Football Manager 2019: Best Bargain Central & Defensive Midfielders

Depth in midfield is vital to the success of a team, but that can be expensive. Who are the best cheap midfielders in FM19?


Central midfielders are the heartbeat of a team, moving the ball forward in possession and making crucial passes but also helping in defensive situations, tracking runners and closing down space. Any squad that wants to compete for trophies needs to have a deep selection of central and defensive midfielders to rotate through the team.

How to find the best bargain defensive & central midfielders in Football Manager 2019

This article will look at the best bargain defensive and central midfielders in FM19. These players are natural at either position and can be bought for an initial fee of £5 million or less. They have a current ability of at least 131, making them solid squad players for nearly every club side around. Who are they? Let’s start with the five biggest bargains at defensive midfield.

For a full list of ALL the best bargain defensive & central midfielders in FM19, see the tables at the bottom of the page.

Adilson (CA 135 – PA 140)

Age: 31

Position: DM

Club: ATM

Country: Brazil

Best Attributes: Bravery (17), Work Rate (16), Tackling (15)

Value: £1.6 million

Wage: £9,250 a week

Adilson started his career with Gremio, getting his debut with the team in 2007. He played over 100 games for them before moving to Russia in 2012. After five years he returned to Brazil with Atletico Mineiro.

In FM 19 Adilson is a good athlete (14 natural fitness, 14 strength, 13 acceleration, 12 pace) with very good mental attributes (17 bravery, 16 work rate, 15 positioning, 15 concentration). He is very strong defensively (15 marking, 15 tackling) and is solid on the ball too (14 first touch, 12 technique, 11 passing).

Christian Gentner (CA 135 – PA 143)

Age: 32

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: Stuttgart

Country: Germany

Best Attributes: Work Rate (17), Natural Fitness (17), Teamwork (16)

Value: £2.6 million

Wage: £38,000 a week

Christian Gentner started his career with Stuttgart, getting his debut in February 2005. He played for the first team nearly 50 times before moving to Wolfsburg on a £2.3 million deal. He lasted there just three years before moving back to Stuttgart on a free transfer in 2010.

In FM 19 Gentner is a good midfielder who can run for days (17 natural fitness, 16 stamina). He has great mental attributes that help him diagnose attacks (17 work rate, 16 teamwork, 14 off the ball) and can keep the ball moving in possession too (14 technique, 14 first touch, 13 passing).

Javi Fuego (CA 135 – PA 145)

Age: 34

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: Villarreal

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: Teamwork (18), Work Rate (17), Positioning (16)

Value: £625,000

Wage: £22,500 a week

Javi Fuego started his career with Sporting Gijon, getting his debut in 2002. He played over 100 games for them before moving to Levante in 2007, but it wasn’t a move that would stick. He’d head to Recreativo in 2008 and then Ray Vallecano in 2010. There he amassed another 100 games before moving on and eventually landing with Villarreal in 2018.

In FM 19 Fuego is a good athlete despite his age (15 stamina, 13 strength, 12 pace) and has several terrific mental attributes (18 teamwork, 17 work rate, 16 positioning) that help him defensively. He can break up opposing attacks (14 tackling, 13 marking) and help launch his team forward (13 passing, 13 first touch, 12 technique).

Atiba Hutchinson (CA 135 – PA 140)

Age: 35

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: Besiktas

Country: Canada

Best Attributes: Teamwork (20), Positioning (19), Anticipation (18)

Value: £800,000

Wage: £16,750 a week

Atiba Hutchinson started his career with York Region Shooters in Canada in 2002, and first came to Europe with Swedish club Oster in 2003. He made a name for himself with Copenhagen, who he joined in 2006, and played nearly 200 games with. After a brief stint with PSV Eindhoven he joined Besiktas in 2013 and still plays there today.

In FM 19 Hutchinson has some of the best mental attributes you can find (20 teamwork, 19 positioning, 18 anticipation, 18 concentration) that underpins his play. He is still a reasonable athlete (16 natural fitness, 14 agility, 14 balance) and is good both defensively (12 marking, 12 tackling) and on the ball (12 passing, 12 technique).

Lassana Diarra (CA 135 – PA 140)

Age: 33

Position: DM

Club: Paris Saint-Germain

Country: France

Best Attributes: Determination (19), Natural Fitness (18), Work Rate (16)

Value: £2.2 million

Wage: £69,000 a week

Lassana Diarra started his career with Le Havre but quickly moved to Chelsea in 2005 where he showed he could play at the highest level. After moving around in England he joined Real Madrid in 2009 and played over 100 games for them. Since leaving them in 2012 he has played in Russia and Abu Dhabi before moving back to France and is now with PSG.

In FM 19 Diarra is still a very good defender (15 tackling, 13 marking) with some excellent mental attributes (19 determination, 16 teamwork, 16 work rate). He can keep the ball moving in possession (13 passing, 13 first touch, 12 technique) and still run all day (18 natural fitness, 15 stamina).

