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

Not sure who to go for in the engine room? Have a look at ALL the best midfielders (CM, CDM and CAM) on FM 19 to run the show for your team.


Midfielders are the key to the team, they dictate the tempo to the game. Having quality in the centre of the park is vital, with these men starting attacking moves, creating goal scoring opportunities and protecting the defence when out of possession.

On FM19 they should be your main focus, especially with so many roles for you to choose in the attacking midfield (AMC), central midfield (MC) and defensive midfield (DM) positions. 

RealSport runs through the best five players on the game in each of the midfield areas as you decide which one is the best fit for your club on FM this year. 

Attacking midfielders (AMC)

The most glamorous position on the pitch, the number 10, the playmaker, the trequartista, it’s highly important you have someone who can perform as an attacking midfielder in your squad. If you play the now common 4-2-3-1 formation, he will be the star of your team. 

Kevin De Bruyne (CA 186 – PA 186)

Age: 26

Positions: AM (C), M (RC)

Club: Manchester City

Country: Belgium

Best stats: 19 vision, 19 passing, 18 first touch

Value: £80 million

Wage: £230,000 a week

Equally adept as an attacking or central midfielder, Kevin De Bruyne is the best player in the middle of the park on FM 19. The Belgian had a fantastic campaign for Manchester City last season, picking up 16 assists and eight goals as he claimed his first Premier League title.

The 26-year-old De Bruyne has stats of 19 vision, 19 passing, 18 first touch to take him to a 186 CA on the game, which has reached its potential. You will need a substantial bid to claim the former Chelsea and Wolfsburg star, with a value of £80 million and wages of £230,000 a week. 

David Silva (CA 179 – PA 179)

Age: 32

Positions: AM (C), M (C)

Club: Manchester City

Country: Spain

Best stats: 19 vision, 19 first touch, 19 balance

Value: £66.6 million

Wage: £160,000 a week

David Silva follows his Manchester City teammate Kevin De Bruyne as the second best midfielder on the Football Manager 2019. Just like KDB, Silva has transitioned from an attacking to a central midfielder under manager Pep Guardiola, to great effect with the Spaniard bagging nine goals and 11 assists in the league last season.

World Cup winner Silva has a peaked 179 CA on the game, containing stats of 19 vision, 19 first touch and 19 balance. His value of £66.6 million is a lot for a 32-year-old, and that is on top of his £160,000 a week wages. 

Paulo Dybala (CA 174 – PA 185)

Age: 24

Positions: AM (C), ST

Club: Juventus

Country: Argentina

Best stats: 19 technique, 18 first touch, 18 free kick training

Value: £70 million

Wage: £224,000 a week

Paulo Dybala is a goal scoring number 10, so much so that he has spent much of his career playing as a striker. Aged 24, this could be the season the Argentine gets global recognition, held back by failing to score for the national team in 16 caps despite bagging 73 in 150 games for Juventus.

Dybala has abilities of 19 technique, 18 first touch and 18 free kick taking to lift his CA to 174, which can rise to a fantastic potential of 185. Valued at £70 million, La Joya will be tough to snatch from Juve’s grasp especially with wages of 224,000 a week. 

Christian Eriksen (CA 174 – PA 179)

Age: 26

Positions: AM (LC), M (C)

Club: Tottenham

Country: Denmark

Best stats: 19 natural fitness, 19 stamina, 19 temperament

Value: £65 million

Wage: £75,000 a week

Christian Eriksen is probably the first traditional number 10 we have seen, with the Tottenham star an expert playmaker. He has spent a lot of time for Spurs on the flanks, to accommodate teammate Dele Alli, but that has not stopped him bagging 41 goals and setting up a further 54 in just over four seasons in North London.

Aged 26, Eriksen’s 174 current ability rating can still rise to a 179 potential, so his 19 natural fitness, 19 stamina and 19 temperament will receive greater support. His value of £65 million may rule out any immediate signing, but you could tempt him with wages higher than his current £75,000 a week. 

