Gaming

FIFA 21: Best young players & wonderkids to sign on Career Mode

By Harry Edwards

FIFA 21: Best young players & wonderkids to sign on Career Mode

Published: 13:41, 30 September 2020

We’re just over a week away from the official release of FIFA 21 and the excitement has peaked.

Some have already got their hands on the new game and others will be looking to test things out before October 9, when FIFA 21 becomes available across the globe. While some are planning their Ultimate Teams, for others, it’s all about Career Mode.

But who should they be signing? Unlike other options, 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, but that same man might not be worth it on Career Mode if he’s in his 30s (we’re looking at you, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo).

Instead, you’ll be wanting to fill your squad with youth, setting 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 21’s Career Mode, with the highest potential overall, and put them into a frankly frightful XI.

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

Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma

FIFA 21 Career Mode Wonderkids: Gianluigi Donnarumma

Age at start of Career Mode: 21
Initial FIFA 21 rating: 85
Potential FIFA 21 rating: 92

Despite feeling as though he’s been around for ages, Gianluigi Donnarumma is still only 21 at the start of FIFA 21 Career Mode, and has an initial overall of 85 (the same as FIFA 20). Only his kicking of 76 is lower than 80 among his goalkeeping attributes, and that 89 diving and 89 reflexes are going to be massive, especially if he reaches his potential of 92.

Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold

FIFA 21 Career Mode Wonderkids: Trent Alexander-Arnold

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

Trent Alexander-Arnold just about gets into the wonderkids team, his last year of eligibility, turning 22 in October. Already a high-rated 87, Alexander-Arnold is the best right-back in FIFA 21 and the joint-best full-back alongside Liverpool teammate Andrew Robertson. And there will be no topping him in Career Mode, with a potential overall of 92, becoming one of the best players in the game, full stop.

Centre-back: Matthijs de Ligt

FIFA 21 Career Mode Wonderkids: Matthijs de Ligt

Age at start of Career Mode: 20
Initial FIFA 21 rating: 85
Potential FIFA 21 rating: 92

Although he was 21 at the start of the 2020/21 season, Matthijs de Ligt just about starts FIFA 21 Career Mode at the age of 20, and is undeniably one of the wonderkids. The Dutch centre-back has an initial rating of 85, an already-solid rating, and has a potential of 92, making him one you’ll want to buy if you have the cash.

Centre-back: Dayot Upamecano

FIFA 21 Career Mode Wonderkids: Dayot Upamecano

Age at start of Career Mode: 21
Initial FIFA 21 rating: 79
Potential FIFA 21 rating: 90

It feels weird calling Dayot Upamecano a wonderkid, but the colossal centre-back is still 21, turning 22 in October like Alexander-Arnold. But the RB Leipzig centre-back is more of a work in progress when it comes to FIFA 21, starting with a fairly average overall of 79. That will just make him easier (but still not easy) to snag in Career Mode, with his potential overall reaching 90.

Left-back: Alphonso Davies

FIFA 21 Career Mode Wonderkids: Alphonso Davies

Age at start of Career Mode: 19
Initial FIFA 21 rating: 81
Potential FIFA 21 rating: 89

The explosive full-back was absolutely ridiculous for Bayern Munich last season, helping them win the Treble with some wonderful performances. That saw his initial overall boosted to 81 but his potential of 89 still feels a little underwhelming. But, at 19, the Canadian could still have better potential in FIFAs to come.

Defensive midfielder: Sandro Tonali

FIFA 21 Career Mode Wonderkids: Sandro Tonali

Age at start of Career Mode: 20
Initial FIFA 21 rating: 77
Potential FIFA 21 rating: 91

Despite his move to AC Milan, Sandro Tonali keeps his FIFA 20 overall of 77, boasting decent passing stats and good pace for a defensive midfielder. But, of course, the biggest selling point here is his potential overall of 91, becoming the best defensive midfielder in the game. There’s a reason everyone loves him in Career Mode.

Right midfielder: Jadon Sancho

FIFA 21 Career Mode Wonderkids: Jadon Sancho

Age at start of Career Mode: 20
Initial FIFA 21 rating: 87
Potential FIFA 21 rating: 93

Like Alexander-Arnold, Jadon Sancho has received a pretty big boost for FIFA 21 with regards to his initial rating, rising to 87. His standout attribute has to be 91 dribbling, which he will hope makes up for the disappointing pace of 83. But you can work on that in Career Mode, and hope it grows as Sancho reaches his potential overall of 93.

Left midfielder: Vinicius Jr

FIFA 21 Career Mode Wonderkids: Vinicius Jr

Age at start of Career Mode: 20
Initial FIFA 21 rating: 80
Potential FIFA 21 rating: 93

Okay, we’re being a tad cheeky with Vinicius technically being listed as a left-winger, but we’re sure you’ll let us off. Already boasting five-star skill moves and being one of the fastest players in the game, Vinicius is a devastating option on the left. And that will all only get better if he reaches his potential overall of 93, with only one player having a higher potential on FIFA 21.

Attacking midfielder: Kai Havertz

FIFA 21 Career Mode Wonderkids: Kai Havertz

Age at start of Career Mode: 21
Initial FIFA 21 rating: 85
Potential FIFA 21 rating: 93

His start at Chelsea may have come under criticism but Kai Havertz remains one of the top young players in the world and in FIFA 21. Like some others on the list, he is already established with an initial overall of 85 and has pretty decent attacking attributes. And these will only get better if he reaches his potential overall of 93.

Striker: Kylian Mbappe

FIFA 21 Career Mode Wonderkids: Kylian Mbappe

Age at start of Career Mode: 21
Initial FIFA 21 rating: 90
Potential FIFA 21 rating: 95

Was it going to be anyone else? Kylian Mbappe just about makes it into the list, turning 22 in December, and he is an absolute destroyer at his young age. With an initial rating of 90, which is fully deserved, there already aren’t too many players better than Mbappe, who is also the fastest player in FIFA 21. But when it comes to potential overall, there is no one better. Even your generated, Youth Academy players are going to struggle to reach 95 overall.

Striker: Erling Haaland

FIFA 21 Career Mode Wonderkids: Erling Haaland

Age at start of Career Mode: 20
Initial FIFA 21 rating: 84
Potential FIFA 21 rating: 92

Completing the strike force, as an out-an-out striker (you can go for Joao Felix if you want a CF instead) is the man/android Erling Haaland. He has enjoyed a humongous boost from FIFA 20 in terms of initial ratings, coming in with a decent overall of 84, good enough to lead the line for most big teams. But there’s that potential of 92, which will probably increase over the season as he continues to break records and look nonchalant while doing so.