Gabi (CA 146 – PA 159)

Age: 34

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: Al-Sadd

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: Concentration (18), Work Rate (16), Concentration (16)

Value: £2.3 million

Wage: £65,000 a week

Gabi started his career with Atletico Madrid and debuted with them in 2004. He struggled to break into the first team though, and after a loan spell with Getafe he moved to Real Zaragoza. After four strong years with them he had shown his quality and returned to Atletico Madrid where he played 350 games, leaving this summer for Al-Sadd in Qatar.

In FM 19 Gabi is a terrific distributor of the ball (15 passing, 14 technique, 12 vision). He is very strong mentally (18 leadership, 18 concentration, 16 composure, 16 work rate) and still has solid athleticism (15 strength, 14 natural fitness, 13 stamina). Gabi can also threaten from set pieces (15 corners, 13 free kick taking)

Xavi (CA 145 – PA 184)

Age: 38

Position: M (C)

Club: Al-Sadd

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: Vision (20), Passing (20), Decisions (20)

Value: £1.3 million

Wage: £170,000 a week

Xavi came up through the Barcelona youth system and was part of the team that reinvigorated the Catalan giant, spurring them on to greatness at every level. He played over 700 games with Barcelona winning 8 La Liga titles and 4 Champions league trophies as well as Euro 2008 & 2012 and the 2010 World Cup with Spain.

In Football Manager 2019 Xavi is still a genius (20 vision, 20 decisions, 19 anticipation). He is still terrific on the ball (20 passing, 19 first touch, 18 technique) and can find teammates with ease. His athleticism is all gone (7 pace, 7 acceleration) and you may only get a year out of him, but if you need someone to distribute the ball, then Xavi is your man.

Fernando Belluschi (CA 140 – PA 146)

Age: 34

Position: M (C)

Club: San Lorenzo

Country: Argentina

Best Attributes: Flair (17), Technique (17), Vision (17)

Value: £300,000

Wage: £5,000 a week

Fernando Belluschi started his career with Newell’s Old Boys in 2002 before moving to River Plate in 2005. In 2007 he moved to Europe with Olympiacos. He soon moved to Porto but didn’t really stick there either. In 2016 he moved back to Argentina with San Lorenzo.

In FM 19 Belluschi is a remarkably creative player (17 flair, 17 vision, 17 technique, 16 passing). He can take on defenders (16 first touch, 15 dribbling) and threaten the goal too (15 long shots, 15 free kick taking)

Christian Noboa (CA 137 – PA 140)

Age: 33

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: Zenit

Country: Ecuador

Best Attributes: Vision (15), Teamwork (15), Composure (15)

Value: £3.2 million

Wage: £34,500 a week

Christian Noboa started his career with Emelec in Ecuador, getting his debut in 2004. He moved to Russian side Rubin Kazan in 2007 and then Dynamo Moscow in 2012. He arrived with Zenit St. Petersburg in 2017 and has amassed over 70 caps for Ecuador.

In FM 19 Noboa is a hard-working midfielder with great mental attributes (15 teamwork, 15 vision, 15 composure). He can help defensively (13 positioning, 12 marking, 11 tackling) and move the ball (14 technique, 13 passing). He has good speed for a central player (14 pace, 14 stamina, 13 acceleration) and run at defenders with the ball too (13 dribbling).

Fran Rico (CA 135 – PA 141)

Age: 30

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: Granada

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: Teamwork (16), Vision (16), Decisions (16)

Value: £3.3 million

Wage: £10,250 a week

Fran Rico started his career with Pontevedra in 2005 but moved to Real Madrid in 2008. He never got a first team appearance however, and moved to Granada in 2011 where he’s played over 100 games, but he has spent the last two years on loan with Eibar.

In FM 19 Rico is a quality midfield option. He has terrific mental attributes to pick apart the opposition (16 vision, 16 decisions, 16 teamwork) and the technical ability to match (16 first touch, 15 passing, 15 technique). He has reasonable athleticism too (13 stamina, 13 balance, 12 agility).

