FIFA 18 career mode guide - negotiate contracts, successfully scout, and buy the best players

Best buys in FIFA 18’s career mode

So you’ve just taken charge of your new club, you’ve been given a transfer kitty to spend on new players, but who should you buy? With a wealth of potential transfers out there, it’s not always easy to know which players are worth it and which should be avoided.

Thankfully, we’ve put together this curated transfer guide to keep you in the know. Just follow our recommendations and you’ll be able to considerably improve your squad without wasting your money on flops and failed gambles.

We’ve selected five players across three different categories: the best that money can get, the top bargain finds, and the best free transfers. We’ve included a goalkeeper, defender, central midfielder, winger and striker for each category, so no matter what area of your team you want to strengthen, there should be a player here for you.

Top players

If you’ve got cash to blow and only want the best players money can buy, start here. It’s the ultimate FIFA 18 shopping list.

Gianluigi Donnarumma
OVR: 82
Potential: 94
Price: £21.5m - £29.2m
Club: Milan

Seen as the long-term successor to Gianluigi Buffon, Donnarumma is one of the best young goalkeepers in the game. He’s just 18 but is already Milan’s number one and a notable presence in the Italian national team.

With 94 potential, he’ll grow into one of the best players in FIFA 18, and is a must buy if you can afford him.

Raphaël Varane
OVR: 85
Potential: 92
Price: £55.8m - £84.2m
Club: Real Madrid

You know a player is good if he’s a key defender at Real Madrid, and Raphaël Varane is such a player. He’s rated 85 and has a whopping 92 potential, which will make him one of the most talented centre backs in the game.

His stats are fantastic. As you’d expect, he’s strong and has exceptional tackling attributes, but is also fast and can expertly read the game. He’s also a very composed figure at the back, so is unlikely to make costly mistakes.

Paulo Dybala
OVR: 88
Potential: 93
Price: £95.7m - £144.2m
Club: Juventus

There’s very little that Paulo Dybala can’t do when going forward. He’s fast, has incredible balance and Messi-like dribbling, enabling him to breeze past defenders, and can score for fun whether he’s up close or outside the box.

He’s already rated 88 at 23 years old, and has 93 potential. He’s expensive, yes, but worth every penny.

Yannick Carrasco
OVR: 85
Potential: 90
Price: £60.3m - £90m
Club: Atlético Madrid

If you need an elite flying winger and don’t mind paying a fair price, take a look at Yannick Carrasco. Another incredible product of Belgium’s football factory, he’s already one of the best wingers in the world and can grow even better.

His speed, dribbling and four star skill moves will make light work of any opposition players, and he can also play just behind a striker and score goals with ease.

Harry Kane
OVR: 86
Potential: 90
Price: £68.9m - £103.9m
Club: Spurs

Harry Kane needs little in the way of introduction. He’s been scoring goals for fun for so long it’s hard to believe he’s still so young. He’s one of the best young strikers in FIFA 18, but still has plenty of growth left in him.

He’s ideal if you’re after a target man striker thanks to his strength and height, but is far from one-dimensional. He can score from anywhere, and his uncanny positional sense means he’ll pop up in the right place at the right time on countless occasions.

Best bargains

Tight on cash? We’ve scoured the footballing globe and unearthed the hidden bargains you might not know about – all cost less than £2m. Who says you need to spend big to get quality?

Anton Mitryushkin
OVR: 69
Potential: 82
Price: £1.55m - £2m
Club: FC Sion

Bargain keepers are hard to come by in FIFA 18, but Anton Mitryushkin is a real steal. Costing less than £2m and with great potential, he’s ideal for a lower league team, or a mid-table side looking for a future starter.

He plays in Switzerland for FC Sion, well away from the searching eyes of the big clubs, so you should have no trouble snapping him up.

Marc Cucurella
OVR: 68
Potential: 86
Price: £1.4m - £1.85m
Club: FC Barcelona B

Marc Cucurella is a brilliant buy if you’re after a pacy wing back who can run all game long. His 86 potential also means he could become an absolute superstar.

His exceptional stamina means he can play game after game, which in turn makes for quick growth, so it should be too long before he hits the lofty heights of his potential.

Oriol Busquets
OVR: 66
Potential: 85
Price: £670,000 - £1.15m
Club: FC Barcelona B

Despite sharing a position, surname and club as the famous Sergio Busquets, Oriol Busquets is of no relation. That doesn’t mean he can’t reach the same lofty heights as his talented namesake, though.

With strength, heading and tackling ability, plus an impressive 85 potential rating, Busquets is a future midfield general who can be picked up for peanuts if you get him early enough.

