FIFA 17 good teams for career mode: Middlesbrough

FIFA 17 | Good teams for career mode – Middlesbrough

Introduction: How do these articles work?

Each Sunday I examine a different team in detail and look at why they’re a good team for FIFA 17’s career mode. The teams are broken down into the following categories:

  • Tier 1: Teams in tough divisions that can push on to challenge for silverware
  • Tier 2: Teams that will have to fight for survival in a challenging division
  • Tier 3: Teams that start in a lower division but can hope to get promoted and work their way up higher leagues
  • Tier 4: Teams that start right at the bottom of the pile, with few funds or high potential players

FIFA 17 good teams for career mode: Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough (Tier 2)

Tier 2 teams face an uphill battle for survival in challenging divisions. Can you help them beat relegation?


  1. Why choose Middlesbrough?
  2. Lineups
    1. Strongest starting lineup
    2. Highest potential lineup
  3. Recommended purchases
  4. Suggested sales

Starting transfer budget: £24,072,725
Starting wage budget: £74,581
Default formation: 4-4-1-1
Board expectations:
• Domestic success: Very low
• Continental success: Very low
• Brand exposure: Medium
• Financial success: High
• Youth development: Medium
Key player: Victor Valdés
Best young prospect: Adama

Why choose Middlesbrough?

If you want a real challenge for career mode – one involving a potential relegation battle – the Premier League has got to be the best choice. Competition is huge and everyone has piles of cash, making it difficult for a team like Middlesbrough to stay up. Every team could give you a hammering, so it’s no walk in the park.

Having said that, Middlesbrough do have some things going for them. They’ve got a great goalkeeper and a very good striker in Valdés and Negredo respectively, so they should help you get some good results. Even though they’re one of the weakest and poorest teams in the Premier League, they still start with £24m in transfer funds – how many relegation strugglers can say that? Spend it wisely and you’ll have a great chance of staying up.

The team’s key player is Victor Valdés. If there’s one thing a relegation-threatened team needs, it’s a great goalkeeper, and Valdés is exactly that. He’s very well-rounded so there’s no real weak area of his game, so you shouldn’t need to worry about him letting in soft goals. He is 34 though – even though goalkeepers decline later than outfield players, he’ll still start going down soon, so you’ll need to think about a replacement.

Middlesbrough’s most promising young player is Adama. He starts with searing pace – 90 acceleration and 91 sprint speed – but unlike many wingers he’s actually very strong, and his 78 strength means he won’t be pushed off the ball easily. His dribbling is excellent and he can pass and cross too, so he’s a good all-rounder. But he’s best when he’s running directly at defenders and taking them on, and with 84 potential he’ll get even better at that as he develops.

Strongest starting lineup

Changing the formation slightly to 4-2-3-1, here is Middlesbrough’s strongest starting lineup, with OVRs in brackets:

FIFA 17 good teams for career mode: Middlesbrough

Highest potential lineup

Keeping the formation at 4-2-3-1, here is Middlesbrough’s highest potential lineup, with potentials in brackets:

FIFA 17 good teams for career mode: Middlesbrough

Recommended purchases

Key signings required: GK, CB, LB, CM, ST.

Given Middlesbrough’s £24m transfer kitty, we’ll be able to bring in a load of new first team players. But before doing so, change the budget ratio to 74:26. This will give you £20,638,722 in transfer funds and £139,754 in wages. Now let’s buy some players.

FIFA 17 good teams for career mode: Middlesbrough

Fernando Pacheco will make a good replacement for Victor Valdés

FIFA 17 good teams for career mode: Middlesbrough

Fernando Pacheco
Club: Deport. Alavés
Position: GK
OVR: 76
Potential: 83
Age: 24
Cost: £6,200,000
Wages: £30,000

While Valdés is great, he’s going to start declining soon. The other goalkeepers at Middlesbrough aren’t really up to scratch – Guzan and Konstantopoulos are too old to grow any more, while Mejías only has 71 potential. We’ll need a new keeper who can develop over the first season and then take Valdés’s place in the second season.

My choice is Fernando Pacheco of Deport. Alavés in Spain. He’s 24, which is still fairly young for a goalkeeper, and his 76 OVR means you can basically train him up over the first season without him wanting to be the first choice keeper just yet. After a year of training he should be ready, and his 83 potential will make him a very solid option for the long term.

