FIFA 17: Career Mode bargain buys & youth potential

Despite the praise being leveled at The Journey, there’s still something intrinsically special about FIFA’s career mode. Donning the Umbro tracksuit and taking charge of your favorite team will always be a fond pastime for fans of the sport and game alike, and there’s nothing quite like delving into the transfer market and trying to score a bargain on that one special player. Or just doing a bit of wheeling and dealing, despite what Harry Redknapp says.

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Problem is, there’s a lot of players in FIFA. Thousands, in fact. So, we’ve done the heavy lifting, trawling through each and every crevice of FIFA 17’s bulging player database to bring you the definitive top XI of young bargain buys with boatloads of potential.

This particular band of players are for would-be managers on a shoestring budget – ones who are happy to play the waiting game as the players develop into their full potential. It may take a while, but as they say, you reap what you sow – these eleven players are destined for footballing glory.

Without further ado, let’s get on with it, and don’t forget to check out part 2 to find the best FIFA 17 career bargains.

FIFA 17 career mode bargain buys

Formation: 4-3-3

Goalkeeper top pick – Bartłomiej Drągowski

As we’re well aware from previous iterations, excellent young ‘keepers are a dime a dozen in real life and, of course, in FIFA, it’s no exception. And despite that, we’re still going to plump for Bartłomiej Drągowski from last year because, simply put, he’s still the best, cheapest option. Costing around €2.9 million, which may seem steep in the grand scheme of this team, 18-year-old Drągowski jumps from 71 all the way up to a glorious 86 and even has excellent reaction and reflex stats from the off. Let’s face it, goalkeepers can go on into their late 30s so the prospect of laying down this much cash isn’t as daunting considering the length of service you’re likely to get. He may even last longer at the club than you do.

Left-back top pick – Felix Passlack

Let’s be honest, this team wouldn’t be complete unless we dipped into the youthful spring that is Borussia Dortmund’s academy. Joining the long list of graduates following a stint at Rot-Weiß Oberhausen is Felix Passlack, an 18-year-old left-back who’s also proficient at both right-back and right midfield; he only costs around €1.2 million and gives a return of 84, too. And on top of great balance and agility stats, he’s also two-footed – a luxury we don’t often see these days. That’s particularly important given the style of the team we’re creating as we’re looking for versatile, tenacious players who can switch positions and play a decent passing game. And there’s no team better equipped to do that than Borussia Dortmund, or perhaps a Guardiola-managed side.

Centre-half top pick – Reece Oxford

Stock 64-rated Reece Oxford, the precociously talented youngster on the books of West Ham United, is a positively excellent option to slot in as one half of a centre-back partnership. Costing just over 1 million and climbing to 86, Oxford is a long-term project, given his timid age of just 17. That shouldn’t deter you, mind, if anything it’s worth championing given how long he could be the backbone of your club for. And if there’s one position that calls for solidity and to be set in stone, it’s centre-half. He can also do a job at central defensive midfield so it’s safe to say he’s the consummate modern, ball-playing defender and one that could perhaps slot in for Fosu-Mensah (who’s also in this side) if he’s required in another position.

Centre-half top pick – Rivaldo Coetzee

Here’s another free agent to sink your teeth into – Rivaldo Coetzee. Don’t let the first name fool you, the 19-year-old South African is more at home alongside Reece Oxford at centre-half rather than terrorizing defenders upfront like his namesake. Costing literally zero and soaring to an 82 rating, Coetzee is worth the cost of his small-time wages. He’s also two-footed, and has half-decent long passing, so he can play the Daley Blind role to a tee without effort. In addition, good stock ratings for marking, standing tackle, and interceptions allow him to slot right in from the off. Do yourself a favor and pick him up quickly.

Right-back top pick – Aitor Buñuel Redrado

Injecting a little bit of Spanish flair into proceedings, we’ve got 18-year-old Aitor Buñuel Redrado who’s currently plying his trade at CA Osasuna. A reliable right-back with some excellent movement stats, Redrado doesn’t exactly cost an arm and a leg (€1.8 million) for what you get. Although he begins at a very modest 69 his eventual peak at 84 means that he’s a worthy investment for the right-hand side of the pitch. Moreover, he’s got the crossing and stamina stats that mean he’s equally proficient at the byline, too. Pick him up cheap and stick with him for the long haul.