Angel Gomes
OVR: 64
Potential: 89
Price: £830,000 - £1.2m
Club: Manchester United

Significant buzz has been generated around Angel Gomes, and it’s easy to see why. He’s been hugely impressive at youth tournaments, making his under-18 debut when he was just 14, and that’s reflected in the game with his incredible 89 potential.

He’s got supreme balance and is equally adept at dribbling, passing or shooting, so you can play him right across the midfield. That flexibility and immense potential make his price tag look ridiculously cheap.

Ben Brereton
OVR: 66
Potential: 85
Price: £1.2m - £1.45m
Club: Nottingham Forest

There are a lot of reasons to like Ben Brereton in FIFA 18. He’s absolutely rapid, making him ideal if you love playing through balls so your striker can get behind the defence. He’s tall and fairly strong too, making him a decent target man. And he can dribble too.

But best of all is his combination of 85 potential and rock bottom price. It’s possible to get him for around £1m, which is a fantastic price for someone of his future ability. He’ll tear it up in the lower leagues and would make an excellent super-sub for bigger clubs while he develops.

Best free transfers

If a player is aged 23 or over and has less than a year left on his contract, you can sign him without having to pay a transfer fee and he’ll join your club next season. All you need to do is agree on his wages and other contract details.

FIFA 18 has added various performance bonuses and signing-on fees to contract negotiations, which means free transfers are no longer totally ‘free’ per se. Still, they’re an incredibly affordable way to get high quality players.

One thing of note: there appears to be a bug if you disable transfer activity in the first window, then try to sign some pre-contract players. Sometimes, instead of joining your club at the start of the next season, their arrival is delayed by around six months. If you want to avoid this, make sure either you enable transfer activity in the first window, or don’t attempt to sign free transfers in the first season.

Anyway, let’s take a look at the best free transfers FIFA 18 has to offer.

Bernd Leno
OVR: 85
Potential: 88
Wage demands: £70,000 - £110,000
Club: Leverkusen

Germany has some excellent goalkeeping talent on its hands. Manuel Neuer, Timo Horn, Marc-André ter Stegen and more are all fantastic stoppers, but none are talented and affordable as Bernd Leno.

The Leverkusen keeper has an OVR rating of 85 and 88 potential, so will easily slot straight into any starting lineup. It’s possible to get him on wages of around £70,000, which isn’t too unreasonable considering his obvious talent.

Stefan de Vrij
OVR: 83
Potential: 88
Wage demands: £74,000 - £120,000
Club: Lazio

Ball-playing centre backs have become more common in recent years, and Stefan de Vrij is a good example. While he has the strength and tackling ability to stop any forward in his tracks, he also has the passing range and composure to launch attacks from the back when he gets the chance.

That makes him a good fit if you enjoy playing counter-attacking football, and he’ll be a mainstay in your defence for years to come thanks to his 88 potential. Considering you don’t have to pay a transfer fee, his wages aren’t too bad either.

Mesut Özil
OVR: 88
Potential: 88
Wage demands: £135,000 - £220,000
Club: Arsenal

As many Arsenal fans will no doubt be aware, midfield maestro Özil’s contract is running out. That means you can secure a fantastic bargain if you move fast and secure his signature on a free transfer.

He’s a creative force and the perfect player to sit behind the striker, supplying killer passes all game long. He’ll cost you a pretty penny in wage demands, but it’s worth it for the quality service he’ll inevitably bring.

Lionel Messi
OVR: 93
Potential: 93
Wage demands: £220,000 - £350,000
Club: FC Barcelona

Bet you didn’t think you’d see Lionel Messi on this list. Yes, one of the most gifted footballers in history is available on a free transfer. Sure, you’ll probably have to pay a couple of million pounds in signing bonuses, but even that is an obscenely low amount for one of football’s greatest ever players.

Needless to say, any team that manages to pry him away from Barcelona has an incredible talent on their hands. Play him anywhere across the front line and he’ll bring goals galore to your side.

Vincent Aboubakar
OVR: 78
Potential: 82
Wage demands: £17,500 - £28,000
Club: FC Porto

Vincent Aboubakar is a real hidden gem in FIFA 18. Sure, he’s not as highly rated as some of the other free transfers in this guide, but don’t let that fool you. He’s a great acquisition if you can get your hands on him.

For starters, he’s got the rare gift of five star skills, so can make a mockery of any and all defenders with his tricks. He’s got good pace but is also strong, meaning that you can use him as a poacher or target man to suit your needs. And his wage demands are very affordable, putting him well within the reach of a whole host of clubs.

That’s it for our look at the must-buy players of FIFA 18. If you’ve found a talented player that you feel warrants inclusion in this list, be sure to let us know in the comments.

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