FIFA 20 best young players: Career mode’s top strikers, midfielders, defenders and goalkeepers

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Goal takes a look at the potential abilities of some of the world's best wonderkids in Career Mode on the latest version of the football game

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Career Mode has been revamped and upgraded for FIFA 20, with the player database also getting a refresh for the launch of the new game.

This will give FIFA fans the chance to start a new career with their favourite team, turning them into league and continental champions thanks to clever moves on the transfer market and astute management to develop young players into superstars.

Goal has compiled a list of the best young players in FIFA 20, selecting those aged 20 or under who have the highest potential rating. The lists below are sorted by potential and current ability and also divided by position.

Each player is listed by their primary position, but all the positions they can play in are shown. This means that Chelsea's Ethan Ampadu, currently on loan at RB Leipzig, is in the defenders section but can play both centre-back and as a defensive midfielder.

Every player with a high potential rating is shown here, including many lesser-known stars who may be willing to move to smaller clubs if you are playing a long career by starting outside the top flight. Players will need plenty of gametime to develop and reach their full potential. Substitutes and reserves are unlikely to improve if they are not playing.

PO. = Position(s)

CR = Current Rating

PR = Potential Rating

VA. = Value

*Clubs listed are the clubs the players are assigned to in FIFA 20 Career Mode, while ages shown are the age at the start of Career Mode

FIFA 20: Best Young Goalkeepers

Name Age Club PO. CR PR VA.
G Donnarumma 20 AC Milan GK 85 92 £35.6m
A Lunin 20 Real Madrid GK 76 88 £9.7m
A Lafont 20 Fiorentina GK 79 87 £13.1m
Luis Maximiano 20 Sporting CP GK 76 86 £9m
M Vandevoort 17 Genk GK 65 85 £875k
L Chevalier 17 Lille GK 61 84 £428k
C Fruchtl 19 Bayern Munich II GK 66 83 £1.1m
S Ngapandouetnbu 16 Marseille GK 58 82 £200k
J Markovic 17 Slavia Praha GK 67 82 £1.2m
M Carnesecchi 19 Atalanta GK 66 82 £1.1m
G Bazunu 17 Man City GK 59 82 £250k
Diogo Costa 19 Porto GK 70 82 £2.3m
I Meslier 19 Lorient GK 68 82 £1.4m
A Plizzari 19 AC Milan GK 66 82 £1.1m
S Bajic 17 Saint-Etienne GK 62 81 £450k
I Martinez 17 Osasuna GK 60 81 £350k
K Grabara 20 Liverpool GK 67 81 £1.3m
Gabriel Brazao 18 Inter GK 65 81 £800k
K Scherpen 19 Ajax GK 67 81 £1.3m
L Plogmann 19 Werder Bremen GK 64 81 £750k
N Shinton 18 Club Brugge GK 62 80 £450k
L Unbehaun 18 Borussia Dortmund GK 60 80 £300k
Altube 19 Real Madrid GK 63 80 £600k
D Kotarski 19 Ajax GK 65 80 £900k
J Schendelaar 18 AZ Alkmaar GK 65 80 £800k
A Muric 20 Man City GK 68 79 £1.1m
Dani Martin 20 Real Betis GK 69 79 £1.2m
G Poussin 20 Bordeaux GK 66 79 £925k
R Vodisek 20 Genoa GK 66 79 £925k
R Majecki 19 Legia Warsaw GK 66 79 £900k
Inaki Pena 20 Barcelona GK 65 79 £900k
Moha Ramos 19 Birmingham GK 64 79 £750k
Joao Virginia 19 Everton GK 63 79 £600k
A Akbulut 18 Trabzonspor GK 63 79 £575k
A Trubin 17 Shakhtar Donetsk GK 59 79 £250k
M Roffo 19 Boca Juniors GK 64 79 £750k
P Dahlberg 20 Watford GK 68 78 £1m
G Couke 20 Genk GK 67 78 £950k
M Svilar 19 Benfica GK 67 78 £900k
M Travers 20 Bournemouth GK 64 78 £775k
C Sanchez 19 Sporting Gijon GK 63 78 £600k
R Hoffmann 20 Bayern Munich GK 63 78 £600k
D Horkas 20 Dinamo Zagreb GK 62 78 £525k
M Bulka 19 PSG GK 60 78 £350k
K Klaesson 18 Valerenga GK 60 78 £325k
E Balcombe 19 Brentford GK 60 78 £350k
S Laiton 19 Auxerre GK 60 78 £350k
L Ntumba 18 Dijon GK 58 78 £200k
L Ingolotti 19 Aldosivi GK 58 78 £200k
T Vettorel 18 Cittadella GK 58 78 £200k
J Blazquez 19 Talleres GK 58 78 £200k
L Kasten 19 Wolfsburg GK 58 78 £200k

