Football Manager 2022: The 30 Best Defensive Midfielders to Sign

Football Manager 2022

Football Manager 2022 has a ridiculous amount of players in the game and we have gone through and selected the 30 best defensive midfielders for you to sign.

The game makes a decision based on the current ability of a player, which is a number out of 200.

So we’ve dug deep into the database to find out the best DM talents on FM22.

Now, we should say here that defensive midfielder in this list means a player whose primary position is as the deepest-lying midfielder.

Due to recent tactical innovations at Chelsea, that means N’Golo Kante is not included in the list, in case you were wondering where he was!

Read More: The 30 best centre-backs in FM22


Top 30 Defensive Midfielders on FM22

30. Andre-Franck Zambo Anguissa – Fulham – 147/200

Anguissa Napoli

A rarity in these lists as Anguissa is currently owned by Fulham, in the Championship, although he is currently on loan at Napoli. You might be able to snap him up in the second summer. 

29. Danilo Pereira – PSG – 147/200

An interesting player at PSG, Danilo has been somewhat dislodged after Georginio Wijnaldum’s signing so he may be available,

28. Allan – Everton – 147/200

An excellent operator in the centre of midfield, Allan is capable of breaking up play and then distributing it well.

27. Fernando – Sevilla – 148/200

Fernando is an absolute veteran but he remains a bulwark in that Sevilla midfield.

26. Bryan Cristante – AS Roma – 148/200

Cristante is an interesting prospect; he’s 26 so should be approaching his peak but will Roma be willing to let him go?

25. Geoffrey Kondogbia – Atletico Madrid – 148/200

Geoffrey Kondogbia

Kondogbia has found his niche at Atletico, where he is breaking up play for the Liga champions. Convincing him to leave will be a tall order.

24. Joao Palhinha – Sporting Lisbon – 150/200

One of the more acquirable players on this list, Palhinha seems destined for a top league eventually. Will he be playing under you?

23. Marten De Roon – Atalanta – 150/200

De Roon has been central to much of what has been good for Atalanta in recent years, and they remain one of the most interesting sides to watch in Europe.

22. Daley Blind – Ajax – 150/200

A warhorse, Blind has been there and done it all and is absolutely crucial to the Ajax cause.

21. William Carvalho – Real Hispalis – 150/200

Carvalho has always seemed on the precipice of a big move; will you take the plunge and bring him in to break up the play?

20. Idrissa Gueye – PSG – 150/200

Idrissa Gueye

Formerly of Everton, Gueye has gone to great heights at PSG, where he is important for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

19. Emre Can – Borussia Dortmund – 150/200

A bruising defensive midfielder but with technique to spare, Can is a hybrid kind of player, capable of affecting the game in every stage.

18. Axel Witsel – Borussia Dortmund – 151/200

The Belgium international allies his significant height with some deft footwork, making him a really attractive option for Premier League clubs.

17. Wilfred Ndidi – Leicester City – 152/200

One of the most in-demand midfielders on most FM saves, Ndidi would do a brilliant job for any top European club, as he covers every single blade of grass.

16. Guido Rodriguez – Real Hispalis – 152/200

Rodriguez is interesting in the sense that he isn’t as headline-grabbing a name as most of the players on this list, but he does his work quietly and with great effectiveness.

15. Ruben Neves – Wolves – 152/200

Ruben Neves Wolves

An excellent operator, Neves also has a 30-yard screamer in his locker. Who can say no to that?

14. Julian Weigl – Benfica – 152/200

Weigl is almost certain to eventually return to a top club, having previously played for Borussia Dortmund. If you’re managing a top club, he’s an excellent option.

13. Declan Rice – West Ham – 152/200

You’ll have to pay through the nose to get Rice but the England international can only get better and is already one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.

12. Manuel Locatelli – Sassuolo – 153/200

An understated defensive midfielder with a lovely eye for a pass, Locatelli would fit right into a tiki-taka system.

11. Jorginho – Chelsea – 156/200

Important for perhaps the best team in England, and also for the Euro 2020 champions, Jorginho is world-class.

10. Sergio Busquets – Barcelona – 157/200

Sergio Busquets

What more is there to say about Busquets? He’s won everything, and has been crucial for two of the best teams ever: Barcelona and Spain.

9. Rodri – Manchester City – 157/200

The heir apparent to Fernandinho at City, Rodri is surprisingly quick and has an excellent pass on him too.

8. Jordan Henderson – Liverpool – 159/200

A brilliant operator in midfield, Henderson is the kind of player Jurgen Klopp loves; we don’t know if you’ll be able to get him out of Anfield!

7. Federico Valverde – Real Madrid – 160/200

The Uruguay international is underrated in real life but this is one of the very best midfielders in world football.

6. Fernandinho – Manchester City – 164/200

The Brazilian may be creaking with age, but he isn’t showing it on the pitch, as he continues to perform at a ridiculously high level.

5. Frenkie De Jong – Barcelona – 164/200

Frenkie De Jong

The Netherlands international has yet to truly prove himself to be a world-class operator at Barcelona but it’ll come, with time on his side.

4. Thiago – Liverpool – 164/200

The scorer of a truly beautiful goal in the Champions League earlier this week, Thiago can do just about everything. What a signing for the Reds.

3. Fabinho – Liverpool – 164/200

Another Liverpool midfielder, Fabinho is just brilliant when it comes to breaking up the play; the kind of defensive midfielder every club needs.

2. Casemiro – Real Madrid – 167/200

Still one of the best in the world, the Brazilian is the glue that holds the Real Madrid midfield together.

1. Joshua Kimmich – Bayern Munich – 178/200

Joshua Kimmich

Kimmich is comfortably the best defensive midfielder on the game, and he can also play at right-back and at centre-back too. He’s just a stupidly talented footballer.


There are some really interesting options in this list, especially if you’re managing a top club.

It may cost a pretty penny to sign a few of these lads, but it looks well worth it.

Having a world-class defensive midfielder, after all, can be the difference between glory and a runners-up spot.


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