All the best bargain defensive midfielders on Football Manager 2019

NamePosClubCountryAgeCAPAValueWage
AdilsonDMATMBrazil31135140£1.6m£9.25k
Christian GentnerDM, M (C)VfB StuttgartGermany32135143£2.6m£38k
Javi FuegoDM, M (C)VillarrealSpain34135145£625k£22.5k
Atiba HutchinsonDM, M (C)BeşiktaşCanada35135140£800k£16.75k
Lassana DiarraDMParis SGFrance33135140£2.2m£69k
Pablo GuiñazúDM, M (C)Talleres Cba.Argentina39135148£425k£3k
Jesús MolinaDMMonterreyMexico30134142£3.8m£15.5k
MichelDM, M (C)GREBrazil28134142£2.6m£8.75k
Igor ZubeldiaDM, M (C)Real San SebastianSpain21134142£1.7m£10k
Marcos LlorenteDM, M (C)R. MadridSpain23134155£2.9m£20k
HudsonD (R), WB (R), DM, M (C)SPOBrazil30134136£2.4m£4.7k
Daniel TorresDM, M (C)AlavésColombia28134145£3.8m£17k
RithelyDM, M (C)INTBrazil27133135£3.1m£9k
Pape DiopDM, M (C)EibarSenegal32133144£2.1m£16.75k
GabrielDM, M (C)CORBrazil25133143£2.2m£7.5k
Makoto HasebeD (C), DM, M (C)Eintracht FrankfurtJapan34133135£625k£18k
Miguel VelosoDM, M (C)GenoaPortugal32132148£3.8m£18k
Leonardo PonzioDM, M (C)RiverArgentina36132144£575k£3.8k
Lucas SilvaDM, M (C)CECBrazil25132151£3.4m£34.5k
Tomas SoucekDM, M (C)Slavia PragueCzech Republic23132145£1.7m£3.1k
AlisonDMSANBrazil25132138£2.3m£5.5k
Víctor CamarasaDM, M (C)CardiffSpain24132145£3.8m£16.25k
Stijn SchaarsDM, M (C)SC HeerenveenHolland34132135£425k£5k
Robert PirisDMFLAParaguay23132142£1.2m£5.5k
Patrik HrosovskyDM, M (C)Viktoria PlzenSlovakia26131132£3.6m£5.25k
Alfred N’DiayeDM, M (C)MálagaSenegal28131140£3.3m£29k
HenriqueDM, M (C)CECBrazil33131143£1m£13k
MarkelDMGetafeSpain32131139£1.9m£7k
Igor DenisovDM, M (C)Lokomotiv MoscowRussia34131144£500k£29.5k
Riccardo MontolivoDM, M (C)MilanItaly33131156£1.6m£80k
Matheus FernandesDM, M (C)BOTBrazil19131150£1.6m£5.5k
Íñigo EguarasDM, M (C)ZaragozaSpain26131139£1.2m£6.25k
Stéphane MbiaD (C), DM, M (C)Toulouse FCCameroon32131148£3.2m£22.5k

All the best bargain central midfielders on Football Manager 2019

NamePosClubCountryAgeCAPAValueWage
GabiDM, M (C)Al-SaddSpain34146159£2.3m£65k
XaviM (C)Al-SaddSpain38145184£1.3m£170k
Fernando BelluschiM (C)San LorenzoArgentina34140146£300k£5k
Christian NoboaDM, M (C)ZenitEcuador33137140£3.2m£34.5k
Fran RicoDM, M (C)GranadaSpain30135141£3.3m£10.25k
Neri CardozoAM (L), M (LC)Racing ClubArgentina31135140£3.7m£9.5k
Andreas SamarisDM, M (C)SLBGreece29135145£1.9m£41k
Diego ValeriAM (C), M (RLC)PortlandArgentina32135139£2.7m£35k
Rubén PardoM (C)Real San SebastianSpain25135149£3.8m£6.8k
Bibras NatkhoDM, M (C)OlympiakosIsrael30135140£2.7m£28k
Yaya TouréDM, AM (C), M (C)OlympiakosIvory Coast35135175£750k£74k
André HortaAM (LC), M (C)LAFCPortugal21134160£2.5m£26k
Bruno HenriqueDM, M (C)SEPBrazil28134137£2.7m£9k
MoisésAM (C), M (C)SEPBrazil30134140£3.1m£9k
PatrickAM (LC), M (C)INTBrazil25134137£3.7m£8k
Gustavo BlancoDM, AM (C), M (C)ATMBrazil23134148£3.6m£7.5k
Guido RodríguezDM, M (C)AméricaArgentina24133146£3m£14k
Adrián GonzálezM (C)MálagaSpain30133133£3.9m£20k
Roberto TorresAM (C), M (C)Atletico PamplonaSpain29133139£2.9m£11k
Sebastian RodeDM, M (C)Borussia DortmundGermany27133144£3.9m£51.5k
Daler KuzyayevDM, M (RC)ZenitRussia25133140£3.3m£26.5k
Édgar BarretoDM, M (C)SampdoriaParaguay33133140£1.3m£21k
Gaku ShibasakiAM (LC), M (C)GetafeJapan26133144£3.8m£18k
Dennis AogoD (L), DM, M (C)VfB StuttgartGermany31133141£3.6m£26k

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Toby Durant

Deputy Editor at RealSport. A life-long gamer, I have been with RealSport since 2016 and spent time covering the world of Formula 1, NFL, and football for the site before expanding into esports.

 

I lead the site's coverage of motorsport titles with a particular focus on Formula 1. I also lead RealSport's Madden content while occasionally dipping my toe into Football Manager and esports coverage of Gfinity Series events.

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