With the launch of FIFA 18¬†upon us, soccer fans across the world have been gearing up to play the latest entry in the EA Sports franchise. Of course, once again, different players come at the game from different angles, whether it’s for the online multiplayer, Ultimate Team, or the return of Alex Hunter and The Journey.

However, for many FIFA 18 players one of the most enticing reasons to pick up the game is to head back into Career Mode with refreshed squad lists and kits. After all, there’s nothing more satisfying for a sports fan than leading their beloved team to an overwhelming success, particularly when it comes to creating a longstanding legacy in the game.

With that in mind, Game Rant has delved deep into the Career Mode for the title, finding the best young players to pick up early in any managerial career. From superstars on the cusp of greatness through to some great hidden gems, here are the best young players in FIFA 18‘s Career Mode.


gabriel jesus

Perhaps understandably given his meteoric rise, the standout option in the striker position is Kylian Mbappe, with a potential of 94, but there are plenty of other players to be found that are ready to go at a top tier club. Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City can reach a potential of 92, while longtime FIFA Career Mode option Breel Embolo is just one step away from turning into a great player in-game.

Managers on a budget have options, too. Moise Kean of Juventus has a potential of 84, for instance, while Fiete Arp of Hamburg and Han Kwang Song of Perugia have a solid rise ahead of them. Both Arp and Kean will see a growth of 20 or above on their overall score, turning these players into a real handful upfront.

Below are Game Rant’s picks for a young striker in Career Mode:

League Club Name Age Position Potential Overall Growth
France Ligue 1 Paris Saint-Germain Mbappe, Kylian 18 ST 94 83 11
England Premier League Manchester City Gabriel Jesus 20 ST 92 81 11
Germany 1. Bundesliga FC Schalke Embolo, Breel 20 ST 88 76 12
Argentina Primera Division Racing Club de Avellaneda Martinez, Lautaro 20 ST 88 72 16
Italy Serie B Perugia Han Kwang Song 18 ST 86 67 19
Italy Serie A Juventus Kean, Moise 17 ST 84 64 20
Germany 1. Bundesliga Hamburger SV Arp, Fiete 17 ST 85 63 22

Left and Right Midfield

thomas lemar

Getting a player with pace, skill, and flair on the wing is certainly seen as a priority for many FIFA players, and thankfully there are a lot of options in FIFA 18. AS Monaco fought off plenty of interest in Thomas Lemar in the summer transfer window, and his FIFA 18 counterpart has the same level of potential as he does in the real world. Meanwhile, Ousmane Dembele and Christian Pulisic of Borussia Dortmund are great options for the right – providing there’s sufficient money available for these big-name stars.

However, there are also other players with bags of potential that won’t break the bank. Ezequiel Barco of Independiente is a great option for the left, with a potential rating of 90, while Marcus Edwards of Tottenham gets 22 points of growth to turn that humble overall rating from a 65 into 87.

So, even though there might not be many players here with the celebrity value of Cristiano Ronaldo, here are some of the options available to managers looking to bring quality to the wings:

League Club Name Age Position Potential Overall Growth
France Ligue 1 AS Monaco Lemar, Thomas 21 LM 91 83 8
England Premier League Manchester City Sane, Leroy 21 LW 91 82 9
Argentina Primera Division Independiente Barco, Ezequiel 18 LM 90 72 18
England Premier League Manchester United Martial, Anthony 21 LM 90 82 8
Germany 1. Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund Dembele, Ousmane 20 RM 90 83 7
Germany 1. Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund Pulisic, Christian 18 RM 89 78 11
England Premier League Tottenham Hotspur Edwards, Marcus 18 RM 87 65 22
France Ligue 1 AS Monaco Mboula, Jordi 18 RM 85 68 17

Central Midfield

youri tielemans

The center of the midfield is possibly the most important area of the pitch to get right – after all, what’s an all-conquering football machine without a powerful engine room? When it comes to the best young players in the game, there are some very well-known stars here, with Marco Asensio of Real Madrid and Dele Alli standing out when it comes to a more attack-focused mindset. Meanwhile, Youri Tielemans from AS Monaco provides a well-rounded alternative and could act as a fulcrum for any team on the up, although tearing him away from the club after his recent move may be expensive.

Once again there are options available for those with less financial clout to fill their teams with up-and-coming stars. Vincent Thill from FC Metz and Elias Abouchabaka of RB Leipzig are both great for those after front-foot aggression, while Rekeem Harper of West Bromwich Albion and Mickael Cuisance of Borussia Monchengladbach are strong all-rounders. Meanwhile, Manual Locatelli of Milan is perfect for those who want a midfield destroyer.

