Headlined by Real Madrid veterans Toni Kroos and Luka Modrić, the CM position in FIFA 21 looks primed for a youth revolution.
Not only is the stock of the best young central midfielders in Career Mode filled with already highly-rated players, but there are also plenty of young CMs with potential ratings that are in, or exceed the high-80s.
On this page, you’ll find all of the best young central midfielders (CMs) to sign to your Career Mode team in FIFA 21.
Choosing FIFA 21 Career Mode’s best young CM
To assemble this list of the best young central midfielders in FIFA 21, the primary rating looked to for ranking the players was the overall rating.
However, to be considered for selection, the player also has to be 23-years-old or younger, have an overall rating of at least 76 OVR, and have CM as their preferred position.
Along with the overall ratings, we’ve also included the potential rating (POT) of each CM so that you know how good they are now and how great the best young players can become in Career Mode.
If you’re looking for the best young centre midfielders with the highest potential ratings, check out the CM wonderkids article.
For a full list of ALL of the best young CM in FIFA 21, view the table towards the end of the page.
Frenkie de Jong (85 OVR – 90 POT)
Team: FC Barcelona
Best Position: LCM, CM, RCM
Overall/Potential: 85 OVR / 90 POT
Value: £73 million
Wage: £175,000 per week
Best Attributes: 90 Stamina, 90 Composure, 90 Short Passing
With just six goals and 13 assists for Ajax in 89 games, it’s understandable that people raised an eyebrow to the hefty £67.5 million paid by FC Barcelona last summer. However, in Frenkie de Jong, Camp Nou landed a very dependable, possession-minded central midfielder who will only continue to improve.
The two goals and four assists in 42 games last season was a nice bonus, but what really mattered was the Dutchman’s averages of 4.3 clearances, 56.4 passes, and 91.8 passing accuracy per league game.
De Jong enters FIFA 21 as the best young CM in the game, boasting a hefty 85 OVR already, with the chance to grow into a 90 POT.
Despite being just 23-years-old, the Arkel-native provides a calming and assured presence in the middle of the park in Career Mode, as shown by his 90 short passing, 90 composure, 90 stamina, 88 ball control, 82 interceptions, and 86 long passing.
Arthur Melo (84 OVR – 89 POT)
Team: Piemonte Calcio (Juventus)
Best Position: LCM, CM, RCM
Overall/Potential: 84 OVR / 89 POT
Value: £57 million
Wage: £88,000 per week
Best Attributes: 90 Balance, 90 Composure, 89 Ball Control
Coming over from Barça in one of the more head-scratching transfer deals of the summer, Juventus have landed a highly-rated central midfielder with plenty of years left to become even better.
Arthur Melo wasn’t given many starting XI opportunities last season. Still, he did manage to pull in four goals and four assists through 28 appearances, and he continued to play for the national team – now sitting on 20 caps for Brazil.
Arthur clocks-in as the second-best young central midfielder to sign in Career Mode, featuring very high attribute ratings in key areas of the role.
Starting the game as a 23-year-old CM, the Brazilian’s highlight attributes are his 90 composure, 90 balance, 89 ball control, 87 dribbling, and 88 short passing.
Federico Valverde (83 OVR – 90 POT)
Team: Real Madrid
Best Position: LCM, LDM, CM, CDM, RCM, RDM
Overall/Potential: 83 OVR / 90 POT
Value: £66 million
Wage: £145,000 per week
Best Attributes: 89 Sprint Speed, 86 Stamina, 85 Short Passing
Federico Valverde signed for Real Madrid back in 2016, coming over from CA Peñarol for £4.5 million. Since then, he’s worked his way through RM Castilla, went out on-loan to Deportivo de La Coruña, and finally climbed into the Real Madrid first-team in 2018/19.
Having impressed in several cameo appearances and some Copa del Rey starts, the Uruguayan properly broke out last season, playing in 44 games, scoring twice, and teeing-up five more.
Valverde already has a decent 83 OVR rating that can be used in Career Mode, but the most tantalising factor of the Real Madrid midfielder is his 90 POT.
To ensure that he’s already of use on the pitch, the Montevideo-native comes into FIFA 21 with attribute ratings of 85 short passing, 84 long passing, 89 sprint speed, 82 acceleration, and 86 stamina.
Donny van de Beek (83 OVR – 87 POT)
Team: Manchester United
Best Position: LCM, CM, RCM
Overall/Potential: 83 OVR / 87 POT
Value: £46.5 million
Wage: £115,000 per week
Best Attributes: 92 Stamina, 85 Ball Control, 85 Composure
Still in need of a centre back this summer, Manchester United decided instead to bring in one of Ajax’s latest hot-shot products, Donny van de Beek, after the Dutchman put up ten goals and 11 assists in 37 games.
Being eased into the United line-up, Van de Beek featured in a more advanced midfield role in both EFL Cup matches, but has so far only been given 24 minutes across two Premier League matches.
Coming in at the age cap for the best young central midfielders of FIFA 21, Van de Beek already offers some very usable ratings in the game.
With the midfielder from Nijkerkerveen on the field, you’ll be able to make the most of his 92 stamina, 85 ball control, 83 shot power, and 84 positioning.
