Football Manager 2020 Wonderkids: Top 10 defensive midfielders (DM) to sign – Luis, Tonali, & more

These kids can shore up your defence and provide an attacking platform for your team.

Toby Durant by Toby Durant

Defence is never the place managers really want to invest. It is far more exciting to sign a star winger or elite striker.

However, one of the most effective ways to improve your team is by bringing in a strong defensive midfielders. Not only do these players snuff out danger in front of your back line but they also act as a platform for your attacking players. Providing a reliable base for them to work from.

If you can sign a talented teenager at this position then the spine of your team will be solidified for a decade or more.

How to choose the best wonderkid defensive midfielders (DM) in Football Manager 2020

This article will look at the best wonderkid defensive midfielders (DM) in this year’s game. These players will be teenagers when you start your save (usually June 2019) and have their natural position at defensive midfield.

We are looking for those with the highest ceiling. They don’t need to be world-beaters right now, but smart investments for the future that can become elite players with the right nurturing.

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As such, we want the highest potential ability (PA) score possible. These are out of 200 and represent the best possible level of performance for each player.

So, who makes the list of Football Manager 2020’s wonderkid defensive midfielders?

Florentino Luis (CA 140 – PA 172)

Age: 19

Position(s): DM, M (C)

Club: SLB

Country: Portugal

Best Attributes: 18 teamwork, 17 concentration, 17 natural fitness

Value: £14.75 million

Wage: £5,000 a week

Topping the list is Portugal’s young prodigy Florentino Luis. Arriving at Benfica at the age of 10, Florentino has risen through the ranks and got his first-team debut in February 2019, quickly becoming a regular for the Portuguese side as well as a fixture in the U20 national team.

Florentino is remarkably talented already in Football Manager 2020. His mental attributes are especially strong, with 18 teamwork, 17 concentration, 16 anticipation, and 16 positioning. His 16 tackling underlines his defensive talents, while that massive 172 PA means he could soon be a dominant force for any team in the world.

Sandro Tonali (CA 125 – PA 150-180)

Age: 19

Position(s): DM, M (C)

Club: Brescia

Country: Italy

Best Attributes: 18 determination, 16 work rate, 15 passing

Value: £8.25 million

Wage: £7,750 a week

Next up is Brescia’s young star Sandro Tonali. He got his first team debut with Brescia at just 17 and has gone on to be a vital piece of their starting 11 as well as earning his first full international cap for Italy this year.

READ MORE: FM20 Wonderkids – top strikers

Tonali is not as ready for big club action as Florentino Luis, but he isn’t far off. With 18 determination and 16 work rate, he can get around the pitch, while his 15 passing, 14 teamwork, and 13 tackling show his ability to play with and without the ball. With a PA cap of 180, Tonali could become a world-beater.

Marcos Antonio (CA 120 – PA 140-170)

Age: 19

Position(s): DM, M (C)

Club: Shakhtar Donetsk

Country: Brazil

Best Attributes: 16 pace, 15 technique, 15 determination

Value: £4.8 million

Wage: £8,000 a week

Brazil have been producing quality defensive midfielders for a while now, so it should be no surprise to see one make our list. Marcos Antonio came up through Athletico Paranaense in Brazil before moving first to Estoril in Portugal and then this year to Shakhtar.

Marcos Antonio brings a well-balanced set of stats to Football Manager 2020. He has 16 pace and 15 agility to get around, along with 15 determination, 14 vision, and 14 decisions. His 15 technique and 14 passing show that he is a good attacking base, but his 9 tackling needs work.

Victor Bobsin (CA 111 – PA 140-170)

Age: 19

Position(s): DM

Club: GRE

Country: Brazil

Best Attributes: 15 determination, 14 natural fitness, 13 work rate

Value: £200,000

Wage: £3,200 a week

To have Victor Bobsin available you will need to make sure you start your game with the Brazilian leagues playable. The Gremio defensive midfielder is sure to follow his compatriots out to Europe soon to continue his growth.

READ MORE: FM20 Wonderkids – All the best defenders (DR, DC, & DL)

In FM20 Bobsin is nothing special yet, but he has a massive 140-170 PA range that means he could soon be a superb player. His stats are well balanced, with 14 natural fitness, 13 work rate, 13 vision, 12 passing, and 12 tackling.

Marco Kana (CA 108 – PA 140-170)

Age: 16

Position(s): D (C), DM

Club: Anderlecht

Country: Belgium

Best Attributes: 14 teamwork, 14 tackling, 14 passing

Value: £1.4 million

Wage: £650 a week

Anderlecht have a habit of turning out quality players from time to time, and Marco Kana may well be their next. The defensive midfielder has recently broken into the Anderlecht first team and been a regular with the Belgium U17 side.

At 16, Kana is not going to be overly impressive immediately, but with 14 tackling, 14 passing, and 14 technique he has the basis to be great one day. His 170 upper PA limit shows that with the right guidance he could be a terrific player.