Deport. Alavés want £8.5m for him, but you can get that right down to around £6.2m. His wages are £30,000.

FIFA 17 good teams for career mode: Middlesbrough

Issa Diop is a powerful centre back with loads of potential

FIFA 17 good teams for career mode: Middlesbrough

Issa Diop
Club: Toulouse FC
Position: CB
OVR: 74
Potential: 85
Age: 19
Cost: £4,700,000
Wages: £15,000

While Bernardo Espinosa is a solid centre back, we could definitely improve upon Daniel Ayala. He’s OK, for sure, but we’ll want better than his 74 OVR and 78 potential in order to get a leakproof defence in years to come.

My suggestion is Issa Diop of Toulouse FC. If you’ve watched my guide to the best cheap centre backs in FIFA 17, you’ll know I rave about him (check out how amazing he becomes after a few years of growth!). Despite being only 19 yeas old he’s exceptionally strong and great in the air, so can hold his own against most attackers. With 85 potential he’ll become absolutely dominant in a few years time, so get him now before his price rises.

Speaking of his price, Toulouse FC want £6.5m for him, but you can negotiate that down to £4.7m. His wages are £15,000.

FIFA 17 good teams for career mode: Middlesbrough

David Juncà will slot right into the starting left back place

FIFA 17 good teams for career mode: Middlesbrough

David Juncà
Club: SD Eibar
Position: LB
OVR: 75
Potential: 81
Age: 22
Cost: £4,700,000
Wages: £20,000

Middlesbrough have five left backs in the squad – unfortunately, most of them aren’t very good. Fábio is decent enough, but the rest could readily be shipped out and sold. Even then, I think we can get a better left back than Fábio for the long term.

In that respect, I recommend you buy David Juncà of SD Eibar in Spain. He’s basically like a better version of Fábio – he’s got better pace, stamina, crossing and interceptions, while his tackling stats are about the same as Fábio’s. But with 75 OVR and 81 potential, Juncà can go straight into the starting lineup, and will stay there for years to come thanks to his potential.

SD Eibar want you to pay £6.5m for him, but you can get him for just £4.7m. His wages are £20,000.

FIFA 17 good teams for career mode: Middlesbrough

Rodolfo Pizarro is a great all-round midfielder

FIFA 17 good teams for career mode: Middlesbrough

Rodolfo Pizarro
Club: Pachuca
Position: CM
OVR: 74
Potential: 81
Age: 22
Cost: £4,800,000
Wages: £30,000

The team’s highest potential central midfielders are Marten de Roon and Julien De Sart; we’ll keep de Roon. De Sart, though, isn’t good enough to be in the starting lineup yet, and while his 78 potential is good, we can do better. Marten de Roon is a strong ballwinner, so we’ll want a more creative central midfielder to go alongside him.

My choice Rodolfo Pizarro of Pachuca in Mexico. He’s not your average central midfielder – his 87 sprint speed and 92 stamina mean the opposition won’t have a moment’s rest (think N’Golo Kanté). He’s good going forward thanks to his 75 dribbling, 74 crossing and 75 short passing, so will create plenty of chances for his teammates. But his 71 strength, good defensive stats and 72 interceptions mean he can defend too. He’s a great all-rounder with amazing pace and stamina, so he can cover all sorts of positions if you need him to. Oh, and he’s got 81 potential to boot.

Pachuca want £6.5m for him but you can get that down to £4.8m. His wages are £30,000.

FIFA 17 good teams for career mode: Middlesbrough

Saido Berahino can be signed for free in the January transfer window

FIFA 17 good teams for career mode: Middlesbrough

Saido Berahino
Club: West Brom
Position: ST
OVR: 76
Potential: 82
Age: 22
Cost: £0 (contract expiry)
Wages: £40,000

As I mentioned earlier, Negredo will be a key player for Middlesbrough. Unfortunately, he’s only loaned in from Valencia, so will only be around for one season. While we won’t need a replacement in the first season, we will need someone to come in and take his place the year after. We can get that sorted now, though, with a free transfer.

So, I recommend you buy Saido Berahino of West Brom. He’s very pacey and has 80 finishing and 81 shot power, giving him a great chance in one-on-one situations. He’s got great dribbling so can play on the wing if needed, and his 79 positioning means he’ll be in the right place at the right time to score plenty of goals.

