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Getting great young players into your squad is vitally important for your defensive play in FM22. A talented wonderkid defender at the back with a couple of powerful experienced players can be the boost you need both for the present and the future of your squad.
So, who are the best young defensive players to sign on FM22? Here are the top 10 wonderkids in defensive positions, along with a few extras thrown in for good measure. This isn't to say you should reject top players at the back who don't make it to this list, but if you need a helping hand to nudge you towards some real gems, look no further.
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Starting with a pricy one from Leicester City, Wesley Fofana is worth absolutely every penny he'll set you back, provided you have a giant stack of pennies in the bank. He might prove easier to land if you're a bigger club than Leicester, as it's likely he'll get stars in his eyes and want to move on from the midlands club. Keep an eye on that price and you'll have a guaranteed perennial star on your hands.
Now for someone a little cheaper with all the potential to make it in the top flight. Renan is your classic Brazilian wonderkid, currently tearing it up in his home country's first division. Ideally played at centre-back, he works just as well on the left side of your defence. At such a young age, it's up to you to figure out what kind of player Renan is going to be for your squad and train him accordingly.
Another French wonderkid at the back. This national team is going to be a real force soon enough. This one plays for Bayern, which means he's unlikely to want to join a much smaller side. Still, it's worth a try. His potential is enormous and he can even slot in at defensive midfield. He's strong, tall, and solid on the ball, perfect for those near post corner routines or starting attacking moves from the back.
Wisdom Amey is a project at the back. At just 15 years of age, he's not going to jump right into your first-team squad, and you shouldn't expect miracles right away. If you have the money though, try to snap him up before his price slowly but surely starts to creep upwards. His natural physical attributes are second to none in his age group, and once he hits 20 he'll be a regular starter in the top divisions of world football.
Joško Gvardiol is a Croatian left-back with the pace, strength, and mental attributes to make it very swiftly into a lot of first teams. He comes at a steep price but will be your starting fullback for over a decade - well worth the investment if you can justify it. Keep tabs on him throughout his career and you might be able to swoop in for a lower price than the initial value.
Real Madrid fullback David De la Víbora is a raw prospect, reflected in his current valuation. He's not making the first team just yet, but with a bit of time and investment in his ability, this Spanish left-back could be a real star of the future. You'll need to snap him up quickly though - Real Madrid will offer him a contract at the first sign that someone's after his signature.
A breakthrough prospect over in the Italian leagues, Calafiori is a left-back with bags of potential. His stats are mostly solid, but with time and training, he'll flourish into one of the world's top fullbacks. His crossing is already at a high level, so get him to the byline to put balls into the box and you'll have a great playmaker on your hands.
Back to the Brazilian leagues now, and to right-back Calegari. A fantastic dribbler of the ball, Calegari will utterly destroy opposing defences on the overlap. His physical stats are already decent too, so grab this defender of the future and see how far you can take his career.
He's playing well in real life at the moment, and Livramento can be a really good signing in Football Manager 2022 as well. His turn of pace on the right side of your defence can shock opposing wingers trying to press him on the ball, and with training on his defensive and offensive capabilities, Livramento really does have it all.
Gonçalo Esteves is yet another raw fullback with the potential to reach the top of the game. Currently plying his trade at Sporting in the Portuguese first division, he isn't getting a huge amount of playing time there. Don't let that stop you though - a couple of loan moves into the future and Esteves will be a superstar for the rest of his career, skyrocketing in value and utility in your squad.
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