Gianluigi Donnarumma starts FIFA 20 as an excellent shot-stopper but can develop into the world's best after a few years. His potential rating of 92 is higher than the best current ability of any other goalkeeper in the game, with Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak rated 91 in this year's version.

Porto's Diogo Costa had been one of the best bargains at the goalkeeper position as he could become 86 rated at the launch of FIFA 20, but recent database updates have seen him receive a downgrade to his potential ability, meaning 82 overall is his target potential. An excellent option could be Manchester City's Gavin Bazunu, who may be available to teams outside the top division due to his low current ability and age.

FIFA 20: Best Young Defenders

Matthijs de Ligt Juventus 2019-20

Name Age Club PO. CR PR VA.
M de Ligt 19 Juventus CB 85 92 £42.8m
T Alexander-Arnold 20 Liverpool RB 85 90 £41.4m
D Upamecano 20 RB Leipzig CB 80 89 £18.9m
I Konate 20 RB Leipzig CB 79 88 £15m
A Davies 18 Bayern Munich LB, RM, LM 77 88 £11.3m
W Saliba 18 Arsenal CB 75 88 £9.9m
R James 19 Chelsea RB, CDM 75 87 £9.5m
D Zagadou 20 Borussia Dortmund CB, LB 79 86 £14.4m
J Kounde 20 Sevilla CB 77 86 £12.6m
O Kabak 19 Schalke CB 77 86 £10.8m
E Tapsoba 20 Bayer Leverkusen CB 76 86 £10,4m
Z Vanheusden 19 Standard Liege CB 75 86 £9m
J Todibo 19 Barcelona CB, CDM 73 86 £6.3m
M Simakan 19 Strasbourg CB, RB 72 86 £5.4m
M Kumbulla 19 Hellas Verona CB, RB 72 86 £5.4m
B Williams 18 Man Utd LB, LWB 71 86 £4.1m
E Ampadu 18 Chelsea CB, CDM 68 86 £1.5m
M Kana 16 Anderlecht CB, CDM 66 86 £1.1m
L Stergiou 17 St Gallen CB 63 86 £675k
A Bastoni 20 Inter CB 75 85 £9m
Diogo Dalot 20 Man Utd RB, LB 75 85 £9m
E N'Dicka 19 Eintracht Frankfurt LB, CB 75 85 £8.6m
Emerson 20 Real Betis RB, RM, RWB 75 85 £9m
M Salisu 20 Real Valladolid CB 75 85 £9m
M Aarons 19 Norwich RB 73 85 £5.9m
L Pellegrini 20 Cagliari LB 71 85 £4.3m
R Ait Nouri 18 Angers LB 70 85 £3.1m
Eric Garcia 18 Man City CB 69 85 £1.8m
J Frimpong 18 Celtic RB, RWB 68 85 £1.5m
J Gvardiol 17 Dinamo Zagreb CB, LB 67 85 £1.3m
J Vagnoman 18 Hamburg RB, LM, LB 66 85 £1.1m
A Bella-Kotchap 17 Bochum CB 63 85 £675k
P Retsos 20 Bayer Leverkusen CB, RB, LB 75 84 £8.6m
O Wijndal 19 AZ Alkmaar LB 74 84 £7.2m
N Perez 19 Atletico Madrid CB 74 84 £7.2m
Tomas Tavares 18 Benfica RB 72 84 £4.2m
Nuno Tavares 19 Benfica LB, RB 71 84 £3.7m
