Career mode is something of an afterthought in FIFA 19, but that's not to say it's completely without charm. One of the mode's most satisfying achievements is taking a raw prospect and turning him into an elite superstar over the course of four or five seasons. It's a risk-reward dynamic, however, with some upstarts destined to fall by the wayside no matter how much game time you give them.
How, then, can you maximise your chances of building a team of youthful Champions League contenders? Using GR's guide to the best FIFA 19 wonderkids, is how. They'll set you back a few quid, but any or all of the below are guaranteed to deliver goals, assists and/or trophies if you stand by them across multiple campaigns. Use it in tandem with our FIFA 19 career mode guide for the best results.
- FIFA 19 tips - essential FIFA 19 tips to know before you play
- FIFA 19 career mode guide - negotiate contracts and successfully scout
- FIFA 19 The Journey rewards - what do you get for finishing each chapter?
Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund, RM) 78 overall - 90 potential
Fitting for a winger that has pace to burn, he couldn’t get away from previous club Manchester City quick enough. He’s now thriving in the Bundesliga at Borussia Dortmund. The newly-capped England international also has the potential in FIFA 19’s Career Mode to grow into one of the best wingers in the world. 87 Dribbling, 88 Acceleration, and 90 Agility makes Sancho easily one of the game’s most obvious signings if you want to plunk down £18m.
Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen, CAM) 81 overall - 90 potential
Having already received a big boost in potential thanks to EA’s FUT Future Stars campaign, Havertz is on the cusp of something huge at both his club Leverkusen and Germany, having made his debut for Die Mannscahft in September 2018. Blessed with phenomenal technical prowess and the ability to pick a pass in-game with his passing and dribbling stats already starting in the low-80s, he can be yours if you activate his £44.6m release clause.
Sandro Tonali (Brescia, CM) 70 overall - 90 potential
Now, this is a deep cut. Boasting one of the greatest potential leaps in the game (and FIFA history), Tonali has been likened to Pirlo thanks to his tendency to spray passes all over the pitch in a deep-lying midfield role. The Brescia midfielder can be snapped up for a measly £2.5 million at the beginning of the game, ensuring that your midfield keeps ticking over for the next decade or so.
Andriy Lunin (Real Madrid, GK) 76 overall - 88 potential
While not quite breaking through into the very top tier of young goalkeepers, you definitely shouldn’t turn your nose up at Andriy Lunin if you can tempt him away from the Bernabeu after his loan deal at Leganes expires. With all main goalkeeper attributes already in the mid-70s at the age of just 19, Lunin is worth investing in if you can justify the £15m+ figure Real Madrid will quote.
Leon Bailey (Leverkusen, LM) 82 overall - 89 potential
Although his international future is still up in the air (with England monitoring him closely), there’s nothing uncertain about the abundance of talent Bailey has in both real-life and FIFA 19. An absolute speed demon on the left flank, Bailey starts with 87 dribbling and 94 acceleration – and that’s only going to improve. If you’re a top club, you can haggle with Leverkusen and prise him from their clutches for around £45m.
Alban Lafont (Fiorentina, GK) 78 overall - 90 potential
You’ll be in safe hands thanks to this French stopper, already touted as the heir apparent to Hugo Lloris in the national team at just 19. His FIFA stats back that up, too. Across the board, Lafont boasts attributes to rival his older peers, with many nudging well into the 80-89 range after just a season. The only downside is you’ll have to wait at least a year to acquire the ‘keeper as he’s only just joined Fiorentina in real life. £20m should do it. Not too shabby.
Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United, LM) 74 overall - 89 potential
It can be easy to think ‘young Argentinian winger’ and immediately skip ahead to the Lionel Messi comparisons. But Ezequiel Barco might just about justify the hype. Possessing a wand of a right foot as well as an incredible set of dribbling skills that has already seen him terrifying defenders Stateside, Barco can be yours for roughly £15m in the second season. He’s got pace to burn, too, if that’s your thing.
Patrick Cutrone (AC Milan, ST) 77 overall - 89 potential
The Milanese striker is very much a jack of all trades. Be patient with him, however (and maybe arrange an outgoing loan deal or two) and Cutrone will explode into one of the deadliest strikers in Europe. While his wage demands and £20m fee might leave him out of the reach of some mid-tier clubs, it’s worth saving the pennies: He’ll prove to be a worthwhile investment for years to come.
Marcus Rashford (Manchester United, LW) 81 overall - 89 potential
Probably one of the biggest bargains in the game (if you can call £30m a bargain), Marcus Rashford has it all: speed, agility, and a real eye for goal. While his real-life performances may have seen him stagnate somewhat under the watchful eye of Jose Mourinho, that’s done little to dampen EA’s expectations for the Mancunian. He’s even got 4 star skills and 4 star weak foot ability, should you want him to torment players by cutting in from the left wing.
Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax, CB) 80 overall - 91 potential
De Ligt won’t be languishing at Ajax for much longer – and his 80 overall starting point reflects that. Already one of the strongest and most versatile centre backs in the game, and the world, de Ligt can eventually grow into a 91 overall player. That’s matched only by the Sultan of shithousery, Sergio Ramos in terms of defenders. That’s pretty good company to keep, all told. He’ll only cost you £20m in the opening transfer window, too. Bargain.
Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid, LW) 77 overall - 92 potential
Now we’re moving on to the big boys. Vinicius Junior’s stats are obscene for a 17-year-old and, crucially, he comes lumbered with a £41.5m release clause. That means that, if you can cough up the dough, you’ve got the best potential winger in the entire game on your hands for, bizarrely, only slightly more than Real Madrid paid to bring him to Europe in real life. FIFA is weird.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan, GK) 82 overall - 93 potential
The third goalkeeper and second Milan player to feature in our list, Donnarumma has already been christened the next Buffon, despite his on-off struggles with the Milan faithful. But FIFA players don’t have to worry about unfulfilled potential. He’ll be on course to swiftly become the number one, uhh, number one in the world if you can get him. £30m from a big club should tempt him away during the first season.
Kylian Mbappe (PSG, ST) 87 overall - 95 potential
No, that’s not a typo. EA reckons that the striker, fresh off of winning the World Cup at the age of only 19, will be better than a certain Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Those are some big boots to fill but you’re not going to be thinking about what when he’s banging in the goals for you now, are you?
More interested in FIFA 19 Ultimate Team than career mode? Then check out the 18 players guaranteed to have their attributes boosted in February by FIFA 19 winter upgrades.