Part and parcel of FIFA’s robust career mode has always been unearthing young players with astronomical potential and attempting to wean them away from their parent clubs in the vain hope of playing for your ambitious, albeit lower-league, side. However, with FIFA 15 boasting a near-endless amount of youth options, the prospects of building an exuberant dream team can be daunting at times. Luckily, we’ve trawled through the masses and compiled a top XI of the best young – and hopefully cheap – precociously talented youngsters chomping at the bit to stake a claim in for a place in your FIFA 15 career mode. Without further ado, let’s get down to business.
Goalkeeper Top Pick – Simone Scuffet
Alternatives: Matia Perrin, Callum Burton, Jack Butland
Making movements in Serie A with Udinese following the sale of mainstay shot stopper Samir Handanović, 18-year-old Simone Scuffet (stock rating 71) is an agile, commanding ‘keeper with presence beyond his years and bags of potential. With a rating that can climb as high as 87, Scuffet can sometimes cost an arm and a leg but it’s entirely worth it given just how much wear you’ll get out of a ‘keeper that young.
Left-Back Top Pick – Ali Adnan
Alternatives: Luke Shaw, Ricardo Rodríguez, Jetro Willems, Erik Durm
Ali Adnan (stock rating 73), affectionately known as Asia’s Gareth Bale, is an absolute bargain buy for the left-back slot, bringing a powerful shot, free-kick taking abilities, and an engine to the left-side of the pitch. Plying his trade for Çaykur Rizespor in Turkey’s Süper Lig, Adnan is Asia’s Young Footballer of the Year and would fit right into any young side.
Centre-Back Top Picks – Kurt Zouma & Aymeric Laporte
Alternatives: Raphaël Varane, Eric Palmer-Brown, Stefan de Vrij
Having jumped ship to Chelsea last January from Saint-Étienne in France, man mountain Kurt Zouma (stock rating 74) has all the hallmarks of a classic centre-half; tall, athletic, bullish and crunching in the tackle. And at just 19 years old, he’s only going to get better as he matures. Given his transfer situation, Chelsea will be unwilling to let him leave permanently, which frees up the possibility of a cheap loan which you should grasp firmly with both hands.
Players of FIFA 14’s career mode should be well aware of Athletic Bilbao’s shining centre-back star, Aymeric Laporte, who’s been lighting up Liga BBVA for the best part of two years. Billed as the quintessential modern centre-half, Laporte will cost a fair chunk of change but potential suitors shouldn’t baulk at whatever price is listed. You get what you pay for as the French defender (stock rating 81) will climb up to a mammoth 88, solidifying him as one of – if not the best – centre-back in the game. Plus it’s nice to have the French Connection defensive partnership, too.
Right-Back Top Pick – Sam Byram
Alternatives: Calum Chambers, Serge Aurier, Mattio De Sciglio
For right-back we’re going down the cheap, English route – something you don’t often hear – with Leeds United’s Sam Byram (stock rating 71). We here at PlayStation Universe like our right-sided defenders to bomb forward assisting attacks and Byram’s stats allow for just that. With acceleration and agility both beginning at 82, the Leeds United youngster is an asset that can add quality to an aspiring team.
Midfield Top Picks – Youri Tielemans, Junior Malanda, Maximilian Meyer
Alternatives: Leon Goretzka, Mateo Kovačić, Alen Halilović, Will Hughes, James Ward-Prowse, Gedion Zelalem, Ryan Ledson
For the purpose of this team we’re going to go down a 4-3-3 route, meaning that we’ll need a three-man midfield consisting of a box-to-box player, a swashbuckling defensive midfielder and a playmaker – for the sake of balance, of course. With that in mind, Anderlecht’s Youri Tielemans (stock rating 73) is a first-choice option for the central midfield area, without question. The highly-rated 17-year-old climbs to a peak of 88, making him a force to be reckoned with throughout the European leagues – get him at whatever cost.
Taking the mantle from Julian Draxler, FC Schalke 04’s new poster boy Maximilian Meyer (stock rating 75) will cost a pretty penny but recoups the cost nearly immediately with his silky skills, pace and goal scoring ability. Reaching up to 87 and a shoe-in for success with the German National Team in the future, it’s best to snap Meyer up quick before the big boys come calling.
Every successful team needs a no-fuss defensive midfielder who breaks up impending attacks and does all the dirty work – and that’s where VfL Wolfsburg’s Junior Malanda (stock rating 73) comes into play. Possessing 91 strength and 84 aggression from the get-go, the young Belgian lands on his feet quickly, becoming an integral cog in any midfield machine. And with a potential rating of 85, Malanda should be snapped up in a heartbeat.
Right Winger Top Pick – Memphis Depay
Alternatives: Domenico Berardi, Juan Manuel Iturbe, Zakaria Bakkali, Ryan Gauld
Star of PSV Eindhoven, 20-year-old Memphis Depay (stock rating 78) has the world at his feet, having got off to a flying start this season before picking up an injury. The holder of blistering 91-rated pace and 84-rated dribbling abilities, the youngster will set alight opposition defences making him an automatic first-choice purchase for on the right-wing for youth-based sides.
Left Winger Top Pick – Adnan Januzaj
Alternatives: Balde Diao Keita, Julian Brandt, Óliver Torres, Ricardo Kishna
Manchester United’s precociously talented youngster, Adnan Januzaj (stock rating 75), is a dead cert to become one of the world’s most sought-after players, and in this year’s FIFA he’s no slouch, either. Ascending to an 87 rating, Januzaj combines nifty ball control and direct dribbling skills making him a seriously threatening left-wing option even at his young age. Pick him up on loan with an option to buy whenever possible.
Striker Top Pick – Richairo Živković
Alternatives: Siebe Schrijvers, Mauro Icardi, Aleksandar Mitrović, Luciano Vietto
Dutch-born Richairo Živković (stock rating 69) is hardly the finished article, but with a potential hitting 86, the 17-year-old is worth persevering with – especially given how cheap he can be picked up. Standing at 6’1, and with 80-rated sprint speed, Živković becomes a handful for opponents and grows exponentially given the right service. Snap him up and reap the benefits as he leads the line for years.
Who are your go-to young players in FIFA? How are you finding this year’s game? Give us your opinions in the comments section below.