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Football Manager 2019 wonderkids: Best young goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders & strikers

1:30 PM WAT 02/11/2018
Wonderkids GFX
Firing up the new game and wondering who to buy? Fear not, as Goal brings you some of the best young teenage talent to look out for

Football Manager is back for another season as fans gear up to play the latest edition of one of the world's most popular management simulation games.

The full version of Football Manager 2019 is now live and available to play, so there is no need to wait in order to get started on a new campaign.

Whether you're attempting to win the Premier League with Manchester United or simply trying to bring your local team from the base of the football pyramid right to the top you need to be meticulous when it comes to scouting and transfer market dealings.

Despite Alan Hansen's famous line that you "can't win anything with kids" unearthing the next big thing can potentially make all the difference to a club, whether that is through on-field performances or the subsequent profit of selling them on.

Of course, it always helps if you've got a few recommendations to start with, so Goal takes a look at some of the best wonderkids to sign in Football Manager 2019 below.

If you're still playing Football Manager 2018, don't worry, you can check out our guide to the best young players to sign in that game here.

Note:
Players have been ranked using the FMScout rating system as a guide.
PA = Potential Ability
Players aged 20 and over excluded.
All ages are accurate as of the start of the game, not at the time of writing


What is a wonderkid?


The term 'wonderkid' is used to describe a young footballer with the potential to mature into a top level or world-class star.

In the Football Manager world, wonderkids can be identified by compiling scouting and coaching reports to discern the current and potential ability levels of an individual.

Being tagged as a wonderkid is not a definite indicator of future success though. Managers must nurture young players appropriately in order to get the best out of them.


Football Manager 2019 wonderkid goalkeepers


Most goalkeepers don't reach their optimum level until the latter stages of their careers, but there are certainly plenty of youthful upstarts dotted across the game.

AC Milan's Gianluigi Donnarumma is a name that will be very familiar to football fans by now, given that he has been touted as the natural successor to Gianluigi Buffon for the past number of years.

Donnarumma is undoubtedly the top rated of all the wonderkid goalkeepers in the game and that is reflected in his price tag, which means only the biggest clubs will be able to lure him.

Player Age Nationality Club PA Value
Gianluigi Donnarumma 19 Italy AC Milan  -95 £18.75m
Alban Lafont 19 France Fiorentina -9 £5m
Gavin Bazunu 16 Rep. Ireland Shamrock Rovers -85 £0.2m
Andriy Lunin 18 Ukraine Real Madrid -85 £0.07m
Christian Fruchtl 18 Germany Bayern Munich -85 £0.3m
Mile Svilar 18 Belgium Benfica -85 £0.2m
Alessandro Plizzari 18 Italy AC Milan -85 £0.6m
Diogo Costa 18 Portugal Porto -85 £0.28m
Berke Ozer 18 Turkey Fenerbahce -8 £0.35m
Marcin Bulka 18 Poland Chelsea -8 £0.02m

However, there are many other options available to consider, including Alban Lafont, who is now Fiorentina's number one after joining from Ligue 1 side Toulouse, and recent Real Madrid acquisition Andiry Lunin.

Irish teen sensation Gavin Bazunu, who is set to join Manchester City, is a cheaper alternative, while Bayern Munich's Christian Fruchtl has spent that past few seasons as Manuel Neuer's understudy.


Football Manager 2019 wonderkid defenders


As with goalkeepers, it is rare to find teenagers occupying the first-team places at the highest level, but there are a few whose ability merits such responsibility.

Trent Alexander-Arnold's breakthrough season with Liverpool has seriously improved his reputation and he is one of the best young defenders in the game, along with Ajax's Matthijs de Ligt, RB Leipzig's Dayot Upamecano and Manchester United's Diogo Dalot.

Player Age Nationality Club PA Value
Trent Alexander-Arnold 19 England Liverpool -95 £27.5m
Matthijs de Ligt 18 Netherlands Ajax -95 £7.25m
Dayot Upamecano 19 France RB Leipzig -95 £6.75m
Diogo Dalot 19 Portugal Manchester United -9 £13.75m
Josh Tymon 19 England Stoke City -85 £0.75m
Gian-Luca Itter 19 Germany Wolfsburg -85 £2.1m
Luca Pellegrini 19 Italy Roma -85 £1.5m
Alessandro Bastoni 19 Italy Inter -85 £1.6m
Juan Miranda 18 Spain Barcelona -85 £1.2m
Alexis Saelemaekers 18 Belgium Anderlecht -8 £5.75m

However, each of the aforementioned players will only be available to clubs who have the financial clout to sign them.

