FIFA 21 best young defenders: The top 50 DEFs on career mode

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Alphonso Davies FIFA 21
Getty/EA Sports
Goal looks at all the wonderkid defenders in Career Mode, listing their potential ability, current rating and price in the game

You can't lose games if you don't concede goals. Many defensive-minded managers have lived and died by this approach in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

In reality and especially in FIFA 21, this is easier said than done. Defending is an art in FIFA and the new improvements to dribbling and forward runs in this year's game make it even more difficult to keep a clean sheet.

Signing the best defenders is crucial in Career Mode, with world-class centre-backs and full-backs costing top dollar.

There are bargains to be found if you want to sign cheap young defenders with high potential and are willing to put the effort in to turn them into superstars.

Players with high current ratings like Matthijs de Ligt and Alphonso Davies will be too expensive for the majority of teams, but Sporting CP duo Nuno Mendes and Eduardo Quaresma might be cheaper alternatives that will eventually reach similar heights.

Game time and training is crucial to player growth in FIFA 21, so if you do sign some of these cheap wonderkids, make sure you give them enough minutes to develop properly and become superstars.

Here are all the best young defenders in FIFA 21 Career Mode, ordered by their potential rating in the game.

PO. = Position(s)

CR = Current Rating

PR = Potential Rating

Article continues below

VA. = Value

*Clubs listed are the clubs the players are assigned to in FIFA 21 Career Mode, while ages shown are the age at the start of Career Mode

FIFA 21: Best young defenders

# Name Age Club PO. CR PR VA.
1 M de Ligt 20 Juventus CB 85 92 £44.6m
2 A Davies 19 Bayern Munich LB, LM, RM 81 89 £20.3m
3 O Kabak 20 Schalke CB 77 87 £11.7m
4 W Saliba 19 Arsenal CB 74 87 £9m
5 Nuno Mendes 18 Sporting CP LWB, LM 72 87 £5.4m
6 R James 20 Chelsea RB, CDM 77 86 £11.3m
7 O Wijndal 20 AZ Alkmaar LB 77 86 £11.3m
8 S Dest 19 Barcelona RB 75 86 £9m
9 J Todibo 20 Barcelona CB 75 86 £9.5m
10 Eduardo Quaresma 18 Sporting CP CB 72 86 £5.4m
11 R Ait-Nouri 19 Angers LB 71 86 £4.2m
12 J Frimpong 19 Celic RB, RWB 70 86 £3.2m
13 J Gvardiol 18 RB Leipzig CB, LB 69 86 £1.8m
14 L Stergiou 18 St Gallen CB 67 86 £1.4m
15 L Netz 17 Hertha BSC LB, LM 63 86 £675k
16 B Arrey-Mbi 17 Bayern Munich II CB, LB 60 86 £385k
17 N Perez 20 Atletico Madrid CB 75 85 £9m
18 B Williams 19 Man Utd LB, LWB 75 85 £8.6m
19 M Kumbulla 20 Roma CB 75 85 £9m
20 Tomas Tavares 20 Benfica CB 73 85 £5.9m
21 Nuno Tavares 20 Benfica LB 72 85 £5m
22 Eric Garcia 19 Man City CB 72 85 £5m
23 T Kouassi 18 Bayern Munich CB, CDM 71 85 £4.1m
24 J Vagnoman 19 Hamburg RB, LM, LB 69 85 £1.9m
25 N Williams 19 Liverpool RB 67 85 £1.4m
26 M Kana 17 Anderlecht CM, CDM, CM 65 85 £900k
27 O Rekik 18 Hertha BSC CB 63 85 £700k
28 P Schuurs 20 Ajax CB 75 84 £8.6m
29 T Malacia 20 Feyenoord LB 75 84 £8.6m
30 E Ndicka 20 Eintracht Frankfurt CB, LB 74 84 £7.7m
31 Alex Centelles 20 Valencia LB 74 84 £7.2m
32 Z Vanheusden 20 Standard Liege CB 73 84 £5.9m
33 L Cacace 19 Sint-Truidense LB, LWB 73 84 £5.4m
34 N Katterbach 19 Koln LB 70 84 £3.2m
35 E Ampadu 19 Chelsea CB, CDM 67 84 £1.4m
36 L Pirola 18 Inter CB 63 84 £700k
37 K Hoever 18 Wolves RB, CB 63 84 £700k
38 C Riad 17 Barcelona CB 59 84 £300k
39 D Bradaric 20 Lille LB 75 83 £8.1m
40 M Aarons 20 Norwich RB 73 83 £5.4m
41 J Bogle 19 Sheffield United RB 72 83 £4.2m
42 W Fofana 19 Saint-Etienne CB 71 83 £3.4m
43 David Carmo 20 Braga CB 71 83 £3.5m
44 A Bernabei 19 Atletico Lanus LB, LW, LM 70 83 £2.7m
45 F Agu 20 Werder Bremen LB, RB, RM 70 83 £2.8m
46 Guillamon 20 Valencia CB, CDM 69 83 £2m
47 J Beyer 20 Borussia M'gladbach RB, CB 69 83 £1.9m
48 M Karbownik 19 Legia Warsaw LB, CM 68 83 £1.6m
49 I Kabore 19 Man City RB 68 83 £1.6m
50 Tiago Djalo 20 Lille CB 68 83 £1.6m
51 M Bard 19 Lyon LB 67 83 £1.4m
52 K Sardella 18 Anderlecht RB, LB 66 83 £1.1m
53 C Richards 20 Bayern Munich II CB, RB 66 83 £1.2m
54 E Laird 18 Man Utd RB 66 83 £1.1m
55 T Lamptey 19 Brighton RB, RM 66 83 £1.2m
56 T Mengi 18 Man Utd CB 65 83 £900k
57 N Armini 19 Lazio CB 65 83 £990k
58 T Pembele 17 PSG RB, LB, CB 63 83 £600k
59 K Calhanoglu 17 Schalke LB, LM 62 83 £575k
60 D Cirkin 18 Spurs LB 61 83 £475k

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