Carrying on from our list of FIFA 17 best youth bargains for teams that are pinching pennies on their way to the top, this time around we’ve scoured the database to compile the best eleven youngsters who, while costing a little bit more, will near-guarantee that your mid-tier club takes that next step to sustained glory.
This particular list is for some of the more seasoned managers who are at the helm of clubs with a little bit more expendable income. Not the likes of Real Madrid, mind, who’d allow you to splash the cash on the players with the highest in-game potential, but rather the mid-tier clubs with hopes of greatness in the near future.
As a result, the following eleven is the perfect balance of players with massive potential but who won’t cost an absolute fortune to coax over to your club from one of the heavy hitters.
FIFA 17 career bargains
Formation: 4-3-3 (again)
Goalkeeper top pick – Gianluigi Donnarumma
The heir to Gianluigi Buffon’s throne, (if he ever does retire) Gianluigi Donnarumma has been the talk of the town in Serie A this past year. The commanding ‘keeper, who’s a meagre 17 years old, has already got a starting place sewn up at A.C. Milan, and you’d imagine it’s his for as long as he wants it. With a stock rating of 76 and costing up to $7 million, Donnarumma is an out-and-out bargain considering his potential rating of a nosebleed-inducing 88. With 84-rated reflexes and great stock ratings for everything ‘keeper-related, 6’5" Gianluigi should be snapped up before the big boys come knocking. Don’t waste any time.
Left-back top pick – Alejandro Grimaldo García
77-rated Alejandro Grimaldo García, who’s currently plying his trade at SL Benfica, is our pick for a starting position at left-back. In truth, there’s not many options beyond England’s Luke Shaw, and that’s not to discredit Grimaldo’s potential of 86, but rather just a comment on how thin the ranks are for young proficient full-backs. Costing $9.5 million, Grimaldo is a viable long-term option on the left wing considering his laudable stats in acceleration, sprint speed, and a agility; plus he’s already 21 so you won’t have to wait too long to bear the fruits of his labor.
Centre-half top pick – Jaïro Riedewald
Much like our other bargain buys list, here’s another repeat from last year. Jaïro Riedewald, the now-19-year-old Dutch centre-half, has come along nicely and is still on course to realize his 86 potential. He’s no scrub from the get-go, either, what with a commendable 76 rating and excellent defensive stats to boot. If you so choose, Riedewald will set you back around $6.5 million in transfer fees and roughly $15,000 in wages. Put the sentimentality to one side and part Ajax with another one of their young stars.
Centre-half top pick – Jonathan Tah
One of the more expensive acquisitions on our list – but for seriously good reason – Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s German centre-half Jonathan Tah is our pick to partner Jaïro Riedewald. Standing at 6’4" and having a potential ceiling of 88, Jonathan Tah is an absolute must provided you don’t baulk at his $14 million valuation. The 20-year-old, who’s likened to Jerome Boateng, starts at a respectable 79 so there’s little doubt he could slot into the side at a moment’s notice. On top of that, his 91-rated strength and half-decent reactions and standing tackle mean he’ll be a thorn in the side of any striker he comes up against.
Right-back top pick – Tin Jedvaj
Another repeat from last year, and someone who is as comfortable at centre-half as he is at right-back, is Tin Jedvaj, the 20-year-old Croatian who’s currently also putting the work in at Bayer 04 Leverkusen. While Jedvaj has the lowest potential of anyone in this side, (85) he’s still a robust, well-rounded option who’s versatility and aggression make up for his slightly lower ceiling. He also only commands a transfer fee of around $5.5 million so there’s absolutely no harm in double-dipping at Bayer Leverkusen and snapping up two of their brightest prospects.
Central defensive midfield top pick – Vincent Koziello
Much like Spain in the last couple of years, France has become a bit of conveyor belt for technically-proficient young footballers in nearly every position. Likened to Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti, OGC Nice’s Vincent Koziello is a tidy footballer with immense stats in balance, short passing, agility, and ball control. Costing around $15 million, Koziello climbs to 87 and would be a shoo-in to command a starting place in any side within FIFA’s career mode. The 20-year-old, whose stock rating is 79, also has four-star weak foot so no matter the situation his calm head will prevail.
Central midfield top pick – Youri Tielemans
It feels as though Youri Tielemans’ name has cropped up for the past few years now – and for good reason. Destined for greatness, Tielemans, who to the surprise of everyone re-signed with Anderlecht, still ascends to a near-best of 89, despite costing only $11 million. In all honesty, the 19-year-old Belgian should be the first name on the team sheet. With a rating of 77 and excellent composure, ball control, and shot power Tielemans is still the bargain of the entire career mode considering what you get. He’s also got a five-star weak foot, which is most certainly a luxury in today’s game.
Central attacking midfield – Viktor Kovalenko
Speaking of bargains, next up is Viktor Kovalenko – the 20-year-old Ukrainian who’s said to be one of the most well-rounded midfielders in the entire game. And with stats like his it’s hard to argue otherwise. Going from 75 to 87, and setting you back a paltry $7.5 million, Kovalenko is one of the cheapest options in our entire side but that’s in no way indicative of the quality he brings. Currently playing for FC Shakhtar Donetsk, there’s little doubt that the hard-working midfielder will be ascending the ranks in years to come. And in terms of FIFA, Kovalenko’s base stats could mean a plethora of traits come his way if you stick with him.
Left winger top pick – Kylian Mbappe Lottin
17-year-old Kylian Mbappe Lottin costs $3.1 million and rises to 87. Let’s face it, that’s reason enough to take the plunge. Granted, he’s a long-term prospect, one that may be worth sending out on loan for one or two seasons, but there’s little doubt that once he reaches his peak he’ll be virtually undroppable in any side. Taking up the mantle from Anthony Martial’s departure to Manchester United, AS Monaco FC’s youngest-ever goal scorer is the sort of diminutive forward with excellent movement stats and an eye for goal that’ll be an asset for any side looking to utilize a 4-3-3.
Right winger top pick – Thomas Lemar
Another prospect out of AS Monaco, 20-year-old French-born Thomas Lemar is the perfect coil to complement Lottin on the opposite side. Costing $13 million, the 79-rated winger who sees an increase to a frankly excellent 87 is perhaps the perfect balance of value and talent available. Sure, there’s more expensive options in this particular position, but if you’re looking for a competent player with potential who doesn’t cost beyond $20 million, Lemar is your man. See what we mean about the conveyor belt of talent in France? It’s not joke.
Striker top pick – Ángel Correa
Given the swell of talent up front for Argentina, it’s improbable that youngster Ángel Correa will get a shot ahead of the likes of Agüero, Higuaín, Dybala, or Messi, etc anytime soon. For this particular team, however, Correa is an indispensable cog in the machine of a 4-3-3. The 21-year-old Atlético Madrid striker, who possesses four-star skills and weak shot straight away, climbs from 79 to 88 under the right tutelage and costs just shy of $16 million. His base stats are staggering, too, with over 10 of them high into the 80s so there’s little question as to whether or not you should stump up the cash for him as quickly as humanly possible.
Don’t forget to check out our FIFA 17 review, as well as our other walkthroughs and tips, for this year’s entry in the franchise.