FIFA 13 is rife with bargains.
Whether you spend your time trawling through Career Mode to hunt out cheap talent, or explicitly peruse the Ultimate Team marketplace for a valuable card, it's worth spending time finding those budget players who can flesh out your squad.
I've been doing exactly that. Read on to find out which players are the most dominant budget signings on any of FIFA 13's game modes.
Diego Lopez (Sevilla)
If you haven't noticed across the past few years, Diego Lopez has been one of Ultimate Team's most consistent bargains. The Sevilla stopper is a cheap alternative to La Liga's elite keepers—including the likes of Iker Casillas—and props up many formidable teams in the online arena.
Julio Cesar (Queens Park Rangers)
Similar to La Liga, the Premier League's top goalkeepers are massively expensive. Most of the time, this price doesn't convert to much of an upgrade. Savvy Ultimate Team players will have been licking their lips when Julio Cesar joined QPR, so it's no surprise he represents the best of the rest in England's top division.
Federico Marchetti (Lazio)
Although Serie A keepers aren't particularly expensive, it's easy to overlook Marchetti in favour of more widely known names. Lazio's man between the sticks is a worthy alternative to the likes of Samir Handanovic and possesses excellent stats right across the board.
Tim Wiese (Hoffenheim)
What do you want from your goalkeeper? If it's expert diving and 91-rated reflexes, Wiese is your man. Despite his distinctly average handling, kicking and positioning, the German keeper has the athletic ability to make a ferocious rearguard.
Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain)
Ligue 1 users may have their eyes on Steve Mandanda, but Paris Saint-Germain's Italian is well worth investing in. Like Wiese, his stats are particularly strong when considering diving and reactions. Those looking to make a hybrid Ultimate Team side might also be excited by his Italian descent.
Angelo Ogbonna (Torino):
Ogbonna is one of the most dominant bargains on FIFA 13. His speed and agility in the centre-back position is exceptional for a player who is so often overlooked. It's easy to see why the 24-year-old is one of Serie A's top prospects. If he fits into your team, pick him up now.
Pablo Armero (Udinese)
Similar to Ogbonna, Udinese's Pablo Armero is a superb addition to any side.The Colombian is one of the quickest left-backs on the game and can form fruitful partnerships with his countrymen who also play in Italy. Strong in the tackle and an attacking threat, Armero's statistics add a sense of diversity to any back four.
Andre Santos (Arsenal)
Forget his abysmal form in real life; Andre Santos is an old-school bargain in FIFA terms. He possesses dribbling skill, pace and enough vigour to get forward if your tactics look to create extra pressure from deep. Unlike Arsene Wenger, you won't be disappointed.
Felipe Santana (Borussia Dortmund)
It's easy to overlook Santana, especially when defenders such as Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic play in the Bundesliga. Even so, the 26-year-old Brazilian has the unlikely combination of being both tall and fast. His dominance in the air is natural and a great asset from any long ball or set piece.
Younes Kaboul (Tottenham Hotspur)
Spurs' French centre-back has built his game on solid foundations. He is an all-around defender who can take control of the game either in the air or on the floor. Alongside this, the physical specimen has a decent turn of pace that allows his weight to be thrown around the pitch at full force.
Victor Moses (Chelsea)
Chelsea's summer signing has a number of attributes that make him a fantastic budget player. While his pace and dribbling ability is key, Moses also has the physicality to cut it with the best. He is bound to come up against challenging defences in any game mode and is fully equipped to deal with them.
James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion)
Not an obvious pick, sure. What Morrison doesn't have in physicality he more than makes up for in precision. His accurate passes and pinpoint crosses should be combined with a target man. The Englishman's pace is also useful when tracking back.
Alex Song (Barcelona)
Barca's Cameroonian midfielder is this season's Seydou Keita. Versatile, defensively strong and offensively sound, he represents one of La Liga's top bargains. It's always easy to overlook Barcelona players who aren't Spanish—or indeed, called Lionel Messi—but Song is also worth building your team around.
Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund)
Once again, Gundogan is often overlooked because he plays alongside some of the most exciting midfielders in the world. Although his defensive side isn't anything to shout home about, the German international is the kind of individual who takes control of midfield with his energy and passing ability—much like Nuri Sahin did back on FIFA 11.
Antonio Nocerino (AC Milan)
As in real life, Nocerino is an excellent pick when you're looking for someone who can perform across a number of roles. He offers defensive stability and the stamina to break forward when needed. Despite his lack of physicality, the tiny Italian is a pitbull when trying to nick the ball away from opponents.
Victor Ibarbo (Cagliari)
Undoubtedly one of the most valuable bargains on FIFA 13, Victor Ibarbo is brilliant in a centre-forward's role. His ridiculous height, speed and finishing ability will cause major problems against any defence. Buying Ibarbo early in Career Mode ensures there is plenty of room for his stats to grow. Don't be put off by his overall rating, either.
Luis Muriel (Udinese)
Oh look, another Colombian. Perhaps the country's current occupation of fifth in the FIFA World Rankings is telling us something. Udinese's 21-year-old striker is also worth picking up in Career Mode and should be inserted into any Serie A Ultimate Team squad.
Muriel's decent finishing ability links extremely well with Ibarbo. Hell, you might as well throw in the other Colombian's mentioned on this list for good measure. He also flaunts ridiculous pace from the off.
Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)
Sir Alex Ferguson's starlet is rather accomplished on FIFA 13. He may have a tendency for sloppy football in real life, but Welbeck's abilities are nurtured on the virtual pitch. Plenty of faster strikers exist, but Big Danny W can hold the ball up, bring others into play and finish well.
Loic Remy (Marseille)
As many players will know, crosses are pretty effective in this year's game. It's worth having a player who can come on and offer the chance of snatching late goals. Loic Remy is that player. His sprint speed and willingness to fly through the air can be captured for particularly cheap on Ultimate Team. If the reports are true, Remy's card could also soon be available in Newcastle United colours (via The Guardian).
Have you unearthed a fantastic Career Mode talent that nobody else knows about? Is there a budget Ultimate Team card that is first on your team sheet? Tell the world!
Feel free to leave your own suggestions below and be sure to comment on the choices I've made.