Age: 23

Position(s): D (C)

Club: Chelsea

Country: Denmark

Best Attributes: 18 anticipation, 16 positioning, 15 pace

Value: £28 million

Wage: £80,000 a week

Andreas Christensen started his career at Brondby but moved to Chelsea when he was just 17. Like many Chelsea youngsters, he was soon sent out on loan. In 2015 he joined Borussia Monchengladbach for two years before returning to Chelsea where appearances have become rarer and rarer.

READ MORE: Football Manager 2020 – the best free agents to sign

In Football Manager 2020 Christensen has few stats that leap off the page at you, but he is solid across the board. With 18 anticipation and 16 positioning he is always in the right place at the right time, while 15 pace, 15 heading, and 14 tackling provide a strong base for further development.

Presnel Kimpembe (CA 146 – PA 164)

Age: 23

Position(s): D (C)

Club: Paris Saint-Germain

Country: France

Best Attributes: 16 strength, 16 aggression, 16 tackling

Value: £17.5 million

Wage: £135,000 a week

Presnel Kimpembe joined PSG at the age of 10 and hasn’t looked back. He rose through their youth team to make his debut in 2014 and made 36 appearances last season for the French champions while also featuring in the France national side and bringing home a World Cup winners medal in 2018.

Kimpembe has long been a good target in Football Manager, and this year is no different. With 16 strength and 16 tackling he is capable of dispossessing players, while his 15 composure, 15 determination, and 15 teamwork makes him an extremely competitive player.

Toby Durant