Rúben Neves (82 OVR – 87 POT)
Team: Wolverhampton Wanderers
Best Position: LCM, CM, RCM
Overall/Potential: 82 OVR / 87 POT
Value: £41 million
Wage: £80,000 per week
Best Attributes: 87 Long Passing, 86 Vision, 86 Shot Power
Rúben Neves has been the commander of the Wolverhampton Wanderers midfield since they signed him from FC Porto in what would prove to be their last season in the Championship.
An ever-present in the Wolves line-up, Neves has tallied 15 goals and eight assists through 140 games (to put on top of his 93 games for Porto), and yet he’s still only 23-years-old.
Although he’s now being relied on as more of a defensive midfielder, Neves’ build in FIFA 21 leans much more towards his playmaking and attacking skill.
The Portuguese CM has several 80-plus attributes, with his 84 free-kick accuracy, 85 curve, 87 long passing, 86 short passing, 86 vision, 82 volleys, 86 shot power, and 84 long shots setting him up to rake assists and score some sensational goals.
All the Best Young CM (Central Midfielders) in FIFA 21
Here’s the full list of all of the best young CMs for you to sign in Career Mode of FIFA 21. In the table below, you can see the age, OVR, POT, and best attributes of the top young CMs.
|Frenkie de Jong||23||CM||85||90||FC Barcelona||90 Stamina, 90 Composure, 90 Short Passing|
|Arthur Melo||23||CM||84||89||Piemonte Calcio (Juventus)||90 Balance, 90 Composure, 89 Ball Control|
|Federico Valverde||22||CM||83||90||Real Madrid||89 Sprint Speed, 86 Stamina, 85 Short Passing|
|Donny van de Beek||23||CM, CAM||83||87||Manchester United||92 Stamina, 85 Ball Control, 85 Composure|
|Rúben Neves||23||CM||82||87||Wolverhampton Wanderers||87 Long Passing, 86 Vision, 86 Shot Power|
|Houssem Aouar||22||CM, LM||81||89||Olympique Lyonnais||85 Dribbling, 85 Ball Control, 85 Short Passing|
|Youri Tielemans||23||CM||81||85||Leicester City||86 Shot Power, 84 Long Shots, 84 Short Passing|
|Tanguy Ndombèlé||23||CM, CDM||80||87||Tottenham Hotspur||88 Dribbling, 87 Vision, 87 Composure|
|Nicolò Barella||23||CM, CAM||80||87||Inter Milan||87 Stamina, 83 Ball Control, 83 Dribbling|
|Dani Ceballos||23||CM, CAM||80||85||Arsenal||85 Ball Control, 83 Dribbling, 82 Vision|
|Wendel||22||CM||79||88||Sporting CP||86 Shot Power, 84 Long Shots, 83 Composure|
|Florian Neuhaus||23||CM||79||86||Borussia Mönchengladbach||83 Ball Control, 83 Short Passing, 82 Vision|
|Rodrigo Bentancur||23||CM||79||85||Piemonte Calcio (Juventus)||87 Stamina, 85 Ball Control, 85 Short Passing|
|Bruno Guimarães||22||CM, CDM||78||87||Olympique Lyonnais||83 Short Passing, 82 Stamina, 81 Long Passing|
|Renato Sanches||22||CM, RM, CDM||78||85||LOSC Lille||89 Balance, 87 Stamina, 84 Shot Power|
|Arturo Inálcio||20||CM, CAM||78||78||Flamengo||90 Agility, 86 Sprint Speed, 85 Short Passing|
|Suat Serdar||23||CM, CDM, CAM||78||84||FC Schalke 04||85 Aggression, 84 Jumping, 83 Dribbling|
|Nicolás de la Cruz||23||CM, CAM, LW||77||86||Núñez (River Plate)||93 Stamina, 92 Agility, 86 Sprint Speed|
|Exequiel Palacios||21||CM, RM, CAM||77||86||Bayer Leverkusen||87 Stamina, 81 Shot Power, 79 Agility|
|Franck Kessié||23||CM||77||82||AC Milan||92 Stamina, 86 Aggression, 85 Strength|
|Sofyan Amrabat||23||CM||77||84||ACF Fiorentina||86 Stamina, 82 Composure, 82 Aggression|
|Eduardo Camavinga||17||CM||76||88||Stade Rennais||79 Stamina, 79 Composure, 79 Short Passing|
|Pedro Gonçalves||22||CM||76||87||Sporting CP||84 Stamina, 81 Agility, 80 Balance|
|Matías Zaracho||22||CM, CAM, RM||76||84||Racing Club||93 Agility, 92 Acceleration, 92 Balance|
|Lucas Paquetá||22||CM, CAM||76||81||AC Milan||84 Dribbling, 82 Composure, 82 Stamina|
|Xaver Schlager||22||CM, CAM, CDM||76||83||VfL Wolfsburg||85 Stamina, 79 Reactions, 78 Interceptions|
|Edu Expósito||23||CM, CDM, CAM||76||83||SD Eibar||80 Short Passing, 80 Vision, 78 Long Passing|
|Maximilian Eggestein||23||CM, CDM||76||83||SV Werder Bremen||94 Stamina, 81 Shot Power, 81 Ball Control|
If you want to develop a midfield maestro, consider trying to transfer in one of the best young central midfielders to your club in FIFA 21’s Career Mode.
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