Defensive midfielders have become a core part of many silverware-winning clubs of recent years, with the likes of N’Golo Kante, Casemiro, and Joshua Kimmich being the best in the role right now.
In FIFA 21, there is an incredibly rich vein of talent at the CDM position. From the best young defensive midfielders that can go into your team now to one of the best wonderkids in the game, you’ll be spoiled for choice when picking which young CDM to sign for your team in Career Mode.
This article contains all of the best young defensive midfielders in FIFA 21’s Career Mode, with a full table of CDMs at the foot of the page.
Choosing FIFA 21 Career Mode’s best young CDM
When arranging the rankings for the best young defensive midfielders in FIFA 21, the main rating used was the overall rating of each player.
To get into the best young CDM rankings, however, the players also had to have an overall rating of at least 76 OVR, be 23-years-old or younger, and have CDM as their preferred position in Career Mode.
We’ve also included each player’s potential rating (POT) so that you know how good your investment can become if you play them regularly enough.
If you’re looking for the best young defensive midfielders with the highest potential ratings, check out the CDM wonderkids article.
For a full list of ALL of the best young CDM in FIFA 21, view the table towards the end of the page.
Wilfred Ndidi (84 OVR – 88 POT)
Team: Leicester City
Best Position: LDM, LCB, CDM, CB, RDM, RCB
Overall/Potential: 84 OVR / 88 POT
Value: £49.5 million
Wage: £86,000 per week
Best Attributes: 92 Stamina, 90 Jumping, 90 Interceptions
Joining Leicester City just six months after they allowed N’Golo Kante to leave for Chelsea, Wilfred Ndidi didn’t waste any time in claiming his first-team place.
The leggy Nigerian has gone from strength-to-strength with each passing campaign, and now, at 23-years-old, he’s in the conversation as one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League.
A true defensive presence for the Foxes over the last few years, Ndidi’s efforts have been rewarded with an 84 OVR making him the best young CDM in FIFA 21.
The Lagos-born midfielder is very fun to deploy in Career Mode, with his physicality and defensive skill being dominant factors. Very few can contend with Ndidi’s 90 jumping, 92 stamina, 87 reactions, 87 defensive awareness, 89 standing tackle, 85 sliding tackle, 87 aggression, and 90 interceptions.
Denis Zakaria (83 OVR – 87 POT)
Team: Borussia Mönchengladbach
Best Position: LDM, CDM, RDM
Overall/Potential: 83 OVR / 87 POT
Value: £42.5 million
Wage: £40,500 per week
Best Attributes: 89 Aggression, 87 Strength, 85 Sprint Speed
Still only 23-years-old, Denis Zakaria has already played 28 games for Switzerland – scoring three goals for his national side – and was one of the first names on the Borussia Mönchengladbach team sheet before his knee injury last season.
Despite standing 6’3’’ and over 12st., Zakaria’s best work is at ground level. In the Bundesliga last season, the towering Swiss led the team with an average of 2.1 tackles per game, as well as 1.6 interceptions, 1.1 clearances, and 2.0 dribbles per game.
Physicality is the name of the game for Zakaria in FIFA 21, who comes into Career Mode as one of the best young CDMs to sign.
Born in Genf, developed by Servette FC, Zakaria already boasts strong ratings of 89 aggression, 84 composure, 84 defensive awareness, 87 strength, and 85 sprint speed at the start of FIFA 21.
Konrad Laimer (83 OVR – 86 POT)
Team: RB Leipzig
Best Position: LWB, LDM, CDM, RDM, RWB
Overall/Potential: 83 OVR / 86 POT
Value: £36 million
Wage: £47,500 per week
Best Attributes: 89 Stamina, 86 Sprint Speed, 85 Aggression
Having amassed 77 games, eight goals, and six assists for Red Bull Salzburg as a teenager, RB Leipzig decided to swoop in and sign Konrad Laimer. Since then, he’s played 114 games, scored six goals, and set-up 12 scores for the club.
For the German Bundesliga club, Laimer predominantly starts in a central midfield role, with manager Julian Nagelsmann’s double-pivot set-up often seeing one of his two centre-mids swing into the attack while the other dips back to defend.
Laimer boasts very well-rounded stats, with his 83 OVR ranking the 23-year-old as one of the best defensive midfielders in Career Mode.
The Austrian has decent attributes across the board, with his most useful ratings being his 89 stamina, 86 sprint speed, 83 acceleration, 84 short passing, and 84 interceptions.
Rosberto Dourado (81 OVR – 81 POT)
Team: Atlético Mineiro
Best Position: LDM, CDM, RDM
Overall/Potential: 81 OVR / 81 POT
Value: £23 million
Wage: £27,500 per week
Best Attributes: 91 Stamina, 86 Standing Tackle, 83 Defensive Awareness
Due to eFootball PES having the licensing rights to the Brazilian leagues and its players, FIFA 21 doesn’t feature any of the real best young players in Brazil, such as Gabriel Veron. Instead, there are some generated players like Rosberto Dourado available.
