FIFA 21 potential wonderkids look a little different this year. Instead of simply the players under a certain age with the highest potential rating, this year we have a list of the players with the highest potential ratings and a list of players with the highest potential for growth. As in, both high overall potential wonderkids like Kylian Mbappé and career mode hidden gems like Rayan Cherki with huge room to improve. In other words, if you're after the best young players in FIFA 21 career mode, you're in the right place.
We'll also give our own advice on finding wonderkids and our personal picks for standout players from the list further below, so read on! And do give our list of FIFA 21's 100 best career mode players a look if single-player guides are what you're here for, too.
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FIFA 21 potential wonderkids: the best young players with highest potential ratings
Here's a list of the 20 best wonderkids in FIFA 21, which is this time classed as the highest-rated players with a minimum improvement of at least 20 Overall rating.
That means this is a list with the more obvious ones: household names like Mbappé, Sancho, Havertz and the like make up most of the list, with their already high current Overall ability meaning most have made a name for themselves. This is where you'll find the absolute best young players though: if you want the best young centre back with the highest potential rating, say, or the future best forward in the world.
Note as well that we've ordered this table by highest max Overall rating first, as opposed to the maximum improvement possible.
FIFA 21 potential wonderkids: the best young players in Career Mode
|1||Kylian Mbappé||Paris Saint Germain||ST||90||95||5|
|2||Jadon Sancho||Borussia Dortmund||RM||87||93||6|
|4||Joao Félix||Atletico de Madrid||CF||81||93||12|
|5||Vinícius Jr.||Real Madrid||LW||80||93||13|
|7||Erling Haaland||Borussia Dortmund||ST||84||92||8|
|8||Matthhijs de Ligt||Piemonte Calcio||CB||85||92||7|
|9||Gianluigi Donnarumma||AC Milan||GK||85||92||7|
|11||Marcus Rashford||Manchester United||LM||85||91||6|
|12||Francisco Trincao||FC Barcelona||RW||78||91||13|
|13||Sandro Tonali||AC Milan||CDM||77||91||14|
|14||Frenkie de Jong||FC Barcelona||CM||85||90||5|
|15||Dayot Upamecano||RB Leipzig||CB||79||90||11|
|16||Federico Valverde||Real Madrid||CM||83||90||7|
|17||Mikel Oyarzabal||Real Sociedad||LW||84||90||6|
|19||Ansu Fati||FC Barcelona||LW||76||90||14|
|20||Alphonso Davies||Bayern Munchen||LB||81||89||8|
FIFA 21 career mode hidden gems: the young players with most room to improve
On top of that list above, this year EA Sports has blessed us with a second list, specifically covering hidden gems - the lesser-known players that have the highest amount of room for growth.
The below list is made up of players who will all improve by at least a whopping 20 points in their Overall rating, and have at least a potential Overall rating of 80. They'll take a fair bit longer to reach their potential, but if you're in it for the long run with your Career Mode saves, this will make for some incredible investments!
FIFA 21 Career Mode hidden gems: the young players with the most room to improve
|1||Rayan Cherki||Olympique Lyonnais||CAM||67||88||21|
|2||Florian Wirtz||Bayer 04 LEverkusen||CAM||68||88||20|
|3||Luca Netz||Hertha BSC||LB||63||86||23|
|5||Aster Vranckx||KV Mechelen||CM||66||86||20|
|6||Omar Rekik||Hertha BSC||CB||63||85||22|
|8||Yusuf Demir||Rapid Wien||RW||64||85||21|
|13||Arvin Appiah||UD Almeria||LM||64||84||20|
|15||Malachi Fagan-Walcott||Tottenham Hotspur||CB||60||83||23|
|16||Dennis Cirkin||Tottenham Hotspur||LB||61||83||22|
|17||Lucas Chevalier||LOSC Lille||GK||61||83||22|
|18||Paul Nebel||FSV Mainz 05||RW||62||83||21|
|19||Timothée Pembélé||Paris Saint-Germain||RB||63||83||20|
|21||Eugenio Pizzuto||LOSC Lille||CDM||59||82||23|
|22||Ricky-Jade Jones||Peterborough United||ST||59||82||23|
|23||Kays Ruiz-Atil||Paris Saint-Germain||CM||60||82||22|
|24||Tommy Doyle||Manchester City||CM||60||82||22|
|25||Juan Manuel Cuesta||Independiente Medellin||LM||60||82||22|
|27||J'Neil Bennett||Tottenham Hotspur||LM||61||82||21|
|28||Indiana Vassilev||Aston Villa||LW||61||82||21|
