FIFA 14 | So You Want A… Central midfielder UPDATE

The position of CM brings with it a lot of variety, so as with the article on centre backs, this article on sees my recommendations broken down into three categories to reflect this. My choices will either be categorised as box-to-box, passer or attacker. Box-to-box midfielders are just as good defending as they are attacking, and often have a high stamina value to enable them to get up and down the pitch. Passers will be your main goal providers, while the attackers will be able to chip in with goals of their own. Here’s who I’ve chosen:

  • Box-to-box
    • Gueïda Fofana
    • Emre Can
    • Adrien Rabiot
  • Passers
    • James Ward-Prowse
    • Pavel Mamaev
    • Jonathan Dos Santos
  • Attackers
    • Miloš Jojić
    • Gary Gardner
  • Box-to-box
    My first choice in the box-to-box category is Gueïda Fofana. One of the key things you want in a box-to-box player is good stamina, and Fofana has one of the best stamina ratings in this article, standing at 85. He’s got 78 interceptions, 77 strength and very good tackling so he’s going to form an important shield in front of your defence, but he’s also going to be scoring for you as well – 83 shot power, 78 long shots, 73 heading and 82 jumping should take care of that. This is the player you want if you need someone who can do it all in midfield.

    Emre Can is my second choice in this area. Like Fofana he’s very strong and has excellent passing and tackling, but one extra thing he brings is his dribbling ability. 77 ball control, 78 dribbling and four star skills should make him a real threat going forward, and he’s also pacier than Fofana, so could even push out wide if you need him to. He’s not available straight away, but your patience will be rewarded should you choose to wait.

    Adrien Rabiot rounds off the box-to-box section, and he is a very similar player to Can. He’s not quite as fast but has better passing, so if you’re looking for a young player like Can but don’t want to wait for him to become available, try putting an offer in for Rabiot.

    He may only be 17 but James Ward-Prowse could become the heart of your midfield. He starts off with 79 vision, 79 short passing and 77 long passing, so he’ll creating goals and chances galore. Add to that his 82 crossing, excellent free kicks, dribbling and pace and he’s a player who will play way above his OVR rating. Snap him up early before his price really starts to rise.

    Pavel Mamaev is up next, and he’s one of the most well-rounded passers in this article. He starts off with 78 short passing, 75 long passing and 74 vision, which is one of the best combinations here. He’s got pace to burn as well with 84 sprint speed, so combine that with his good long shots and dribbling and he’ll be a real threat to defenses. As well as that, though, he can defend, so should fit in wherever you choose to play him. He’s a hidden gem who can do a bit of everything, but you’ll need to get him early before he starts getting older.

    Finally we’ve got Jonathan Dos Santos. You wouldn’t think it judging by his OVR and wages, but this guy is a real bargain. Barca place him on their transfer list straight away and don’t demand a certain price for him, so you can get him for as little as £1.9m, perhaps even less. For a 73 rated player with 82 potential that’s a fantastic deal, but it gets even better when you realise he has 82 ball control, 81 short passing and 80 vision. He can instantly control the ball and provide the killer pass to your forwards, so try pushing him a little further forward, where he’ll be a superb link between midfield and attack.

    The attacker section is for CMs who are a real danger in front of goal, and first up is Miloš Jojić. This player possesses all the skills needed to score you goals when it matters – he’s very pacey, has fantastic dribbling skills and a very impressive finishing rating for a CM. His positioning rating of 75 also means he’ll pop up in the right place to score the goals you need, while his superb passing and crossing tell you he can create as well as score. His wages are fairly high, but for what he brings I’d say it’s more than worth it.

    The final attacker recommendation comes in the form of Gary Gardner, a name I’m sure is familiar to many. He has the obligatory excellent passing skills, but his attacking skills are so good as to almost make him a striker – 82 show power, 82 long shots, 77 heading and 73 finishing are the mark of a born goalscorer. I’d keep him in midfield, though, where he can surge forward unmarked and fire shots off from the edge of the box. On my career he was already rated 78 after one season (on an AI team, not on mine) with some crazy stats – 85 heading, 95 long shots, 86 free kick accuracy and 86 short passing to name a few, so it may even be worth leaving him at Aston Villa for a year to allow this kind of growth (more or less impossible on a human-controlled team). Either way, in a test I got him for £750,000, so you can’t really lose whether you decide to buy him straight away or not.

    [expand title=”What are these articles all about?” tag=”center” trigclass=”noarrow”]

    The articles in this series should give you some ideas if you’re looking for a new signing in a key area. There is one article for each position on the pitch to make it easy for you to quickly find players to bolster your squad.

    All of the players given here have a minimum potential of 80, so you know you’re getting quality. The maximum OVR for each player is 73, both to keep transfer prices down and to avoid presenting you with too many options and thus making it too difficult to choose the player you need.

    The ‘Avai?’ column is short for ‘available?’ and refers both to whether or not you can buy the specified player at the start of the first season and how long their current contract is. Let’s take Y/2 as an example – Y means that yes, you can buy him at the start of a new career, and the number means he has two years left on his contract. Similarly, N/3 would mean that no, you can’t buy the player straight away, and he has three years left on his contract. These ‘no’ players are often available for transfer if you wait until the January transfer window, however. For some players this column is blank – this means that they are out on loan at the start and are therefore unavailable for purchase until the second season.

