FIFA 16 – Top young players continued (thoughts after early access)

So a little while back I wrote an article looking at the young players that I thought would have a lot of potential in this year’s installment of FIFA. Since writing that article, and since playing the trial version through EA Access, I’ve found a couple more hidden gems that might make your life as a manager on FIFA 16’s career mode that little easier. So here we go!

The good thing about this FIFA is that EA have brought in the ability to train players (up to five each game-week), which will increase their stats. So, whilst some players advance quicker, or organically, you can force others to gain those extra vital points, or improve on some weaker aspects of their game. That way, you can really make the most of the younger talent that you already have in your team, or buy a cheaper, lower ranking young player, and boost their development with an intense training schedule. If you can combine this with game time, you’ll be laughing!

Benik Afobe (Wolves, Striker)

Afobe is going to be the only young player from an English team that I’ll be highlighting here, (as the last article was quite UK heavy) but I’m pointing him out for good reason. Afobe is a strong striker, standing at a sturdy 6ft3inches, and the former Arsenal player makes the perfect tip to any attack, for a team based in the Championship or lower. He’s already doing the job for Wolves, and he’s doing it well so far. You can prise him away from the Championship club with relative ease, and he’s a perfect fit for a League One or Championship side, if you want a player with a fair bit of potential without the price tag. I’ve got him partnering Charlie Austin for QPR at the moment, and he’s doing a pretty decent job. With a bit of training, you could make him a rather effective holding striker, but he also has a fair bit of pace to utilise too – he’s quite versatile like that (on the game). In the right set up, I think you could easily be getting 15-20 goals in his first season, and perhaps closer to 30 if you’re picking him up for a League 1 side (or an equivalent division in a foreign league).

Max Meyer (Shalke, Attacking Midfielder)

After sending my scout out into central Europe to find a creative midfielder, the first name to come back was Max Meyer. Currently at Shalke, Meyer is set to be taking the footballing world by storm. He’s already touted to fill the boots of Julian Draxler, who recently left Shalke for Wolfsburg, so he does come with a bit of a price tag. I managed to get his signature for around £10million, though this was with the financial settings on ‘realistic’. His wage demands were what really got me, though, as I had to offer him a cool £35,000 to secure his signature. For some reason, EA have never really represented how much footballers are actually paid within their FIFA titles. But £35,000 is a relatively hefty price for a young player. I’ve got him set up behind Afobe and Austin, and he’s currently getting more assists than Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby have had injuries, combined.

Youri Tielemans (Anderlecht, Midfielder)

Tielemans is another goal scoring midfielder, and he ended up being the most expensive purchase for me, so far. The great thing about QPR as a team to start with on FIFA 16 is that they have more money than sense, and a few dead-weight players that you can offload for a pretty penny. I’ve gotten rid of players like Sandro and brought in players like Meyer, happy days. Anyway, I digress. Tielemans is currently seen as one of the best young players in the world, so don’t expect for him to be moving away from Anderlecht for cheap. I ended up parting with around £14million for the 18 year old – but he is worth every penny. With him and Meyer in midfield, my QPR team is nigh on unstoppable.* If I had to pick between the two, I’d probably go for Tielemans because he’s a little more versatile. Plus, you might be able to get away with grabbing him on loan for a season. And, if you can lock them down through his contract to a decent price by the end of the season, you might have saved enough money to actually afford him, and his wages, by then. If not, he’ll definitely do you no harm as a season-long loanee. EA have also brought in two year loans, as well, which could be of benefit for managers in the lower leagues who’d like to enlist the services of players like Meyer or Tielemans.

*currently playing on professional difficulty, will be bumping it up to World Class within the next few days.

Ryan Gauld (Sporting CP, Attacking Midfielder)

I decided to purchase Gauld as an ‘understudy’ to Meyer, because at just 19 he has a lot of promise. He starts on 73 overall, which is a little lower than the other players I’ve mentioned so far, but because he’s so young he has a lot of potential. The only issue with him is that he’s quite small, and the majority of players in the Championship and League 1 are pretty hefty, so he gets bullied a lot. That’s why I decided to loan him out to a French team in their first division, so that he could get a little game practice in a less violent environment. I know that it’s a computer game, so it shouldn’t really matter, but I found it difficult to get goals and assists with him because he was a little too weak for the Championship. Still, I managed to pick him up for just £4million, and I definitely think that he’s made for the higher divisions, as he’s quite David Silva-esque in his stats and style of play. He’s also two-footed, which makes him damned effective on the ball!

Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Striker)

Whilst Simon’s main position is as a striker, his pace, skill and height make him the perfect winger. Not only that, but he also has a 5 star weak foot, which makes him pretty deadly on both the right and the left wings. He only starts at 71 overall, but he’s a quick learner if you pick the right training regime for him. His speed is definitely what sets him out from the rest, and I have him on the right, in front of Hector Bellerin (from Arsenal), who is rated as one of the fastest players in the game. In all, it’s a pretty lethal combination for wing play, but he’s also pretty adept at cutting in and hitting a shot on his left; the all-round winger. I’m currently training up his crossing and passing stats to make him a little more effective on the wing – but so far, so good!

So these are the players that I’ve picked up thus far. I’ll be sure to make a follow-up article once I’ve had a season or two with these lads, to highlight some other young players and to let you know how good these ones can get! I’m still on the look out for a decent CB and a GK, other than Zouma and Scuffet, so let me know in the comments below if you have any suggestions!