An ever more prominent role in the game, defensive midfielders have become essential to creating a balanced team of high-powered attack and stalwart defending.
Sitting just in front of the defence, athleticism is key, as are the more passive attributes. Now, most of the best defensive midfielders have been in the sport for decades, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t blood-in a top young player.
Here, you’ll see all of the best CDM wonderkids to sign in FIFA 22 Career Mode.
Choosing FIFA 22 Career Mode’s best wonderkid defensive midfielders (CDM)
While many of them aren’t household names yet, there’re many who foresee huge futures for the likes of Romeo Lavia, Sandro Tonali, Boubacar Kamara, and several others on this list.
To narrow down the selection to the best defensive midfield wonderkids in FIFA 22, this list only features young players who are 21-years-old at the most, have CDM down as their main position, and have at least an 80 for their potential rating.
At the base of the article, you can see the full list of all of the best defensive midfield (CDM) wonderkids in FIFA 22.
Sandro Tonali (77 OVR – 86 POT)
Team: AC Milan
Value: £19 million
Best Attributes: 82 Sprint Speed, 81 Short Pass, 80 Ball Control
Just making it onto the list at 21-years-old, Sandro Tonali’s decent 86 potential rating lands him as the best CDM wonderkid in FIFA 22 – and he already has a 77 overall rating.
The Italian midfielder’s 80 ball control, 81 short pass, 77 vision, and 80 long pass are already great ratings to put into the defensive midfield role. Tonali’s 80 aggression, 74 standing tackle, and 72 sliding tackle help him to regain possession, while his passing ratings ensure that you keep the ball.
Hailed as ‘the next Andrea Pirlo,’ Tonali didn’t exactly get off to the most impressive start at AC Milan, coming over on-loan with an option to buy from Brescia Calcio. Still, the Rossoneri completed the move this summer, and have been utilising the youngster as their starting defensive midfielder since the start of this campaign.
Boubacar Kamara (80 OVR – 86 POT)
Team: Olympique de Marseille
Value: £27 million
Best Attributes: 83 Aggression, 83 Interceptions, 81 Composure
Already an 80-overall CDM, Boubacar Kamara is the exact kind of build that most look for in a player for this position, with his 86 potential rating making him the joint-best defensive midfield wonderkid in FIFA 22.
Coming into Career Mode with 83 interceptions, 81 standing tackle, 80 sliding tackle, 81 composure, 83 aggression, and 79 short pass, few would dispute that Kamara is already a very user-friendly CDM.
Quite remarkably, Kamara looks set to eclipse the 150-game mark for Olympique de Marseille this season, despite still only being 21-years-old. The French wonderkid has been the Ligue 1 side’s go-to defensive midfielder for years, but he’s yet to be capped by the national team – what with N’Golo Kanté being such a force.
Roméo Lavia (62 OVR – 85 POT)
Team: Manchester City
Value: £1 million
Best Attributes: 68 Slide Tackle, 66 Aggression, 66 Stand Tackle
Easily the lowest-rated on this list in terms of value (£1 million), wage (£600 per week), and overall rating (62), Roméo Lavia still achieves a high placing because his 85 potential rating makes him one of the best CDM wonderkids to sign in Career Mode.
As you’d assume from a 17-year-old with a 62 overall rating, Lavia doesn’t have any useful attributes ratings yet – if you’re planning on bringing him to a top-flight team, that is. However, the spread as it is, with 68 sliding tackle, 66 standing tackle, and 64 reactions, does bode well for the young Belgian.
Having switched from the academy of Anderlecht to Manchester City in 2020, Lavia went straight into the under-18s side. By January, though, the Brussel-born midfielder was promoted to the under-23s side, and was given his first-team debut earlier this year, playing 90 minutes in the EFL Cup.
Oliver Skipp (75 OVR – 85 POT)
Team: Tottenham Hotspur
Value: £10 million
Best Attributes: 79 Stamina, 77 Short Pass, 76 Aggression
As a 75-overall defensive midfielder, Oliver Skipp can already feature for many teams in FIFA 22, but it’s his 85 potential that makes the Englishman one of the best CDM wonderkids to sign in Career Mode.
Hailing from Welwyn Garden City, Skipp’s in-game build is very well-balanced, with 79 stamina, 77 short pass, 76 aggression, 75 long pass, 74 balance, and 74 reactions all showing quite an even spread to make him not overly reliant on a particular facet of the role.
Skipp enjoyed a busy loan spell to Norwich City in the Championship last season, playing in 45 games to score one goal and set-up two more. Having returned to his parent club, Tottenham Hotspur, Skipp started the 2021/22 campaign as Nuno Espírito Santo’s preferred choice in defensive midfield.
David Ayala (68 OVR – 84 POT)
Value: £2.6 million
Best Attributes: 84 Balance, 76 Agility, 75 Acceleration
Very much a hidden gem in FIFA 22, David Ayala is disguised by his 68 overall rating, with his 84 potential rating actually grading the Argentine as one of the best defensive midfield wonderkids in the game.
Not quite ready for a starting XI place with a top-tier European club, but Ayala still has some eye-catching ratings. His 74 short pass, 75 agility, and 72 stamina lay a decent footing for him to become a busy, fast-moving CDM in the future.
