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

Kai Havertz Kylian Mbappe Vinicius SplitGetty/Goal

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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

NameAgeClubPO.CRPRVA.
G Donnarumma20AC MilanGK8592£35.6m
A Lunin20Real MadridGK7688£9.7m
A Lafont20FiorentinaGK7987£13.1m
Luis Maximiano20Sporting CPGK7686£9m
M Vandevoort17GenkGK6585£875k
L Chevalier17LilleGK6184£428k
C Fruchtl19Bayern Munich IIGK6683£1.1m
S Ngapandouetnbu16MarseilleGK5882£200k
J Markovic17Slavia PrahaGK6782£1.2m
M Carnesecchi19AtalantaGK6682£1.1m
G Bazunu17Man CityGK5982£250k
Diogo Costa19PortoGK7082£2.3m
I Meslier19LorientGK6882£1.4m
A Plizzari19AC MilanGK6682£1.1m
S Bajic17Saint-EtienneGK6281£450k
I Martinez17OsasunaGK6081£350k
K Grabara20LiverpoolGK6781£1.3m
Gabriel Brazao18InterGK6581£800k
K Scherpen19AjaxGK6781£1.3m
L Plogmann19Werder BremenGK6481£750k
N Shinton18Club BruggeGK6280£450k
L Unbehaun18Borussia DortmundGK6080£300k
Altube19Real MadridGK6380£600k
D Kotarski19AjaxGK6580£900k
J Schendelaar18AZ AlkmaarGK6580£800k
A Muric20Man CityGK6879£1.1m
Dani Martin20Real BetisGK6979£1.2m
G Poussin20BordeauxGK6679£925k
R Vodisek20GenoaGK6679£925k
R Majecki19Legia WarsawGK6679£900k
Inaki Pena20BarcelonaGK6579£900k
Moha Ramos19BirminghamGK6479£750k
Joao Virginia19EvertonGK6379£600k
A Akbulut18TrabzonsporGK6379£575k
A Trubin17Shakhtar DonetskGK5979£250k
M Roffo19Boca JuniorsGK6479£750k
P Dahlberg20WatfordGK6878£1m
G Couke20GenkGK6778£950k
M Svilar19BenficaGK6778£900k
M Travers20BournemouthGK6478£775k
C Sanchez19Sporting GijonGK6378£600k
R Hoffmann20Bayern MunichGK6378£600k
D Horkas20Dinamo ZagrebGK6278£525k
M Bulka19PSGGK6078£350k
K Klaesson18ValerengaGK6078£325k
E Balcombe19BrentfordGK6078£350k
S Laiton19AuxerreGK6078£350k
L Ntumba18DijonGK5878£200k
L Ingolotti19AldosiviGK5878£200k
T Vettorel18CittadellaGK5878£200k
J Blazquez19TalleresGK5878£200k
L Kasten19WolfsburgGK5878£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 2019-20Getty Images
NameAgeClubPO.CRPRVA.
M de Ligt19JuventusCB8592£42.8m
T Alexander-Arnold20LiverpoolRB8590£41.4m
D Upamecano20RB LeipzigCB8089£18.9m
I Konate20RB LeipzigCB7988£15m
A Davies18Bayern MunichLB, RM, LM7788£11.3m
W Saliba18ArsenalCB7588£9.9m
R James19ChelseaRB, CDM7587£9.5m
D Zagadou20Borussia DortmundCB, LB7986£14.4m
J Kounde20SevillaCB7786£12.6m
O Kabak19SchalkeCB7786£10.8m
E Tapsoba20Bayer LeverkusenCB7686£10,4m
Z Vanheusden19Standard LiegeCB7586£9m
J Todibo19BarcelonaCB, CDM7386£6.3m
M Simakan19StrasbourgCB, RB7286£5.4m
M Kumbulla19Hellas VeronaCB, RB7286£5.4m
B Williams18Man UtdLB, LWB7186£4.1m
E Ampadu18ChelseaCB, CDM6886£1.5m
M Kana16AnderlechtCB, CDM6686£1.1m
L Stergiou17St GallenCB6386£675k
A Bastoni20InterCB7585£9m
Diogo Dalot20Man UtdRB, LB7585£9m
E N'Dicka19Eintracht FrankfurtLB, CB7585£8.6m
Emerson20Real BetisRB, RM, RWB7585£9m
M Salisu20Real ValladolidCB7585£9m
M Aarons19NorwichRB7385£5.9m
L Pellegrini20CagliariLB7185£4.3m
R Ait Nouri18AngersLB7085£3.1m
Eric Garcia18Man CityCB6985£1.8m
J Frimpong18CelticRB, RWB6885£1.5m
J Gvardiol17Dinamo ZagrebCB, LB6785£1.3m
J Vagnoman18HamburgRB, LM, LB6685£1.1m
A Bella-Kotchap17BochumCB6385£675k
P Retsos20Bayer LeverkusenCB, RB, LB7584£8.6m
O Wijndal19AZ AlkmaarLB7484£7.2m
N Perez19Atletico MadridCB7484£7.2m
