The transfer budgets are already impacted at the start of any career in Football Manager 21, due to the summer transfer window. You won’t find many clubs with significant spending power, especially in the lower leagues or if you take on a budget from La Liga outside of the top half of the table.
As such, the need for bargain buys has never been more important if you wish to start improving your chosen squad from the off. If you’re nearly out of funds or don’t start with a war chest like Real Madrid’s, you’ll want to sign one of FM 21’s best-rated cheap players, or perhaps one of the top free agents on offer.
On this page, you’ll find some of FM 21’s top cheap right backs to sign for your club, bringing capable ability, solid defensive stats, and mean crosses to feed your strikers – all for low wages and a low transfer fee.
Finding bargain right backs of FM 21 worth signing
Football Manager 21’s algorithm calculates prices based several different factors; these can include the status of a player’s team, the club trying to sign them, the level that they play at, the player’s ability, and their age. All of these factors can make finding the best bargain right backs a tedious task in-game.
While selecting the cheap right backs worth signing, we ruled out players unavailable from the start, such as those on-loan, those who have recently signed a new contract, and new arrivals at clubs. We based our choices off of the criteria as follows: a minimum positional rating of 18, a minimum current ability (CA) of 125, wages under £15,000, and can be signed for under £4 million.
All of the players we found have a 125 CA or higher. To give some perspective to the ability that this offers, these more well-known players have exactly 125 CA: Crystal Palace’s Joel Ward, Barcelona youngster Moussa Wagué, Sam Byram of Norwich City, and Fulham’s Belgian veteran Dennis Odoi.
On this page, you can find the top-five players with the highest CA featured, as well as a table listing every other cheap right back worth buying at the foot of the page. With every save on Football Manager being unique, we’ve tried to feature players who fit into a range of different clubs’ transfer budgets while retaining a decent ability to improve your squad.
Hatem Abd Elhamed (CA 128 / PA 145)
Team: Celtic FC
Value: £1.1 million
Transfer Cost: £1.1 million
Best Attributes: 15 Bravery, 15 Work Rate, 14 Pace
The Israeli-born defender started his senior career in Belgium with RSC Charleroi, but after playing just once, he moved on to FC Ashdod in his native country. After four years in Israel, he spent a season on-loan to Romanian outfit FC Dinamo before being bought and loaned back to Ashdod by KAA Genk. After his loan spell with Ashdod ended, he was once again purchased by them in 2017.
One month later, however, he was snapped up by Israeli giants Hapoel Beer Sheva. Abd Elhamed won the league title that season, followed by a fourth-place finished the year after. His performances in Israel caught the eye of Scottish behemoths Celtic, who signed him for £1.62 million in 2019. Although recurring muscle injuries have limited his playing time, he’s still managed seven assists from 30 games for the Hoops.
Costing £1.1 million or less, depending on your negotiating skill, Abd Elhamed can be deployed as either a right back or in central defence. His 15 work rate, 14 pace, and 14 stamina make him an adept right back, covering the right flank all game.
While attacking, he can assist the forwards thanks to his 13 crossing and 12 passing, while his nine vision attribute can be worked on to make his crosses land with pinpoint accuracy. In defence, Abd Elhamed can certainly hold his own, possessing a 14 strength attribute, 14 marking, and 14 tackling, making life for attackers very difficult throughout games.
Marlon Piedrahita (CA 128 / PA 132)
Team: Popular Junior FC
Transfer Cost: £9,500
Best Attributes: 15 Leadership, 14 Stamina, 14 Long Throws
Veteran Colombian defender Marlon Piedrahita has spent his entire career plying his trade in the Colombia Liga Dimayor. He began his career with Alianza Petrol before moving to the most successful club in the country, Atlético Nacional, for the 2006/07 season. After spending five years with Nacional, including a loan spell with Envigado, Piedrahita joined Deportes Tolima in 2011.
One year later, he left for Rionegro Águilas and then Deportivo Pasto the following year. Another season passed, and Piedrahita found himself on the move again, this time to Once Caldas. Here, he managed a two-year spell, playing 55 games for the club before being sold to Independiente Medellín. In 2017, though, this journeyman found his home in Popular Junior FC; since signing, he’s won the Colombian league twice and made 102 appearances, scoring six and assisting five to date.
Being 35-years-old, Piedrahita can be seen as a short-term option to either add depth as a back-up or as an experienced player for some lower league teams. He costs just £9,500, so his wages will be the most expensive part of the transfer.
Despite his age, the Colombian possesses a staggering 14 stamina and 13 work rate. Pair those with his 14 teamwork, and you have a tireless worker for any side. Not only will he work hard, but with 14 crossing, 14 technique, and 14 vision, he will put balls on a plate for strikers to finish when in attacking positions.
