Central midfielders are among the most important players on the pitch. They're the ones who get things going and link the defence to the attack.
Nearly every formation on Football Manager 2023 relies on central midfielders and so it's important to find one or two you can rely on. Fortunately, there are plenty for you to consider, regardless of how much money you're working with.
Here are the best central midfielders to sign on FM23.
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Veteran midfielder Souza is good enough to play in a top division and can be signed for as little as £2.1m. He's a defensive-minded option with excellent stats.
A nice playmaker on a budget, Carioca is available for £2.2m. Having just turned 33, he's a good short-term option.
Krunic is on the fringes at Milan but is undeniably good enough to start for plenty of other top-flight teams. He'll cost you £4.6m which is more than reasonable for a player of his quality.
At 34, Trejo isn't one for the future but the £1.2m-rated midfielder is a great option to turn to while you find someone younger.
The versatile Guardado, who can fill in down the left as well as in midfield, is a bargain at £700,000. He brings 16 passing and 17 penalty taking.
He got the nod for our attacking midfielders suggestions and Fidalgo keeps his place here too. At £400,000, he's insane value and far too good to ignore. He's a star for a smaller side or valuable backup for even a top team.
Nicolas de la Cruz
You can bring in De la Cruz for £2.3m, which is a good price for a player of his current ability. He's still got a little room to grow as well so you might end up with a real gem if you play your cards right.
At £1.5m, you should definitely consider Gorriaran. He's got 14s across the board and looks like a nice, well-rounded midfielder.
With 15 passing and some excellent mental stats, Bonaventura could make a real impact for any top-flight side at £3.9m.
The versatile Pereyra is the best player available at this price bracket and will cost you £4.3m.
With an expiring contract, Wolves will offload Moutinho for as little as £4.2m. You will, however, have to match the 35-year-old's hefty wage demands.
Perfectly suited for the role of ball winning midfielder, Aranguiz looks like a smart buy at just £7m. His mental stats are sublime.
Darder brings 17 vision and 16 passing, which tells you all about the kind of midfielder he is. He's yours for £14.5m.
Real San Sebastian
Silva is valued at just £3.2m because he's 36 years old and on an expiring contract. He comes with some hefty wages but you shouldn't have any issues affording the entire deal.
Capable as a defender and a midfielder, Roberto makes a valuable addition to any squad. For just £10.75m, he's a smart buy.
With 16 tackling and 14 passing, Uribe is comfortable in a number of different midfield roles. He's one of the best players you'll find for anywhere close to his £10m asking price.
An attack-minded midfielder with 16 passing and 16 vision, Campana is out of contract in the summer but can be signed for a cool £11m if you don't want to wait.
It'll cost you just £775,000 to sign Hamsik but his sizeable wage demands make this deal a little more expensive than it looks initially.
You can fit McKennie is nearly anywhere on the pitch. He's a valuable squad player and can be recruited for a cool £15m.
Mkhitaryan's price tag sits at just £3.7m, plus some huge wages. He's just joined Inter and won't move clubs immediately, but he's definitely one to keep an eye on.
Milinkovic-Savic is the 16th-best midfielder on the whole game. His stats page is full of 16s and 17s, and if you want him in your team, it'll cost you £55m. For this sort of quality, you won't find much better for that price.
Up to the second-best midfielder on FM23, 36-year-old Modric is a sensational player and can be signed for £27m. He obviously doesn't have long left at the top but he could make a title-winning impact if you're the type of club who can convince him to leave Madrid.
Atletico have plenty of bargains on offer, one of which is midfielder Kondogbia. A physical powerhouse with 15s across the board, his price tag of £19.5m is the cheapest of anyone at this level.
Goncalves is already a star but has the potential to become a real superstar in a few years. The 23-year-old will cost you just £32m.
Koopmeiners is available for £20m, which is a bargain for a player of his current ability. The 24-year-old has some nice potential as well and will soon be worth far more than that.
At £45m, Barella looks insane. The 25-year-old is already an elite midfielder but still has the potential to become one of the best on the game. He sometimes hits the transfer list late in the summer but gets valued higher than that, so move quickly to snap up this bargain.
Kroos looks like he still has a few years left in him, and his game is one which does not rely on physical stats. He'll cost you £35m and could lead your midfield for the next few years.
Don't expect goals from Lobotka but, with 16 passing and 17 tackling, you can expect everything else. The Slovenian is available for a fantastic £26m.
More of a defensive midfielder, Rodriguez regularly joined a top side in FM22 and that remains the case this year. For £20m, you can see why.
Real San Sebastian
Transfer-listed at the start of the game, Merino is available for a cool £28m. Plenty of top sides are looking at him because of his 16 passing and 16 vision.
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