Central defensive midfield top pick – Timothy Fosu-Mensah

A jack of all trades and master of none, (just yet) Timothy Fosu-Mensah is held in high reverence within the Manchester United hierarchy and rightfully so. Having been on the starting berth more than once, Fosu-Mensah is the sort of raw candidate whose durability and tenacity make him a shoo-in for ambitious squads that thrive on having a team of dynamic workhouses. With a stock rating of 71 which climbs to a very well-rounded 87, Fosu-Mensah is worthy of his €2.9 million price tag if not just for how many positions he can command. Snap him up as soon as you can – you won’t regret it.

Centre midfield top pick – Lucas Tousart

Aside from Borussia Dortmund’s academy, Olympique Lyonnais’ pool of talent is always worth keeping an eye on. And sure enough, they’ve unearthed another gem in the form of Lucas Tousart – a French-born ball-winner with a high work rate and enviable long shot to boot. Tousart is excellent in the middle of the park, making the absence of Maxime Gonalons an afterthought for Lyon fans throughout the season. He’s the sort of bullish, no nonsense character that every team needs to pull them out of a tricky situation. Starting again around 63 but gathering speed to his eventual destination of 83, Tousart proves to be valuable servant in the long run.

Central attacking midfield top pick – Marcus Edwards

Don’t let the meagre stock rating of 58 put you off, Tottenham Hotspur’s Marcus Edwards is the sort of youthful spring that we require at centre attacking midfield in our team. The 17-year-old English prospect, who grows up to an 84, is said to be looking to emulate teammate Dele Alli and rise to prominence with Premier League in the not-too-distant future. For now, however, and with a cost of just under €300,000, Edwards is more than worthy of a place within this sprightful eleven. That’s also neglecting to mention the fact that his balance is 92 from the get-go meaning that he’s far more composed than one would expect for his age.

Left winger top pick – Dorin Rotariu

Now here’s an absolute bargain. Romania-born Dorin Rotariu, the 20-year-old forward, is available for the price of zilch. A free agent, 69-rated Rotariu is dubbed to be one of Romania’s most exciting youngsters and there’s literally no reason why you shouldn’t take the plunge and foot the bill for his paltry wage demands given he rises to a very commendable 84 under the right tutelage. He’s also one of the more versatile players on our roster as he can play on either wing and as a centre forward, meaning in a 4-3-3, he’s a valuable asset to have. Snap him up quickly, though, as there’s other clubs snooping around – namely that of Leicester, Hertha Berlin and Sporting Lisbon.

Right winger top pick – Václav Černý

A repeat from last year’s list, simply put, Václav Černý is still a bargain for what you get. The now-18-year-old still only costs around €2 million which is pocket change given that he reaches the dizzying heights of 85. With incredible stock ratings for acceleration, sprint speed, and agility (87, 84, and 92 respectively) Černý can do a job straight out of the gate, providing pace and purpose down the right wing to potential suitors. While his rating is still only hovering around 70, given the right playing time, he does grow quite quickly into the sort of stalwart required to compete at the highest level. And of course, especially with a 4-3-3 he’s a downright necessity.

Striker top pick – Emre Mor

For our out-and-out striking option we’re going for Turkish wonder kid Emre Mor to spearhead our attack. Another name on the books of German giants Borussia Dortmund, 18-year-old Mor has four-star skills straight off the bat and some seriously tasty acceleration, sprint speed, and agility stats, (clock in at 89, 86, and 95) too. That’s neglecting to mention his 94-rated balance and 80-rated dribbling. Simply put, Mor – who ascends to 84 and costs a laugh-inducing €850,000 – should be the first name on the team sheet; especially if you’re supplying him with the rest of the players mentioned. That said, his stock rating is only 64 but stick with him and he’ll pay dividends in no time at all.