FM 17: Top 10 Bargain Centre Backs

We take a look at the top 10 bargain buy central defenders in the FM 17.

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When looking for a bargain buy player, there are a few factors to consider, e.g. price, age, wages and the ever important attributes. There are different definitions of what constitutes a bargain, especially when considering your team’s financial power, attractiveness to potential players and requirements at the time.

I have defined a bargain in my own unique way as I used the following variables in my estimation; The player age must be 25 or under to allow for further growth with my club, the player must be valued at £2.5m or less as we do not want to break the bank and they must have at least 10 for the following base attributes; positioning, marking and tackling. I have limited the list to 10 players as I wanted to have an assortment of players that may be used in various defensive set ups and teams. I have used a large worldwide database and Arsenal Chief Scout Steve Rowley who boast a score of 20 for both judging player ability and judging player potential.

With all the admin out of the way, let’s get down to the fun stuff with RealSport’s Top 10 bargain buy CB’s in FM 17.

Adam Tzanetopoulos, AEK Athens, (CA 2; PA 3.5)


The 21-year-old Greek is currently plying his trade for AEK Athens in Greece and he is valued at £425k with a £2.6k per week wage demand. With his 3 base attributes registering as positioning (13), marking (14) and tackling (12) respectively he is a great buy. His defensive awareness is his greatest attribute as he scores 15 for anticipation and concentration, when this is combined with his strength (14) makes for a hard-tackling defender that can anticipate passes very well. Perfect for a manager looking for a solid CB to use in a more defensive team that might park the bus more often than not, West Brom being a perfect example.

Pedro Henrique, Vit. Guimaraes, (CA 2; PA 3.5)


The 23-year-old Brazilian from Vit. Guimaraes is valued at £650k with a £1.6k per week wage demand. His base attributes are indicated as positioning (14), marking (15) and tackling (13). When his excellent marking (15) is combined with his bravery (14) and strength (15) he is perfect for using against a target man like Diego Costa or Olivier Giroud. His jumping reach (16) will come in handy when dealing with those pesky crosses to the big front men and he is suited for defences where the wing backs might push forward more often than not, Arsenal comes to mind.

Bartosz Salamon, Cagliari, (CA 2; PA 2)


The 25-year-old, Polish born, Salamon is yet to reach his full potential at Portuguese outfit Cagliari, but this is due to him not getting enough games, a fact that is reflected in his relatively low valuation of £2.5m and wage demands of £9.25k per week. His base stats come in at positioning (14), marking (15) and tackling (13). This paints the picture of a close marking CB that can be used to defend set plays very well. His jumping reach (17), heading (13) and balance (15) put him head and shoulders above any potential aerial threat in the box. A steal for the price tag especially for a side that concedes a lot of free kicks, Stoke might suit this tough tackling CB.

Stipe Vucur, Kaiserslautern, (CA 2; PA 3.5)


As illustrated with the 24-year-old Kaiserslautern defender, the wage demands do not always coincide with the player’s ability. The Austrian is valued at £2.3m with a wage demand of £5.75k per week. The value might be related to his relatively low base stats of positioning (12), marking (13) and tackling (13), but when combined with his heading (16), jumping reach (17) and strength (16) he certainly is a bargain buy. He can be deployed in a 5 player back line where he can easily shut down any balls coming in from the wings; he will be best suited to teams like Hull or Norwich even if he is at the high end of their buying power.

Jack Stephens, Southampton, (CA 2; PA 3)


I would not dare make a list without a local lad being part of the line-up and my choice for a capable homegrown centre-back. The 22-year-old Englishman from the Southampton youth system is valued at £1.9m and has wage demands of £12k per week. He has average base values of positioning (11), marking (12) and tackling (13), which admittedly is not the best, but considering his age and price he is well worth buying and developing further, think Luke Shaw. His passing (12), teamwork (13) and composure (12) makes him perfect for a team looking to play from the back, I have purchased him to add a bit of depth for my Arsenal team. Developing a homegrown player is a personal favourite of mine.

