FM23 Bargains: Best Cheap Players In Football Manager 2023

FM23 Bargains: Best Cheap Players In Football Manager 2023
Images via Sports Interactive

Written by 

Harry Boulton


28th Mar 2023 17:11

Every Football Manager player dreams of finding a diamond in the rough, but with these FM23 bargains you thankfully won't have to look to far. Football Manager is all about balancing your finances, so finding a cheap player that you can flip for massive profit or utilise yourself is perfect.

We've got you covered with the guide below too, with a full list of FM23 bargains and the best cheap players that will have you set even after the winter transfer update. All you need to do is carry on reading to see all of our picks and you'll be in the money soon enough.

  • Get that extra bit of authenticity by using our guide on how to install real-life FM23 badges.

Football Manager 23 Bargains List

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While there is no strict definition of a 'bargain' in Football Manager, we have generally tried to restrict the cost of our transfers to under £10,000,000 for young players, and under £5,000,000 for more experienced ones. There are some exceptions to the rule though, which are born from either how good they are, or the relative lack of other options.

One of the main determining factors in understanding what a bargain is comes from the hidden current and potential ability ratings. If you've never encountered these before, they run on a scale of 0-200, with 200 being the best. Generally, a 'good' player will be at least around 130 current ability (CA), with hopefully the potential to grow even further.

The potential ability (PA) ratings aren't guaranteed either, as they are determined by a multitude of different factors like training, game time, injuries, and the Determination stat. Just because a player has a PA of 180, doesn't mean he will end up as one of the best in the world, only that he has a chance to. 

Finally, PA for young players is defined in a slightly looser manner, with an initial scale of -1 to -9, which then translates into a numbered potential ability once you start your save. What this means is that no young player has the same PA in every save, but instead will stay within a group of about 20 ratings, for example, between 170 and 190.

To help you out, we have actually tested the price you'll be able to pick each of these players up for, meaning that you won't have to spend ages negotiating, and can actually get a sense for how much each player will set you back for. 

So, check out the full list below for all of the best FM23 bargains you can pick up, broken down into each positional group.

  • Looking for the next generation of talent? Check out our FM23 Wonderkids guide.

FM23 Best Cheap Goalkeepers

FM23 Elia Caprile Stats
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Here's a list of the best FM23 bargains in the goalkeeper department:

Name Club Age Position CA PA Value
Ugurcan Cakir Trabzonspor 26 GK 145 160 £9,000,000
Elia Caprile Bari 20 GK 121 157 £2,500,000
Dani Martin Real Betis 23 GK 120 152 £4,400,000

As you can see, there aren't a huge amount of goalkeeper bargains in the game right now, especially if you consider the margins that we have set in terms of price. The trouble with goalkeepers is that they are rather rare, and tend to be on the more expensive side of things as either a prospect or an established name.

You can't go wrong with any of the options above though, giving you a balance of age to current ability depending on your needs at this moment in time.

FM23 Best Cheap Defenders

FM23 Juan Escobar Stats
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Check out the best cheap defenders in Football Manager 2023 in our list below:

Name Club Age Position CA PA Value
Joao Fonseca Benfica 15 CB 80 168 £650,000
Stahinja Erakovic Red Star 21 CB 124 156 £3,300,000
David Costas Real Oviedo 27 CB 122 153 £425,000
Rodrigo Tarin Real Oviedo 25 CB 125 152 £1,800,000
Faouzi Ghoulam Free Agent 31 LB/LWB 134 151 Free
Mika Marmol Andorra 20 LB/CB 120 150 £850,000
Santiago Arias Free Agent 30 RB/RWB 138 144 Free
Doria Santos Laguna 27 CB 138 142 £1,800,000
Juan Escobar Cruz Azul 26 CB/RB 134 138 £75,000

There is quite a wide range of defenders for you to choose from, with a good mix of players who are good now, and those who are primed for the future. The two free agents are excellent choices if you need to bolster your defensive flanks for cheap, and players like Doria, and Erakovic will slot into top-league midtable sides and below. 

Additionally, while he sits at the bottom of the table above, easily the best value for money defender in this guide is Juan Escobar, who - in terms of current ability - is as good as Arthur Theate, Ben Godfrey, and Tanguy Nianzou, and all for only £75,000. At the very least you should be able to make a handsome profit on this, if not make him a valued member of your defence.

FM23 Best Cheap DM & CM

FM23 Sivert Mannsverk Stats
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If you're looking for a more defensive or possession-minded midfielder, then check out our options for the FM23 bargains in the DM and CM positions:

Name Club Age Position CA PA Value
Silvano Vos Ajax 17 CB/DM/CM 97 169 £10,000,000
Sivert Mannsverk Molde 20 CM 125 165 £4,900,000
Adrian Bernabe Parma 21 CM 125 159 £5,500,000
Salvatore Esposito SPAL 21 DM/CM 122 157 £2,200,000
Aleix Febas Malaga 26 CM 125 153 £1,000,000
Jose Gragera Sporting Gijon 22 DM/CM 121 150 £2,300,000
Teboho Mokoena Mamelodi Sundowns 25 CM 120 150 £400,000
Rani Khedira Union Berlin 28 DM/CM 138 138 £2,900,000
Paul Jaeckel Union Berlin 23 CB/DM/CM 135 139 £3,600,000
Filipe Augusto Free Agent 28 DM/CM 130 134 Free

There are plenty of options to choose from here, especially on the cheaper side of things. While overwhelming the most expensive, Silvano Vos from Ajax will be a great pickup for any team with expendable funds, as his 169 PA and flexible positions will make him extremely valuable if he meets his potential.