|29||David Ayala||Estudiantes de La Plata||CDM||61||82||21|
|30||Jacob Italiano||Borussia Monchengladbach||LM||61||82||21|
|31||Armel Balla-Kotchap||VfL Bochum||CB||62||82||20|
|32||Santiago Gimenez||Cruz Azul||ST||62||82||20|
|33||Danny Leyva||Seattle Sounders||CM||56||81||25|
|34||Lilian Egloff||VfB Stuttgart||CAM||59||81||22|
|35||Daniel Hoyo-Kowalski||Wisla Krakow||CB||59||81||22|
|36||Ivan Martinez||CA Osasuna||GK||60||81||21|
|37||Harry White||Tottenham Hotspur||CDM||60||81||21|
|39||Cody Drameh||Leeds United||RB||61||81||20|
|40||Victor Guzman||Club Tijuana||CB||61||81||20|
|41||Malik Tillman||Bayern Munchen II||ST||61||81||20|
|42||Joe Gelhardt||Leeds United||ST||61||81||20|
|43||Santiago Cartagena||Nacional de Montevideo||CDM||61||81||20|
|44||Melayro Bogarde||TSG 1899 Hoffenheim||CB||58||80||22|
|46||Jamie Bowden||Tottenham Hotspur||CDM||60||80||20|
|47||Becir Omeragic||FC Zurich||CB||60||80||20|
|48||Daishawn Redan||FC Gronigen||ST||60||80||20|
|50||Xavier Amaechi||Hamburger SV||RW||60||80||20|
|51||Marvin Tshibuabua||AS Saint-Etienne||CB||60||80||20|
For more on FIFA 21, so far we have new pages on the FIFA 21 release time and download details for all editions, best FIFA 21 goalkeepers, best FIFA 21 defenders, best FIFA 21 midfielders, best FIFA 21 wingers, best FIFA 21 strikers, a big breakdown of FIFA 21 potential wonderkids and career mode hidden gems and a list of FIFA 21 Career Mode's best players. Plus, we've pages on FUT Chemistry explained and a freshly updated FIFA 21 Chemistry styles list and affected attributes explainer, to get you started with FUT. Expect much more soon!
FIFA 21 wonderkids explained: other things to know about our list of hidden gems
Based on the above, there are a couple of points worth bearing in mind when hunting down your next world class talent, which ring true in FIFA 21 just as they have in other FIFAs before it:
- First, some more depth on how this list was put together: EA Sports has opted to release a list of the highest potential players, as as well as the players with the highest maximum rating under certain age, like they'd previously done in the last few years' games, such as FIFA 20's wonderkids and FIFA 19's wonderkids. In brief, that means the first list is the one with the best young players, the second with the best high-improvement hidden gems.
- There are some ommissions from the first list that might surprise some - Greenwood and Foden stand out as glaring omissions, for instance - but that's for a reason. It's likely because EA's released quite a short list this year, and so their maximum potential rating just isn't quite as high as this top 20. But they're still likely to improve a huge amount, well into the high 80s!
- Of all the players listed here, the one with the highest potential Overall rating gain is Danny Leyva, of Seattle Sounders, who could increase by a whopping 25 points from a rating of 56 to 81! Could be a mega investment for future sale on the transfer market
- Remember that age is an important factor here. Whilst younger, lower-Overall players like Leyva might come at a better price, if you can afford more developed players then often it's a safer bet, and a faster one - you might not be fitting in four, five or six seasons into one Career Mode playthrough, after all, and so may never see a seventeen-year-old's full potential.
- For those longer plathroughs, we recommend players with a starting Overall in the 50s, to keep the cost down. Jarrad Branthwaite, Ricky-Jade Jones, and Eugenio Pizzuto and the like are great options for huge long-term growth and re-sale value.
- For more instant hits the obvious choices are all in the first list. For the less obvious, look to the likes of Rayan Cherki and Florian Wertz, who'll reach first-team standards pretty quickly.
- As always, be flexible with your positions. It's more of a general tip for FIFA 21 anyway, but don't forget that often, players have expertise in more than one spot on the team sheet, and it's more about their technical attributes like Pace, Dribbling, or Finishing that make a difference.
- For bargains, think about the size of the club you're buying from - are Liverpool going to give up a top-rated youngster for as little as KV Mechelen of Belgium of Tijuana of Mexico?