As is the case every single year, FIFA 21‘s ratings have been a hot topic with many players rated too high and others far too low. While this might be a bigger issue for those who want to play as the elite teams, those who play the game’s Career Mode to discover the best wonderkids won’t be quite as annoyed. Career is also about cultivating cheap youngsters into the best players in the world.
With FIFA 21’s new development plan mechanic, you have greater control than ever on how you want to develop your wonderkids, whether that’s to put them in a new position or to focus on their strongest attributes. This is what gives Career Mode serious longevity, you being able to cultivate real talents over many seasons — and it’s even better if you can get them for next to no money at all.
Our FIFA 21 wonderkids guide goes over some of the most promising young players in the world of football who can all be easily bought for less than €6 million from the start of a save. These won’t all be really famous players, either, with a lot of them having huge room for potential growth. From speedy wingers to rocks at the back, here are the cheap wonderkids in FIFA 21 under 20 you should be buying.
Bella-Kotchap should be one of the first youngsters you sign in FIFA 21 if you’re looking for a bit of defensive solidity. Even at only 18, he is an incredibly strong player with some decent pace.
He is definitely a rough diamond to begin with and has lots about his game to work on, but if you’re looking for a very affordable backup option in the second division or even as a future prospect at the top level, get him in early for roughly €3 million.
Ellis Simms (ST)
Age: 19 Rating: 63 Potential: 81
Nationality: English Current Club: Everton
The young English striker who is knocking on the door of the first-team at Everton, Ellis Simms is one to watch. He’s broken records at youth level, and he could be yours for as little as €2 million thanks to a release clause.
Simms is a players who will skyrocket while playing first-choice in somewhere like the Championship and may even be a good back-up option for the bottom half of the Premier League. He’s a strong, pacey finisher who could even be yours in the third tier if you look for him on loan.
Gavin Bazunu (GK)
Age: 18 Rating: 60 Potential: 82
Nationality: Irish Current Club: Manchester City (on loan at Rochdale)
Gavin Bazunu starts life off in FIFA 21 over at Rochdale, but will still be affordable once he returns. While arguably not someone who will turn into an elite level goalkeeper, Bazunu will certainly become a great backup and even maybe a starter for those outside the European places.
As a young goalkeeper, Bazunu will take a little longer than other positions to develop. Goalkeeping owes a lot to maturity, but if you stick with him and stick him in goal for cup games, you may have a bargain on your hands.
Maarten Vandevoordt (GK)
Age: 18 Rating: 68 Potential: 87
Nationality: Belgian Current Club: KRC Genk
Maarten Vandevoordt may be the best value goalkeeper for FIFA 21 with him capable of turning into one of the best goalkeepers in the world. The fact he can be yours for €3.2M if you activate his release clause is simply a steal.
A tall goalkeeper with strong reactions and reflexes at a young age, Vandevoordt can develop into a top player as long as you can help him with his positioning. Make the most of a development plan and reap the rewards after just a few seasons. Can easily be a Premier League starter, he’s that good.
Arvin Appiah (LW/RW)
Age: 19 Rating: 64 Potential: 84
Nationality: English Current Club: UD Almeria
A player so fast that he can break the sound barrier, Appiah’s 90+ acceleration, sprint speed, and agility means that any of his other weaknesses can easily be looked over, especially as he starts off at a young age and can be deployed on both wings to the same effect.
While not brilliant on the ball by any means, a development plan that suits Appiah’s explosiveness can help him to reach as much as an 84 overall rating. Put him in your lower league team and watch him skyrocket.
Aster Vranckx (CM/CDM)
Age: 17 Rating: 66 Potential: 86
Nationality: Belgian Current Club: KV Mechelen
Even at only 17, Aster Vranckx has the potential to become one of the very best players in FIFA 21. He can be yours for absolute pennies with a €3.3M release clause, though you may be able to get him for even cheaper with negotiations.
Blessed with great passing and ball control, not to mention unbelievable strength despite not even being 18 yet, Vranckx could very easily slot into a bottom half team in the Premier League and dominate in a lower league. Perhaps the best youngster in the middle of the park in the whole game.
Joško Gvardiol (CB)
Age: 18 Rating: 69 Potential: 86
Nationality: Croatian Current Club: Dinamo Zagreb
There’s only one way to describe the center-back Joško Gvardiol in FIFA 21: an absolute powerhouse. Starting off at Dinamo Zagreb, Gvardiol is a destroyer at just 18 with 82 strength, though he’s certainly no slouch when it comes to pace either.
