Spain has produced the likes of Fernando Hierro, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos over the past few decades, and there looks to be no sign of that conveyor belt stopping any time soon. Judging by FIFA 17, the Spanish look to have a wealth of young players coming through, and with the national team going through a rough patch, it may not be long before they get their time on the international stage. RealSport brings you the top young Spanish defenders on FIFA 17 Career Mode.
Diego Llorente (OVR 78 – POT 86)
Not a name you will be familiar with, but Diego Llorente is a contender to take over the reins from Gerard Pique or Sergio Ramos in the Spanish starting eleven, after making his debut for his country back in May. The 22-year-old is on loan at Malaga from Real Madrid, and it was a successful spell at Rayo Vallecano last season that thrust him into the limelight. The centre-back, defensive midfielder or right back made 33 appearances last season, scoring twice, and already has a goal in his first eight games for Malaga this season. On FIFA 17 he offers 82 interceptions, 81 sliding tackles and 80 standing tackles, making him very reliable at the back. With him being on loan, you won’t be able to sign him for a year, but after a season’s growth, he will be a top player. He will probably be worth around £20 million, but his starting wages of just £720 make him worth going for.
Jesus Vallejo (OVR 73 – POT 86)
Another loan star from Real Madrid is 19-year-old Jesus Vallejo, who is on loan at German side Eintracht Frankfurt. After a superb season for Real Zaragoza, Vallejo moved to Real Madrid for a fee of £5 million but was loaned back to Zaragoza. His career continues to head in the right direction out in Germany, picking up six appearances in the Bundesliga and progressing through to the Spanish U21 side. He has 79-rated standing tackles, 76 sliding tackles and 75 jumping on FIFA 17, and after that first season, you may only need £15 million or less to sign him, with £4,000 for his wages.
Jorge Mere (OVR 76 – POT 84)
Sporting Gijon warded off relegation by just a single point last season, and they can thank 19-year-old Jorge Mere for keeping them up. The centre-back became a regular for the club in his debut season, making 25 appearances and averaging four clearances a game. On FIFA 17 he brings 81 sliding tackles, 80 jumping and 78 marking. He can be yours for around £10 million, which is a superb investment considering his potential growth, with his starting wages are only £720.
Aritz Elustondo (OVR 76 – POT 84)
Moving away from the central defence we have Real Sociedad right back Aritz Elustondo. The 22-year-old has been a sure starter for the past two seasons, earning him a call-up to the Spanish U21 side this year. In his 31 appearances La Liga appearances last year he had a passing percentage of 78%, so he is a player of the typical Spanish mould. He has 81 stamina, 79 sliding tackles and 78 marking on FIFA 17, meaning he covers the basics well. With a long contract running until 2020, you will need to spend around £15 million to sign him, but his £720 starting wages could tempt you to make the long term investment.
Juan Bernat (OVR 79 – POT 83)
If it hadn’t been for David Alaba, Juan Bernat would have more than his 79 appearances for Bayern Munich over the past three seasons, but there is still no doubting his ability. He is a typical full-back who charges up and down the flank, and his ability had caused former manager Pep Guardiola to sometimes move Alaba (FIFA 17 rating 87) into central defence or into midfield. Still only 23 years old, the former Valencia man will be confident he can add to his 7 Spain caps, especially with the ability of Barcelona’s Jordi Alba starting to drop. The left back or left midfielder can be yours for around £17 million with £43,000 wages.
Jonny (OVR 77 – POT 83)
Having a player who can operate anywhere in defence is always useful for any manager, and something Sir Alex Ferguson loved at Manchester United with John O’Shea and Phillip Neville (who both also played in midfield). In Spain, they have Celta Vigo man Jonny, who, at the age of just 22, has played over 100 games for his club. He is another man who has worked his way up the Spanish youth ranks and has been regular for the U21s ever since 2014. With Cesar Azpilicueta, Dani Carvajal, Juanfran and Hector Bellerin all in front of him in the national squad pecking order, he will have to be patient, but if he continues his rise, he may just get his chance. He could cost just £10 million of FIFA 17 Career Mode with £14,000 wages. For that price, you will receive 87 stamina, 82 sliding tackles, 80 aggression and 80 marking.
Javier Manquillo (OVR 76 – POT 83)
Javier Manquillo didn’t get many opportunities at Liverpool a couple of years ago, but a loan to Marseille last season has got his career back on track. The Atletico Madrid man is once again out on loan, this time at Premier League side Sunderland, and although they are struggling, he is featuring regularly. The 22-year-old can operate as a right or left back, and with 89 stamina, 92 acceleration, and 78 standing tackles, he is a reliable defender. After this year, he will only have one season to go at Atletico, and if Sunderland don’t sign him permanently, he can be yours for as little as £6 million, with reasonable wages of £11,000.
Adrian Marin (OVR 73 – POT 83)
Despite never receiving regular first team action, 19-year-old Adrian Marin has a growing reputation. 13 appearances for Villarreal last season, earned him a loan move to promoted side Leganes. He is yet to get regular minutes for his new side, but expect his name to feature more regularly in the starting line-up as the season goes on. The left back or left midfielder has 77 interceptions, 76 sliding tackles and 75 crossing on FIFA 17, which could be yours for £7 million or less after the first season. His starting wages of £720 should tempt you to make the move.
Saul (OVR 71 – POT 83)
Our only player from the Spanish second division is Girona left back or wing-back Saul Garcia. The 21-year-old is on loan from Deportivo La Coruna, but after successful loan spells at Racing Santander and Tenerife, it won’t be long before he gets his opportunity in La Liga. He has 78 stamina, 74 crossing, 72 acceleration and 72 interceptions on FIFA 17, indicating that he has potential. You can sign him for as little as £5.5 million after the first season in career mode, with rock bottom wages of £720 per week.
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