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.
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:
|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
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:
|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|
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:
|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 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:
|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:
|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:
|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.