His contract is expiring, so you can get him for free in the January transfer window. Once he agrees to your terms, he’ll join at the start of the second season – just in time to replace Negredo. His wages are £40,000.

Those transfers will leave you with £283,722 in transfer funds and £4,754 in wages. That’s not enough to buy any more players or scouts, so let’s see who we can sell in order to raise some funds.

Suggested sales

FIFA 17 good teams for career mode: Middlesbrough

Brad Guzan can be sold for about £2.5m

First things first, we can offload a number of those goalkeepers I mentioned earlier. Guzan, Konstantopoulos and Mejías can be sold for about £2.5m, £500,000 and £1m respectively.

We can also sell a load of the surplus left backs as well. Sell Husband, Coulson, McGinley and Friend for £500,000, £100,000, £150,000 and £1.7m each. You can also sell Nsue for around £1.5m.

There are plenty of midfielders we can sell too. Morris, Leadbitter and Maloney will get you £170,000, £1m and £50,000 respectively. Also, you can sell de Pena for around £300,000.

Finally, sell Callum Cooke for about £100,000.

Selling all those players will get you around £9.57m. That’s a great return and should enable you to get a few more players or scouts, should you need to.

That’s it for this week’s article on good teams for career mode. Despite being in a hugely challenging division, Middlesbrough have a fantastic budget and so can really strengthen a lot of key positions. That gives you a great chance of staying up – and thriving – in the Premier League.

I’d like to hear if you have any thoughts about the format of the article itself. Did you find it useful? Conversely, do you think it was missing something that you’d have liked me to include?

Don’t forget to connect with me on social media. I’m running the FIFA Scouting Tips YouTube channel, and you can follow me on Facebook or Twitter for all the latest updates.

Comments 18

  1. I’m playing a career mode with Middlesbrough and I though to suggest it for a good career mode!

    But in my career mode I’ve got kind of a challenge because my branding exposure objective was to buy a crucial forward player meanwhile my financial objective was to have 17 million at the end of the season.
    I went for less players (of course) but also different ones, Gerard Moreno to be Negredo’s sub and Reece Oxford loaned to fill up some gaps when CDM’s and CB’s are tired.

    Thanks for the guides Alex, keep up with the amazing work!

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      No worries 🙂 they definitely jumped out at me as a good choice – one of the lowest numbers of high potential players in the Premier League and one of the lowest budgets too, but still enough money to bring in some really great players.

  2. Hi Alex,

    Great choice for a career mode team.

    I’m watching ‘docks’ transform them into a beast team on youtube at the minute and even he got berahino!

    P.S. would love for you to do a ‘Best teams for career mode’ for Norwich City. I know you did it for fifa 16 but with their relegation and potential relegation battle back in the premier league, should we get there, would love for you to do another guide.

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      Oh bit of a cool coincidence! Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll see if I can fit them in at some point 🙂 might be a while though cos I try to mix up the leagues a bit.

  3. Hi Alex I’m a huge fan of your career mode guides and I was wondering if you could do a team in the championship like Fulham or Leeds

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  4. Cool! I thing Middlesbrough and Burnley are the best teams do play in BPL if you want a good challenge.

    Maybe someday you can do one about Dijon FCO, they have the worse team overall and and less budget in Ligue 1…and really nice kits too!!!


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  5. Another good guide from Alex. Thanks for this amazing guides and suggestions. I was looking for a challenging team career in BPL. That was on target. It would be great if you can make RTG guide for lower English League teams.

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      Thanks! Do you mean a ‘good teams for career mode’ guide focused on a lower league English team, or a more general guide for lower league teams?

      1. Like last year’s Oxford United and Sheffield Utd guides, it could be good if we can see a guide focused on a lower English league team. I really liked Oxford Utd guide and make a career myself, starting with your suggestions. And really enjoyed. Actually i use your best bargains under 1 m£ guides for general lower league transfer requirements.

  6. I’ve only just come across your site. Very impressed. As a Boro fan I had to check out this article. Especially as I have a Boro career mode of my own. I signed Fernando Pacheco on a free transfer in my career. So when I scrolled down the page to find him as a suggested signing I found that pretty ironic. lol

    A good read. Keep up the good work.

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