Best 10 Young Centre-Backs In Football 2022
Every football team’s centre-backs provide a fulcrum and a firm foundation for the whole team. In football, defending goals is just as important as scoring them. Any team with a world-class striking force cannot win anything unless it has a sturdy and tight defense line. Centre-backs are at the core of a football team’s defensive duties such as marking attackers, clearing the lines, and delivering game-winning tackles and interceptions. But unfortunately, they are rarely recognized for their unwavering efforts, a truth that defenders all over the world must accept.
Today we are going to be looking at the top 10 youngest and most promising centre-backs.
10: Wesley Fofana
Wesley Fofana is a French professional footballer who currently plays for Premier League club Leicester City as a defender. Fofana signed a five-year contract with Leicester City in the English Premier League on October 2, 2020. Fofana was selected Leicester City’s Young Player of the Season by the club’s supporters on May 21, 2021.
Fofana is a player who had a booming start in the Premier League but his form is somewhat lost. It is okay for a young player like him to lose form as he can still improve himself and come back better than how he was. The good thing is Leicester would not want to waste such a talented young player and so he has time to turn things around in his favour.
9: Eric Garcia Martret
Eric Garcia Martret is a Spanish professional footballer who currently plays as a centre-back for La Liga club Barcelona and the Spanish national team. Garcia went to Manchester City from Barcelona when he was 17 years old. On September 21, 2019, he made his Premier League debut. He won the league and finished second in the UEFA Champions League in his final season at the club. The Spaniard rejoined Barcelona on a free transfer in June 2021, when his contract expired. He is back at Barcelona where they need young and promising players like him. Garcia is quite young and has a lot to learn about the defending roles. One thing is certain he is in the best place if he wants to make a remarkable career.
8: Maxence Lacroix
Maxence Guy Lacroix is a French professional footballer who currently plays for VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga. Lacroix signed his first professional deal with FC Sochaux-Montbéliard on August 21, 2017. The people who play FIFA religiously would know about him and how much potential he has. The player is still in making and we may get to know more about him if he moves to a 5-star club in the future.
7: William Saliba
William Saliba is a French professional footballer who plays as a defender for Ligue 1 club Marseille and the France national team on loan from Premier League club Arsenal. Arsenal announced that Saliba has agreed to a “long-term” contract extension. Saliba was given the number 4 shirt when he returned to Arsenal in 2020 which indicates that he is an important part of the plan when he comes back. He made his Arsenal debut on August 25, 2020, in a pre-season friendly against MK Dons.
Saliba is highly promising and he can emerge to be the missing key for Arsenal in future. The player is sent on a loan so that he can understand the dynamics of the game and come back stronger. Unfortunately for Saliba, his name was linked with controversies which also led to a short ban on him. Such controversies can either break a player or make him. Only the best among the best can come back and prove their haters wrong. Now it is Saliba’s time to prove that he is not what people think of him. The new hero of Arsenal is in the making.
6: Dayot Upamecano
5: Fikayo Tomori
Fikayo Tomori is a professional footballer who plays for Serie A club AC Milan as well as the England national team. He was born in Canada and now plays for England on the international stage. Tomori joined AC Milan on loan for the duration of the 2020–21 season, with a purchase option. Four days later, he made his Coppa Italia quarter-final debut against Inter Milan in the Derby Della Madonnina, replacing the injured Simon Kjaer in a 2–1 away defeat. Tomori became Milan’s first Englishman to score since David Beckham in 2009, and it was the club’s first league away win over Juventus since March 2011.
The Italians are known for great defending and this guy is performing perfectly at the heart of Italy winning many hearts and also the league title for AC Milan. Tomori is one of the most exciting prospects among the list of young defenders as he can move back to the Premier League in future.
4: Raphael Xavier Varane
Raphael Varane is a French professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Premier League side Manchester United and the France national team. Varane formerly played for French club Lens and began practising with the senior squad ahead of the 2010–11 season, appearing on the bench in numerous league matches. Varane won 18 trophies with Real Madrid, including three La Liga crowns, one Copa del Rey, four UEFA Champions League titles, and four FIFA Club World Cups. He left Real Madrid in 2021 to join Manchester United.
Everyone who knows Real Madrid understands the potential Varane has, the player has been an integral part of Real Madrid for a very long time since his early years. Now after moving to Manchester United he hasn’t slowed down a bit. Varane is not just at defending but he is also faster than many forwards out there making him one of the best defenders of this generation.
3: Eder Militao
Éder Gabriel Milito is a Brazilian professional footballer who now plays for Real Madrid and the Brazilian national team. He is mostly a centre defender, but he can also play right-back or defensive midfielder. Militao began his career with Sao Paulo, where he appeared in 57 matches over the course of two years before moving on to Porto. After one season in Portugal, he joined Real Madrid in 2019 for a rumoured sum of €50 million. On September 14, he made his debut, replacing Sergio Ramos for the final half-hour of a 3–2 home triumph against Levante. A highly underrated player back then who was seen as a backup defender for Real Madrid. Little did the fans know that in a few years Ramos would leave Madrid and Militao would emerge to be a great defender for their team. In the past few years, the player has developed majorly and is now capable to stand against any team in this world. There are still some areas for development but it won’t be a problem for Militao as he has learned from the best in Madrid.
2: Ruben Dias
Pep Guardiola has spent lavishly in an attempt to shore up Manchester City’s defense, but it wasn’t until last year’s signing of Ruben Dias that he was able to remedy the problem. Right from the time Kompany retired from City their defense got weak and it was clearly visible to everyone. Something needs to be done and so Pep signed the young great Portuguese center back and re-strengthen his back line. Dias had the same impact on the Mancunians as Virgil van Dijk did on Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in 2018, as his calmness helped propel his club to the league title. He’s comfortable bringing the ball out, and he’s seldom caught off guard defensively, utilizing his anticipation to nick possession with a tackle or interception. His first season at City was decorated with Football Writers’ Association and Premier League Player of the Season honours. It’s clear that both City and Dias love each other and he is not going anywhere soon.
1: Matthijs De Ligt
When he joined Juventus, the ex-Ajax player showed a lot of potential. In his age group, there is no competition as he is so young but plays and behaves like a mature and aged centre-back. De Ligt is someone we can say is destined to be a centre-back rather than any other position. However, things haven’t gone entirely his way, with Juventus underperforming in midfield, generating several issues at the back. It’s not just the back line for Juventus but they need to re-shape their whole team if they want to dominate Italy again. The player has many big clubs drooling around him since the time Juventus signed him from Ajax. A lot of the big clubs are ready to bid on him if both Juventus and the player agree.
We have all seen De Ligt as both a central defender and a prolific goal scorer. He is one of the most dangerous set-piece scorers, and we hope to see such form from the Dutchman shortly. One thing is certain that an experienced and aged De Ligt would be indestructible.
Do you think many of the great youngsters did not make it to this list? We have it already planned for you. Send us the name of your favourite Young Defender and we will add him in the part 2.