For Club Estudiantes de la Plata, in Liga Profesional, the 19-year-old is still being eased into the first-team, but does look set to eclipse the 30-game mark for his club this season.
Alan Varela (69 OVR – 83 POT)
Team: Boca Juniors
Value: £2.7 million
Best Attributes: 77 Stamina, 76 Short Pass, 73 Ball Control
The defensive midfield wonderkids pool of FIFA 22 is rather shallow, with Alan Varela making it into the top picks with a mere 83 potential rating.
Despite his relatively meek potential rating, and 69 overall rating, Varela does come into Career Mode with some decent ratings for a CDM. The Argentine’s 76 short pass, 73 ball control, 71 long pass, and 77 stamina all make him a viable choice from the start.
Still used rather sparingly by Boca Juniors in Liga Profesional, Varela has a fair bit of development to do before he’s trusted as the team’s starting defensive midfielder.
Lucas Gourna (70 OVR – 83 POT)
Team: AS Saint-Étienne
Value: £2.9 million
Best Attributes: 75 Stamina, 72 Short Pass, 70 Stand Tackle
Featuring in a rather large stack of 83-potential young CDMs, Lucas Gourna makes his way into the top batch of the best CDM wonderkids in FIFA 22 at the age of 17.
Given his age and 70-overall rating, the Frenchman isn’t expected to have many user-friendly attributes. However, his 72 short pass, 75 stamina, and 70 standing tackle do come into use when he’s on the pitch.
Last season, Gourna was used regularly in Ligue 1, playing 30 games and collecting eight yellow cards for his efforts. To commence the 2020/21 campaign, the young player was used fairly fleetingly, but he’s got plenty of time to stake a claim in the starting XI.
All of the best young wonderkid defensive midfielders in FIFA 22
In the table below, you can find all of the best wonderkid defensive midfielders in FIFA 22, sorted by their potential ratings.
|Sandro Tonali||77||86||21||CDM, CM||AC Milan|
|Boubacar Kamara||80||86||21||CDM, CB||Olympique de Marseille|
|Roméo Lavia||62||85||17||CDM||Manchester City|
|Gustavo Assunção||73||85||21||CDM, CM||Galatasaray SK (on-loan from FC Famalicão)|
|Oliver Skipp||75||85||20||CDM, CM||Tottenham Hotspur|
|Eric Martel||66||84||19||CDM||FK Austria Wien (on-loan from RB Leipzig)|
|David Ayala||68||84||18||CDM||Estudiantes de La Plata|
|James Garner||69||84||20||CDM, CM||Nottingham Forest (on-loan from Manchester United)|
|Alan Varela||69||83||19||CDM, CM||Boca Juniors|
|Lucas Gourna||70||83||17||CDM||AS Saint-Étienne|
|Amadou Onana||68||83||19||CDM, CM||LOSC Lille|
|Alhassan Yusuf||70||83||20||CDM, CM||Royal Antwerp FC|
|Florentino||74||83||21||CDM, CM||Getafe CF (on-loan from SL Benfica)|
|Javi Serrano||64||82||18||CDM||Atlético Madrid|
|Sivert Mannsverk||64||82||19||CDM||Molde FK|
|Samú Costa||69||82||20||CDM, CM||UD Almería|
|Khéphren Thuram||74||82||20||CDM, CM||OGC Nice|
|Mohamed Camara||73||82||21||CDM, CM||FC Red Bull Salzburg|
|Andrés Perea||65||82||20||CDM, CM||Orlando City SC|
|Cristian Cásseres Jr||71||82||21||CDM, CM||New York Red Bulls|
|Eliot Matazo||70||81||19||CDM, CM||AS Monaco|
|Sotirios Alexandropoulos||68||81||19||CDM, CM||Panathinaikos FC|
|Marco Kana||67||81||18||CAM, CB, CM||RSC Anderlecht|
|Han-Noah Massengo||68||81||19||CDM, CM||Bristol City|
|Federico Navarro||69||81||21||CDM, CM||Chicago Fire|
|Ethan Galbraith||64||81||20||CDM, CM||Doncaster Rovers (on-loan from Manchester United)|
|Rosberto Dourado||81||81||21||CDM, CM, CAM||Corinthians|
|Bastida||62||80||17||CDM, CM||Cádiz CF|
|Lennard Hartjes||64||80||18||CDM, CM||Feyenoord|
|Raphael Onyedika||64||80||20||CDM, CM, CB||FC Midtjylland|
|Metinho||61||80||18||CDM, CM||ESTAC Troyes|
|Terrats||66||80||20||CDM, CM||Girona FC|
|Eugenio Pizzuto||60||80||19||CDM, CM||LOSC Lille|
|Rodrigo Villagra||66||80||20||CDM||Club Atlético Talleres|
|Rassoul Ndiaye||61||80||19||CDM, CM||FC Sochaux-Montbéliard|
|José Gragera||70||80||21||CDM, CM||Real Sporting de Gijón|
|Edwin Cerrillo||65||80||20||CDM, CM||FC Dallas|
|Harvey White||62||80||19||CDM, LB, LM||Tottenham Hotspur|
|Morten Frendrup||71||80||20||CDM, CM||Brøndby IF|
The selection is shallow for the best CDM wonderkids in FIFA 22, so be sure to sign one of the very best if you want to cement the position for several seasons to come.
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