Fear not though, because the likes of Stoke City's Josh Tymon, Roma's Luca Pellegri and Barcelona's Juan Miranda, who are not too far behind in terms of potential, are much cheaper.


Football Manager 2019 wonderkid midfielders


If you're managing a club with an abundance of prestige and money, then you will be able to splash out for some of the game's best young midfielders.

The Bundesliga is a particularly rich hunting ground, with likes of Bayer Leverkusen attacker Kai Havertz and Borussia Dortmund duo Jadon Sancho and Christian Pulisic among the wonderkid midfielders.

Manchester City teen Phil Foden has been turning heads at youth level for a number of seasons, but he has finally thrust himself onto Pep Guardiola's radar at the Etihad.

Player Age Nationality Club PA Value
Joao Felix 18 Portugal Benfica -95 £1.2m
Kai Havertz 19 Germany Bayer Leverkusen -95 £15.5m
Phil Foden 18 England Manchester City -95 £22.5m
Jadon Sancho 18 England Borussia Dortmund -95 £9.5m
Sergio Gomez 17 Spain Borussia Dortmund -9 £2.1m
Ryan Gravenberch 16 Netherlands Ajax -9 £0.25m
Pelayo Morilla 16 Spain Sporting Gijon -9 £0.23m
Sandro Tonali 18 Italy Brescia -9 £1.2m
Gedson Fernandes 19 Portugal Benfica -9 £4m
Kangin Lee 17 South Korea Valencia -9 £0.15m
Mickael Cuisance 18 France Borussia Monchengladbach -9 £4.3m
Christian Pulisic 19 United States Borussia Dortmund -9 £20.5m
Ferran Torres 18 Spain Valencia -9 £1.3m
Exequiel Palacios 19 Argentina River -85 £6.25m
Elias Abouchabaka 18 Germany RB Leipzig -85 £0.45m

Bargain hunters will find that Portugal tends to be a rewarding market for young talent and it is no surprise that the Selecao won the 2018 UEFA U19 European Championship.

Benfica's Joao Felix has the potential to be one of the best attacking midfielders in the game and he can be picked up for a reasonable fee.

Ajax continue to produce the stars of tomorrow too, with Ryan Gravenberch touted for a bright future, while Dortmund's Sergio Gomez is certainly worth scouting.


Football Manager 2019 wonderkid forwards


It may seem strange to class Kylian Mbappe as a wonderkid at this stage, given that he has won a World Cup with France and rubs shoulders with Neymar at Paris Saint-Germain, but his age means that he is technically one in Football Manager.

Now, even though he arguably the best teenager in the game, unless you want to break the bank, it's unlikely that Mbappe will be high on your list of wonderkid signings. Luckily there are a spate of other options to choose from.

Those who have played Football Manager 2018 will be familiar with the likes of Fiete Arp, Moise Kean and Vinicius Junior, but there are some new attackers making enough waves at youth level to have earned wonderkid status.

Player Age Nationality Club PA Value
Kylian Mbappe 19 France PSG -95 £66m
Rodrygo 17 Brazil Santos / Real Madrid -95 £1.8m
Pietro Pellegri 17 Italy Monaco -95 £1.3m
Vinicius Junior 17 Brazil Real Madrid -95 £4.5m
Fabio Silva 15 Portugal Porto -9 £0.01m
Amine Gouiri 18 France Lyon -9 £0.8m
Fiete Arp 18 Germany Hamburg -9 £2.9m
Abel Ruiz 18 Spain Barcelona -9 £0.63m
Juan Hernandez 19 Colombia Watford -9 £8.5m
Willem Geubbels 16 France Monaco -9 £0.68m
Moise Kean 18 Italy Juventus -9 £2.5m
Brenner 18 Brazil Sao Paulo -85 £0.08m
Ben Woodburn 18 Wales Liverpool -85 £9.25m
Troy Parrott 16 Rep. Ireland Tottenham -85 £0.08m

Willem Geubbels, who recently signed for Monaco, is one to keep an eye on, while Porto youngster Fabio Silva has the potential to be an excellent bargain signing.

France, Italy and Brazil seem to be producing the best young strikers, but there is some emergent talent in the Premier League in the form of Liverpool's Ben Woodburn and Tottenham's Troy Parrott.