Yours for just €5.7 million if you activate his release clause, Gvardiol needs a lot of work on his mentality, particularly when it comes to positioning. However, this comes with time and maturity, so absolutely don’t hesitate to chuck him into your starting 11 occasionally to nurture this stat. Will immediately be one of the better defenders in the Championship or a similar level.
Nail Umyarov (CDM)
Age: 20 Rating: 68 Potential: 84
Nationality: Russian Current Club: Spartak Moscow
Back to Russia for this next wonderkid. You’re probably looking at Spartak’s Nail Umyarov and wondering how he could possibly be one of the best young players in FIFA 21. Patience will unlock his potential as while his starting stats are admittedly poor, you have to look at the full picture.
As a holding midfielder who can comfortable distribute the ball and put a good tackle in, think of Umyarov as a budget Fabinho and you’re not far off the kind of player he could turn into. Chuck him into your starting 11 in a lower league and watch him flourish, though never expect him to turn into much of an attacking presence.
Florian Wirtz (CAM)
Age: 17 Rating: 68 Potential: 88
Nationality: German Current Club: Bayer 04 Leverkusen
FIFA 21 seems to think Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz can turn into the next global superstar, even at just 17. The youngest Bundesliga goalscorer ever, Wirtz is capable of playing behind the striker or on the right as he’s a rapid midfielder who is simply brilliant on the ball.
The major downsides for Wirtz are his strength, which is just terrible, as well as the fact that he isn’t mentally ready yet with poor stats across the board. However, give him game time after activating his €4.9 million Euros release clause and watch him soar. Bayern Munich will probably buy him soon.
Joelson Fernandes (RW/LW)
Age: 17 Rating: 69 Potential: 87
Nationality: Portugese Current Club: Sporting Lisbon
The team famous for helping Cristiano Ronaldo to burst onto the scene has yet another young talent to show to the world. While Sporting’s Joelson Fernandes will never reach the same heights as R7 (and who really could?), he has all the tools to be one of the best wingers in the world.
Better yet, he can be yours for next to nothing. Starting off with an already decent 69 rating at 17, Fernandes can grow to as high as 87 with his huge potential ceiling. An absurdly fast winger, Fernandes needs a lot of work on the passing and supplying side of his game, but this will all come in time. Four star weak foot and skill moves will certainly be a nuisance from the off.
Josha Vagnoman (RB)
Age: 19 Rating: 69 Potential: 85
Nationality: German Current Club: Hamburger SV
There aren’t that many cheap wonderkids at full-back in FIFA 21, but Josha Vagnoman is someone who looks likely to light up the world football stage. He is also playing in the German second division, so he might be pretty easy to buy.
Possessing absurd pace, Vagnoman works best as a wing-back who looks to brute his way past opponents. His defensive stats aren’t actually that great at all, so it may be worth trying to retrain him as a winger to make the most of his best attributes.
Sékou Mara (ST)
Age: 17 Rating: 63 Potential: 84
Nationality: French Current Club: Bordeaux
Bordeaux’s Sékou Mara isn’t someone who is going to shine for at least a couple of years, what with him only being 17 and nowhere near developed enough. However, with the right development plan and a couple of loans, you’re looking at a very useful backup striker who knows where the goal is.
Yours for just €2.4M if you activate his release clause, Mara’s 68 finishing is what you should really be looking to cultivate as the seasons go by. He isn’t blessed with pace, but he’s tall and is likely to get stronger as he ages. Try him as a backup at a lower league team and see how he goes.
Rayan Cherki (CAM)
Age: 17 Rating: 67 Potential: 88
Nationality: French Current Club: Lyon (OL) Value: €1.7M
I really don’t envy Lyon’s Rayan Cherki, who already has such high expectations to live up to despite only being 17. His attributes from day one in FIFA 21 make him one of the better wingers already, so it’s scary to think just how good he could be for you within just a couple of years.
His flair trait coupled with brilliant Ball Controls and Dribbling attributes already throw him into contention for a place in your starting 11, though the only thing that may hold him back is his Pace. The likes of James Rodriguez don’t need blistering speeds to be one of the best players in the world and neither will Cherki.
Fábio Silva (ST)
Age: 18 Rating: 69 Potential: 85
Nationality: Portugese Current Club: Wolves
It feels like EA may have broken Fábio Silva a little bit. Despite signing for Wolves for just a crazy amount of money in the 20/21 summer transfer window, he can be yours in FIFA 21 for a fee of roughly €5M right off the bat as soon as you start Career Mode.
Definitely not quite the finished article, Silva is a little weak in front of goal, but it’s his dribbling that you want to take a closer look at. With the ball at his feet, Silva needs to be closed down quickly as he has plenty of power and is very quick to get around. Stick him on a development plan straight away to make the most of him.
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