Sometimes the fun of Football Manager 2023 comes from the power fantasy of being able to take over someone like Real Madrid or Manchester City and being able to steamroll absolutely everyone. For others, it’s about wheeling and dealing to find the cheap wonderkids that you can grow into future stars.
But what exactly is a wonderkid? Well, it’s basically anyone under the age of 21 who has the whole world at their feet with high potential growth. In Football Manager, this means finding the stars of tomorrow on the total cheap and either making them part of your historic team or selling them for huge profit down the line. Some might say that under-23 counts as a wonderkid, but we’re going to be a bit stricter with it.
We’ve scoured the FM database to bring you players who fit that bill, FM 23 wonderkids who won’t cost you an arm and a leg, with most of them available for less than £10 million and pretty low wages. While the real sport is getting a bit out of control with money, at least you can keep the market a little bit more sane with some wonderkids.
Bear in mind that not all of these players may go on to become the next megastars of the game, and that you may have to have specific leagues loaded for them to appear in your game. Also, they all won’t want to move on day one of your save, as some of them may have already signed new contracts. The best things come to those who wait, and so on.
Football Manager 2023’s Cheapest Wonderkids
Position(s) GK Age: 16 Club: Stuttgart Value: £1m
Stop sniggering at the back. The German Seimen has some excellent facial hair for someone so young, but what’s even better than that is how he grows over the course of your save. Already a solid keeper for most clubs at the start of your career, Seimen spreads his talents (again, stop sniggering) to become one of the best young GKs in Football Manager 2023.
Position(s) GK Age: 20 Club: Bari Value: £250k-£2.5m
Seimen is good (again, stop it at the back), but Caprile is up there with the very best in FM this year. Capable of filling in for pretty much anyone in the sticks, Caprile is a sweeper keeper with all the tools to be a solid starter for anyone in the PL, and he’s only going to get better.
While it might seem strange to see a player of Renan’s quality out in a money league at such a young age, he remains a hot prospect who can kick away practically any balls that come his way. He isn’t flashy, but if you’re looking for a classic centre-back who does his job well, seek out Renan on the cheap.
Position(s) DC Age: 20 Club: Tijuana Value: £400k-£6.8m
Another wonderkid centre-back in FM 23, Guzman isn’t exactly the second coming of Maldini, but what he is is a very solid CB who knows how to pass a ball. Even if he doesn’t go on to light up the world, this is your DC depth all sorted for next to nothing.
Position(s) DC, DR Age: 16 Club: Bologna Value: £6m
Wisdom’s stats from day one of FM 23 at just 16 are really nothing short of sensational and is undoubtedly a defender that you need to buy as soon as you can. If those physical attributes weren’t promising enough, how about the mental side at such a young age? Sports Interactive think he might be a superstars — see if they’re right.
Boyomo has been floating around in FM wonderkid lists for a while now, and though he may not fulfill the huge promise SI used to think him capable of fulfilling, this is still a quality defender who is yours for pennies. Just check out those mentals.
Position(s) DC/DR Age: 20 Club: CF América Value: £275k-£2.8m
A lot of the FM 23 wonderkids may have been taken on some kind of wellness retreat before the start of your save, as just look at Lara’s mental stats here. Perhaps better at defensive right-back (or maybe in midfield) in the middle due to a lack of strength, Lara is a competitive player worth seeking out.
Miguel Gutiérrez is among the very best FM 23 wonderkids we came across in our research. Available for a pittance compared to just what he brings to your team, a glance at his pace and determination says that Gutierrez will become an absolute wing-back dynamo.
Position(s) DR Age: 17 Club: Valladolid Value: £900k
While sadly lacking the kind of pace you’d demand from a modern full-back, if you just want someone who can take the ball off wingers and redistribute it, you can’t go wrong with Fresneda. Available for under a million (if you’re lucky), there’s one word that sums up this young Spaniard: solid.
Omar Campos is rapid, so rapid that he can play all the way up the left flank. While only really excellent in his acceleration from day one, Campos is an FM 23 wonderkid with excellent attributes pretty much everywhere apart from in the final third.
Position(s) DM (BWM) Age: 18 Club: AS Roma Value: £3m
As well having an excellent name, Faticanti has an excellent chance of being one of the best defensive midfielders in the game after a few seasons. While severely technically limited and not the fastest, Faticanti is in the classic Italian DM mold, a player with the brain and physicality to compensate.
Not enough love is given to deep-lying playmakers in FM, players that go about their business without much fuss while still influencing the game. Velez’s Perrone is someone who like to dictate tempo in front of the defence and keep the play ticking. Boasting solid attributes in pretty much every area of his game, Perrone is a cheap wonderkid you shouldn’t overlook.
Position(s) CM (BWM) Age: 16 Club: Chelsea Value: £80K-£800k
An English midfielder wonderkid available for less than £1mill who is only 16 and yet better than most players in League One? We barely need to say any more when it comes to Michael Golding, but just look out those determination and flair attributes if you need extra convincing.
