Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon was sensational in the Championship last season

8 defenders who need a ratings boost in FIFA 19

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The defensive powerhouses who have impressed the most over the past 12 months.

With just a few months to go until the release of FIFA 19, it won't be long until a new batch of ratings are revealed for Ultimate Team, the series' most popular mode. These stats are calculated based on how players perform throughout the previous year, with the biggest standouts receiving substantial in-game upgrades.
Having already selected our picks for the goalscorers, midfielders and goalkeepers we think deserve a ratings boost later this September, we're now switching our attention to defenders. Here are the most improved right-backs, left-backs and centre-backs that look set for an increase.

1. Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham)

Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon was sensational in the Championship last season
Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon was sensational in the Championship last season
English youngster Ryan Sessegnon only turned 18 in May, but enjoyed a fruitful 17/18 season with promoted Fulham. As well as assisting the team's winning goal in the Championship Play-Off Final, the left-back/winger won a string of accolades, being named the league's Player of the Year in the process. His FUT rating increased to just 69 in the Winter Ratings Refresh, however, so we're expecting a big boost for the wonderkid in the near future.

2. Philipp Max (FC Augsburg)

This German left-back contributed a massive 13 assists in last season's Bundesliga, helping FC Augsburg to a 12th place finish. His consistent performances were rewarded with a 77 overall rating in FIFA 18's Winter Update, and the 24-year-old also benefited from a 90-rated Bundesliga Team of the Season item in May. It looks like his base rating will get another upgrade in a few months' time, perhaps in the form of a +3 increase.

3. Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona)

Umtiti won the league and cup double with Barcelona last season
Umtiti won the league and cup double with Barcelona last season
After winning his first La Liga and Copa del Rey title with Barcelona in 17/18, Samuel Umtiti signed a new five-year deal with the club earlier this month. Despite his impressive season, the French centre-back remains rated at a base level of 83 in Ultimate Team, and has only once received a temporary upgrade – his 85-rated World Cup item. Given his form, don't be surprised if that rating becomes permanent in FIFA 19.

4. Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)

Despite some early struggles in Germany's woeful 2018 World Cup campaign, Kimmich enjoyed another impressive season with Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. The 23-year-old, who joined last season's title winners from RB Leipzig in 2015, has received a mass of in-form upgrades in FUT 18 including a 95-rated Team of the Season item. His World Cup rating increased to 85, which we think will apply to his base rating in FIFA 19, too.

5. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

Alexander-Arnold's stats are poor in FIFA 18
Alexander-Arnold's stats are poor in FIFA 18
Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold enjoyed a breakout season in 17/18, becoming the side's youngest ever player to start in a Champions League final along the way. Regardless, his stats remain surprisingly poor in FUT 18, resulting in a mere 68 overall rating. His World Cup and Man of the Match items did offer a temporary boost, and there's every chance the 19-year-old Englishman will receive a much heftier increase come September.

6. Clemént Lenglet (Sevilla)

Since joining La Liga's Sevilla in January 2017, young French defender Lenglet has turned more than a few heads. Barcelona and Manchester United are both rumoured to be interested in the 23 year-old, who received plaudits for his performances against the Manchester team in last season's Champions League. His 78-rated Gold item in FUT 18 hasn't fluctuated once, but even so, Lenglet looks set to benefit from a worthy upgrade in a few months.

7. Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich)

Hummels is another who had a poor World Cup after a great domestic season
Hummels is another who had a poor World Cup after a great domestic season
2014 World Cup winner Mats Hummels is one of the world's top defenders, rivaling the likes of Sergio Ramos and Diego Godin in central defence. The four-time Bundesliga winner enjoyed another fantastic season in 17/18, and for the third time in a row, was named in the official Bundesliga Team of the Season. He also received a 95-rated Ultimate TOTS item in FUT 18, and his 90-rated World Cup edition suggests he might get a +1 increase in FIFA 19.

8. Nicolás Otamendi (Man City)

Otamendi was much improved for City last season
Otamendi was much improved for City last season
For the first time since joining Manchester City in 2015, Nicolás Otamendi lifted the Premier League trophy last season. The Argentinian was dominant at the back, his efforts recognised with a place in the PFA Team of the Year. His initial FUT 18 rating was boosted to an 85 as a result, and back in May, he was also selected in the EPL Team of the Season with a 93-rated item. But again, it's his +1 increase for the World Cup that seems to indicate that an upgrade is on the way.