EAFC 24: Best centre-backs to sign on Career Mode for every budget

By Harry Edwards

Published: 10:50, 16 January 2024

We’re now in 2024 which means EA Sports FC 24 is closing in on its halfway point.

For Ultimate Team, all the focus is now on the upcoming Team of the Year promo and all the fun special cards players are expecting. But Manager Career remains an elite mode for those who want a long-term challenge, not affected by metas, other players’ financial abilities or simply internet connection!

Sometimes there is nothing better than pushing a team to glory, whether that’s a new club or one created, with your own manager or an already-established name thanks to the new addition. But, whether you’re starting at Real Madrid or Fake Madrid, as Graham Potter or Harry Potter, who should you be signing?


Attack is important on EAFC but Manager Career title races, as in real life, can be won and lost on the defence. What’s the point on scoring boatloads of goals if you cannot keep them out at the back? The biggest example of that in recent years is how Virgil van Dijk’s arrival at Liverpool transformed them into Premier League and European champions a few games – and how shaky they looked when the Dutchman was not at his best.

So who is the best centre-back for you and your budget? We’ve taken a look at some of the top 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.

EAFC 24 best centre-backs to sign on Career Mode – Under £5m

Tom Atcheson (Blackburn Rovers)

EAFC 24 Career Mode centre-backs: Tom Atcheson

Initial EAFC 24 overall: 52
Potential EAFC 24 overall: 76
Value: £200k

If you start off at a lower-league side, you’re obviously not going to have too much budget to work with, which makes someone like Tom Atcheson a perfect centre-back.

The teenager starts with an overall of just 52, and without a face image, but has Physical at 65 which includes 76 strength and 55 stamina. He’s not too slow for his level either, while Defending at 52 can be improved upon. At the very start, he’ll be more of a defensive monster rather than those looking to build out from the back, as his passing is very low. But you can work on that and nurture him as he reaches his potential overall of 76.

This is for those perhaps starting in League Two, or a low tier, and will be get you up to a certain level. Blackburn won’t fight too hard for him and can accept around £150k with add-ons if you’re especially strapped for cash.

Madi Monamay (Bayer Leverkusen)

EAFC 24 Career Mode centre-backs: Madi Monamay

Initial EAFC 24 overall: 60
Potential EAFC 24 overall: 83
Value: £625k

Moving slightly more expensive, but still needing a guiding hand, someone like Madi Monamay could be a perfect centre-back for the lower teams.

The teenager starts with an overall of just 60, but has decent Pace (67) and good defensive stats across the board, including 66 Slide Tackle (with Slide Tackle PlayStyle) and 63 Interceptions. Monamay also has good stats for his short and long passing considering his overall, with decent dribbling. You’re not going to get high numbers, but they are all good relative to his level. Monamay is also a long-term project, with the potential to rise to 83. You can go one of two ways here, either keeping Monamay throughout your Manager Career as he grows to become a club legend, or develop and sell for a big profit in a few years.

Monamay is valued at just £625k at the start of the game and Bayer Leverkusen don’t appear too fussed in keeping him. They’ll accept an offer lower than his value, at around £570k, but you could see if you can push them even cheaper. Of course, one of the barriers can be a club or league’s reputation, with some players not wanting to take a step too far down.

Leon King (Rangers)

EAFC 24 Career Mode centre-backs: Leon King

Initial EAFC 24 overall: 66
Potential EAFC 24 overall: 85
Value: £1.8m

If you have a bit more money in your budget and want someone both with a higher starting overall and slightly better potential, look to Leon King.

More of a ball-playing centre-back, King starts with an overall rating of 66, which includes 60 Passing, 66 Defending and 64 Dribbling. On top of his 69 Long Passing and 68 Short Passing, King has 73 Balance and 52 Vision — as well as 73 Sprint Speed. King also has two PlayStyles, Long Ball Pass and Anticipate, which will make him hard to beat and good at bypassing opposition defences.

Despite the potential to rise as high as 85, becoming one of the better centre-backs in the game, King is only valued at £1.8m and Rangers will accept around his value.

EAFC 24 best centre-backs to sign on Career Mode – £5m – £20m

Jorrel Hato (Ajax)

EAFC 24 Career Mode centre-backs: Jorrel Hato

Initial EAFC 24 overall: 73
Potential EAFC 24 overall: 88
Value: £5.5m

Moving slightly up the budget, if you can, you need to sign Jorrel Hato — providing you’re at the right level.

Aged 17 at the start of Manager Career, Hato has a pretty decent rating of 73, with Passing Dribbling, Defending and Physical all 60+. Although he has no PlayStyles, you can make the most of Hato had his 77 Short Passing, playing the ball out from the back. Or he’ll win aerial duels with 86 Jumping despite “only” being 6’0″. Other standout stats include 70 Standing Tackle, 75 Reactions and 69 Composure, on top of his 85 Pace. But the main selling point here is his potential of 88! There won’t be many better than him.

Despite all this, Ajax actually accept around his value of £5.5m. Like we said, you’ve just got to persuade him to leave Ajax for your club, which may be a bit tougher if you are in a lower league.