Isco (CA 173 – PA 180)

Age: 26

Positions: AM (LRC), M (RL)

Club: Real Madrid

Country: Spain

Best stats: 18 dribbling, 18 flair, 18 technique

Value: £69 million

Wage: £404,000 a week

A fantastic player to watch, Isco is sensational with the ball at his feet. The Spaniard is another man often set out wide however, with Real Madrid opting for the more balanced trio of Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in their first team. 

Isco is just about to enter his peak aged 26, so look to take advantage of his 173 CA and 180 potential. 18 dribbling, 18 flair and 18 technique value him at £69 million but with colossal wages of £404,000 a week on FM 19. 

All the best attacking midfielders (AMC) on Football Manager 2019

PlayerAPosClubCountryCAPAVW
Kevin De Bruyne26AM (C)
M (RC)
Man CityBelgium186186£80m£230k
David Silva32AM (C)
M (C)
Man CitySpain179179£67m£160k
Christian Eriksen26AM (LC)
M (C)
TottenhamDenmark174179£65m£74k
Paulo Dybala24AM (C)
ST
JuventusArgentina174185£69m£223k
Isco26AM (LRC)
M (RL)
R. MadridSpain173180£70m£219k
James Rodriguez26AM (LC)
M (LC)
BayernColombia166172£60m£224k
Mesut Ozil29AM (LRC)ArsenalGermany162180£58m£350k
Bernardo Silva23AM (RC)
M (C)
Man CityPortugal161170£52m£100k
Dele Alli22AM (LRC)
M (C)
ST
SpursEngland158176£44m£600k
Marco Asensio22AM (LRC)
M (C)
R. MadridSpain157185£52m£144k
Henrikh Mkhitaryan29AM (LRC)
M (R)
ArsenalArmenia156165£48m£200k
Adam Lallana30AM (LRC)
M (C)
LiverpoolEngland156159£50m£110k
Nabil Fekir24AM (LRC)
ST
LyonFrance155165£39m£62k
Luis Alberto25AM (C)
M (C)
LazioSpain154159£36m£48k
Juan Mata30AM (RC)Man UnitedSpain152174£33m£160k
Raul Garcia31AM (C)
M (R)
Athletic BilbaoSpain152153£10m£100k
Bruno Fernandes23AM (C)
M (C)
SportingPortugal152161£16m£49k
Jesse Lingard25AM (LRC)
M (L)
Man UnitedEngland152158£37m£75k
Ever Banega29AM (C)
M (C)
SevillaArgentina152161£23m£111k
Mario Gotze26AM (C)
M (C)
ST
Borussia DortmundGermany151173£29m £172k
Dimitri Payet31AM (LC)MarseilleFrance150154£24m£124k
Shinji Kagawa29AM (C)
M (C)
Borussia DortmundJapan150157£19m£69k
Javier Pastore29AM (C)
M (C)
RomaArgentina150154£25m£112k
Talisca24AM (C)GuangzhouBrazil150161£12m£19k

Central midfielders (MC)

Central midfielders have the toughest task on the pitch, having to help create chances as well as deny the opposition from hurting the defence. So many skills are needed, but positioning is vital to make it in the engine room. 

Luka Modric (CA 178 – PA 180)

Age: 32

Positions: M (C) 

Club: Real Madrid

Country: Croatia

Best stats: 19 passing, 18 vision, 18 decisions

Value: £59.3 million

Wage: £322,000 a week

Luka Modric operated close to a number 10 back at Tottenham, but the 32-year-old has been transformed into one of the finest all-round midfielders on the planet at Real Madrid. After claiming his fourth Champions League title and dragging Croatia to a first ever World Cup final (and winning the Golden Ball), Modric won the FIFA Best Men’s Award, the first to win the prize or equivalent outside of Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi since Kaka in 2007. 

Modric has 19 passing, 18 vision and 18 decisions on the FM 19 to take his current ability rating to 178 just two off his 180 potential. At the age of 32, his £59.3 million value may be a bit steep, let alone his £322,000 a week wages so a signing appears unlikely. 

Paul Pogba (CA 174 – PA 185)

Age: 25

Positions: AM (C), M (C)

Club: Manchester United

Country: France

Best stats: 19 flair, 19 ambition, 18 passing

Value: £66.4 million

Wage: £200,000 a week

When Paul Pogba is at the top of his game, he is the best midfielder on the planet. It was seen in flashes during the World Cup, but the world champion is often suffocated at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho, and we have rarely seen the £89 million player they signed from Juventus.

