When it comes to FIFA 20 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 depending 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, playing on the counter-attack.
But what of the defence?
If we take a look at real life for a second, Liverpool’s growth under Jurgen Klopp only reached the level it has following the signing of Virgil van Dijk in January 2018. Had the Dutchman not joined, who knows if Liverpool would have won the Champions League or be leading the Premier League.
And it’s the same on FIFA 20. 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 across an array of transfer fees to make your job just a bit easier. We only ask for a thank you in your press conferences after the league has been won.
Best cheap CBs on FIFA 2020 Career Mode (Under £1m)
Nathan Wood (Middlesbrough)
If you want to sign a good young centre-back with room for growth but are hindered by a small budget, take a look at Nathan Wood.
The 17-year-old has an initial overall rating of 61, with fairly good defensive stats including 64 marking and 62 standing tackle – to go with 67 strength. At 6’2″ he won’t be pushed off the ball too easily and has the potential to grow to 82. Wood starts Career Mode with a value of £475k but his contract ends in 12 months time so you can low ball Boro and get the young centre-back for around £350k.
Nathan Collins (Stoke City)
Another Championship centre-back that can grow with your team without breaking the bank is Irishman Nathan Collins.
The 18-year-old starts FIFA 20 with 72 strength and 67 aggression, decent stats for his 63 overall rating – not to mention his 6’4″ frame. Collins also has decent defensive stats but the biggest selling point for him will be his growth, with the Irishman having the potential to reach 84. If you strike early, you should be able to get Collins for £700k.
Nicolo Armini (Lazio)
Moving away from the Championship, there is another impressive young centre-back at Lazio in the form of Nicolo Armini.
The 66-rated centre-back, aged 18, has strength of 67 and impressive tackling stats at 70 and 68 for standing and sliding tackles respectively. Like the others in this section, Armini also has high growth with a potential Career Mode rating of 84. He is valued at £1.1m at the start of the game but you can get Armini for around £950k with good negotiation.
Best lower mid-range CBs on FIFA 20 Career Mode (£1m-£10m)
Benoit Badiashile (AS Monaco)
Turning towards the slightly more expensive centre-back options – though still achievable for teams with smaller budgets – Benoit Badiashile represents a solid signing.
Another teenager blessed with height, the Frenchman stands 6’4″ and as a result boasts 79 strength and 71 jumping. But he is also good with his feet, with 72 standing tackles and decent short passing of 67 – perhaps one to build out from the back. Badiashile starts FIFA 20 Career Mode with a rating of 70 but can rise as high as 86 if used right, owing partially to his young age of 18. If you want to make Badiashile yours, he is valued at £3.1m but you can get Monaco down to around £2.8m.
Saul Salcedo (Club Atlético Huracán)
Jumping away from Europe momentarily, it might be wise to look into signing Paraguayan Saul Salcedo if you want a decent centre-back.
Playing for Huracán, Salcedo starts FIFA 20 Career Mode with an overall rating of 73 thanks, in part, to his 90 jumping and 81 strength. But he also has 74 reactions, 73 marking and 77 standing tackle – which will only improve if he reaches his potential rating of 84. If you want to sign Salcedo, don’t be put off by his £9.3m release clause as you can get him for closer to £6m by negotiating.
Boubacar Kamara (Marseille)
If passing out from the back is definitely the way you want to play then it may be worth signing Boubacar Kamara.
The teenager starts FIFA 20 with an overall rating of 75, but already boasts 75 short passing and 77 long passing. Think a young David Luiz, without the erratic nature, as Kamara also has 76 marking and 77 standing tackle – while also potentially rising to 86 overall. Valued at £9m at the start of FIFA 20 Career Mode, Marseille can be persuaded to part with their impressive centre-back for around £9.5m.
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Best upper mid-range CBs on FIFA 20 Career Mode (£10m-£20m)
Luiz Felipe (Lazio)
Another Lazio centre-back worth looking into on FIFA 20 is 22-year-old Luiz Felipe.
The Brazilian starts with an initial rating of 78 but does have 81 interceptions and 81 marking, meaning he can cut out attacks before they start to trouble your defence. And when he is taken on, 79 standing and sliding tackles will give him a good chance of coming out on top. Luiz Felipe does also have the potential to rise to 87 meaning he can be one of your top players. Despite having 12 months remaining on his contract, you will have to pay Lazio just over his value of £13.3m – but it is certainly worth it.
Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig)
After the summer transfer window, everyone now knows who Dayot Upamecano is, and he’s a very reliable centre-back on FIFA 20.
Despite his initial rating being a moderate 77, the 21-year-old already boasts 88 jumping and 88 strength, being a real mean presence at the back. His standing tackle of 84 will also make him hard to beat, like a rock at the centre of your defence – though a moving one with 76 pace. Did we mention his potential rating of 88? Arsenal may have been quoted high prices for him in the summer but if you strike early on FIFA 20 Career Mode you can get Upamecano for the low, low price of £15m.
Dan-Axel Zagadou (Borussia Dortmund)
If you want man mountain at the back, look no further than Dan-Axel Zagadou.
The 20-year-old stands at 6’5″ and weighs 90kg which, understandably adds up to 92 strength with an initial rating of 79. Zagadou also boasts standing tackle of 86 and short passing of 75, turning him into a solid all-round option – while he can potentially rise to 86 overall. The Frenchman does start with a release clause of £26.8m, but you can get him for closer to £16.5m.
Expensive CBs on FIFA 20 Career Mode (£20m and above)
Joe Gomez (Liverpool)
For some players, £20m won’t be considered expensive but not every team is blessed with a high budget. And that’s where Joe Gomez could come in.
The young English centre-back has a decent initial rating of 80, which includes 82 standing tackle and 81 interceptions – a solid option at the back. Gomez also boasts 81 pace and 74 short passing, so potentially work well in a back three should you wish to go down to the Chris Wilder route. With potential to grow to 88, it will be near-on impossible to sign Gomez at his value of £18m, but with determined negotiation he can be yours for around £24m.
Ruben Dias (Benfica)
Another all-round centre-back with room to grow, Ruben Dias will have you spending a bit more, but is certainly worth it.
The 22-year-old starts FIFA 20 with an overall rating of 81, with 92 aggression, 84 marking and 84 standing tackle his key defensive stats. But, like Gomez, Dias can be used to play out from the back with 71 short passing which will only improve if you get him to his potential overall of 87. Dias is valued at 20m but comes with a release clause of £44m and while some may be persuaded to just go for broke, with negotiation you can get the Portuguese defender for around £33m.
Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan)
Finally, the bank-breaker. The big man you should 100% sign if you have the funds: Milan Skriniar.
One of the best centre-backs in the game, Skriniar has an initial rating of 86 but that can rise to 90 if you use him right in Career Mode. The Slovakian has outstanding defence stats including 92 marking and 87 standing tackles, while his strength and aggression will also be key. Naturally, he’s valued high at £46.5 but Inter won’t take anything close to that. Instead they will push closer to his release clause of £82.5m, and he can be bought for around £75m if you’re lucky – worth it for possibly the best centre-back on FIFA 20 Career Mode.