    Initial player costs may seem very low this year. The figure in the player cost column refers to the price you are given if you scout the player. But I’ve also added a new column this time round – ‘They want’. This refers to the price the other team want for the player if you enquire about him. Often there is a large difference between the player cost obtained through scouting and that obtained through an enquiry. This leaves a lot of room for negotiation, so don’t be put off if a price in the ‘They want’ column is high, as you can usually get the player for much less. Try bidding lower than what you think will be accepted – you may be surprised at their response. If the ‘They want’ column is blank it’s because the team refused to give a price, either because the player has just joined them or because they are loaning him in.

    And as a final note, in FIFA 14 EA update player OVRs and potentials every week. Mose of the time these are very minor changes, and most players won’t be affected at all unless they have had a very noteworthy week. Furthermore, some players occasionally disappear if they have been put in the reserve squad that week. So just bear in mind that these figures should be read as a guide only and not a definitive account of player costs, potentials, etc, for the entire season.[/expand]

    Here’s the list in full:

    PosNameOVRPot.AgeCost (£)They want (£)Wages (£)ClubAvai?FootWeak footSkillsTraitsNotes
    CMWill Hughes7185181,000,0004,600,0005,000Derby CountyY/3Left33
    CMJames Ward-Prowse7385181,600,0006,500,0008,000SouthamptonY/4Right33Early crosser, long passer
    CMTonny Vilhena7284181,600,0006,500,0005,000FeyenoordY/3Left43Flair
    CMHenri Lansbury7183221,100,0004,700,00015,000Nottingham ForestY/3Right32Injury prone, flair, long shot taker
    CMAdrien Rabiot7383181,600,0004,600,00015,000PSGY/2Left32
    CMEmre Can7283191,700,000-20,000Bayer 04N/4Right44Flair
    CMJoão Mário7283201,800,000*15,000Vitória FC-Right33On loan from Sporting CP
    CMDanilo Cataldi628218200,000*2,250Crotone-Right33On loan from Lazio
    CMArturo González678218450,0002,100,0002,000AtlasY/4Left33Flair
    CMFilipe Augusto688219650,0002,900,0006,000Rio Ave FCY/4Left23Flair
    CMJordan Veretout7182201,100,0004,600,00015,000FC NantesY/2Right33
    CMKyle Ebecilio7082191,100,000-15,000FC TwenteN/4Right33Power header
    CMTom Carroll7082211,100,000*20,000QPR-Left23On loan from Tottenham
    CMAndré Gomes7282191,700,0005,000,00020,000SL BenficaY/5Right42
    CMAndrea Bertolacci7382221,800,0005,000,00020,000GenoaY/4Left32
    CMNenad Krstičić7382221,800,0006,500,00020,000SampdoriaY/4Left33Injury prone
    CMJonathan Dos Santos7382232,000,00040,000FC BarcelonaY/2Right42Long shot takerTransfer listed
    CMGedion Zelalem628116200,000925,0002,250ArsenalY/5Right43
    CMPierre-Emile Højbjerg648117325,000-4,000FC BayernN/3Right43
    CMNabil Bentaleb688118600,000750,0005,000TottenhamY/5Left32
    CMGary Gardner688121700,0001,100,0008,000Aston VillaY/1Right33Injury prone, long passer, long shot taker
    CMFederico Viviani698121700,000*10,000Latina-Right43Long shot takerOn loan from Roma
    CMFillipe Soutto7181221,100,0004,200,00015,000Atl. MineiroY/2Left22
    CMGastón Gil Romero7181201,100,0004,300,00015,000EstudiantesY/4Right32
    CMCampaña7081201,100,000*15,0001. FC Nuremberg-Right33On loan from Crystal Palace
    CMPavel Mamaev7381241,900,000-20,000FC KrasnodarN/4Right32
    CMMedrán638019210,0001,300,0001,000RM CastillaY/4Right42Long passer, long shot taker
    CMFlorent Cuvelier648020375,000*4,000Port Vale-Right33Long shot takerOn loan from Sheffield Utd
    CMMarco Benassi688019650,0001,800,0006,000LivornoY/4Right33
    CMNicola Bellomo698022700,000*6,000La Spezia-Right33Long shot takerOn loan from Torino
    CMMiloš Jojić7380211,800,0004,600,00040,000Bor. DortmundY/5Right33Flair
    CMLucas Romero7080191,100,0004,100,00015,000Vélez SarsfieldY/4Right22Long shot taker
    CMIsaac Cofie7180221,100,000-15,000GenoaN/4Right33
    CMTiago Rodrigues7080211,100,000*20,000Vit. Guimarães-Right33Long passerOn loan from FC Porto
    CMViktor Fayzulin7380271,400,0003,900,00030,000ZenitY/3Right33
    CMGueïda Fofana7380221,800,0006,500,00040,000Olympique LyonY/4Right32Long shot taker
    CMStefan Johansen7380221,800,000-20,000CelticN/4Left43Flair
    CMAfriyie Acquah7280211,800,000*15,000Parma-Right42On loan from 1899 Hoffenheim
    CMÓscar Trejo7280251,900,000-15,000Toulouse FCN/4Right44Flair

    And don’t forget to check out the other articles in this series by going to the ‘So You Want A…’ button in the top menu!

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