FIFA 22: Best centre-backs to sign on Career Mode for every budget

By Harry Edwards

FIFA 22: Best centre-backs to sign on Career Mode for every budget

Published: 13:20, 16 October 2021

FIFA 22 is here! After weeks, months even, of anticipation, the latest edition of EA Sports’ hit game is available for players around the world.

Naturally, a lot of FIFA players flock to Ultimate Team in their quest to… well, build their ultimate team. However, there are still a large number of players whose main love in FIFA is Career Mode, with the aim of pushing a team (perhaps already existing or completely created thanks to the new additions) to glory.

But, whether you are starting at Real Madrid or Fake Madrid, who should you be signing?

When it comes to Career Mode, most players might look to build their attack first and worry about the rest of the squad later. It’s a system that makes sense with virtual title races often won and lost on how big strikers perform in tight games. Others may look to fill the wings with pace, getting the better of their opponents by steering clear of challenges and playing on the counter-attack.

But what of the defence and, in particular, the centre-backs?

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Let’s take a look at the real world for a second and Liverpool’s signing of Virgil van Dijk in 2017, the final piece of Jurgen Klopp’s puzzle. Had the Dutchman not joined, who knows if Liverpool would have won the Champions League or Premier League (just look at how they fared without him!).

It’s the same on FIFA. If you do not have a solid centre-back, your defence will leak potentially costly goals. But who is the right centre-back for you and your budget?

We’ve taken a look at some of the best centre-back options available to buy in your first window, across an array of transfer fees to make your job just a bit easier.

Values and presence of release clauses may vary per save, while availability may vary depending on strictness of transfers. All prices accurate at the time of publishing on.

FIFA 22 best centre-backs to sign on Career Mode – Under £5m

Rav van den Berg (PEC Zwolle)

FIFA 22 Career Mode centre-backs: Rav van den Berg

Initial FIFA 22 overall: 59
Potential FIFA 22 overall: 83
Value: £575k

We start our centre-back search in the Netherlands with Rav van den Berg, a player you could sign for whichever club you’re managing.

The Dutchman starts FIFA 22 Career Mode aged 17 and his initial overall of 59 may leave a lot to be desired, but there is something there with 57 Defending including 65 Slide Tackle, while his Strength and Jumping are both 70+. But his low rating is what makes him attainable for those of you starting with small budgets and he’s worth putting in the time to improve as he can reach 83 overall, the third-biggest possible jump from initial to potential rating on FIFA 22 right now.

Despite the potential for growth, PEC Zwolle will accept slightly less than his value at around £550k. If you’re a big club, and that way inclined, sign him and spin him for a profit.

Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton)

FIFA 22 Career Mode centre-backs: Jarrad Branthwaite

Initial FIFA 22 overall: 66
Potential FIFA 22 overall: 84
Value: £1.8m

Jarrad Branthwaite always seems to be a decent option for Career Mode saves, especially for those managing teams lower down the leagues, and FIFA 22 is no different.

The English centre-back has a decent starting overall of 66 for FIFA 22, which is mimicked by his Defending – the standout attribute there being Stand Tackle of 70. At 6’5″ you want Branthwaite to be a beast in the air and that’s exactly what he can be, with 73 Jumping and 68 Heading Accuracy just his starting point. These will only get better as you get Branthwaite closer to his potential overall of 84, becoming a solid defender for a lot of teams.

With a bigger jump in overall from Van den Berg, Branthwaite is valued at £1.8m and Everton will accept just that, not putting up too much of a fight.

Micky van de Ven (Wolfsburg)

FIFA 22 Career Mode centre-backs: Micky van de Ven

Initial FIFA 22 overall: 68
Potential FIFA 22 overall: 84
Value: £2.6m

Completing our cheap options is another Dutch centre-back, this time plying his trade in the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg.

Micky van de Ven is 20 at the start of Career Mode but is already built strong with an overall of 68 including 81 Strength and 72 Pace. Defensively there is room for improvement with 70 Slide Tackle is best attribute but Van de Ven does also boast Long and Short Passing in the 60s which will only increase as he hits his potential rating of 84.

Valued at £2.6m, Wolfsburg do ask for slightly more, but only £2.75m in total – still affordable for a lot of clubs.

FIFA 22 best centre-backs to sign on Career Mode – £5m – £15m

Armel Bella-Kotchap (Bochum)

FIFA 22 Career Mode centre-backs: Armel Bella-Kotchap

Initial FIFA 22 overall: 71
Potential FIFA 22 overall: 85
Value: £3.6m

Moving onto the slightly better centre-backs, and therefore more expensive, Armel Bella-Kotchap presents a good option for those still not looking to break the bank.

A teenager at the start of Career Mode, Bella-Kotchap is already rated 71 overall and his Pace, Defending and Physical are all above 70. His standout attribute is Strength of 85 which, when coupled with his Sprint Speed of 79, makes him pretty hard to beat when a forward is bearing down on your goal. Like everyone on this list, the real selling point for Bella-Kotchap is his potential, and the German can reach 85 overall which will only aid his attributes.