A 174 CA for Pogba can still improve to a 185 PA, with the French amazingly only 25 years’ old. 19 flair, 19 ambition and 18 passing are superb attributes, and with a £66.4 million and £200,000 a week wages, a transfer in the near future is not out of the question. 

Toni Kroos (CA 170 – PA 176)

Age: 28

Positions: DM, M (C)

Club: Real Madrid

Country: Germany

Best stats: 20 passing, 19 decisions, 18 vision 

Value: £61.8 million

Wage: £345,000 a week

A fantastic ball player with terrific vision, Toni Kroos has seemingly done it all in football aged only 28. The Real Madrid star has won four Champions Leagues, three Bundesligas, one La Liga and the World Cup, and will certainly go down as one of the most decorated players in history. 

Former Bayern man Kroos’ abilities of 20 passing, 19 decisions and 18 vision scream of a player who will conduct things in the middle of the park. His 170 CA can still improve to a 176 potential, valuing him at £61.8 million but with hefty wages of £345,000 a week. 

Miralem Pjanic (CA 169 – PA 173)

Age: 28

Positions: DM, M (C)

Club: Juventus

Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Best stats: 19 freekick taking, 18 passing, 18 anticipation

Value: £60.4 million

Wage: £208,000 a week

Of a similar mould is Miralem Pjanic, who although isn’t quite a defensive midfielder, loves to operate from deeper areas. At Roma, the Bosnian scored 30 goals and added 46 assists, before sealing a bargain £29 million move to Juventus where he has added silverware, with two Serie A titles and two Coppa Italias in his first two seasons. 

Pjanic, 28, is valued at £60.4 million on FM 19, with wages of £208,000 a week putting a possible move in the balance. 19 free kick taking, 18 passing and 18 anticipation take him to a 169 potential ability score, closing in on a 173 potential. 

Radja Nainggolan (CA 167 – PA 170)

Age: 30

Positions: AM (C), M (C)

Club: Inter Milan

Country: Belgium

Best stats: 20 bravery, 19 determination, 18 work rate

Value: £58 million

Wage: £144,000 a week

A versatile midfielder, Radja Nainggolan has operated as an attacking, central and defensive mid during his career. The Belgian made the big switch from Roma to Inter Milan over the summer, in search of some first career silverware aged 30. 

Nainggolan’s 20 bravery, 19 determination and 18 work rate lift him to a 167 CA, which may be able to lean back toward a 170 potential. His recent move coupled with his £58 million value and £144,000 a week wages makes a transfer in the near future unlikely. 

