The best central midfielders to sign on Football Manager 2023

Tom Gott
Milinkovic-Savic is a top signing
Milinkovic-Savic is a top signing / Marco Rosi - SS Lazio/GettyImages

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.

Cheap options


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.

Rafael Carioca

A nice playmaker on a budget, Carioca is available for £2.2m. Having just turned 33, he's a good short-term option.

Rade Krunic

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.

Oscar Trejo

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.

Andres Guardado
Real Hispallis

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.

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Alvaro Fidalgo

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.

Fernando Gorriaran
Santos Laguna

At £1.5m, you should definitely consider Gorriaran. He's got 14s across the board and looks like a nice, well-rounded midfielder.

Giacomo Bonaventura

With 15 passing and some excellent mental stats, Bonaventura could make a real impact for any top-flight side at £3.9m.

Roberto Pereyra

The versatile Pereyra is the best player available at this price bracket and will cost you £4.3m.

Reasonable options

Joao Moutinho

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.

Charles Aranguiz
Bayer 04

Perfectly suited for the role of ball winning midfielder, Aranguiz looks like a smart buy at just £7m. His mental stats are sublime.

Sergi Darder

Darder brings 17 vision and 16 passing, which tells you all about the kind of midfielder he is. He's yours for £14.5m.

David Silva
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.

Sergi Roberto

Capable as a defender and a midfielder, Roberto makes a valuable addition to any squad. For just £10.75m, he's a smart buy.

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Mateus Uribe

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.

Jose Campana

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.

Marek Hamsik

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.

Weston McKennie

You can fit McKennie is nearly anywhere on the pitch. He's a valuable squad player and can be recruited for a cool £15m.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

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.

Expensive options

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

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.

Luka Modric
R. Madrid

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.

Geoffrey Kondogbia
A. 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.

Pedro Goncalves
Sporting CP

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.

Teun Koopmeiners

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.

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Nicolo Barella

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.

Toni Kroos
R. Madrid

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.

Stanislav Lobotka

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.

Guido Rodriguez
Real Hispalis

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.

Mikel Merino
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.