With FIFA 20 now out and many players already building their squads, there’s a common theme with many overloading with attackers while always overlooking the defensive side. After all, the flashy likes of Ronaldo and Messi will always be favoured over the core of the team — you won’t win anything without a strong defense. You also need to build for the future, which is why you should look into FIFA 20’s best young defenders who will serve you for seasons down the line in Career Mode.
These young defenders will not set you back an Abramovich takeover, though. They are all affordable for the majority of top flight sides, even if they may be rough diamonds with low overall ratings when your save begins. However, stick with them by chucking them in for less important matches, train them every possible opportunity, or even send them out on loan and you’re looking at some of FIFA 20’s best defenders before too long.
Here are the young defenders you should be looking to frame your future squad around in FIFA 20.
The Best and Cheapest FIFA 20 Young Defenders
Ethan Ampadu (CB)
Age: 18 Rating: 67 Potential: 86
Nationality: Welsh Current Club: Chelsea
One of Chelsea’s hottest prospects was sent out on loan before FIFA 20 was released, so you may struggle to pick him up in your first season — unless you’re actually playing as Chelsea, of course.
If you are playing as Chelsea, we’d recommend keeping him out on loan and allowing him more playing time before chucking him when he returns for 20/21, when he should be at a 70+ rating. The AI Chelsea will almost certainly not be bothered about keeping him if you want to buy him, so swoop in before his value starts rocketing up.
Nicolo Armini (CB)
Age: 18 Rating: 66 Potential: 84
Nationality: Italian Current Club: Lazio
An Italian prospect and a half, Armini’s starting stats may be a little worrying, him not really being blessed with any outstanding traits — he’s very much an average defender across the board. However, persevere with him and you will find that he becomes a commanding presence in the centre.
Flourishing into a powerhouse, Armini’s stature and composure will make him a bit of a bulldog. He may not be much of a Pirlo, but sometimes you just need a madman like Gattuso to do the simple stuff and do it well. An incredibly cheap buy, too.
Joe Gomez (CB)
Age: 22 Rating: 80 Potential: 88
Nationality: English Current Club: Liverpool
At 22 and also rather comparatively pricey, you might struggle to see how Joe Gomez fits into this guide on FIFA 20’s best young defenders. Though he’s not exactly cheap, his astonishing overall rating rise means that he’s a worthy investment.
Going from a decent 80 to a commanding 88, Gomez flourishes into a more than worthwhile van Dijk understudy in just a few seasons. He will also become one of the quickest defenders in the game, which is harder to come across in FIFA 20 than you might think.
Eduardo Quaresma (CB)
Age: 17 Rating: 65 Potential: 81
Nationality: Portugese Current Club: Sporting CP
Now here’s one of the best possible defenders in FIFA 20 for mid-table top flight sides looking for a long-term project. A potential rating of 81 might not set Quaresma on the same pedestal as the game’s very best, but the man’s an absolute mountain.
With some really impressive heading and general awareness stats, Quaresma will become a no-nonsense defender cursed with zero pace within a few seasons, kind of like Tah. He might get ripped apart against especially quick teams, but Quaresma will certainly do a job against the majority.
Nuno Tavares (LB)
Age: 19 Rating: 72 Potential: 84
Nationality: Portugese Current Club: Benfica
Just like the real thing, quality full-backs are hard to come across in FIFA 20, especially those at a young age that you can take the time to grow yourself. Enter Nuno Tavares, a prospect who might do a job for you straight away.
Imagine Jordi Alba but tall and you have Tavares. Possessing sensational speed stats, an eye for a ball, and a tonne of room to grow even further, Tavares is the ultimate modern full-back, which means that he is also a bit suspect defensively. Don’t worry about that, though: give him the ball and watch your flanks burst into life.
Tomás Esteves (RB)
Age: 17 Rating: 65 Potential: 79 Nationality: Portugese Current Club: Porto
Yet another quality Portugese prospect (we’re sensing a trend here), Esteves is actually a much different kind of defender to Tavares in that he is built primarily to defend with some sturdy defensive stats, including a lot of strength for someone so young.
If anything his FIFA 20 potential is a little unfair with him being deemed one of the best young players in Portugal. If you’re a mid-table side wanting some quality or even a top club need a rotation players, Esteves is more than capable in the long run.
William Saliba (CB)
Age: 18 Rating: 71 Potential: 88 Nationality: French Current Club: Arsenal/ASSE
The conveyor belt of talent at Arsenal doesn’t often spit out too many defenders (which is what they sorely need), but they do have one of the game’s best young defenders out on loan when your FIFA 20 campaign begins.
Saliba is very much the model of what a defender should be: a robust tackler with a commanding frame and an eye for an interception. You may not be able to acquire him in your first season, but you ought to as soon as he becomes available — an overall rating of 88 is outrageous.
Ki-Jana Hoever (CB/RB)
Age: 17 Rating: 62 Potential: 85 Nationality: Dutch Current Club: Liverpool
It looks like FIFA 20 is pretty confident in Liverpool and Holland’s defensive youth as Ki-Jana Hoever, along with a few others, will thrive and become some of the best young defenders in the world. He can also be deployed at right-back if there’s a need.
While Hoever may not grow into a defender quite as dominating as van Dijk, his decent speed and reading of the game will see him evolve into a more than worthwhile understudy. At 6’0″, he’s nearly the perfect height for a defender, but you may have to persevere with him as he starts off rather low overall.
Sepp van den Berg (CB)
Age: 17 Rating: 66 Potential: 84 Nationality: Dutch Current Club: Liverpool
So there’s definitely a pattern emerging here: we should be absolutely terrified of the Netherlands’ and Liverpool’s defences in years to come, seeing as how Hoever and van den Berg can represent both following some considerable growth.
Though initially the better player, Hoever will eventually overtake van den Berg, but there’s really not that much between them. Well, apart from the fact that van den Berg is a giant at 6’4″ — no corners are getting past him. He’s slow, so maybe stick a CDM in front of him to kill off quick counters.
More FIFA 20 Best Young Defenders
Here are a few more key young defenders in FIFA 20 that didn’t stick out quite as much, but are still decent value for money.
Key: Name | Position | Rating | Potential | Club | Value
A. Wan-Bissaka | RB | 79 | 88 | Manchester United | €17.5M Z. Vanheusden | CB | 73 | 87 | Standard Liege | €6.6m J. Todibo | CB | 71 | 86 | Barcelona | €4m Nuno Mendes | CB | 64 | 83 | Sporting | €700K Eric Garcia | CB | 66 | 83 | Man City | €1.1m O. Solet | CB | 65 | 84 | Lyon | €925K J. Vagnoman | LB/RB | 65 | 84 | Hamburg | €900K A. Zagre | LB | 62 | 85 | PSG | €550K N. Cozza | CB/LB | 69 | 85 | Montpellier | €1.8m Ruben Vinagre | LB | 70 | 83 | Wolves | €2.7m Nuno Mendes | LB | 64 | 83 | Sporting | €700K J. Bogle | RB | 69 | 84 | Derby | €1.7m
FIFA 20 is out now for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.
“FIFA 20 represents yet another conservative entry from EA that feels like it’s just biding time until the next generation of consoles comes along. Featuring next to no innovation on the pitch, an underwhelming Career Mode with puddle deep changes, and a consistently shady Ultimate Team, the only real reason to play FIFA 20 is Volta, and even that might fall afoul of excessive monetisation before long. Otherwise, you aren’t missing much.”