Here are Game Rant’s choices for the middle of the park:

League Club Name Age Position Potential Overall Growth
Spain Primera Division Real Madrid Marco Asensio 21 CAM 92 84 8
England Premier League Tottenham Hotspur Alli, Dele 21 CAM 90 84 6
France Ligue 1 AS Monaco Tielemans, Youri 20 CM 90 80 10
Rest of World Shakhtar Donetsk Kovalenko, Viktor 21 CAM 87 75 12
Italy Serie A Napoli Diawara, Amadou 20 CDM 87 77 10
Spain Primera Division FC Barcelona Alena 19 CM 87 71 16
France Ligue 1 Paris Saint-Germain Lo Celso, Giovani 21 CAM 86 74 12
Italy Serie A Milan Locatelli, Manuel 19 CDM 86 74 12
Italy Serie A Cagliari Barella, Nicolo 20 CM 86 70 16
Germany 1. Bundesliga RB Leipzig Abouchabaka, Elias 17 CAM 85 62 23
France Ligue 1 FC Metz Thill, Vincent 17 CAM 85 63 22
England Premier League West Bromwich Albion Harper, Rekeem 17 CM 84 61 23
Germany 1. Bundesliga Borussia M’gladbach Cuisance, Mickael 18 CM 84 61 23

Central Defenders

andreas christensen

Central defence is an area where players usually grow into the role with time, but there are still a couple of players who are more than capable of coming into the team and immediately making an impression. For starters, Andreas Christensen of Chelsea and Davinson Sanchez are both in the 80s for their overall rating, before growing to 89 and 88 respectively. Those with a little more patience can turn to Malang Sarr of OGC Nice, or Matthijs de Ligt of Ajax, and both are only a few points off being worthy of a start in a top tier defence.

Those after a bargain, and who are willing to spend the time to train up young players, also have options. Alessandro Bastoni of Atalanta has a potential rating of 84 – a bump of 20 points from his initial rating – while Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig is also a more-than-solid option, with the potential to grow to a rating of 86.

Below is a breakdown of those defensive options:

League Club Name Age Position Potential Overall Growth
Holland Eredivisie Ajax de Ligt, Matthijs 18 CB 89 76 13
England Premier League Chelsea Christensen, Andreas 21 CB 89 81 8
France Ligue 1 OGC Nice Sarr, Malang 18 CB 88 75 13
England Premier League Tottenham Hotspur Sanchez, Davinson 21 CB 88 81 7
Germany 1. Bundesliga RB Leipzig Upamecano, Dayot 18 CB 86 69 17
Italy Serie A Atalanta Bastoni, Alessandro 18 CB 84 64 20

Left and Right Back


The full back positions are often some of the trickiest to fill, but those who have struggled to find a suitable left back in recent years will find plenty of options available this time around. Although Grimaldo from Benfica is perhaps the best option for those after an immediate impact, there are several other left backs with an exciting future ahead of them in Career Mode. Ryan Sessegnon of Fulham and Cucurella of Barcelona B both have a potential of 85, while Gian-Luca Itter of Wolfsburg and Carmine Setola of Cesena reach the mid 80s too.

Things get a little trickier when it comes to right back, but there are some options available regardless. Kelvin Amian Adou, from Toulouse FC, is most likely the pick of the bunch, but there’s also Timothy Fosu-Menash for those who have a greater focus on English football.

Here are the best of the bunch at full back:

League Club Name Age Position Potential Overall Growth
Portual Liga NOS SL Benfica Grimaldo 21 LB 87 80 7
France Ligue 1 Toulouse FC Amian Adou, Kelvin 19 RB 86 73 13
England Premier League Crystal Palace Fosu-Mensah, Timothy 19 RB 86 74 12
England EFL Championship Fulham Sessegnon, Ryan 17 LB 85 66 19
Spain Segunda FC Barcelona B Cucurella 19 LB 85 67 18
Germany 1. Bundesliga VfL Wolfsburg Itter, Gian-Luca 18 LB 84 64 20
Italy Serie B Cesena Setola, Carmine 18 LB 83 63 20



There’s one option for goalkeeper who stands head and shoulders above the competition and that’s Gianluigi Donnarumma. The Milan goalkeeper has doubled down on his FIFA 17 young player potential, now sitting pretty on an overall rating of 82 and a potential rating at a whopping 94. This makes Donnarumma one of the best players in the game – if that hefty transfer fee is affordable.

There are other options available, although they do not quite reach the same heights. Alban Lafont of Toulouse has a potential rating just shy of the 90s, while Christian Fruchtl of Bayern Munchen is a great option for those watching the pennies, with a growth of 21 points to help the player reach a potential of 86.

These are Game Rant’s picks to get those clean sheets, and hopefully shore up a much-wanted goalkeeping improvement:

League Club Name Age Position Potential Overall Growth
Italy Serie A Milan Donnarumma, Gianluigi 18 GK 94 82 12
France Ligue 1 Toulouse FC Lafont, Alban 18 GK 89 77 12
Italy Serie A Spal Meret, Alex 20 GK 88 74 14
Germany 1. Bundesliga Bayern Munchen Fruchtl, Christian 17 GK 86 65 21
Italy Serie A Fiorentina Dragowski, Bartlomiej 20 GK 86 71 15
Germany 1. Bundesliga Bayern Munich Fruchtl, Christian 17 GK 83 62 21
France Ligue 1 Girondins de Bordeaux Poussin, Gaetan 18 GK 83 62 21
Belgium Jupiler Pro League Anderlecht Svilar, Mile 18 GK 83 63 20

So, there we have it: the best young players in FIFA 18‘s Career Mode. With the information given above, those checking out the game mode will be able to put together an overwhelming squad for future years, picking out those future Ballon d’Or winners and the most exciting prospects in the game. What better way to truly get into FIFA 18‘s more atmospheric focus.

FIFA 18 releases on September 29, 2017, for Nintendo Switch, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.