Position(s) CM Age: 17 Club: Hoffenheim Value: £70k-£6m
No relation to Eric, Tom Bischof is a decent left-footed central midfielder who you can basically mold into whatever kind of footballer you like. Blessed with a fantastic first touch and technique, Bischof needs to hit the weight and build up his pace before he can get in your starting 11 though.
Position(s) AP (Su) Age: 20 Club: Young Boys Value: £6m-£8.8m
One of many talented young boys at, erm, Young Boys, the Swiss Fabian Rieder is an advanced playmaker who, while he may not score you hatfuls of goals, is a very versatile, skillful player. Boasting seriously excellent technical attributes (look at that first touch and dribbling, phwoar) and good mentals, Rieder is a quality wonderkid.
Position(s) AM (Left) / AM (R) Age: 17 Club: Borussia Dortmund Value: £11.5m-£17m
Okay, so Jamie Bynoe-Gittens doesn’t exactly cost you pocket change, but this is a winger who Sports Interactive and Borussia Dortmund themselves have a lot of faith in. Blessed with pace and technical ability, get on this wonderkid before Dortmund add the customary English tax on him and he winds up back at Man City.
It’s a rarity to find a winger/mezzala hybrid in Football Manager, especially one that’s such a promising wonderkid. Tobias Gulliksen is absolutely not the fastest player in the game, but what he does have is solid attributes across the technical, mental and physical departments. A decent squad player from day one.
Position(s) Winger (Left) Age: 17 Club: Real Madrid Value: £130k-£1.3m
There’s a whole lot of talent in the Madrid ranks who could never feasibly break into the first-team, including the Argentinian Nico Paz. While quite poor physically, Paz’s mental and technical attributes help him out quite a lot. Probably not a PL-level talent, but quite the coup for any team in secondary divisions.
Position(s) Winger (Left) Age: 18 Club: Universidad de Chile Value: £210k-£2.1m
Darío Osorio is a nimble winger with good flair and work rate who can take on players and get away decent crosses. An old school winger by default, this young Chilean is a bit of a blank canvas at the start of a save as he can play in about six different positions. The Chilean Milner? Find out for yourself.
Arguably the best young winger you can pick up in Football Manager 2023, the Norwegian Schjelderup is the latest in a long line of wonderkids from his country. Best played inverted, Schjelderup has fantastic attributes almost across the board, but the technique, passing, and dribbling will make him a future star at most big clubs. If you can get him at your mid-table club, watch him drag you up.
Position(s) Inverted Winger (Right) Age: 18 Club: Barcelona Value: £325k-£3.2m
Akhomach doesn’t get the same attention as a lot of Barcelona wonderkids, and while it’s true that he isn’t quite at Gavi or Ansu Fati levels, there’s no denying the absolute bargain he might turn out to be for you. The flair and technique attributes should be all the convincing you need.
A quick winger with solid mentals, the French Badredine Bouanani starts out listed for loan in Football Manager 2023. If you’re at a bottom table club or even a lower division, slide in a buy option at the end of the season and see how well he performs for you. We reckon he’ll do pretty well.
Here’s a player with FM cult hero written all over. Touted as one of the most promising youngsters in football in the real world, Endrick is pricey as cheap FM 23 wonderkids go, but you can’t argue with those attributes at just 16. Try and sign him before City and PSG snap him up for absurd money, if that’s at all possible. He’s already gone to Real Madrid in real life for an absolute fortune.
Position(s) Advanced Forward Age: 18 Club: Inter Value: £600k-£6.2m
An Inter striker in a team full of attacking talent, the Bulgarian Iliev is a quality player for the future with solid attributes across all departments. Well, perhaps his decision-making could do with some work, but that’s what experience is for. The man’s also a bit of a tank.
A peculiarly short target forward, Emre Tezgel is pretty much the modern version of the classic English striker, with some pretty formidable finishing and mental attributes considering he’s only 16 years old. Put the ball near him and he will score, basically, though he will definitely need to up his strength and stamina.
Basically any young striker that comes from Salzburg is going to have a lot to live up to, thanks to Haaland. Karim Konaté, while unlikely to get anywhere near the Norwegian’s freakish talent, is a strong Ivorian striker who knows where the goal is and works hard. Sometimes that’s all you need to get by, especially on the cheap.
Datro Fofana isn’t the best wonderkid in the world with the ball at his feet, and he may not have the finishing attributes to become an elite talent, but you can’t disregard the pace, determination, and flair that he brings. Capable of playing on either wing or up front, Fofana costs a lot less than his Chelsea namesake too.
As well as having potentially the best name in the game, Utrecht’s Tijn Den Boggende is one of the best young players you can pick up in FM 23 for very little. He’s not the fastest player in the game, but much like legendary countryman Ruud van Nistelrooy, Tijn Den Boggende knows where the goal is as an apex poacher, and he’s still only 16 years old. Might be the next Haaland?
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