FIFA 22: Best young players & wonderkids to sign on Career Mode

By Harry Edwards

FIFA 22: Best young players & wonderkids to sign on Career Mode

Published: 15:30, 27 June 2022

FIFA 22 may be coming to the end of its shelf life but that doesn’t mean there isn’t fun still to be had.

While Ultimate Team may be growing stale for some, Career Mode can be timeless and provide new challenges even at this late stage into the game, with the aim of pushing a team (perhaps already existing or completely created thanks to the new additions) to glory.

But, whether you are starting at Real Madrid or Fake Madrid, who should you be signing? Unlike other game modes, in Career Mode it is vital to pay close attention to a player’s age.

A 90-rated player may be a great acquisition on Ultimate Team where they are essentially ageless (providing they start in a good condition), but that same man might not be worth flashing the cash for on Career Mode if there isn’t too long left on his career (we’re looking at you, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo).

Instead, you’ll be wanting to fill your squad with youth, building it up for however long your Career Mode journey lasts. Of course, the Youth Academy will play its part, but what of the actual players already in the game, and the potential team you could build with them?

We’ve taken a look at the best young players for you to use in each position, aged 21 or under at the start of FIFA 22 Career Mode, with the highest potential overall, and put them into a pretty frightening XI.

Player potential overalls are not set in stone and will vary depending on how often, and well, you use your wonderkids.

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Goalkeeper: Maarten Vandevoordt

Age at start of Career Mode: 19
Initial FIFA 22 rating: 70
Potential FIFA 22 rating: 86

With Gianluigi Donnarumma now ancient at the age of 22, there’s a new goalkeeping wonderkid in town in the form of Maarten Vandevoordt. The Genk shot-stopper is still a teenager at the start of FIFA 22’s Career Mode and will need some working on with an overall of 70 — his standout goalkeeping attribute is Diving at 73. However, if you do manage to work on him and get it right, the Belgian can grow to 86 overall.

Right-back: Sergino Dest

Age at start of Career Mode: 20
Initial FIFA 22 rating: 77
Potential FIFA 22 rating: 88

Sergino Dest may have fallen out of favour somewhat with Xavi, being linked with a move away from Barcelona, but he remains a solid long-term pick on FIFA 22. The American, who only turns 21 a few months into your first Career Mode season, has a potential overall of 88 with a +13 rise from his initial rating, which includes

When Ajax sold Sergiño Dest to Barcelona, there may have been some worries about replacing him, but Devyne Rensch has stepped up. Despite only making his debut last November, Rensch became a regular start for Ajax last season and is tipped to do well in the future. This is mimicked in FIFA 22 with his potential overall of 88 a rise of +11 from his initial rating, which includes 72 Slide Tackle.

Centre-back: Josko Gvardiol

Age at start of Career Mode: 19
Initial FIFA 22 rating: 79
Potential FIFA 22 rating: 87

Josko Gvardiol was a left-back in FIFA 21 but he has had a key change for FIFA 22 (and in real life) to centre-back, which puts him in our team – and on the transfer shortlist of a lot of teams.The Croatian’s initial overall of 79 brings 84 Sprint Speed and 84 Strength, already an interesting prospect to have at the heart of your defence. And these will only get better as he reaches his potential of 87.

Centre-back: Leonidas Stergiou

Age at start of Career Mode: 19
Initial FIFA 22 rating: 67
Potential FIFA 22 rating: 86

Leonidas Stergiou has featured in our Career Mode centre-back picks in the past and he remains a solid buy in FIFA 22. The Swiss centre-back starts FIFA 22 with an overall of 67, which already includes 86 Jumping, 74 Strength and 65 Interceptions. Given how low-rated he is, Stergiou can be a steal, especially when you see his potential overall of 86.

Left-back: Alphonso Davies

Age at start of Career Mode: 20
Initial FIFA 22 rating: 84
Potential FIFA 22 rating: 89

Alphonso Davies is currently riding the high of another Bundesliga-winning season in which he featured heavily, after an underwhelming 2020/21 and his overall has risen to 84 at the time of writing. His potential of 89 may feel a little low, but it’s still one to watch out for especially with the boosts it will bring to his already high Pace, Dribbling and impressive Defending.

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Central midfielder: Pedri

Age at start of Career Mode: 18
Initial FIFA 22 rating: 84
Potential FIFA 22 rating: 91

Perhaps the wonderkid right now, Pedri has been given a boost of +7 from his initial FIFA 21 overall of 77 to break into the 80s this year, rising to 84 based on performances. That comes with 87 Dribbling, 88 Vision and 87 Short Passing among other good attributes, fully deserved for his excellent start for club and country. What hasn’t changed is his potential, but it remains a high 91 for FIFA 22 and will probably only increase.

Central midfielder: Ryan Gravenberch

Age at start of Career Mode: 19
Initial FIFA 22 rating: 78
Potential FIFA 22 rating: 89

Yep, it’s Ajax again and perhaps the biggest wonderkid on their books right now. Ryan Gravenberch has been a must-sign on Football Manager for some time and that carries over to Career Mode in FIFA 22. The central midfielder has a fairly decent starting rating of 78 with four-star Skill Moves and four-star Weak Foot and has the potential to grow to 89 overall.

Right-winger: Jadon Sancho

Age at start of Career Mode: 21
Initial FIFA 22 rating: 87
Potential FIFA 22 rating: 92

Alright, Jadon Sancho is a right-midfielder but you can push him a bit further forward as we have in our wonderkid 4-2-3-1. The Englishman may have had a rocky start to life at Manchester United but he remains one of the best young players in the world, which is mirrored on FIFA 22 with his starting overall as high as 87. With it being so high already, there isn’t too much room for improvement but Sancho can still reach 92 and become one of the best in FIFA.

Attacking midfielder: Phil Foden

Age at start of Career Mode: 21
Initial FIFA 22 rating: 84
Potential FIFA 22 rating: 92

It took a while for Phil Foden to earn his place in Manchester City’s first-team squad after years of promise in the academy, but it has finally happened and he has had a big boost from his FIFA 21 starting overall of 79. Now 84-rated with 85 Short Passing, 84 Pace, 87 Dribbling and 79 Finishing, Foden is one of the best English players in FIFA 22 and can be one of the top stars full stop with his potential to reach 92.

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Left-winger: Ansu Fati

Age at start of Career Mode: 18
Initial FIFA 22 rating: 79
Potential FIFA 22 rating: 90

Ansu Fati could already be one of La Liga’s star players in FIFA 22, but he was robbed of almost a year of action due to injury. As a result, his initial rating has only upped to 79, with 88 Pace, 82 Finishing and 82 Dribbling just some of the standout stats. If you get him to his potential overall of 90, Fati could become one of the most unstoppable players in Career Mode and we don’t expect his potential to be as “low” as 90 come FIFA 23.

Striker: Erling Haaland

Age at start of Career Mode: 21
Initial FIFA 22 rating: 88
Potential FIFA 22 rating: 93

Only Kylian Mbappe (95) has a higher potential overall than Erling Haaland, but the Frenchman has joined Donnarumma in being too old to be a wonderkid — so it’s the android who leads our line. There’s not much to say about Haaland that hasn’t already been said, but in FIFA his goalscoring record has seen the Norwegian’s overall climb from 84 to 88 within the space of a year. His Finishing is already 94 while his Pace is pretty explosive at 88. And he won’t turn 22 until the end of your first season!