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: 16:20, 27 June 2022

FIFA 22 Career Mode. It doesn’t get as much love as Ultimate Team does nowadays but it’s still a great way to engage in the FIFA series.

Sometimes there is nothing better than 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.

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: 60
Potential FIFA 22 overall: 83
Value: £625k

We start our centre-back search in the Netherlands with Rav van den Berg (brother of Liverpool’s Sepp), 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: 67
Potential FIFA 22 overall: 83
Value: £2.1m

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 67 for FIFA 22, which is mimicked by his Defending – the standout attribute there being Stand Tackle of 72. 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 70 Heading Accuracy just his starting point. These will only get better as you get Branthwaite closer to his potential overall of 83, becoming a solid defender for a lot of teams.

With a bigger jump in overall from Van den Berg, Branthwaite is valued at £2.1m and Everton will accept just that, not putting up too much of a fight.

Armel Bella-Kotchap (Bochum)

FIFA 22 Career Mode centre-backs: Armel Bella Kotchap

Initial FIFA 22 overall: 70
Potential FIFA 22 overall: 83
Value: £3.1m

Completing our cheap options is a German centre-back currently plying his trade in the Bundesliga with VfL Bochum – on FIFA that is, because Southampton have clearly been reading these posts, signing Armel Bella-Kotchap this summer.

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 84 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 83 overall which will only aid his attributes.

Bella-Kotchap is valued at £3.1m but Bochum will not let go of him easily, eventually accepting £4m for their centre-back. Much cheaper than the £10m Southampton paid.

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FIFA 22 best centre-backs to sign on Career Mode – £5m – £20m

Tanguy Nianzou (Bayern Munich)

FIFA 22 Career Mode centre-backs: Tanguy Nianzou

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

There’s a fair few Bundesliga centre-backs on this list and it’s clear the German top-flight is a gold mine.

Tanguy Nianzou is 19 at the start of Career Mode but has an overall of 71, which includes 71 Defending, 73 Stand Tackle and 77 Strength. He’s not winning any awards for his Pace of 69 but it’s not too bad considering his overall. And if you stick with him, Nianzou can rise to 85 overall, a solid centre-back option for a lot of teams.

As Nianzou isn’t played too much at Bayern, they’re not too bothered about keeping him on their books and you can get him for around £5m or even cheaper.

Morato (Benfica)

FIFA 22 Career Mode centre-backs: Morato

Initial FIFA 22 overall: 74
Potential FIFA 22 overall: 86
Value: £8m

No, not Morata the Alvaro kind. Morato.

The Brazilian centre-back is part of Benfica’s impressive side on FIFA 22 and has a starting overall of 73, already making him good enough for a lot of teams outside the top divisions – or even for those at the bottom. Morato is very physical, with 80 in that particular attribute including 87 Strength and 82 Aggression. Of course, you want good defending too and he has 74 Marking and 75 Stand Tackle that will only improve as he reaches his potential overall of 86.

Benfica do value Morato and want a little more than his asking price but they won’t charge too much, around £9m.

Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace)

FIFA 22 Career Mode centre-backs: Marc Guehi

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

Back in the Premier League, Marc Guehi is a centre-back that is certainly both a promising prospect and a ready-made starter.

At 74 rated, sure Guehi won’t start for your Manchester Citys, Real Madrids or Chelseas (hence why he left last summer) but he will be ready for the Crystal Palaces of Career Mode. 75 Defending and 72 Physical immediately draw the eye and his Defending attributes in particular are very well-rounded including 77 Marking and 75 Interceptions. Not to mention the potential to grow to 85.

Palace are keen on keeping Guehi, or getting as much as they can for him, so be prepared to fork out around £15m with a sell-on.

FIFA 22 best centre-backs to sign on Career Mode – £20m and above

Josko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig)

FIFA 22 Career Mode centre-backs: Josko Gvardiol

Initial FIFA 22 overall: 77
Potential FIFA 22 overall: 87
Value: £18.5m

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, 76 Short Passing and 74 Dribbling, which will only increase as he gets closer to his potential overall of 87. EIGHTY-SEVEN! There’s a reason clubs in real life are chasing the Croatian.

Despite all this, and the fact that he is a new signing, RB Leipzig will allow Gvardiol to leave for around £25m, just a little bit more than his starting value.

Ronald Araujo (Barcelona)

FIFA 22 Career Mode centre-backs: Ronald Araujo

Initial FIFA 22 overall: 80
Potential FIFA 22 overall: 87
Value: £34m

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 80, 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 83 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 87.

Araujo plays for Barcelona so naturally his value is pretty high for his rating, at £34m. But he would be worth it considering how much other centre-backs can cost, especially as Barcelona will accept £38m with a sell-on.

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.