D Popov 20 Dynamo Kyiv CB 71 84 £3.8m
J Tanganga 20 Spurs CB, RB, LB 69 84 £2m
Tiago Djalo 19 Lille CB 69 84 £1.9m
N Katterbach 18 Koln LB 67 84 £1.4m
S van der Berg 17 Liverpool CB 66 84 £1m
N Armini 18 Lazio CB 66 84 £1.1m
N Collins 18 Stoke CB 63 84 £700k
K Hoever 17 Liverpool RB, CB 62 84 £550k
S Bornauw 20 Koln CB 75 83 £8.1m
V Mykolenko 20 Dynamo Kyiv LB 74 83 £7.2m
P Schuurs 19 Ajax CB 74 83 £6.8m
D Bradaric 19 Lille LB 73 83 £5m
Pedro Porro 19 Man City RB, RWB, RM 73 83 £5m
R van Drongelen 20 Hamburg CB 73 83 £5.4m
Diogo Leite 20 Porto CB 72 83 £4.2m
B Sutalo 19 Atalanta CB 72 83 £4.3m
T Tomiyasu 20 Bologna RB, CB 72 83 £4.4m
L Cacace 18 Wellington Phoenix LB, LWB 72 83 £4.1m
T Kouassi 17 PSG CB, CDM 71 83 £3.1m
J Bogle 18 Derby RB 71 83 £3.2m
D Maresic 19 Reims CB 71 83 £3.4m
I Diveev 19 CSKA Moscow CB 70 83 £2.8m
Mujaid 19 Deportivo La Coruna RB, CB 69 83 £1.9m
A Chindris 20 Botosani CB 69 83 £2m
N Ferguson 18 West Brom RB, LB, CB 68 83 £1.5m
L Balerdi 20 Borussia Dortmund CB 68 83 £1.6m
A Bernabei 20 Lanus LB, LW, LM 67 83 £1.4m
J Beyer 19 Borussia M'gladbach RB, CB 67 83 £1.3m
K Sardella 17 Anderlecht RB, LB 65 83 £900k
E Laird 17 Man Utd RB 65 83 £900k
Manu Sanchez 18 Atletico Madrid LB 64 83 £800k
T Harwood-Bellis 17 Man City CB 60 83 £400k
L Matheson 16 Rochdale RB 60 83 £400k

New Piemonte Calcio signing Matthijs de Ligt has a current and potential ability to match his real-life price tag and is unlikely to be put up for sale by the Old Lady in FIFA 20 Career Mode.

The Serie A side is referred to Piemonte Calcio in FIFA 20 due to an exclusive naming rights deal the club has with EA Sports' rivals Konami for Pro Evolution Soccer. 

RB Leipzig centre-back pairing Ibahima Konate and Dayot Upamecano may be more willing to move clubs in Career Mode, while Dan-Axel Zagadou's versatility makes the Borussia Dortmund defender an interesting target.

Eintracht Franfkurt's Evan N'Dicka is similarly appealing as he can play in a number of positions across the backline, but is the same price as Manchester United's Diogo Dalot and may be out of some club's budgets. Benfica's Nuno Tavares is a more affordable option with a value of £3.7 million.

Bayer Leverkusen's Panagiotis Retsos and Sputs' Japhet Tanganga are two versatile and relatively cheap options if you can convince their clubs to sell. Both players can reach 84 overall and can play in all three defensive positions.

