FIFA 19 wonderkids: the 11 best youngsters to sign in career mode

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Football isn’t all about ready-made stars, and neither is FIFA 19. But sorting through and trying to find a hidden gem can be a daunting task. That’s why GR has collated the best FIFA 19 wonderkids for you to use in career mode. Players of all positions and types – from those you’ve never heard of to a certain World Cup winner – can be found down below. Unlike Football Manager, FIFA 19’s wonderkids have a static potential ceiling, so you can pluck up the very best around safe in the knowledge that it’s money well spent.

Sandro Tonali (Brescia, CM) 68 overall - 88 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) 77 overall - 89 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?

Prefer your modes a little more Ultimate Team shaped? Then check out this year’s FIFA 19 Ultimate Team player ratings for the 10 biggest Premier League player upgrades.