With FM23 now with us, it is time to round up the best box to box midfielders you can get early on in the game.
They will not come cheap, however, with some good timing and some luck, you might manage to snag one or two of them towards the end of their current contracts when payers in the game are normally considerably cheaper.
Without further ado, here are the best box to box midfielders you can sign in FM23 at the start of the save;
- Jude Bellingham
- Eduardo Camavinga
- Aurélien Tchouameni
- Moises Caicedo
- Frenkie De Jong
- Ivan Ilic
- Ryan Gravenberch
I have deliberately avoided naming players who are closer to the age of 30. This is to ensure you get maximum service out of these players I’ve settled upon, or a nice transfer fee should one of the bigger clubs come after them.
1. Jude Bellingham
At only 19 years old, Jude Bellingham is already one of the best players you can get in the game.
The only downside is that he will cost a fortune in both wages and transfer fees. Be prepared to fight it out among the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United as they will waste no time in moving in for him.
Should you beat them to his signature, Bellingham offers excellent physical and technical attributes and he will only get better. He can also play as an advanced playmaker, a deep lying playmaker and a Mezzala
2. Eduardo Camavinga
Similar to Bellingham, at only 20 years old, he is one of the best talents in FM23 in the middle of the park.
Florentino Perez brought him to Real Madrid at the start of last season to learn under the great talents of Toni Kroos and Luca Modric before eventually replacing them in the near future.
Camavinga did more than that, playing an important role in the UCL knockout games, coming in place of Kroos and turning the games around with his impressive work rate and sharp passing.
Camavinga is equally capable as a box to box midfielder and a deep lying playmaker in defensive midfield, offering you much-needed versatility.
3. Aurélien Tchouameni
Tchouameni is another young talent brought in by Perez to take after when Toni Kroos and company hang up their boots in a season or two.
But just like Camavinga, he is also playing at a very high level, and it might not be a surprise seeing both of them start for France at the World Cup.
He has the right attributes for a box to box midfielder, but he can also play a more reserved central midfield role like a ball winning midfielder and also much deeper as deep lying midfielder on defend duty.
He will also cost quite a lot, but with Real Madrid hoarding some great midfield talents, you might get him at a bargain if he lacks the required game time at Los Blancos.
4. Moises Caicedo
21-year-old Caicedo has grown in leaps and bounds over the past year at Brighton under the tutelage of Graham Potter, who has now departed for Chelsea.
He can comfortably play as a box to box midfielder and also deeper in defensive midfield as a shield for your backline.
He will still cost a pretty penny, but playing for Brighton, it is much easier to sign him up than convincing the likes of Camavinga and Tchouameni to leave Real Madrid.
Be sure to go after him immediately, as the bigger clubs will be in for him after the first season.
Fresh from winning the Kopa Trophy, Gavi is already a key figure in Barcelona’s central midfield.
He can play a number of roles in central midfield, a testament to his quality and versatility.
More suited to play as a box to box midfielder or a mezzala, Gavi can still comfortably play as a left winger should you wish to deploy him out wide.
He has a high market value in FM23, but if you want the best, especially at such a young age, you must be prepared to pay up the big bucks.
Pedri is another great talent at Barcelona. He is a very similar player to Gavi, and even plays the same roles with equal capability.
The two have been central to Frenkie de Jong feeling out of place at Camp Nou, with Barcelona’s hierarchy seemingly happy to see the Dutchman leave the club with the knowledge that Gavi and Pedri are more than capable replacements.
At only 20 years old, he will cost an arm and a leg, but he’s definitely worth the money you will be required to pay for his services.
7. Frenkie de Jong
A transfer to Manchester United did not materialize in the summer, with Frenkie being unwilling to leave Barcelona until his wage issues had been sorted out.
He might not be getting the game time that he deserves at the Catalan club, but Frenkie still remains a world-class player and would walk into the starting eleven of most clubs in the world.
He will be available at a slightly lower fee compared to Gavi or Pedri, but his wage demands will definitely be on the higher side.
Zaire-Emery is very much an unknown talent in FM23 compared to the other names on this list.
He is only 16 years old at the start of this year’s football manager edition, and very much a talent for the future.
He plays for PSG as a defensive midfielder but he is also a natural in central midfield as a box to box midfielder.
If you are unable to pry him away from the French champions, getting him on loan to your club when he turns 18 is a solid way of getting the services of a wonderkid box to box midfielder.
9. Ivan Ilic
Ivan Ilic plies his trade in Serie A for Hellas Verona. At 21 years old, he already has two seasons in the Serie A under his belt and has grown in leaps and bounds.
He can play in central midfield as a box to box midfielder or a mezzala, or you can also deploy him in defensive midfield to pull the strings from further back.
Playing in Serie A, he won’t cost as much as the other talents on this list and is definitely a good signing for a club with ambitions of qualifying for the Champions League.
10. Ryan Gravenberch
Gravenberch joined Bayern Munich from Ajax, but has not yet hit the heights of Jamal Musiala, another very good central midfielder at the club.
He has bags of potential and can adeptly play in central midfield as a box to box midfielder, an advanced playmaker or in defensive midfield as a regista.
He is only 21 years old at the start of football manager 2023, and if you lack the funds to sign him up, a 2-year loan deal is certainly a good way to enjoy his services.
Finally, FM23 has a staggering amount of players, especially in central midfield. Therefore, there are tens of hidden gems, unknown wonderkids and world-beaters waiting to be unearthed.