Marnon Busch (CA 128 / PA 131)
Team: FC Heidenheim
Transfer Cost: £210,000
Best Attributes: 17 Work Rate, 16 Bravery, 15 Pace
This young German signed for Bundesliga side Werder Bremen in 2007. After working his way through the youth ranks in Bremen, Marnon Busch made his senior debut in 2014 against Hertha Berlin, which ended in a 2-2 draw.
Plagued by muscular injuries, the development of Busch was somewhat halted during his spell with Werder Bremen. He spent a season on-loan with 1860 Munich in 2016, but was ultimately sold to 2. Bundesliga side FC Heidenheim in 2017. Seemingly past his injury-laden spell, he’s amassed 102 appearances, setting up seven and scoring once so far.
In FM 21, Busch possesses a stunning 17 work rate and 14 stamina, making for a tireless runner on the right side of the pitch. His 16 bravery might have something to do with his past injury problems, as he throws his body on the line for the team to ensure victory.
While he can put in a great delivery with 15 crossing, his 11 vision could be improved. His ability with the ball at his feet, having ten first touch and ten dribbling, means that it could be useful to instruct him to dribble less and pass more.
Eli Dasa (CA 127 / PA 139)
Team: SBV Vitesse
Value: £3.2 million
Transfer Cost: £3.9 million
Best Attributes: 15 Stamina, 15 Work Rate, 15 Flair
Beginning his career with Beitar Jerusalem in Israel, Eli Dasa made 117 appearances, scoring three goals and assisting one before making a move to Maccabi Tel Aviv for £540,000.
Switching to the most decorated Israeli club in 2015, Dasa appeared 138 times for the Yellow Ones, scoring six goals and assisting 24 in this time. Despite winning the 2018/19 Ligat ha’Al, he was released by the team, consequently signed for Vitesse in the Eredivisie.
Another player in this list that boasts a decent stamina rating in FM 21, Dasa’s 15 stamina and 15 work rate ensure that he covers every blade of grass. Accompanying his fitness capabilities is a 15 flair rating, giving him a creative and unpredictable edge over his opponents while in possession.
Dasa has an attacking playstyle, possessing such traits as Gets Forward Whenever Possible, Runs with the Ball Often, and Cuts Inside from the Right, showing this right back loves to punish the opposition by utilising his 12 vision and 12 crossing.
Danny da Costa (CA 127 / PA 136)
Team: Eintracht Frankfurt
Value: £2.2 million
Transfer Cost: £2.1 million
Best Attributes: 18 Pace, 16 Natural Fitness, 15 Determination
This Bayer Leverkusen youth product emerged from their academy in 2011. For the 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons, Danny da Costa was sent on-loan to Ingolstadt in Germany. Shortly after his loan deal ended, Leverkusen decided to terminate his contract to the delight of Ingolstadt, who signed him for free that summer.
After another two years and 92 appearances with Ingolstadt, Leverkusen re-signed the right back in 2016, but just a year later, he was sold to Eintracht Frankfurt for £900,000. He made 115 appearances in Frankfurt, scoring nine goals and assisting 20 before being loaned to Mainz 05 in January 2021 for the second half of the Bundesliga season.
Da Costa boasts a fantastic 18 pace rating, allowing him to burn past defenders or track back to stop opposing wingers. His 14 stamina also gives him the ability to go all-out for 90 minutes consistently.
His 15 determination gives him a platform to succeed in any circumstance and bring his absolute best to the pitch. Possessing 14 tackling and 14 work rate enables the flying full-back to competently do his defensive duties before unleashing counter-attacks down the right-hand side.
All of the bargain right backs (RB) of FM 21 to sign
You can find plenty of cheap right backs to sign in FM 21 for a low fee, but with the star system being deceptive, some may let you down. Find all of the cheap players that we found below, with each of them having at least 125 CA without costing more than £4 million.
|Hatem Abd Elhamed||29||£1.1 million||£13,000||128||145||Celtic FC|
|Marlon Piedrahita||35||£9,500||£7,500||128||132||Popular Junior FC|
|Marnon Busch||25||£210,000||£6,133||128||131||FC Heidenheim|
|Eli Dasa||27||£3.9 million||£3,300||127||139||SBV Vitesse|
|Danny da Costa||27||£2.1 million||£13,706||127||136||Eintracht Frankfurt|
|Gilberto García||33||£45,500||£2,400||127||129||Cúcuta Deportivo|
|Alan Mozo||23||£3.9 million||£8,500||126||140||Pumas U.N.A.M|
|José Pedro Fuenzalida||35||£34,000||£5,750||125||135||CD Universidad Católica|
|Sergiy Bolbat||27||£1.4 million||£5,000||125||135||Shakhtar Donetsk|
|Tomasz Kędziora||26||£3.3 million||£7,000||125||130||Dynamo Kyiv|
|Elvis Perlaza||31||£44,000||£1,400||125||126||Millonarios FC|
|Alberto Espínola||29||£450,000||£2,300||125||126||C Cerro Porteño|
Bolster the strength of your flying full-backs with one of these top cheap right backs in FM 21.