Claudio Gomes (CA 95 – PA 140-170)

Age: 18

Position(s): DM

Club: PSV (On loan from Man City)

Country: France

Best Attributes: 15 natural fitness, 15 aggression, 14 work rate

Value: £575,000

Wage: £20,000 a week

Claudio Gomes started his career with Paris Saint-Germain but moved to Manchester City before making a first team debut. Gomes made one brief appearance for City before going on loan to PSV to continue his seasoning.

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In FM20 Gomes is a promising young player. With 15 natural fitness and 13 tackling he can already make an impact for lesser sides, while he has 12 passing and 14 work rate to show he can soon be a solid player for most teams.

Nohan Kenneh (CA 89 – PA 140-170)

Age: 16

Position(s): DM

Club: Leeds United

Country: England

Best Attributes: 14 strength, 14 natural fitness, 14 aggression

Value: £190,000

Wage: £120 a week

At 16 years old, Nohan Kenneh is just a baby in Football Manager terms. The Leeds United midfielder is yet to break into the Leeds first team, but he is marching his way through the England youth teams and looks set to play a part in Leeds’ quest for Premier League football soon.

His 140-170 PA range is remarkably high for such a young player, but that 89 CA makes it tough to get him game time immediately. With 14 strength, 14 natural fitness, and 12 tackling he can get a job done, but he isn’t much on the ball yet.

Gustavo Assuncao (CA 115 – PA 155)

Age: 19

Position(s): DM, M (C)

Club: Famalicao

Country: Brazil

Best Attributes: 15 decisions, 15 determination, 14 passing

Value: £1.1 million

Wage: £1,100 a week

Yet another Brazilian! Gustavo signed his first professional contract this year with Famalicao and has quickly found his way into the first team while also being a regular for the Brazil U17 side.

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In FM20, Gustavo has a solid 14 stamina, 14 passing, and 13 tackling which makes him a well-rounded defensive midfielder, while his mental attributes of 15 decisions and 15 determination show he can make it pretty close to that 155 PA.

Oliver Skipp (CA 116 – PA 130-160)

Age: 18

Position(s): DM, M (C)

Club: Tottenham

Country: England

Best Attributes: 17 bravery, 15 stamina, 15 work rate

Value: £4.4 million

Wage: £5,000 a week

Oliver Skipp has been with Spurs since 2013 and got his debut with them in 2018 in the EFL Cup. Since then he has played in 10 Premier League games to date but is yet to score for Spurs. He has also made it to the England U21 side.

Skipp’s 17 bravery stands out among his stats, but with 15 stamina, 15 work rate, and 14 tackling he is already a solid defensive player that can push toward that 160 PA cap with time.

Ousmane Diakite (CA 116 – PA 130-160)

Age: 18

Position(s): DM

Club: SCR Altach (On loan from RB Salzburg)

Country: Mali

Best Attributes: 15 acceleration, 14 pace, 14 work rate

Value: £325,000

Wage: £650 a week

Ousmane Diakite arrived at RB Salzburg in 2018 and was soon sent out on loan. He spent the 2018-19 season with FC Liefering and this year is with Rheindorf Altach. Diakite has also progressed to the Mali U20 side.

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With 14 teamwork, 14 work rate, and 12 passing Diakite is more of a base for attacking than a true defensive player. His 8 tackling is pretty poor, but with 15 acceleration and 14 pace he can get around the pitch. His 160 PA cap will be tough to reach until his more defensive stats improve.

All the best wonderkid defensive midfielders (DM)

Florentino LuísDM, M (C)19SLBPortugal140172£14.75m£5k
Sandro TonaliDM, M (C)19BresciaItaly125<180£8.25m£7.75k
Marcos AntônioDM, M (C)19ShakhtarBrazil120<170£4.8m£8k
Victor BobsinDM19GREBrazil111<170£200k£3.2k
Marco KanaD (C), DM16AnderlechtBelgium108<170£1.4m£650
Claudio GomesDM18PSV (On loan from Man City)France95<170£575k£20k
Nohan KennehDM, M (C)16LeedsEngland89<170£190k£120
Gustavo AssunçãoDM, M (C)19FamalicãoBrazil115155£1.1m£1.1k
Oliver SkippDM, M (C)18TottenhamEngland116<160£4.4m£5k
Ousmane DiakitéDM18SCR Altach*Mali116<160£325k£650
Ludovit ReisDM, M (C)19Barcelona BHolland110<160£725k£5.75k
Han-Noah MassengoDM, M (C)17Bristol CityFrance106<160£1.6m£5k
Bruno GomesDM18VDGBrazil102<160£20.5k£450
Caio LopesDM18VDGBrazil101<160£20.5k£375
José GrageraDM, M (C)19S. Gijón BSpain99<160£205k£1.5k
Unai VencedorDM, M (C)18Atletico BilbaoSpain97<160£250k£1.6k
Lucas Gourna DouathDM, M (C)15AS Saint-EtienneFrance78<160£74k£60
Andrea GhionDM, M (C)19SassuoloItaly78<160£51k£575

*Player on loan

READ MORE: All the best wonderkid Goalkeepers to sign on Football Manager 2020

Toby Durant