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The best wonderkids in Football Manager 2021

best fm21 wonderkids
(Image credit: Sports Interactive)

Looking for the best FM21 wonderkids? Finding the next big star is a staple of every Football Manager save, but it can be tricky to unearth football’s hidden gems. Youngsters need the right blend of potential ability, personality traits, and first-team experience to become world-class, and not every real-life player or regen will have the right combination.

If you want to know who the best FM21 cheap players are, I’m here to help. I’ve scouted and managed the greatest youth prospects in this year’s game, so read on to see who you should sign.

The best FM21 wonderkids

Goalkeepers

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Maarten Vandevoordt
The Belgian is FM21’s top goalkeeping talent and it’s easy to see why. A low eccentricity stat means he’s unlikely to make mistakes, while Vandevoort’s balanced personality ensures his emotions won’t get the better of him. There are also no major weaknesses in his game. Sign him as soon as possible.

Stefan Bajic
If Vandevoordt is out of your price range, opt for Saint-Etienne’s starlet. Physically and mentally stronger than Vandevoordt, Bajic has plenty of time to grow into his goalkeeping attributes. Send him on loan once he’s signed to start turning that potential into real quality.

Defenders

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Matthijs de Ligt
You’ll have an almighty task prising the Dutchman away from Juventus. If you succeed, however, you’ll have a superb centre-half for a good 15 years. De Ligt’s resolute personality and impressive stats in key areas make him the best defensive wonderkid in FM21, and he’ll get even better with regular game time.

Alphonso Davies
Another player who’ll be difficult to lure away. The Bayern Munich left-back is highly ambitious and versatile, so he will quickly improve no matter where you play him on the flank. To get the best out of Davies, set him up as a complete wing-back on a support or attack duty, both in training and on matchdays.

Nuno Mendes
A far cheaper left-back option than Davies, Mendes is a brilliant all-round full-back. His low wages mean you won’t overspend on his salary, his all-round game is impressive, and he’ll be a senior Portugal international in two-to-three years.

Devyne Rensch
The 17-year-old Ajax starlet doesn’t have stand-out attributes when you start a new save. However, his attributes shoot up with playing time, and his ambidextrous nature means he can play anywhere across the back line. Give him a couple of loan spells and he’ll be ready to slot into your first team.

Tomas Esteves
He’s unavailable for 12 months due to a Reading loan move, but Porto’s starlet has the best potential for a right-back in FM21. He’s cheap, great backup for your starting right-back, and will star for your side for years if you sign him following his Berkshire loan.

Midfielders

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Eduardo Camavinga
One of three must-sign wonderkids in FM21. The Rennes midfielder was a stellar addition to any squad in last year’s game, and he’s even better this time around. Just look at the 17-year-old’s stats above and tell us we’re wrong. Get him before the likes of PSG and Real Madrid come calling.

Jude Bellingham
Another 17-year-old midfielder with a bright future. The ex-Birmingham City wonderkid only joined Borussia Dortmund in the summer, so it’ll be impossible to sign him straight away. If you can snap him up, pair him with Camavinga for a midfield pair that will dominate for the next 15 years.

Dominik Szoboszlai
If the above duo are unavailable, the 19-year-old Hungarian is another good option. He’s technically gifted, has plenty of first-team experience already, and has the physical stats to be a top-class box-to-box midfielder. RB Salzburg will want a hefty fee, but he’s worth it.

Phil Foden
Manchester City’s attacking midfielder isn’t cheap. For a 20-year-old playmaker, though, he’s exceptional. There’s plenty of time to improve his already stellar attributes and, if you plan on playing with a number 10, there are few wonderkids better suited to this role than Foden.

Ilaix Moriba
The Barcelona starlet is one of the few players on this list whose best position is undefined. The 17-year-old can play anywhere across the midfield and the forward line, so you can mould him into the kind of player you want. He won’t cost the earth either, so adding the versatile Moriba to your squad is a no-brainer.

Pedri
Sticking with Barcelona, Moriba’s teammate is a terrific alternative to Foden. Comfortable on the wings or in the hole behind the striker, Pedri’s technical and mental stats belie his tender years. Bring him in, loan him out for a season, and he’ll be first-team ready.

 

Attackers

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Rodrygo
The joint highest potential ability of any FM21 wonderkid. Rodrygo has gaps in his game, but those can be ironed out with the right training and plenty of senior matches. Real Madrid won’t take kindly to you trying to lure their Brazilian away, but you’ll want to do so for his 189 out of 200 potential rating alone.

Yusuf Demir
The other joint-highest-rated starlet. Rapid Vienna’s attacking midfielder has good attributes for his age, but it’s his resolute personality and high determination rating that will be key to making him the best player in world football. His transfer fee and wages are affordable, so secure his signature sharpish and watch him become FM21’s biggest star.

Erling Haaland
Borussia Dortmund’s striker needs no introduction. He’s already playing close to his best ability, but you can eke out more from Haaland if you can entice him away from Germany. Only the richest clubs will be able to afford him, but he’s worth every penny.

Myron Boadu
Want a cheaper option than Haaland? Shoot for AZ Alkmaar’s 19-year-old striker. Rapid, a good finisher, and capable of playing on the wings, Boadu grows into one of the most lethal attackers on FM21. Give him plenty of game time and reap the rewards of his vast potential.

Jadon Sancho
Haaland’s Dortmund teammate is another costly endeavour, but his stats and versatility make him worth it. With ambition to match his quality, he’ll continuously strive to improve, and pairing him with any other wonderkid attacker will see your team score plenty of goals.

Joao Felix
Last year's best wonderkid is 20 now, but his ability means we had to include him again. His flair, dribbling, technique, off-the-ball movement, passing, and vision are perfect for the number 10 role. That said, he can cost upwards of £100m, so he’ll be unobtainable for most sides.