FM21 wonderkids: best Football Manager 2021 strikers, goalkeepers, defenders and midfielders as game is released on PC, Mac and mobile
Could these young prospects be the next Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi… or Freddy Adu?
It’s kick off time for fans of the Football Manager series as the latest installment of the game was released for PC, Mac and mobile users on 24 November.
For regular players of Football Manager, the prospect of unearthing a hidden gem remains one of the most satisfying parts of the job.
To find the next Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi or Freddy Adu is no easy task for any manager - novice or experienced - but when you finally do, it’s worth the wait.
The benefits are almost endless as the young player’s stock rises hand-in-hand with your team’s performance on the pitch and your own reputation in the game.
And the good news is there are plenty of players with potential in Football Manager 2021 - all waiting for the right coach to invest their time and resources into making them a star.
Setting up an effective scouting network, sending staff to all corners of the globe and trawling through reports can be as appealing as Stoke City away on a cold Tuesday night.
It’d be much better if there was a shortlist of wonderkids to try and recruit, right?
Well look no further as sports website goal.com lists some of the best young players under the age of 20 with the attributes to become one of the game’s next big things.
Here we take a look at a selection of those players looking to make the grade.
Who are the best wonderkid strikers on Football Manager 2021?
Top of the list is Mason Greenwood.
The versatile forward has been banging in goals for Manchester United since he burst onto the scene and is already an England international.
Still only 19 years old, Greenwood comes with a price tag - £30m - fitting for someone of his current ability and potential for improvement in the future.
Barcelona’s 17-year-old sensation Ansu Fati is also tipped for the top. The forward, who can operate right, left or through the centre is valued at £21.2m.
Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli, 19, is of a similar mould at Arsenal, valued at £19.3m.
Other strikers already on these shores include Joao Pedro (£6.25m), 19, at Watford; Troy Parrott (£5m), 18, at Tottenham; Facundo Pellistri (£5m), 18, at Man Utd; Fabio Silva (£2.2m), 18, at Wolves; Joe Gelhardt (£400k), 18, at Leeds United and Liam Delap (£300k), 17, at Man City.
Who are the best wonderkid midfielders on Football Manager 2021?
England internationals Callum Hudson-Odoi and Bukayo Saka are highly regarded despite their tender years, both priced at £25.9m in the game.
Chelsea’s Hudson-Odoi, 19, can operate anywhere across the front three while Saka, 18, is predominantly used down the left hand side at Arsenal.
Curtis Jones, 19, is also one to watch at £7.3m along with Liverpool teammate Harvey Elliott, 17, who is valued at £5m.
Man City also boast a couple of hot prospects in their ranks with 17-year-old Jayden Braaf (£5m) and Filip Stevanovic (£2.2m), 17, making the ones to watch list.
If you’re looking for a bargain then there are plenty out there, including Monaco’s Malamine Efekele (£30k), Real Madrid’s Pipi (£30k), Zurich’s Wilfried Gnonto (£30k) and 15-year-old Gavi (£40k) at Barcelona. Getting them to come might be tricky though.
Who are the best wonderkid defenders on Football Manager 2021?
Gone are the days of defenders costing a fraction of the price of the star striker, with the top five prospects at the back all costing upwards of £10m.
Central defenders Eric Garcia (£22.6m), 19, at Man City; William Saliba (£11.6m), 19, Arsenal; and Wesley Fofana (£11.6m), 19, Leicester City are all worthy investments.
Wing backs Brandon Williams (£19.7m), 19, at Man Utd and Tariq Lamptey (£15.9m), 19 at Brighton are also among the top picks.
But if the club’s finances don’t stretch that far then value might be found across Europe with wing back Noah Katterbach, 19, at Koln; left-sided defender Josko Gvardiol, 18, at RB Leipzig; centre-half Strahinja Pavlovic, 19, at Monaco; and versatile Aaron Hickey, 17, at Bologna all under £1m.
Who are the best wonderkid goalkeepers on Football Manager 2021?
A solid goalkeeping unit is the foundation of any trophy-hungry squad. Top teams have at least three stoppers who could slot in as No.1 at the drop of a glove, with others following suit.
Argentine Francisco Gomez (£500k), 16, at Racing Club; Maarten Vandevoort (£100k), 18, at Genk; Alessandro Russo (£100k), 19, at Sassuolo; Gavin Bazunu (£100k), 18, at Man City; and Stefan Bajic (£100k), 18, at Saint-Etienne are all backed to become household names in the years to come.