FM23 Best Cheap Attacking Midfielders

FM23 Alvaro Fidalgo Stats
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If you're on the search for a centre midfielder with a more attacking focus though, here's the best budget attacking midfielders in Football Manager 23:

Name Club Age Position CA PA Value
Arda Guler Fenerbahce 17 AM 105 173 £8,750,000
Julen Jon Guerrero Castilla 18 AM 101 168 £8,750,000
Shinta Appelkamp Fortuna Dusseldorf 21 LW/AM/CM 117 160 £2,800,000
Vasco Sousa Porto 19 CM/AM 104 158 £5,750,000
Oscar Gloukh Maccabi Tel Aviv 18 CM/AM 117 158 £2,100,000
Lucas Lima Fortaleza 31 AM 125 155 £190,000 (Free in six months)
Theo Castilla 20 CM/AM 104 151 £4,300,000
Joao Vitor Vitoria 17 CM/AM 83 150 £275,000
Alvaro Fidalgo Club America 25 CM/AM 140 145 £525,000
Zsolt Kalmar Dunajska Streda 27 CM/AM 130 133 £700,000

Guler and Guerrero are the two obvious choices, with potential abilities that could see them becoming some of the world's top players. However, they are of course more on the expensive side, so you can go a bit cheaper with the options below.

One particular highlight comes in the form of Alvaro Fidalgo, who has a CA of 140, which puts him in line with players like Miguel Almiron, Harvey Elliot, Giovanni Reyna, and Everton. While he won't grow beyond this, like some of the players mentioned most definitely will, he is a solid pickup for only £525,000.

FM23 Best Cheap Wingers

FM23 Facundo Buonanotte Stats
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Here's our list of the FM23 bargains in the winger and wide midfielder positions:

Name Club Age Position CA PA Value
Arsen Zakharyan Dynamo Moscow 19 AM/LW/RW 125 173 £13,000,000
Luis Guilherme Palmeiras 16 AM/RW/ST 75 167 £4,300,000
Facundo Buonanotte Rosario Central 17 RM/RW 115 162 £4,500,000
Youssef Msakni Al-Arabi 31 LW 126 156 £1,400,000
Pione Sisto FC Midtjylland 27 LW/RW/RM 129 155 £2,000,000
Alejandro Zendejas Club America 24 LM/CM/RW 130 138 £500,000

Arsen Zakharyan only just scrapes onto this list due to his PA alone, as thirteen million is quite a tough ask in a bargains list. At least he already has 125 CA at the age of 19, meaning that he should be good enough to start putting into games. 

Facundo Buonanotte is probably the best overall choice in the list above, especially due to the scarcity of wide midfielder roles in the game. He will set you back around £4,500,000, but he has plenty of time to grow into his PA of 162.

FM23 Best Cheap Strikers

FM23 Endrick Stats
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Looking for a bargain up top to bag you some goals? Check out all of the FM23 bargains we found in the striker position below:

Name Club Age Position CA PA Value
Endrick Palmeiras 15 ST 102 176 £16,500,000
Datro Fofana Molde 19 ST/RW 123 167 £6,250,000
Jhon Duran Chicago Fire 18 ST 108 166 £4,300,000
Andreas Schjelderup FC Nordsjaelland 18 LW/ST 134 160 £7,000,000
Borja Baston Real Oviedo 29 ST 130 155 £2,000,000
Mariano Real Madrid 28 ST 139 154 £2,200,000

If you're going to buy anyone from this list, make sure that it is Endrick. While he does soar £6,000,000 above our value threshold, that will seem like pocket change when he has fully developed. Much like the Carlos Fierros, Yaya Sanogos, and Youssoufa Moukokos of the past, this year is Endrick's to dominate.

However, if you can't quite afford that, going for any of the top three should give you a great striker for many years, for under £7,000,000 no less. If you're wanting to inject an instant starter into your squad though, you can't go too wrong with the final two if you're a midtable team and below.

So, that completes this list of FM23 bargains, giving you a plethora of players to choose from, which should hopefully lead to success and even a big sale or two. If you're wanting to know how to install the FM23 real name fix though, make sure to check out our guide for a full walkthrough.

Harry is a Guides Writer at GGRecon, having completed a Masters of Research degree in Film Studies. Previously a freelance writer for PCGamesN, The Loadout, and Red Bull Gaming, he loves playing a wide variety of games from the Souls series to JRPGs, Counter-Strike, and EA FC. When not playing or writing about games and hardware, you're likely to find him watching football or listening to Madonna and Kate Bush.

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