All great teams are built on a great defence, so it’s imperative that you know the best cheap defenders on Football Manager 21.

Just look at Liverpool and the signing of Virgil Van Dijk. It was a defensive signing that completely changed the fortunes of the football club, and saw them crowned Premier League champions last season.

Now, unfortunately you can’t buy Van Dijk for a few million, but we’ve put together a list of absolute gems you should buy on Football Manager 21.

Best Cheap Defenders on Football Manager 21

Andrea Papetti

When looking for the best young defenders on Football Manager 21, do the right thing and look in Italy – a country notorious for breeding the world’s best defenders. Andrea Papetti will become one of the world’s best, so snap him up while he’s 18 for around £1.3m.

Anel Ahmedhodzic

He may have the most unfortunate first name in the world, but Anel Ahmedhodzic was blessed with defensive ability. He’s recently been capped for Bosnia for the first time and is a bargain at around £3.5m.

Benoit Badiashile

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Monaco has been no stranger to young talent in recent years and with Benoit Badiashile, they have a commanding centre back in the making. The French centre back can be bought between £12.5m and £21m. But you’ll face opposition from big clubs across Europe.

Matteo Ruggeri

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Atlanta are foolish enough to let this incredibly talented left back leave for around £1m. A huge steal for any club. Aged just 18 at the start of the game, Ruggeri can go right to the top if managed well.

Eric Garcia

I know what you’re thinking. He’s worth £19.75m at the start of the game. However, Garcia has announced he wants to leave Manchester City, and at the end of the first season you can snap him up on a free. So he’s worth bearing in mind when making defensive signings.

Domagoj Bradaric

Despite only signing him last season for £5.75m, Lille are willing to sell the promising wingback for around £2.5m, which seems bizarre considering his ability and value will only increase for years to come.

Perr Shuurs

Remind you of anyone? The young blonde centre back is considered to be the like-for-like replacement for Matthijs de Ligt. You’ll face competition for his signature, but Ajax will let him go for around £5m.

While you’re here, check out our guide to best cheap strikers on Football Manager 21 and best cheap midfielders on Football Manager 21.