Tomas Tavares18BenficaRB7284£4.2m
Nuno Tavares19BenficaLB, RB7184£3.7m
D Popov20Dynamo KyivCB7184£3.8m
J Tanganga20SpursCB, RB, LB6984£2m
Tiago Djalo19LilleCB6984£1.9m
N Katterbach18KolnLB6784£1.4m
S van der Berg17LiverpoolCB6684£1m
N Armini18LazioCB6684£1.1m
N Collins18StokeCB6384£700k
K Hoever17LiverpoolRB, CB6284£550k
S Bornauw20KolnCB7583£8.1m
V Mykolenko20Dynamo KyivLB7483£7.2m
P Schuurs19AjaxCB7483£6.8m
D Bradaric19LilleLB7383£5m
Pedro Porro19Man CityRB, RWB, RM7383£5m
R van Drongelen20HamburgCB7383£5.4m
Diogo Leite20PortoCB7283£4.2m
B Sutalo19AtalantaCB7283£4.3m
T Tomiyasu20BolognaRB, CB7283£4.4m
L Cacace18Wellington PhoenixLB, LWB7283£4.1m
T Kouassi17PSGCB, CDM7183£3.1m
J Bogle18DerbyRB7183£3.2m
D Maresic19ReimsCB7183£3.4m
I Diveev19CSKA MoscowCB7083£2.8m
Mujaid19Deportivo La CorunaRB, CB6983£1.9m
A Chindris20BotosaniCB6983£2m
N Ferguson18West BromRB, LB, CB6883£1.5m
L Balerdi20Borussia DortmundCB6883£1.6m
A Bernabei20LanusLB, LW, LM6783£1.4m
J Beyer19Borussia M'gladbachRB, CB6783£1.3m
K Sardella17AnderlechtRB, LB6583£900k
E Laird17Man UtdRB6583£900k
Manu Sanchez18Atletico MadridLB6483£800k
T Harwood-Bellis17Man CityCB6083£400k
L Matheson16RochdaleRB6083£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
NameAgeClubPO.CRPRVA.
J Sancho19Borussia DortmundRM, LM, CAM8694£57.2m
K Havertz20Bayer LeverkusenCAM, RM8493£43.7m
S Tonali19BresciaCDM, CM7791£16.2m
F Valverde20Real MadridCM, CDM8290£29.3m
P Foden19Man CityCAM, CM7789£14.5m
B Saka17ArsenalLM, RM7489£9.9m
Pedri16Las PalmasLM, CAM7289£5.4m
M Odegaard20Real MadridCAM, RM, CM8288£27.5m
Ferran Torres19ValenciaRM, LM, CF7988£17.1m
Cucurella20GetafeLM, LB7988£17.6m
E Palacios20Bayer LeverkusenCM, RM, CAM7888£14.9m
J David19GentCAM, ST7788£13.5m
M Ihatteren17PSVCAM, RW7688£10.8m
A Hlozek16Sparta PrahaRM, ST, LM7488£9.9m
T Almada18Velez SarsfieldCAM, CM, LW7288£10.4m
A Hakimi20Real MadridRM, RB, LB8287£27m
M Mount20ChelseaCAM, CM, RW7987£16.7m
B Kamara19MarseilleCDM, CB7887£13.1m
M Diaby19Bayer LeverkusenLM7887£14m
N Zaniolo19RomaCAM, RM7787£12.6m
D Szoboszlai18Red Bull SalzburgLM, RM, CAM7487£9m
M Caqueret19LyonCM, CDM7387£7.7m
Romario Baro19PortoRM, CAM7387£7.7m
Y Verschaeren17AnderlechtCAM, CM, RW7387£7.2m
T Kubo18Real MadridRM, CM, CAM7187£4.4m
Riqui Puig19BarcelonaCM7187£4.4m
R Gravenberch17AjaxCM, CDM7087£3.2m
D Rice20West HamCDM, CB, CM7886£12.6m
D McNeil19BurnleyLM7786£12.2m
K Diatta20Club BruggeRM, LM7786£12.6m
S Chukwueze20VillarrealRM7786£12.6m
M Guendouzi20ArsenalCM, CDM7786£11.3m
T Adams20RB LeipzigCDM, RWB7686£10.4m
Kangin Lee18ValenciaCAM, LM, RM7686£11m
Florentino19BenficaCDM, CM7686£9.9m
W McKennie20SchalkeCM, CB, CAM7686£11m
A Mac Allister20BrightonCAM, CM7586£11.3m
R Sessegnon19SpursLM, LW, LB7586£9.7m
E Camavinga16RennesCM7586£9m
Gustavo Assuncao19FamalicaoCDM7486£8.1m
Paulinho18Bayer LeverkusenRM, CAM7486£8.6m
Tete19Shakhtar DonetskRM, CAM7386£6.8m
M Solomon19Shakhtar DonetskRM, LM, CAM7186£4.5m
H Traore19EmpoliCAM, CM7186£4.5m
A Urzi19BanfieldLM, CM, RM7186£4.5m
F Pellestri17PenarolRM, RW7086£3.2m
D Caceido19Deportivo CaliRM6886£1.7m
R Matondo18SchalkeLM, ST, RM6886£1.6m
G Reyna16Borussia DortmundLM, CAM6686£1.2m
B Gilmour18ChelseaCM, CAM6686£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
NameAgeClubPO.CRPRVA.