FIFA 20: Best Young Midfielders

Jadon Sancho Borussia Dortmund 03082019

Name Age Club PO. CR PR VA.
J Sancho 19 Borussia Dortmund RM, LM, CAM 86 94 £57.2m
K Havertz 20 Bayer Leverkusen CAM, RM 84 93 £43.7m
S Tonali 19 Brescia CDM, CM 77 91 £16.2m
F Valverde 20 Real Madrid CM, CDM 82 90 £29.3m
P Foden 19 Man City CAM, CM 77 89 £14.5m
B Saka 17 Arsenal LM, RM 74 89 £9.9m
Pedri 16 Las Palmas LM, CAM 72 89 £5.4m
M Odegaard 20 Real Madrid CAM, RM, CM 82 88 £27.5m
Ferran Torres 19 Valencia RM, LM, CF 79 88 £17.1m
Cucurella 20 Getafe LM, LB 79 88 £17.6m
E Palacios 20 Bayer Leverkusen CM, RM, CAM 78 88 £14.9m
J David 19 Gent CAM, ST 77 88 £13.5m
M Ihatteren 17 PSV CAM, RW 76 88 £10.8m
A Hlozek 16 Sparta Praha RM, ST, LM 74 88 £9.9m
T Almada 18 Velez Sarsfield CAM, CM, LW 72 88 £10.4m
A Hakimi 20 Real Madrid RM, RB, LB 82 87 £27m
M Mount 20 Chelsea CAM, CM, RW 79 87 £16.7m
B Kamara 19 Marseille CDM, CB 78 87 £13.1m
M Diaby 19 Bayer Leverkusen LM 78 87 £14m
N Zaniolo 19 Roma CAM, RM 77 87 £12.6m
D Szoboszlai 18 Red Bull Salzburg LM, RM, CAM 74 87 £9m
M Caqueret 19 Lyon CM, CDM 73 87 £7.7m
Romario Baro 19 Porto RM, CAM 73 87 £7.7m
Y Verschaeren 17 Anderlecht CAM, CM, RW 73 87 £7.2m
T Kubo 18 Real Madrid RM, CM, CAM 71 87 £4.4m
Riqui Puig 19 Barcelona CM 71 87 £4.4m
R Gravenberch 17 Ajax CM, CDM 70 87 £3.2m
D Rice 20 West Ham CDM, CB, CM 78 86 £12.6m
D McNeil 19 Burnley LM 77 86 £12.2m
K Diatta 20 Club Brugge RM, LM 77 86 £12.6m
S Chukwueze 20 Villarreal RM 77 86 £12.6m
M Guendouzi 20 Arsenal CM, CDM 77 86 £11.3m
T Adams 20 RB Leipzig CDM, RWB 76 86 £10.4m
Kangin Lee 18 Valencia CAM, LM, RM 76 86 £11m
Florentino 19 Benfica CDM, CM 76 86 £9.9m
W McKennie 20 Schalke CM, CB, CAM 76 86 £11m
A Mac Allister 20 Brighton CAM, CM 75 86 £11.3m
R Sessegnon 19 Spurs LM, LW, LB 75 86 £9.7m
E Camavinga 16 Rennes CM 75 86 £9m
Gustavo Assuncao 19 Famalicao CDM 74 86 £8.1m
Paulinho 18 Bayer Leverkusen RM, CAM 74 86 £8.6m
Tete 19 Shakhtar Donetsk RM, CAM 73 86 £6.8m
M Solomon 19 Shakhtar Donetsk RM, LM, CAM 71 86 £4.5m
H Traore 19 Empoli CAM, CM 71 86 £4.5m
A Urzi 19 Banfield LM, CM, RM 71 86 £4.5m
F Pellestri 17 Penarol RM, RW 70 86 £3.2m
D Caceido 19 Deportivo Cali RM 68 86 £1.7m
R Matondo 18 Schalke LM, ST, RM 68 86 £1.6m
G Reyna 16 Borussia Dortmund LM, CAM 66 86 £1.2m
B Gilmour 18 Chelsea CM, CAM 66 86 £1.2m

The Bundesliga's top two young players are also FIFA 20's best midfield prospects. Jadon Sancho can reach 94 overall and Kai Havertz has a potential rating of 93, but have pricetags to match their high ceiling and clubs will need to break the bank to sign them.

