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For this story I'm trying to put together a respectable squad for the newly-founded German club "Fußballverein für Gescheiterte Wunderkinder" which directly translates to "Football Club for Failed Wonderkids" if Google Translate is correct. The shortened name of the club will be "FCG Wunderkinder" and will be thrown straight into the top division of Germany with a squad filled of only failed wonderkids with the hopefully short end goal of reaching and playing in the Champions League. I need your help to build the best possible squad using only players who haven't lived up to the massive expectations that were placed on them from very young ages, let the fun begin!

Manager
Discussion
Introduction


https://i.ibb.co/7GD4yym/fcg-wunderkind.png


Fußballverein für Gescheiterte Wunderkinder (FCG Wunderkinder) will start in the German Bundesliga in the 2018/19 season with a yet-to-be-named squad of 25 (plus any players still 21 or younger) players who were previously identified as potential "wonderkids" before failing to reach their expectations in both spectacular or unspectacular fashion (from Freddy Adu to Matija Nastasic). I threw together the crude club emblem above with the Champions League ball logo to represent the final goal of the save, and I may tweak it a bit before booting up the save. For now I need your help narrowing the talent (or lack thereof) pool so I'll go from position to position with the options and y'all can feel free to contribute with the names of any flops I may have missed or anyone you'd like to see in the squad! Let's do this.
Goalkeepers


Joe Hart

https://i.ibb.co/FDdngkK/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-12-48-20-PM.png

Current Ability: 130
Potential Ability: 163

Joe Hart is a man who needs no introduction, and you are all probably familiar with his quick decline from England and Man City mainstay to Burnley backup. At one point Hart had a FIFA potential of 88, which would roughly translate to 164-174 on the Football Manager scale. Despite this, he failed to really push himself to the heights necessary to reach that level, and fell out of favor with Pep Guardiola due to his lack of footwork. He's now sitting at a 130 current ability and at 32 he won't improve further. Nevertheless Hart could certainly play backup if we can find a better flop to be our starting keeper.

Guillermo Ochoa

https://i.ibb.co/WFcjVsm/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-12-58-49-PM.png

Current Ability: 130
Potential Ability: 148

Guillermo Ochoa is another keeper who failed to reach the heights he promised at a younger age. Back in FIFA 07 his potential was amazingly 91 (176-182 in FM) and he was subsequently featured on the cover of FIFA 09. Despite all the hype, Ochoa never really played at a high level and failed to fulfill this potential and is now back in Mexico with his boyhood club America. He's currently operating at the same level as Joe Hart but is 2 years older so if it comes down to it I'll probably go with Hart as my backup keeper over Ochoa.

Simone Scuffet

https://i.ibb.co/fqXYSnN/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-1-07-20-PM.png

Current Ability: 123
Potential Ability: 147

At 23 years old, Scuffet still has time to turn his fortunes around, though it's clear he won't reach the levels that were expected of him when he first broke into the Udinese first team and impressed in 2014. As a result of his good first impression, he was awarded a potential of 88 (164-174 in FM) in FIFA but has since faltered and failed to make much more progress. He still has time to reach that 147 potential if I put him in the FCG Wunderkinder
squad so he's a very strong candidate.


Scott Carson

https://i.ibb.co/xSPyRMC/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-1-34-36-PM.png

Current Ability: 134
Potential Ability: 148

Scott Carson has become somewhat of a meme since joining Manchester City on loan from Derby to help fill City's squad registration requirements, but he was once tipped as a future star back in the mid-2000s and even boasted a 90 potential rating in FIFA 07. Clearly he failed to reach that mark and is now third-string keeper at Man City at 33 years old, which isn't a bad gig all things considered! Nevertheless, Carson's 134 current ability is higher than both Ochoa and Hart's and he's right in between them in terms of age so he's ahead of them in my book.

Emiliano Viviano

https://i.ibb.co/FznDkCY/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-1-40-28-PM.png

Current Ability: 136
Potential Ability: 144

Viviano is somewhat of a journeyman, having played for a total of 11 clubs (including Arsenal) in a respectable career. Given a potential of 88 in FIFA 09, Viviano impressed greatly early in his career as Brescia's starting goalkeeper for 3 years in Serie B in his early 20s. He then took a step up to the Serie A to become Bologna's starting keeper for 2 years and impressed enough to be signed by Inter in 2011 which is where his career began to plateau and subsequently decline. Despite this, he still has a current ability of 136 which is higher than any of the previous candidates, so he's a strong candidate to make the final squad!

Sergio Romero

https://i.ibb.co/zGr3zyj/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-1-47-17-PM.png

Current Ability: 140
Potential Ability: 146

I missed Sergio Romero in my initial search for previous wonderkid keepers but it turns out due to impressive performances with AZ Alkmaar in 2010 he was given a potential rating of 87 in FIFA (161-168 in FM) before moving to Sampdoria where his potential declined steadily. As you all likely know, Romero is now backup to David De Gea at Manchester United and has done a good job in that role which has contributed to his impressive 140 current ability. As it stands Romero will be my first choice keeper for FCG Wunderkinder.

Andrea Consigli

https://i.ibb.co/fqZ3xX9/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-1-53-15-PM.png

Current Ability: 134
Potential Ability: 145

Consigli's status as a "failed wonderkid" is questionable, as he's had a very respectable career as Atalanta's first-choice keeper from 2009-2014 and Sassuolo's since then. However, he was tipped with 86 potential (160-169) from 2008-2010 in FIFA which he certainly failed to reach. With a current ability of 134 at 32 Consigli would be ahead of Joe Hart, Guillermo Ochoa, and Scott Carson to make the final squad.

Sergio Rico

https://i.ibb.co/9ZL0Ndz/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-2-13-53-PM.png

Current Ability: 140
Potential Ability: 157

Sergio Rico is a strong option to be my first-choice keeper following his disastrous spell with Fulham in the 2018-19 Premier League season. Rico was previously expected to be a top goalkeeper, becoming Sevilla's #1 at just 21 years old and achieving a potential rating of 87 in FIFA 17 (161-168 in FM) but his development has stalled and he's now on loan at PSG where he'll play backup to Keylor Navas. Clearly this won't help his development either, so hopefully playing for FCG Wunderkinder will give Rico a new lease of life!

Jack Butland

https://i.ibb.co/hXg81xT/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-3-41-04-PM.png

Current Ability: 141
Potential Ability: 161

I'm amazed that Butland is the last keeper I could think of who failed to reach his potential, as I'd totally forgotten about him. At one point Butland possessed 89 potential on FIFA (167-174 in FM) and was largely thought to be the future England keeper, and a damn good one at that. However, due to the decline of his club Stoke City, