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Best young Defensive Midfielders in Football Manager 2022

Defensive Midfielders are the rock of your team in Football Manager 2022. You need one to screen your defense and allow you to attack.

Teams in world football all over struggle to find the answer to the Defensive Midfield problem, you don’t want to be in that basket.

Luckily for you, we here at Jaxon always have the perfect team. This is our list of the best Defensive Midfielder wonderkids in Football Manager 2022.

Sandro Tonali

Football Manager players will be no stranger to Sandro Tonali. Formerly of Bresica, Tonali has been a must-buy on the game for years. He now plays for Milan, evidence of his status as the best Defensive Midfielder wonderkid in Football Manager 2022.

Touted as a replacement for Italy for the great Andrea Pirlo, Tonali is starting to live up to the hype. He’s a bit more rough and tumble than his predecessor, but his Attributes are very similar.

14 Passing, 14 Vision, and 13 Dribbling make him adept on the ball. 14 Tackling, 13 Marking, and 14 Positioning make him great out of possession too.

He will cost a lot as a key player in Milan’s side. You can expect to pay upwards of £70m for him. However, with a 173 Potential Ability, he’s one of the best Defensive Midfielders in Football Manager 2022. You’d be a fool not to sign him.

(Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Samuele Ricci

Samuele Ricci is the second Italian to make our list of the best Defensive Midfielder wonderkids in Football Manager 2022. He plays for Empoli at the start of your save, but recently secured a move to Torino in real life.

Ricci is much less the finished article than his compatriot Tonali. With a 134 Current Ability he can still be good, but he won’t be great until he reaches his potential. Ricci’s Potential Ability ranges between 150-180, so he has the potential to be better than Tonali too. Not that you wouldn’t be able to fit both in your midfield if you didn’t try to. 

More creatively minded than Tonali as a Deep-Lying Playmaker, Ricci is probably the closer fit to Andrea Pirlo. His 16 Passing is exceptional, and his 14 Vision will help him spot the defense-splitting pass. Defensively he’s not as strong with 12 Tackling and 11 Positioning, but this can be vastly improved with the right training.

Having moved to Torino, he might be out of your reach in Football Manager 2023, but he’s very available in 2022. He can cost just £15m at the start of your save. Ricci is one of the best Defensive Midfielders in Football Manager, so snap him up while you still can.

(Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Aurelien Tchouameni

Another player to move during Summer 2022, Aurelien Tchouameni has just joined Real Madrid for a huge fee. He begins Football Manager 2022 at Monaco, however, so expect to be paying a high price for his services. 

Technically, Tchouameni shouldn’t be on our list of Football Manager 2022 Defensive Midfielder wonderkids, as he’s not natural in the role. Still, you’re going to be his manager, so you can train him to play wherever you’d like.

At 6”2’ and with 16 Strength, Tchouameni can be a rock in the Defensive Midfielder position in Football Manager 2022. His 16 Tackling and 13 Marking already makes him a defensive stalwart, that’s only going to improve as your save progresses.

Starting with a 140 Current Ability, Tchouameni is already capable of slotting into any midfield in world football. With a 164 Potential Ability, he’s capable of becoming a star in any midfield in just a few seasons’ time.



The latest in the line of La Masia graduates, Barcelona’s Nico is essentially a Sergio Busquets regen. 

Like Ricci, Nico is a more creatively-minded Defensive Midfielder in Football Manager 2022. Another Deep-Lying Playmaker, with 14 Passing and 14 Vision, Nico has a strong basis to become an assist king. 13 Tackling and 13 Positioning make him stronger defensively than his Italian counterpart too.

With a Current Ability of 130, Nico is the weakest player on this list at the start of your game. Don’t let that turn you off him, though, his Potential Ability can reach 170. If he reaches his potential, you’ve got one of the best Defensive Midfielders in Football Manager 2022 on your hands.

(Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

Sam McKenzie covers a variety of competitive first-person shooters, with an emphasis on Valorant and Counter-Strike esports. He also has a passion for football in both the real and virtual worlds, and contributes his expertise in FIFA esports.