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FIFA 21 potential wonderkids: the best career mode youngsters and hidden gems

The best, highest-potential players in FIFA 21.

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

RankNameClubPositionCurrentPotentialTotal Growth
1Kylian MbappéParis Saint GermainST90955
2Jadon SanchoBorussia DortmundRM87936
3Kai HavertzChelseaCAM85938
4Joao FélixAtletico de MadridCF819312
5Vinícius Jr.Real MadridLW809313
6Trent Alexander-ArnoldLiverpoolRB87925
7Erling HaalandBorussia DortmundST84928
8Matthhijs de LigtPiemonte CalcioCB85927
9Gianluigi DonnarummaAC MilanGK85927
10Lautaro MartínezInterST84928
11Marcus RashfordManchester UnitedLM85916
12Francisco TrincaoFC BarcelonaRW789113
13Sandro TonaliAC MilanCDM779114
14Frenkie de JongFC BarcelonaCM85905
15Dayot UpamecanoRB LeipzigCB799011
16Federico ValverdeReal MadridCM83907
17Mikel OyarzabalReal SociedadLW84906
18RodrygoReal MadridRW799011
19Ansu FatiFC BarcelonaLW769014
20Alphonso DaviesBayern MunchenLB81898

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

RankNameClubPositionCurrentPotentialTotal Growth
1Rayan CherkiOlympique LyonnaisCAM678821
2Florian WirtzBayer 04 LEverkusenCAM688820
3Luca NetzHertha BSCLB638623
4Sebastiano EspositoInterST668620
5Aster VranckxKV MechelenCM668620
6Omar RekikHertha BSCCB638522
7Karamoko DembeleCelticRW648521
8Yusuf DemirRapid WienRW648521
9Harvey ElliottLiverpoolRW658520
10Troy ParrottMillwallST658520
11Marco KanaAnderlechtCB658520
12Curtis JonesLiverpoolCM648420
13Arvin AppiahUD AlmeriaLM648420
14Alan VelascoIndependienteLM648420
15Malachi Fagan-WalcottTottenham HotspurCB608323
16Dennis CirkinTottenham HotspurLB618322
17Lucas ChevalierLOSC LilleGK618322
18Paul NebelFSV Mainz 05RW628321
19Timothée PembéléParis Saint-GermainRB638320
20Jarrad BranthwaiteEvertonCB598223
21Eugenio PizzutoLOSC LilleCDM598223
22Ricky-Jade JonesPeterborough UnitedST598223
23Kays Ruiz-AtilParis Saint-GermainCM608222
24Tommy DoyleManchester CityCM608222
25Juan Manuel CuestaIndependiente MedellinLM608222
26Luke MathesonWolvesRB618221
27J'Neil BennettTottenham HotspurLM618221
28Indiana VassilevAston VillaLW618221
29David AyalaEstudiantes de La PlataCDM618221
30Jacob ItalianoBorussia MonchengladbachLM618221
31Armel Balla-KotchapVfL BochumCB628220
32Santiago GimenezCruz AzulST628220
33Danny LeyvaSeattle SoundersCM568125
34Lilian EgloffVfB StuttgartCAM598122
35Daniel Hoyo-KowalskiWisla KrakowCB598122
36Ivan MartinezCA OsasunaGK608121
37Harry WhiteTottenham HotspurCDM608121
38Nathan WoodMiddlesboroughCB608121
39Cody DramehLeeds UnitedRB618120
40Victor GuzmanClub TijuanaCB618120
41Malik TillmanBayern Munchen IIST618120
42Joe GelhardtLeeds UnitedST618120
43Santiago CartagenaNacional de MontevideoCDM618120
44Melayro BogardeTSG 1899 HoffenheimCB588022
45Folarin BalogunArsenalST608020
46Jamie BowdenTottenham HotspurCDM608020
47Becir OmeragicFC ZurichCB608020
48Daishawn RedanFC GronigenST608020
49Luca OyenGenkCAM608020
50Xavier AmaechiHamburger SVRW608020
51Marvin TshibuabuaAS Saint-EtienneCB608020
52JofreGirona FCCM608020

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.
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  • 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?

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