Rosberto Dourado is a fairly average defensive midfielder in FIFA 21, with his 81 OVR not expected to go anywhere.
That said, if you need one of the best young defensive midfielders in Career Mode, the Brazilian does have some useful ratings, such as his 91 stamina, 86 standing tackle, 83 defensive awareness, 82 short passing, and 82 interceptions.
Boubacar Kamara (79 OVR – 87 POT)
Team: Olympique de Marseille
Best Position: LDM, CDM, RDM
Overall/Potential: 79 OVR / 87 POT
Value: £32.5 million
Wage: £26,000 per week
Best Attributes: 80 Composure, 80 Interceptions, 79 Long Passing
Boubacar Kamara is still only 20-years-old, and yet, he’s been a regular starter for Olympique de Marseille since the end of the 2017/18 season.
Playing almost exclusively as a first-choice centre back in 2018/19 for his 37 games, partway through last season, Kamara was more frequently deployed in a defensive midfield role. Five games into the current Ligue 1 season, Kamara has started every game just in front of the backline.
With plenty of time to develop into his 87 POT, the 6’0’’ Frenchman already ranks as one of the best young CDM players of FIFA 21.
While Kamara’s ratings are in all of the right places, they are quite low. Still, his 80 interceptions, 80 composure, 79 standing tackle, 77 sliding tackle, 76 defensive awareness, and 77 stamina bode well for the future.
All the Best Young CDM (Defensive Midfielders) in FIFA 21
In the table below, you can find all of the best young defensive midfielders (CDM) to sign in Career Mode, with their overall ratings, potential ratings, and best attributes all detailed.
|Wilfred Ndidi||23||CDM, CM||84||88||Leicester City||92 Stamina, 90 Jumping, 90 Interceptions|
|Denis Zakaria||23||CDM, CB, CM||83||87||Borussia Mönchengladbach||89 Aggression, 87 Strength, 85 Sprint Speed|
|Konrad Laimer||23||CDM, CM, RB||83||86||RB Leipzig||89 Stamina, 86 Sprint Speed, 85 Aggression|
|Rosberto Dourado||20||CDM, CM, CAM||81||81||Atlético Mineiro||91 Stamina, 86 Standing Tackle, 83 Defensive Awareness|
|Boubacar Kamara||20||CDM, CB||79||87||Olympique de Marseille||80 Composure, 80 Interceptions, 79 Long Passing|
|Scott McTominay||23||CDM, CM||79||84||Manchester United||85 Aggression, 84 Stamina, 84 Strength|
|Declan Rice||21||CDM, CM||79||86||West Ham United||81 Standing Tackle, 80 Aggression, 79 Short Passing|
|Igor Zubeldía||23||CDM, CM, CB||79||84||Real Sociedad||84 Aggression, 83 Stamina, 82 Short Passing|
|Melvin Parrela||20||CDM||79||79||Coritiba||87 Stamina, 84 Standing Tackle, 84 Aggression|
|Sander Berge||22||CDM, CM||79||86||Sheffield United||91 Strength, 86 Stamina, 83 Composure|
|Teun Koopmeiners||22||CDM, CB||78||84||AZ Alkmaar||86 Penalties, 83 Stamina, 81 Short Passing|
|Lisandro Martínez||22||CDM, CB, LB||78||85||Ajax||87 Jumping, 82 Stamina, 81 Standing Tackle|
|Manuel Locatelli||22||CDM, CM||78||84||US Sassuolo||79 Interceptions, 79 Ball Control, 78 Defensive Awareness,|
|Sandro Tonali||20||CDM, CM||77||91||AC Milan||83 Acceleration, 82 Short Passing, 81 Long Passing|
|Mattéo Guendouzi||21||CDM, CM||77||86||Arsenal||80 Long Passing, 79 Stamina, 79 Short Passing|
|Marc Roca||23||CDM, CM||77||82||RCD Espanyol||87 Long Passing, 82 Short Passing, 80 Vision|
|Boubakary Soumaré||21||CDM, CM||76||85||LOSC Lille||77 Stamina, 77 Strength, 77 Short Passing|
|Edson Álvarez||22||CDM, CB||76||83||Ajax||82 Stamina, 80 Strength, 78 Aggression|
|Florentino||20||CDM, CM||76||86||AS Monaco||79 Aggression, 78 Standing Tackle, 77 Interceptions|
|Tyler Adams||21||CDM, RWB||76||85||RB Leipzig||86 Stamina, 85 Balance, 83 Jumping|
|Santiago Ascacíbar||23||CDM, CM||76||82||Hertha BSC||90 Aggression, 89 Stamina, 88 Balance|
|Lucas Tousart||23||CDM, CM||76||81||Hertha BSC||85 Stamina, 82 Strength, 82 Jumping|
To ensure that your defence is well-protected for years to come, sign one of the best defensive midfielders in FIFA 21’s Career Mode.
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