Bella-Kotchap is valued at £3.6m but Bochum will not let go of him easily, eventually accepting £5m for their centre-back.

Josko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig)

FIFA 22 Career Mode centre-backs: Josko Gvardiol

Initial FIFA 22 overall: 75
Potential FIFA 22 overall: 87
Value: £11m

Those well-versed in Career Mode signings over the past few years will know Josko Gvardiol as a left-back, but he has made the switch to the centre of defence for FIFA 22.

The Croatian’s initial overall of 75 brings 83 Pace and 83 Physical, with 84 Strength and 83 Aggression, makes him an interesting prospect to have at the heart of your defence – whether you play a back four or three centre-backs – from the start. He is also good with the ball at his feet, with four-star Weak Foot, 74 Short Passing and 73 Dribbling, which will only increase as he gets closer to his potential overall of 87. EIGHTY-SEVEN!

Despite all this, and the fact that he is a new signing, RB Leipzig will allow Gvardiol to leave for around £13m, just a little bit more than his starting value.

David Hancko (Sparta Prague)

FIFA 22 Career Mode centre-backs: David Hancko

Initial FIFA 22 overall: 75
Potential FIFA 22 overall: 85
Value: £10m

Back to a name not many may have heard of, David Hancko provides an interesting option for those who want a more established centre-back to add to their second-tier or lower top-tier back lines.

The 23-year-old has a starting overall of 75 so can be thrown in from the start, and his Defending of 75 and 77 Physical can be utilised. At 6’2″ Hancko isn’t as strong in the air as some of the other options on this list, especially with Jumping of just 63 (not what you’d want from a 75-rated centre-back) but he makes up for it with 75 Standing and Slide Tackle. Hancko has the potential to grow to 85 in Career Mode, making him a good option for most managers.

Unfortunately, Hancko is loved at Sparta Prague and they drive a hard bargain, finally accepting around £14.5m for the centre-back with a hefty sell-on clause.

FIFA 22 best centre-backs to sign on Career Mode – £15m and above

Goncalo Inacio (Sporting CP)

FIFA 22 Career Mode centre-backs: Goncalo Inacio

Initial FIFA 22 overall: 76
Potential FIFA 22 overall: 86
Value: £13m

As we move into the most expensive section, things can get a little stretched, with some of the top centre-backs commanding fees of £40m plus. But we’ve got a good trio, starting with Goncalo Inacio.

The 20-year-old has a decent starting overall of 76 and could fit into most teams, even at the bigger clubs if you have a higher-rated partner for him. The Portuguese centre-back has 77 Defending and 74 Physical, including 79 Standing Tackle and 79 Marking – he won’t be easy to beat. Inacio’s Long and Short Passing are also pretty decent for his overall and they’ll get better as Inacio approaches his potential rating of 86.

Part of Sporting CP’s title-winning side last season, Inacio is valued at £13m and it won’t cost you too much more to add him to your squad, roughly £15.5m.

Ronald Araujo (Barcelona)

FIFA 22 Career Mode centre-backs: Ronald Araujo

Initial FIFA 22 overall: 78
Potential FIFA 22 overall: 86
Value: £28.5m

Barcelona are in turmoil in real life, but they have a decent centre-back on their hands in FIFA 22. Unless you manage to persuade Ronald Araujo to leave the Nou Camp.

The Uruguayan centre-back is 22 at the start of FIFA 22 and has a good starting overall of 78, again making him a potential for most clubs from the off in Career Mode. Araujo’s Defending of 80 makes him an even better option from the start, including 82 Stand Tackle and 82 Heading Accuracy, using that 6’4″ frame well. Now, Araujo isn’t someone you’ll be using to launch long balls over the top of opposition defences, more of a no-nonsense centre-back that gets even better when he reaches the potential overall of 86.

Araujo plays for Barcelona so naturally his value is pretty high for his rating, at £28.5m. But he would be worth it considering how much other centre-backs can cost, especially as Barcelona will accept £30m.

Jules Kounde (Sevilla)

FIFA 22 Career Mode centre-backs: Jules Kounde

Initial FIFA 22 overall: 83
Potential FIFA 22 overall: 89
Value: £45.5m

Dayot Upamecano will grow to 90 overall in Career Mode but Bayern Munich want around £90m for him. So Jules Kounde represents a slightly less expensive, but still premium, option.

The French centre-back is already established in FIFA with his starting overall of 83, which includes 84 Defending and 81 Pace. You won’t be using Kounde as a colossus in the air as he’s only 5’11” but don’t be fooled, as his Jumping of 88 will still make him a problem for opposition forwards. On the deck he’s fantastic, with 85 Stand Tackle, 85 Marking and 86 Interceptions, with 80 Short Passing too. Kounde will also grow to 89 overall, making him one of the best centre-backs in the game.

Valued at £45.5m, Sevilla surprisingly don’t want an extortionate fee, accepting around £65m. It’s certainly not cheap, but Kounde’s worth it if you do have the funds.


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