Thiago Almada was linked to Man City in real life as one of South America's most exciting young players. He will also be hugely in demand in FIFA 20 as the 18-year-old midfielder can also play up front and on the wing and is valued at just over £10m at the start of Career Mode.

Adam Hlozek is just 16 when you begin a new career and despite costing £9.9m for a 74-rated player, has the potential to become one of the best midfielders in the game. The Sparta Prague teenager can play on either side of midfield as well as a central striker.

FIFA 20: Best Young Forwards

Joao Felix Atletico Madrid 2019-20

Name Age Club PO. CR PR VA.
K Mbappe 20 PSG ST, RW 89 95 £84.2m
Joao Felix 19 Atletico Madrid CF, ST, LM 80 93 £25.2m
Vinicius Jr 18 Real Madrid LW 79 92 £20.3m
Rodrygo 18 Real Madrid RW, LW 78 91 £16.7m
E Haland 18 Red Bull Salzburg ST 80 90 £20.3m
Ansu Fati 16 Barcelona LW, RW 73 90 £7.2m
Renier 17 Real Madrid CF, CAM 72 90 £5.4m
B Saka 17 Arsenal LW, LB, RW 74 89 £9.9m
M Greenwood 17 Man Utd ST, RM 73 89 £7.2m
V Osimhen 20 Lille ST 78 88 £15.3m
F Trincao 19 Braga RW, LW 75 88 £11.3m
M Boadu 18 AZ Alkmaar ST 75 88 £10.8m
C Hudson-Odoi 18 Chelsea RW, LW 74 88 £10.4m
Gabriel Martinelli 18 Arsenal LW, LM, ST 74 88 £10.4m
J Doku 17 Anderlecht RW, LW 69 87 £1.9m
S Esposito 16 Inter ST 67 87 £1.4m
H Elliott 16 Liverpool RW 64 87 £900k
C Pulisic 20 Chelsea LW, RW, LM 80 86 £18.5m
A Isak 19 Real Sociedad ST 78 86 £13.5m
D Malen 20 PSV ST, LW 77 86 £12.6m
C Stengs 20 AZ Alkmaar RW 77 86 £12.6m
Rafael Leao 20 Lille ST 75 86 £10.1m
Brahim 19 Real Madrid LW, RW 74 86 £9m
D Kulusevski 19 Parma RW, CAM 73 86 £6.8m
Rafael Camacho 19 Sporting CP RW 71 86 £4.5m
M Kudus 18 Nordsjaelland CF, CM 71 86 £4.4m
Fabio Silva 16 Porto ST 70 86 £3.2m
Joao Pedro 17 Watford ST, LM 70 86 £3.2m
Moise Kean 18 Everton ST 75 85 £9.5m
M Cunha 20 RB Leipzig ST, CAM 75 85 £9.9m
B Mbueno 19 Brentford RW, ST, RM 74 85 £8.6m
E Barco 20 Atalanta United LW, CF 74 85 £8.6m
P De la Vega 18 Lanus RW 71 85 £4.4m
J Alvarez 19 River Plate ST, RW 71 85 £4.5m
E Nketiah 20 Arsenal ST 70 85 £3.5m
A Gouiri 19 Lyon ST 69 85 £2.1m
A Kutucu 19 Schalke ST, CF, RW 68 85 £1.7m
K Adeyemi 17 RB Salzburg ST, LW, RW 67 85 £1.4m
N Madueke 17 PSV RW, CAM 66 85 £1.2m
T Parrott 17 Spurs ST 64 85 £900k
K Dembele 16 Celtic RW 64 85 £875k
P Daka 20 RB Salzburg ST 75 84 £9.5m
L Sinisterra 20 Feyenoord LW, RW, ST 74 84 £8.1m
Pedro Mendes 19 Sporting CP ST 72 84 £5m
G Plata 18 Sporting CP LW, RW 72 84 £4.5m
J Macias 19 Guadalajara ST 72 84 £5m
Pedro Neto 19 Wolves LW, CF 71 84 £4m
A Gaich 20 San Lorenzo ST 71 84 £4.1m
H Evjen 19 AZ Alkmaar RW, CAM 71 84 £4m
I Aliseda 19 Chicago Fire LW, RW, ST 70 84 £3.4m
Abel Ruiz 19 Barcelona ST, LW 70 84 £3.4m
T Weah 19 Lille ST, LM 69 84 £2m
A Marin 18 Dinamo Zagreb LW, RW, CAM 66 84 £1.4m
J Zirkzee 18 Bayern Munich ST, CAM, CF 66 84 £1.2m
F Correia 18 AZ Alkmaar RW, LW 66 84 £1.2m
A Idah 18 Norwich ST 65 84 £1m
R Piccoli 18 Atalanta ST 64 84 £900k