All the best central midfielders (MC) on Football Manager 2019

PlayerAPosClubCountryCAPAVW
Kevin De Bruyne26AM (C)
M (RC)
Man CityBelgium186186£80m£230k
David Silva32AM (C)
M (C)
Man CitySpain179179£67m£160k
Luka Modric32M (C)R. MadridCroatia178180£59m£322k
Christian Eriksen26AM (LC)
M (C)
SpursDenmark174179£65m£75k
Paul Pogba25AM (C)
M (C)
Man UtdFrance174185£66m£200k
Toni Kroos28DM
M (C)
R. MadridGermany170176£62m£345k
Miralem Pjanic28DM
M (C)
JuventusBosnia169173£60m£208k
Thiago27DM
AM (C)
M (C)
BayernSpain167173£58m£206k
Radja Nainggolan30AM (C)
M (C)
Inter MilanBelgium167170£58m144k
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic23AM (C)
M (C)
LazioSerbia166184£57m£96k
Fernandinho33DM
M (C)
Man CityBrazil165165£32m£180k
Arturo Vidal31DM
M (C)
BarcelonaChile165176£50m£155k
Ivan Rakitic30AM (C)
M (C)
BarcelonaCroatia165168£56m£231k
N’Golo Kante27DM
M (C)
ChelseaFrance164164£62m£150k
Koke26M (RLC)A. MadridSpain163169£52m£275k
Marek Hamsik30AM (C)
M (C)
NapoliSlovakia162170£52m£112k
Mateo Kovacic24DM
M (C)
ChelseaCroatia162172£49m£107k
Marco Verratti25DM
M (C)
PSGItaly161164£51m£124k
Ilkay Gundogan27AM (C)
M (C)
Man CityGermany161167£40m£140k
Sergi Roberto26D (R)
WB (R)
DM
M (RC)
BarcelonaSpain160167£49m£172k
Sami Khedira31DM
M (C)
JuventusGermany159167£42m£128k
Blaise Matuidi31DM
M (LC)
JuventusFrance159161£42m£128k
Axel Witsel29DM
M (C)
Borussia DortmundBelgium159170£33m£129k
Allan27DM
M (C)
NapoliBrazil157158£42m£64k
Jorginho26DM
M (C)
ChelseaItaly157162£44m£110k
Saul23DM
M (RC)
A. MadridSpain157169£39m£207k
Cesc Fabregas31AM (C)
M (C)
ChelseaSpain156174£38m£207k
James Milner32WB (L)
AM (LR)
M (RLC)
LiverpoolEngland156157£23m£140k
Geoffrey Kondogbia25DM
M (C)
ValenciaCAR156165£32m£112k
Naby Keita23DM
AM (C)
M (C)
LiverpoolGuinea155170£39m£120k
Mousa Dembele30DM
M (C)
SpursBelgium154155£26m£55k
Adrien Rabiot23M (C)PSGFrance154165£29m£52k
Dani Parejo29DM
AM (C)
M (C)
ValenciaSpain154160£25m£91k
Piotr Zielinski24M (C)NapoliPoland153161£31m£35k
Joao Moutinho31AM (C)
M (C)
WolvesPortugal152154£30m£100k
Paulinho29M (C)GuangzhouBrazil152154£15m£148k
Corentin Tolisso23DM
M (C)
BayernFrance152165£30m£121k
Arthur21M (C)BarcelonaBrazil152175£32m£85k
Bruno Fernandes23AM (C)
M (C)
Sporting LisbonPortugal152161£16m£49k
Victor Wanyama27DM
M (C)
SpursKenya152154£26m£65k
Asier Illarramendi28DM
M (C)
Real San Sebastian
(Sociedad)
Spain151155£14m£49k
Lucas Leiva31DM,
M (C)
LazioBrazil151154£24m£73k
Nemanja Matic29DM
M (C)
Man UtdSerbia151168£40m£120k
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain24AM (LR)
M (RC)
LiverpoolEngland151156£29m£120k
Luiz Gustavo30DM
M (C)
MarseilleBrazil151155£28m£103k
Ander Herrera28DM
M (C)
Man UnitedSpain151156£26m£115k
Daniel Wass29D (R)
WB (R)
DM
AM (R)
M (RC)
ValenciaDenmark151155£19m£60k
Kevin Kampl27AM (RC)
M (RC)
RB LeipzigSlovenia150150£26m£60k
Leon Goretzka23DM
AM (C)
M (C)
BayernGermany150173£26m£138k
Georginio Wijnaldum27DM
AM (L)
M (C)
LiverpoolHolland150158£28m£75k
Marcelo Brozovic25DM
AM (C)
M (C)
Inter MilanCroatia150158£23m£80k
Pizzi28AM (LRC), M (C)BenficaPortugal150156£13m£23k
Kevin Strootman28DM
M (C)
MarseilleHolland150162£33m£78k
Giacomo Bonaventura28AM (LC)
M (LC)
AC MilanItaly150155£24m£64k
Charles Aranguiz29DM
M (C)
Bayer LeverkusenChile150150£26m£51k
Sebastian Rudy28DM
M (C)
SchalkeGermany150150£26m£87k

Defensive midfielders (DM)

Defensive midfielders are tasked with an important role, as without them, the defence would be exposed. DMs come in various shapes and sizes, they can be big and bullish, or nimble and agile to close down the opposition and win the ball back. 