Florentin Pogba, Saint-Etienne, (CA 2; PA 2)


Unlike the record-breaking fee that was paid for his younger brother, Paul Pogba, the 25-year-old, Guinean born, AS Saint-Etienne player is valued at £1.8m with wage demands of £8.5k per week. Much like Jack Stevens he has average base stats of positioning (12), marking (12) and tackling (11) which does not bode well if he is caught marking a pacey player like Alexis Sanchez or Jamie Vardy, but acceleration (15) will aid him greatly when chasing down these type of players and with his bravery (14) and strength (16) he will ensure pacey forwards are tackled when he catches up. He may be best suited for a team that play a high line and track back often, Spurs is a possible destination for this bargain buy.

Frederico Venancio Vitória F.C. (CA 2.5; PA 3.5)


The 21-year-old Portuguese is currently on the books at Vit. Setubal (Vitória F.C) and is valued at £2.5m with a £1.6k per week wage demand. He might seem pricey but considering his base stats are some of the best on this list you can easily see where the value lies. Venancio has positioning (15), marking (15) and tackling (14) which are more than adequate for top defenders at his age. He has room to grow and when you take into account his aggression (17), strength (14) and bravery (14) he can be compared to a young Tony Adams that will get stuck in to opposing forwards and be able to go toe to toe with some of the stronger forwards. A must buy for any team with a smaller backline in need of an enforcer. Swansea could use a man like him.

Bailey Wright, Preston North End, (CA 2.5; PA 2.5)


Australia born and 23 years old, he is another defender that requires maximum investment to the value of £2.5m and 4k per week in wages. Preston North End will be hard fought to retain his services if you request he transfers to your club. His base stats make for good reading as his positioning (14), marking (14) and tackling (14) are all way above our minimum requirement of 10. After looking at his match reports it’s clear he’s a key player in defence as he wins most of his defensive and offensive aerial duels. His heading (15), jumping reach (14) and bravery (14) all combine to make the man from down under a beast in the air. He will be well suited to defences that tend to sit back, defend and don’t mind giving away a free kick. Stoke should be his most likely destination.

Luca Caldirola, Werder Bremen, (CA 2; PA 2)


The 25-year-old Italian is currently playing for Werder Bremen in Germany and is valued at £2.3m with a 13k per week wage demand. His base stats are above average for this list at positioning (15), marking (14) and tackling (14), his greatest attributes are elsewhere however and he scores very high for anticipation (16), concentration (16) and decisions (14). These 3 stats indicate that he is perfect for a role in the centre of defence where he can anticipate where the attacks are coming from and break up the play before it reaches the box. He might even persuade you to play him as a defensive midfielder. His leadership (14) indicates that he might not be the best choice for captain but can certainly lead your defensive line. A player in the same vein as Mustafi for Arsenal he will be a welcome addition to a squad where there is depth needed at CB and DM, he will fit perfectly in a team like Swansea.

Ruben Duarte, Espanyol, (CA 3; PA 5)


Spanish born Duarte is currently playing for Espanyol and the 20-year-old is one for the future with a £2.3m valuation and £10.5k per week wage demand. His base stats are a good foundation to build upon with solid positioning (15), marking (13) and tackling (14) attributes. With a potential ability of 5 he could be one of the best defenders in the game if he is developed by the right team. He is the perfect player for a team that wants to play from the back which can be seen in his passing (13), decisions (13) and first touch (13) stats. He is lacking in aerial ability but would be a great fit next to Virgil van Dijk at Southampton, where his development can continue in all earnest. The perfect buy if you already have a strong defence that may be ageing as he will comfortably fit into any starting XI in the Premier League after about 3-4 years of further development.

This is, of course, a list based on what I feel is the best bargain buy defenders currently available in FM 17. You can filter and change requirements of your scouting based on your specific needs and I will release a full guide on how to scout for the perfect player.

Have any other bargain central defenders that should be on the list? Let us know in the comments below.

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