Skip to main content

FIFA 21: The best young centre-backs to sign in Career Mode

William Saliba
(Image credit: Getty)

Goals win you games but your defence wins you titles. If you’re looking to challenge for some silverware in your FIFA 21 Career Mode you’ll need to invest in your backline.

On that note, here’s a look at 10 centre-backs who are pretty much guaranteed to develop into world-class players and lead you to Career Mode glory.

FIFA 21 The top 125 wonderkids on Career Mode

1. Eduardo Quaresma

FIFA 21

(Image credit: FIFA 21)

Value: £4.6m
Potential: 85

Eduardo Quaresma isn’t famous for rabonas and trivelas, but he’s garnered a reputation as a decent young centre-back with lots of potential to do big things in the future.

Standing at 6ft, he doesn’t have a particularly huge frame, but the Sporting Lisbon star makes up for that with his ability to read the game and make important tackles. He’s currently valued at a paltry £4.6m, it would be wise to make a move for him before that number triples in a couple of years.

2. Fikayo Tomori

FIFA 21

(Image credit: FIFA 21)

Value: £14m
Potential: 85

Despite being highly-rated at Chelsea, Fikayo Tomori has found playing time hard to come by for the Blues in real life - and he’s stuck in a similar situation in career mode.

On that note, if you’ve got room for one more centre-back, you could make a move for Tomori, and help aid his development with more game time. If you’re unable to offer him ample playing time, then you could opt to loan him out - either way, he’s pretty much guaranteed to become a world-class player after a few in-game years.

3. William Saliba

FIFA 21

(Image credit: FIFA 21)

Value: £8.5m
Potential: 87

Few players have enjoyed as much fanfare as William Saliba at Arsenal. The club’s fans view him as the solution to their defensive woes, and he just might be.

FIFA 21 review Have EA created a game better than football in the real world?

Saliba has grown quite a lot since his days in the Ligue 1 with Saint-Etienne, and that growth has been reflected in FIFA 21, as his rating has gone up quite a bit since FIFA 19. Back in FIFA 19, he was rated 56, in FIFA 20, he was rated 71, and now in FIFA 21, he’s rated 74, with lots of potential to grow into a world-class player as the years go by in the career mode timeline.

4. Ozan Kabak

FIFA 21

(Image credit: FIFA 21)

Value: £19.5m
Potential: 87

A product of Galatasaray’s youth system, 20-year-old Ozan Kabak has taken the Bundesliga by storm over the last two seasons - first with Stuttgart, now with Schalke - and possibly next with your club? Despite being just 20, Kabak is incredibly composed for his age, as evidenced by his 75-rated composure stat. 

He also possesses 71 marking, 85 strength, 84 jumping and 78 aggression, which makes him great at retrieving the ball from incoming attackers.If you’re looking to keep your backline on lockdown over the next decade in your career mode save,you should consider making a move for Kabak.

5. Eric Garcia

FIFA 21

(Image credit: FIFA 21)

Value: £6m
Potential: 85

Trained in Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, and now plying his trade at Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, 20-year-old Eric Garcia is one of the most promising youngsters in Europe at the moment.

RANKED! The 100 greatest FIFA songs ever

Garcia is a ball-playing centre-back who also boasts a tremendous amount of physicality - he’s the type of defender you need in your team if your style of play revolves around quick passes and high pressing. He has a transfer market value of £6m but his Manchester City contract is set to expire in 2022, so you could sign him on a free transfer if you wait things out.

6. Merih Demiral

FIFA 21

(Image credit: FIFA 21)

Value: £14m
Potential: 85

Signed alongside De Ligt to inject some youth into Juventus’ aging backline, 22-year-old Merih Demiral could be a great signing for your career mode outfit

Standing at 6’4 and blessed with great defensive awareness - Demiral is a brick wall in defence. He’s incredibly difficult to dribble past due to his massive frame - and that could come in handy as you slog your way to glory against some of the best teams in the world in your career mode save.

7. Jean-Clair Todibo

FIFA 21

(Image credit: FIFA 21)

Value: £10m
Potential: 86

20-year-old Jean-Clair Todibo has been on the fringes of Barcelona’s squad since he made a move to the Catalan giants in 2019. He’s 6’3 tall and has been likened to Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane by pundits on many occasions.

FIFA 21 How to beat any defender one-on-one using 'The Bridge' technique

He certainly has the potential to rival Varane in his prime, he just needs a club that can offer him ample playing time - and perhaps you could be that club, in FIFA 21’s career mode. It’s worth noting that Todibo is currently on a season-long loan to Benfica, so realistically, you’d have to wait an in-game year before you can acquire his services in career mode.

8. Ibrahima Konate

FIFA 21

(Image credit: FIFA 21)

Value: £26.5m
Potential: 88

At the age of 21, RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate has already established himself as one of the best midfielders in the Bundesliga. The Frenchman is 6’4 tall, incredibly strong and to top it all off, he’s great at distributing the ball, which is pretty rare amongst centre-backs of his age.

He’s got 79 sprint speed, 75 passing and 83 strength in FIFA 21 - considering his career mode potential - he could get as good as Marcel Desailly for your team. He won’t come cheap, but he’s worth every penny and more.

9. Jarrad Branthwaite

FIFA 21

(Image credit: FIFA 21)

Value: £375k
Potential: 85

Eighteen-year-old Jarrad Branthwaite is heavily tipped to become a mainstay in Everton’s backline in the next few years. At 6ft 5in, Branthwaite boasts one of the biggest frames in the entire game - there aren’t that many players who can go toe-to-toe with him in the air.

FIFA 21 How to (legally) buy and sell your assets to maximise profits

Being a 63-rated player, you can’t expect much from Branthwaite yet, but give him time to develop and he will transform into a world-class centre-back.

10. Tanguy Kouassi

FIFA 21

(Image credit: FIFA 21)

Value: £3.7m
Potential: 85

Snapped up from PSG by Bayern Munich last summer, 18-year-old Tanguy Kouassi could very well become Bayern’s next defensive star with Jerome Boateng on a steady decline.

The Frenchman put up some promising displays at PSG before making the switch to Bayern - back in February, he bagged a brace for PSG in a 4-4 draw against Amiens - both goals were headers, which is a testament to his aerial ability. He’s nowhere near his full potential in career mode, but considering how cheap his transfer market value is, it might be worth acquiring his services.

MORE GUIDES

FIFA 21 news: Most improved players, 5-star skilled players and best XI under 21 revealed

Ranked! The top 10 FUT icons in FIFA 21

FIFA 21 for XBox Series X pre-order: the new console is now available to buy – here's how you can play the latest FIFA on it

FIFA 21 for PS5 pre-order: the new console is now available to buy – here's how you can play the latest FIFA on it