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Mbappe, Dolberg, Onana: the 20 FIFA 18 players with the biggest Ultimate Team ratings increases

If you’re reading this and you’re a Bayer Leverkusen footballer by the name of Kai Havertz, take a bow, son: you’re the most improved player in FIFA 18 (opens in new tab) Ultimate Team.

If you’re reading this and you’re not Kai Havertz, there’s good news for you, too: the clever cookies at futwiz (opens in new tab) have analysed the entire FIFA 18 database, and figured out the biggest year-on-year ratings increases – and the top 20 are listed at the end of this story. 

Right-midfielder Havertz comes top with a 16-point overall increase, from 57 in FIFA 17 to 73 this year. Still aged only 18, in 2016 he became the Bundesliga’s youngest ever debutant, and earlier this year he earned the honour of Leverkusen’s youngest goalscorer. Easily deserving of the ratings bump, then. 

Two players based in England finish in joint-second: Manchester United’s Portuguese keeper Joel Pereira, and Nottingham Forest centre-back Joe Worrall. Pereira earned his first league start for United in the final game of 2016-17, against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, while Worrall was called up to the England U-21 squad in August after captaining the U-20 side which won the summer’s FIFA U-20 World Cup. 

One player always certain to get a gigantic stats increase across the board was Kylain Mbappe. He started last season as a winger on the cusp of the Monaco first team, and ended it as one of Europe’s best centre forwards, scoring a season-long loan move to PSG which will turn into a 145-million Euro permanent transfer come the end of the season. Mbappe is joint-sixth on the ratings increase chart, leaping from a 71 in FIFA 17 to 83 this year. Young Watford left back Brandon Mason matches that 12-point leap, going from 54 to 66.

In addition to Pereira, two fellow goalkeepers make the top 20. Ajax’s Cameroonian stopper Andre Onana, who seemed to rack up as many special cards in FIFA 17 as he did real-life saves, nabs a nine-point increase from 69 to 78. Cristian Vargas of Atletico Nacional narrowly betters that boost, earning 10 attributes points and a gold card by going from 65 to 75.

Incredibly, three Ajax team-mates join Onana in the hot 20. Right-back Luis Manuel Orejuela upgrades from 57 to 70; centre-back Matthijs de Ligt rises from 63 to 76; and striker Kasper Dolberg increases to 78 from his FIFA 17 rating of 68. Their former team-mate, centre-back Davinson Sanchez – who recently joined Tottenham for a fee in the region of £42million – also gets a monstrous boost, from 71 to 81. 

Here’s the top 20 in full:

1. Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen) +16, 57 to 73
2=. Joel Pereira (Manchester United) +14, 57 to 71
2=. Joe Worrall (Nottingham Forest) +14, 55 to 69
4=. Luis Manuel Orejuela (Ajax) +13, 57 to 70
4=. Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax) + 13, 63 to 76
6=. Kylian Mbappe (Paris SG) +12, 71 to 83
6=. Brandon Mason (Watford) +12, 54 to 66
8. Lucas Tousart (Lyon) +11, 68 to 78
9=. Deal Fry (Middlesbrough) +10, 56 to 66
9=. Raul (Braga) +10, 68 to 78
9=. Cristian Vargas (Atletico Nacional) +10, 65 to 75
9=. Kasper Dolberg (Ajax) +10, 68 to 78
9=. Ritsu Doan (Groningen) +10, 58 to 68
9=. Thilo Kehrer (Schalke) +10, 61 to 71
9=. Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham) +10, 71 to 81
9=. Georgiy Dzhikiya (Spartak Moscow) +10, 65 to 75
9=. Reuven Niemeijer (Heracles) +10, 57 to 67
18=. Theo Hernandez (Real Madrid) +9, 66 to 75
18=. Andre Onana (Ajax) +9, 69 to 78
18=. Ezgjan Alioski (Leeds) +9, 63 to 72
18=. Christian Pulisic (Dortmind) +9, 69 to 78
18=. Pedro Chirivella (Willem II) +9, 58 to 67

FIFA 18 is out on 29 September– but you can play the demo right now. Before you do so, be sure to check out our FIFA 18 demo tips feature (opens in new tab)

I'm GamesRadar's sports editor, and obsessed with NFL, WWE, MLB, AEW, and occasionally things that don't have a three-letter acronym – such as Chvrches, Bill Bryson, and Streets Of Rage 4. (All the Streets Of Rage games, actually.) Even after three decades I still have a soft spot for Euro Boss on the Amstrad CPC 464+.