Thiago (CA 167 – PA 173)

Age: 27

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

Club: Bayern Munich

Country: Spain

Best stats: 19 vision, 19 first touch, 19 technique

Value: £58 million

Wage: £207,000 a week

Thiago can play both as a defensive or central midfielder on Football Manager 2019, but with his ball skills he will still be an asset going forward in either position. Picked up for Bayern for just £15 million by Pep Guardiola as he took the Spaniard with him from Barcelona, Thiago has been an excellent performer for the Bavarians over his five seasons. With his 165 appearances helping win five Bundesliga titles on the bounce, he also won the Champions League in Spain, but not as a key player, something he will look to correct in Germany. 

Valued at £58 million with wages of £207,000 a week, Thiago could be worth a move for his 19 vision, 19 first touch and 19 technique. Those take his CA to 167 which can improve to a 173 potential. 

Sergio Busquets (CA 166 – PA 171)

Age: 29

Positions: DM (C), M (C)

Club: Barcelona

Country: Spain

Best stats: 19 teamwork, 19 anticipation, 18 decisions

Value: £60.5 million

Wage: £144,000 a week

Having Sergio Busquets in your side is like having an extra centre back in front of the defence, but with exceptional control of the ball. Somehow only 29, the Spaniard has been in the Barcelona first team for a decade, winning seven league titles, three Champions Leagues as well as a World Cup and a European Championship. 

Busquets’ 19 teamwork, 19 anticipation and 18 decisions take him to a 166 CA, which could creep towards a 171 potential. Valued at £60.5 million, having wages of £144,000 a week and being loyal to Barcelona, don’t expect to prize him away from the Nou Camp. 

Fernandinho (CA 165 – PA 165)

Age: 33

Positions: DM (C), M (C)

Club: Manchester City

Country: Brazil

Best stats: 20 loyalty, 20 sportsmanship, 19 adaptability 

Value: £32.5 million

Wage: £180,000 a week

Fernandinho has perhaps been the most improved player under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, with the defensive or central midfielder now regarded as world class despite his age. The 33-year-old looked to be on his way out of the Etihad but earned himself a new contract in January 2018, and is the vital steel that is needed to balance out City’s attacking talents. 

A 165 CA for Fernandinho is at its peak, so you should look to cash in on his 20 loyalty, 20 sportsmanship and 19 adaptability attributes. With a value of £32.5 million and £180,000 a week wages, a move is certainly not out of the question. 

Casemiro (CA 162 – PA 167)

Age: 26

Positions: DM (C), M (C)

Club: Real Madrid

Country: Brazil

Best stats: 19 stamina, 19 work rate, 18 aggression

Value: £49.4 million

Wage: £43,000 a week

Casemiro just edges out Fernandinho for the Brazil national team, with the Real Madrid man enduring a massive turn around in his career. The 26-year-old looked surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu after going out on loan to Porto in 2014, but after Zinedine Zidane stepped in as manager the defensive midfielder was brought into the Real first team to balance out the midfield. Four years later, Casemiro has taken his Champions League tally to four alongside a La Liga triumph in 2017.

Casemiro is only valued at £49.4 million with a £43,000 a week wages, meaning you should jump at the chance to sign him. His 162 CA can still improve to a 167 potential, with his best stats his 19 stamina, 19 work rate and 18 aggression. 

Arturo Vidal (CA 161 – PA 176)

Age: 31

Positions: DM (C), M (C)

Club: Barcelona

Country: Chile

Best stats: 20 determination, 20 work rate, 20 aggression

Value: £50 million

Wage: £155,000 a week

Staying at Barcelona, Arturo Vidal has managed to squeeze in another big move towards the end of his career. Aged 31, the defensive or central midfielder looked past his best in his final season at Bayern Munich, but his experience will be vital in Catalonia with a gradual changing of the guard taking place at Barca. 

Former Juventus man Vidal has 20 determination, 20 work rate and 20 aggression to take him to a 165 CA. This has fallen from his 176 potential, but still values him at £50 million with a £155,000 a week wages. 