K Mbappe20PSGST, RW8995£84.2m
Joao Felix19Atletico MadridCF, ST, LM8093£25.2m
Vinicius Jr18Real MadridLW7992£20.3m
Rodrygo18Real MadridRW, LW7891£16.7m
E Haland18Red Bull SalzburgST8090£20.3m
Ansu Fati16BarcelonaLW, RW7390£7.2m
Renier17Real MadridCF, CAM7290£5.4m
B Saka17ArsenalLW, LB, RW7489£9.9m
M Greenwood17Man UtdST, RM7389£7.2m
V Osimhen20LilleST7888£15.3m
F Trincao19BragaRW, LW7588£11.3m
M Boadu18AZ AlkmaarST7588£10.8m
C Hudson-Odoi18ChelseaRW, LW7488£10.4m
Gabriel Martinelli18ArsenalLW, LM, ST7488£10.4m
J Doku17AnderlechtRW, LW6987£1.9m
S Esposito16InterST6787£1.4m
H Elliott16LiverpoolRW6487£900k
C Pulisic20ChelseaLW, RW, LM8086£18.5m
A Isak19Real SociedadST7886£13.5m
D Malen20PSVST, LW7786£12.6m
C Stengs20AZ AlkmaarRW7786£12.6m
Rafael Leao20LilleST7586£10.1m
Brahim19Real MadridLW, RW7486£9m
D Kulusevski19ParmaRW, CAM7386£6.8m
Rafael Camacho19Sporting CPRW7186£4.5m
M Kudus18NordsjaellandCF, CM7186£4.4m
Fabio Silva16PortoST7086£3.2m
Joao Pedro17WatfordST, LM7086£3.2m
Moise Kean18EvertonST7585£9.5m
M Cunha20RB LeipzigST, CAM7585£9.9m
B Mbueno19BrentfordRW, ST, RM7485£8.6m
E Barco20Atalanta UnitedLW, CF7485£8.6m
P De la Vega18LanusRW7185£4.4m
J Alvarez19River PlateST, RW7185£4.5m
E Nketiah20ArsenalST7085£3.5m
A Gouiri19LyonST6985£2.1m
A Kutucu19SchalkeST, CF, RW6885£1.7m
K Adeyemi17RB SalzburgST, LW, RW6785£1.4m
N Madueke17PSVRW, CAM6685£1.2m
T Parrott17SpursST6485£900k
K Dembele16CelticRW6485£875k
P Daka20RB SalzburgST7584£9.5m
L Sinisterra20FeyenoordLW, RW, ST7484£8.1m
Pedro Mendes19Sporting CPST7284£5m
G Plata18Sporting CPLW, RW7284£4.5m
J Macias19GuadalajaraST7284£5m
Pedro Neto19WolvesLW, CF7184£4m
A Gaich20San LorenzoST7184£4.1m
H Evjen19AZ AlkmaarRW, CAM7184£4m
I Aliseda19Chicago FireLW, RW, ST7084£3.4m
Abel Ruiz19BarcelonaST, LW7084£3.4m
T Weah19LilleST, LM6984£2m
A Marin18Dinamo ZagrebLW, RW, CAM6684£1.4m
J Zirkzee18Bayern MunichST, CAM, CF6684£1.2m
F Correia18AZ AlkmaarRW, LW6684£1.2m
A Idah18NorwichST6584£1m
R Piccoli18AtalantaST6484£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

#NameAgeClubPO.CRPRVA.
1K Mbappe20PSGST, RW8995£84.2m
2J Sancho19Borussia DortmundRM, LM, CAM8694£57.2m
3Joao Felix19Atletico MadridCF, ST, LM8093£25.2m
4K Havertz20Bayer LeverkusenCAM, RM8493£43.7m
5Vinicius Jr18Real MadridLW7992£20.3m
6M de Ligt19JuventusCB8592£42.8m
7G Donnarumma20AC MilanGK8592£35.6m
8Rodrygo18Real MadridRW, LW7891£16.7m
9S Tonali19BresciaCDM, CM7791£16.2m
10F Valverde20Real MadridCM, CDM8290£29.3m
11T Alexander-Arnold20LiverpoolRB8590£41.4m
12E Haland18Red Bull SalzburgST8090£20.3m
13Ansu Fati16BarcelonaLW, RW7390£7.2m
14Renier17Real MadridCF, CAM7290£5.4m
15D Upamecano20RB LeipzigCB8089£18.9m
16P Foden19Man CityCAM, CM7789£14.5m
17B Saka17ArsenalLM, RM7489£9.9m
18Pedri16Las PalmasLM, CAM7289£5.4m
19B Saka17ArsenalLW, LB, RW7489£9.9m
20M Greenwood17Man UtdST, RM7389£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.