Giorgio Scalvini (Atalanta)

EAFC 24 Career Mode centre-backs: Giorgio Scalvini

Initial EAFC 24 overall: 75
Potential EAFC 24 overall: 86
Value: £9.5m

Giorgio Scalvini was a good pick for Career Mode in FIFA 23 and he’s still an option in EAFC 24, despite growing a bit in price.

With a boost in his starting overall to 75, Scalvini is ready to fit into a lot of starting XIs, especially with 78 Defending. That defending includes 80 Standing Tackle and 78 Interceptions, which combines pretty darn well with his Intercept PlayStyle. Despite only having 69 Strength, Scalvini also has the Bruiser PlayStyle, which boosts his strength in the tackle. You may want to pair him with a centre-back that can pass, though, with his Passing stats a little low. Did we mention he’s also 6’4″ and has the potential to grow to 86 overall? Because he is and does.

With the growth in overall, Scalvini is valued at £9.5m and Atalanta/Bergamo Calcio will part with their man for around £12m.

Ladislav Krejci (Sparta Prague)

EAFC 24 Career Mode centre-backs: Ladislav Krejci

Initial EAFC 24 overall: 77
Potential EAFC 24 overall: 84
Value: £16.5m

Not every centre-back signing is a wonderkid, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for them to grow, and that’s the case for Ladislav Krejci.

Aged 24 at the start of Manager Career, Krejci is 77-rated and playing with Sparta Prague, and has very good Physical of 85 which includes 91 Aggression, 89 Jumping and 85 Strength. All of that will come into play in the opposition box too, with Krejci having the Power Header PlayStyle, making him a threat from corners. Of course, he’s a capable defender too, with 74 Interceptions and 74 Standing Tackle. Krejci also has the potential to grow to 84, making him a decent option.

Sparta Prague do value Krejci, though, and you’ll have to fork out around £18m for his services, a bit more than his value.

EAFC 24 best centre-backs to sign on Career Mode – £20m and above

Alessandro Buongiorno (Torino)

EAFC 24 Career Mode centre-backs: Alessandro Buongiorno

Initial EAFC 24 overall: 77
Potential EAFC 24 overall: 85
Value: £18.5m

Moving up to the final price bracket, we start with Italian centre-back Alessandro Buongiorno.

Like Krejci, Buongiorno is 24 at the start of Manager Career, but that means he is a bit better than some of the other options with a starting overall of 77. The highlights of his attributes are the 79 Defending, with 81 Marking and 81 Standing Tackle, as well as 74 Physical. His Passing may look a little low at 69 but his Short Passing is 77, which you can make work. Buongiorno also has Block and Aerial PlayStyles, the latter making him jump higher and gives him an “improved aerial physical presence”. All of that will get much more impressive as he edges closer to his potential overall of 85.

Torino know what they’ve got on their hands and although his value is £18.5m, they won’t let Buongiorno go for less than £21.5m.

Goncalo Inacio (Sporting CP)

EAFC 24 Career Mode centre-backs: Goncalo Inacio

Initial EAFC 24 overall: 79
Potential EAFC 24 overall: 86
Value: £28m

We move over to Portugal for our final two picks, starting with one side of Lisbon and Goncalo Inacio.

Inacio was one of the most expensive centre-backs to sign in Career Mode in FIFA 23, and he’s valued high with his 79 overall, aged 21. The Portuguese centre-back has 80 Pace and 80 Defending, as well as 78 Physical. His Defending includes 82 Stand Tackle and 81 Marking, with 78 Interceptions. For PlaysStyles, Inacio has Pinged Pass, Long Ball Pass (what a combination), Intercept and Aerial. Four PlayStyles Goncalo? That’s insane! But surprisingly, Inacio’s potential is just 86 this year, which is still very good.

The slightly lower potential means that you can get Inacio for a bit cheaper than the man to come. It’s still over his value though, with Sporting CP wanting around £33m – £5m more than his value.

Antonio Silva (Benfica)

EAFC 24 Career Mode centre-backs: Antonio Silva

Initial EAFC 24 overall: 78
Potential EAFC 24 overall: 88
Value: £24m

We finish at Sporting CP’s bitter rivals Benfica, with Antonio Silva.

A teenager for the first few months of Manager Career, Silva is 78 rated with 80 Defending, which includes 81 Standing Tackle, 80 Marking and 80 Interceptions. He also has three PlayStyles in Long Ball Pass, Block and Intercept, the latter combining to make him a tough man to beat. Combining with his Long Ball Pass PlayStyle is 73 Long Passing and 74 Short Passing, so Silva is more than capable to playing the ball out from the back. All of this while being a 78-rated teenager. Just imagine what he’s going to be like when he reaches his potential overall of 88.

That potential doesn’t come keep though. Valued at £24m, Benfica won’t let go of their man for anything less than £30m. £35m is the rough price, but you could probably shave a couple million off with some clauses.

Of course, there are even bigger names with higher potentials and prices, but you already know who they are. We aren’t here to recommend spending £100m on Ronald Araujo and Alessandro Bastoni.