All the best defensive midfielders (DM) on Football Manager 2019

Player
A
Pos
Club
Country
CA
PA
V
W
Thiago27DM
AM (C)
M (C)
BayernSpain167173£58m£207k
Sergio Busquets29DM
M (C)
BarcelonaSpain166171£60m£258k
Fernandinho33DM
M (C)
Man CityBrazil165165£32m£180k
Casemiro26DM
M (C)
R. MadridBrazil162167£49m£43k
Arturo Vidal31DM
M (C)
BarcelonaChile161176£50m£155k
Axel Witsel29DM
M (C)
Borussia DortmundBelgium159170£33m£129k
Javi Martinez29D (C)
DM
M (C)
BayernSpain157165£42m£103k
Fabinho24D (R)
DM
M (C)
LiverpoolBrazil157164£42m£100k
Saul23DM
M (RC)
A. MadridSpain157169£39m£207k
Jorginho26DM
M (C)
ChelseaItaly157162£44m£110k
Jordan Henderson28DM
M (C)
LiverpoolEngland156158£35m£140k
Emre Can24DM
M (C)
JuventusGermany155162£37m£160k
Steven Nzonzi29DM
M (C)
RomaFrance153155£31m£00k
Daniele De Rossi34DM
M (C)
RomaItaly152177£5m£96k
Eric Dier24D (C)
DM
M (C)
SpursEngland152162£35m£60k
Victor Wanyama27DM
M (C)
SpursKenya152154£26m£65k
Asier Illarramendi28DM
M (C)
Real San Sebastian
(Sociedad)
Spain151155£14m£49k
Luiz Gustavo30DM
M (C)
MarseilleBrazil151155£28m£103k
Nemanja Matic29DM
M (C)
Man UtdSerbia151168£40m£120k
Lucas Leiva31DM
M (C)
LazioBrazil151154£24m£73k
Bruno34DM
M (C)
VillarrealSpain150155£62m£45k
Ljubomir Fejsa29DM
M (C)
BenficaSerbia150156£13m£37k
Danilo Pereira26DM
M (C)
PortoPortugal150157£13m£33k
William Carvalho26DMReal Hispalis
(Betis)
Portugal150155£15m£53k
Sebastian Rudy28DM
M (C)
SchalkeGermany150150£26m£86k

Looking for the best players?

Football Manager 2019: Best free agents

Football Manager 2019: Best Players

Football Manager 2019: Best Goalkeepers

Football Manager 2019: Best Strikers

Football Manager 2019: Best Centre Backs

Football Manager 2019: Best Right and Left Wingers

Football Manager 2019: Best Left Backs

Football Manager 2019: Best Right Backs

Football Manager 2019: Best Players

Football Manager 2019: Best Bundesliga Players

Football Manager 2019: Best Serie A players

Football Manager 2019: Best Premier League Players

Football Manager 2019: Best La Liga players

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Football Manager 2019 Wonderkids: Best Players to Sign

Football Manager 2019 Wonderkids: Best Strikers to Sign

Football Manager 2019 Wonderkids: Best Midfielders (Attacking, defensive and central) to sign

Football Manager 2019 Wonderkids: Best Right Wingers & Left Wingers to Sign

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

Football Manager 2019 Wonderkids: Best Goalkeepers (GK) to Sign

Looking for bargains?

Football Manager 2019: Best Bargain Left Backs

Football Manager 2019: Best Bargain Right Backs

Football Manager 2019: Best Bargain Centre Backs (CB)

Football Manager 2019: Best Bargain Attacking Midfielders (AMC)

Football Manager 2019: Best Bargain Strikers

Football Manager 2019: Best Bargain Goalkeepers

Looking for the best young players?

Football Manager 2019: Best Young Centre Backs (CB)

Football Manager 2019: Best Young Left Backs (LB)

Football Manager 2019: Best Young Right Backs

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

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Alastair Pusinelli

I am RealSport's Editor-in-Chief having covered almost everything across the board on the platform. Starting with content on football and the Chinese Super League, I have expanded into esports and gaming, via a stint as rugby editor.

With RS now focused on gaming and working alongside Gfinity, I led the site's coverage on the football titles of FIFA, Football Manager and PES. This has enabled me to cover official esports events such as the FIFA eWorld Cup, FUT Champions Cups and the Gfinity FIFA Series.

Elsewhere, I have been published in The Sunday Times and Variety magazine, as well as working in the offices of Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Hampshire CCC.

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