The fullback is one of the most demanding positions in modern soccer. Today’s fullbacks are tasked with being defensively sound and shutting down their side of the field, while also being vital cogs in the attack. The best fullbacks in the world seem to be able to cover an endless amount of ground and seamlessly transition from defense, to attack, and then back again.
The qualities you want your fullbacks to have in Football Manager 2023 depend upon your preferred style of play, of course. Maybe you want to play with a back three and have wingbacks flying up the pitch to wreak havoc on the attack. Or, perhaps you’re a bit more traditional and prefer a back four with fullbacks that know how to thump a long cross into the box every once in a while.
Whatever your choice, it’s important to identify some fullback options outside of the best players in the game that you can probably purchase for a far cheaper price and develop into stars. Lucky for you, our friends at Scouted Football are back with some real-world scouting to give you the best picks for young fullbacks to target in your first FM23 save.
From stylish dribblers to physical defenders, here are some fullbacks to purchase in the next Football Manager.
Best young fullbacks to purchase in Football Manager 2023
Coming off the back of a huge breakout season in Serie A last year, Wilfried Singo will be hot property in FM23. A big, physical defender with an excellent engine, Singo is near-impossible to stop once he sets off up the right flank. He regularly times runs into the box to arrive as a back-post threat, perfect for those looking to use attacking wing-backs. He’s no slouch in defensive duels either, where he can use his impressive physicality to bully opponents.
Other big clubs will definitely be in touch with his agent in FM23, such was the force of his breakout year. If he fits your needs, he’s one to get quick.
Though hopes were high for Miguel Gutierrez at Real Madrid—the club he grew up at—the youngster failed the near-impossible task of establishing himself as the first choice at the Bernabeu despite a strong early impression. This is no mark against his talent and his decision to join Girona permanently this summer will likely be a career-making switch. He’s already a mainstay for the Catalonian club and has assisted twice in six starts this season.
A slight and skillful defender with bags of quality and guile, Gutierrez loves to offer his midfield another passing option and will make an excellent signing for teams looking to play possessive soccer.
Club: AZ Alkmaar
Another player who recently ditched a high-profile academy for first-team minutes, Milos Kerkez left AC Milan after just a year to find his feet in the Netherlands last January. He’s proven to be a solid decision so far, with the left-back already a key component of AZ Alkmaar’s defense.
Developed in his home country of Hungary before being snapped up by Milan’s future-first recruitment team, Kerkez is a small but tenacious defender who’s aggressive and nippy at both ends of the pitch. He’s very mobile and loves to overlap his winger to whip in a deep cross and will add quality and attacking verve to developing clubs.
Ali Turap Bulbul
One of Turkey’s most exciting defensive prospects, Ali Bulbul might be underrated by FM23, so this one’s a wait-and-see. That said, he has all the attributes to become a solid senior player in the real world. A small and sharp right-back with real technical quality on the ball, Bulbul has been impressing in the UEFA Youth League as well as with Galatasaray’s development teams this season, but could feasibly make a first-team appearance before the year is out. His vision and touch allow him to move into midfield spaces and find difficult passes, making him an interesting tactical asset.
If FM does end up seeing his potential, he could make a cheap and cheerful pickup for development.
Club: FC Porto
Martim Fernandes will be appearing in his first Football Manager game this winter and is likely to hit the ground running with a decent potential ceiling. Playing well above his age group with Porto B this season—as well as starting in the UEFA Youth League, where he’s scored and assisted already—Fernandes is a player the Portuguese side rate highly.
Fernandes is a classy full-back with tons of quality on the ball. He moves easily past players and can tuck into half-spaces to play decisive passes or beat an opponent one-vs-one to dribble into the box. The real-world hype could translate into the game.