Once again, Kylian Mbappe is one of the best players in the game and has the potential ability to match. He's rated 89 overall at the start of Career Mode, so will be expensive or almost impossible to buy for nearly every club.

Joao Felix is a new arrival at Atletico Madrid for 2019-20 and thus they will not be willing to sell him during the first transfer window, but Manchester United's Mason Greenwood may be available for a more reasonable fee and can be developed into one of the best strikers in FIFA 20.

When FIFA 20 was launched, new Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland was a Career Mode bargain and had an asking price of less than £2m, but recent database changes have seen his current and potential ability improve massively and he's now worth more than £20m.

There is great value to be had in many of the strikers with 86 potential ability, especially if you are willing to throw them in at the deep end early in the game despite their relatively low current ratings. 

FIFA 20: Top 20 Wonderkids

# Name Age Club PO. CR PR VA.
1 K Mbappe 20 PSG ST, RW 89 95 £84.2m
2 J Sancho 19 Borussia Dortmund RM, LM, CAM 86 94 £57.2m
3 Joao Felix 19 Atletico Madrid CF, ST, LM 80 93 £25.2m
4 K Havertz 20 Bayer Leverkusen CAM, RM 84 93 £43.7m
5 Vinicius Jr 18 Real Madrid LW 79 92 £20.3m
6 M de Ligt 19 Juventus CB 85 92 £42.8m
7 G Donnarumma 20 AC Milan GK 85 92 £35.6m
8 Rodrygo 18 Real Madrid RW, LW 78 91 £16.7m
9 S Tonali 19 Brescia CDM, CM 77 91 £16.2m
10 F Valverde 20 Real Madrid CM, CDM 82 90 £29.3m
11 T Alexander-Arnold 20 Liverpool RB 85 90 £41.4m
12 E Haland 18 Red Bull Salzburg ST 80 90 £20.3m
13 Ansu Fati 16 Barcelona LW, RW 73 90 £7.2m
14 Renier 17 Real Madrid CF, CAM 72 90 £5.4m
15 D Upamecano 20 RB Leipzig CB 80 89 £18.9m
16 P Foden 19 Man City CAM, CM 77 89 £14.5m
17 B Saka 17 Arsenal LM, RM 74 89 £9.9m
18 Pedri 16 Las Palmas LM, CAM 72 89 £5.4m
19 B Saka 17 Arsenal LW, LB, RW 74 89 £9.9m
20 M Greenwood 17 Man Utd ST, RM 73 89 £7.2m

Unsurprisingly, Kylian Mbappe is the best wonderkid in FIFA 20, but Jadon Sancho comes close behind. The PSG forward can reach 95 overall, which is a higher rating than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo start at - or can reach - in Career Mode.

Real Madrid have three of the top 10 wonderkids in FIFA 20, with Vincius Jr, Rodrygo and Federico Valverde all able to reach a rating of 90 or higher. The trio also have high current ratings, meaning that they can be first-team players from the very outset and form the core of Los Blancos' XI for more than a decade.

Ansu Fati and Pedri are both 16 at the start of Career Mode, meaning they will have very long careers in the game with the Las Palmas midfielder having a relatively low pricetag when you begin your managerial career.

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