Following on from Bleacher Report’s look at the best strikers to build your FIFA 14 Ultimate Team around on launch day, it’s time to give midfielders the same treatment.
With many FIFA players picking up EA Sports’ latest footballing sim in the next few days, expect the market to swell on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game. As you gear up for another season of buying, selling and occasional weeping, here’s a handful of midfield talents to consider picking up early.
As ever, all images and stats are provided by the lovely folks at FUThead.
Gael Bigirimana, Newcastle United
Starting with a bronze selection, Gael Bigirimana should be recognisable to players who avidly watch the Premier League. Newcastle United’s athletic youngster was added to FIFA 13 in January 2013 after a string of first-team performances across the last campaign.
Although the 19-year-old is yet to feature in a senior Magpies game this season, he is an excellent early pick for any English-based bronze teams. The versatile central midfielder’s standout attribute is his 91-rated agility; a statistic that is just three below Lionel Messi.
Bigirimana’s ability to evade tackles is aided by his 76-rated balance. His resilience on the ball is combined with a doggedness and highly aggressive style that sees him relentlessly stalk opposition in the middle. Considering he also possesses decent speed, gold standard passing and useful dribbling skills, he is an excellent acquisition on launch day.
Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe, Club Brugge
Here's an old favourite in the world of Ultimate Team.
Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe’s overall rating has decreased slightly this year, but the midfielder remains an absolute monster in the middle of the pitch. This is an individual who can easily play in gold teams, especially when linked with other Belgian behemoths such as Marouane Fellaini.
What can you expect from the 24-year-old?
While 83-rated stamina and strength highlights his tenacity in midfield, Odjidja-Ofoe also has the ability to create and score goals. He has gold standard short passing, ball control and long shots, making him an extremely versatile player who can dictate from a number of positions.
Whether you use him as a pivot in defensive midfield or just behind the striker, Odjidja-Ofoe should be snapped up before his price rises after the release.
Paul Pogba, Juventus
Manchester United’s long quest for a defensive destroyer was arguably prolonged when they let Paul Pogba slip away.
The former Red Devil enjoyed a fantastic 2012/13 campaign and saw his FIFA 13 card upgrade from a silver to a gold in January 2013. Now on FIFA 14 with a tasty overall of 79, he should come into the consciousness of buyers who are looking for dominant players at affordable prices.
Pogba’s 87-rated strength and 83-rated aggression is enough to make most opponents tremble with fear. His ball control, long passing and long-shooting accuracy also head into the 80s and well beyond his overall score, highlighting a player who is suitably adapted to FIFA 14’s more physical style.
As a Frenchman playing in Italy, he also provides the opportunity to build interesting teams that break away from the norm.
Which midfielders will you build your Ultimate Team around on launch day? Let me know in the comments section below and be sure to chat directly with me on Twitter: