Help your team win the midfield battle with one of these 10 middle-of-the-park bargains, available from just €5m.
Paul Pogba might’ve cost Manchester United €105m, but there are plenty of midfielders out there who’ll improve your FIFA 18 team for a fraction of the Frenchman’s fee.
Sure, goals might win games, but plenty of matches are won or lost in the battle for midfield, so spend all your money on strikers at your peril. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 10 bargain midfielders, the most expensive of which will cost you less than €20m, while the cheapest will set you back just a quarter of that.
All of these players are available to buy from the very start of FIFA 18’s Career Mode and while the transfer fees quoted are prices we managed to agree with selling clubs through our hardest bargaining, you might be able to do even better by including sell-on clauses.
Valentin Rongier (Nantes)
Similar in style to PSG’s Marco Verratti, Valentin Rongier is a defensive midfielder who’s capable of much more than just breaking up play. A standing tackle stat of 82 will help him win back the ball, but once it’s at his feet he’s got the technique and composure to find targets both near and far, while his agility, balance and dribbling skills allow him to hold onto the ball under pressure in tight spaces. Nantes know they’ve got a prospect on their hands, so the 22-year-old will set you back €18m, but with the potential to hit 84 overall that’s a pretty good price.
Vladimír Darida (Hertha BSC)
Combining the agility and balance of a balletic number 10 with the engine and passing skills of a metronomic central midfielder, Herta’s Vladimír Darida can do much more than just quietly recycle possession. Sure, that 94 stamina stat will mean he runs for fun, but with respectable numbers for everything from dribbling and finishing to crossing and composure, the 26-year-old Czech is the very definition of an all-rounder. Such versatility comes at a price, though, and that is €16m.
Thomas Partey (Atlético Madrid)
Considering Thomas Partey has become an important part of Diego Simeone’s side it’s something of a surprise that El Cholo will let the Ghanaian go for just €14.5m. When you consider he’s still only 24 and has the potential to reach 85 overall it’s even more perplexing, but you shouldn’t be confused over whether to pick him up or not. Less one-dimensional than a straight-up enforcer, he works hard with and without the ball, plus his physical strengths are complemented by decent tackling and passing stats. Having a Partey in midfield should be a no-brainer.
Nuri Şahin (Borussia Dortmund)
Şahin’s career stalled slightly after he left Dortmund for Real Madrid back in 2011, with injuries plaguing him during his time at Liverpool and ever since he returned to the Westfalenstadion. That’s probably part of the reason why Dortmund will let him leave for just €14m, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s an exceptional passer of the ball, with excellent technical ability and a calmness in possession that makes him a real asset in any midfield. His tackling could be better but the 29-year-old’s ability to read the game and intercept the ball more than makes up for it.
Roman Zobnin (Spartak Moscow)
Reportedly once wanted by Manchester United, Spartak’s Roman Zobnin is a defensive midfielder with the potential to achieve big things. With the 23-year-old anchoring your midfield his tackling and passing will give you a platform to build your attacks from, while 90 for stamina, plus acceleration and sprint speed in the high seventies, mean he has no problems getting around the pitch. Already rated 78 overall, with the right training and development he’ll max out at 85, which makes the €13.5m transfer fee all the more reasonable. Pick him up before someone else does.
Charles Aránguiz (Bayer Leverkusen)
Chile’s Charles Aránguiz might only be 1.7m tall but his impact on your midfield will be much bigger than his stature would suggest. He’s got the control, agility and balance to operate in confined spaces, the pace and dribbling skills to break into space when he sees it, and the vision and passing skills to find teammates further up the field with ease. Chuck in great stamina, good crossing ability and a half-decent shot and the 28-year-old starts to look like the complete midfielder. For €12.5m, that’s a bit of a bargain.
Diego Demme (RB Leipzig)
Naby Keïta might be Liverpool-bound at the end of the season but as long as Diego Demme sticks around, RB Leipzig’s all-action, counter-attacking style should be in safe hands. The 25-year-old’s ability to cover the space in front of the defence is almost Kanté-esque, with 93 for stamina and 80 for aggression. He’s not the quickest, but with 88 for agility and 85 for balance he’s very mobile, and 82 for short passing means he’s adept at quickly giving the ball to more creative players as soon as he’s retrieved it. With the potential to hit 81 overall, around €11m is more than a fair price to pay.
Yassin Ayoub (Utrecht)
With his stocky build and lack of height, Utrecht’s Yassin Ayoub looks like a ball-winner, but there’s much to his game than that. His tackling stats aren’t bad but it’s his energy that you’re more likely to notice on the pitch, with good passing and dribbling skills, great balance, and impressive stamina. What’s particularly unusual for a player in Ayoub’s position is his crossing ability, which also means he’s something of a corner specialist. At 23 he’s still got time to improve, so €10.5m is a reasonable price to pay.
Jorrit Hendrix (PSV)
Hendrix is listed as a CDM, but the Dutchman’s strengths lie more in possession than they do without the ball. That’s not to say his tackling is bad per se, but he’s certainly better at intercepting the ball than sticking his foot in and winning it. Once he’s got it at his feet, though, the 22-year-old can pick a pass, while his pace is better than a lot of players of his type. 81 for stamina is by no means the best on this list but as long as you’re not making him run box-to-box, it should keep him going for the full 90. With the potential to reach 82 overall, it’s worth offering PSV the €9m or so that’ll be required to secure his services.
Bibras Natcho (CSKA Moscow)
With just 12 months left on his contract, CSKA’s Israeli midfielder can be picked up for just €5m, but with an overall rating of 76 he can still do a job for all but the biggest teams. At 29 he’s not going to get any better, but when deployed as a deep-lying playmaker the experience that comes with age is often an asset. Good stats for composure, control, vision and long passing mean he’s most suited to playing that quarterback role, although if you do find him on the ball further up the pitch a crossing stat of 76 means he’s handy with a delivery from out wide too.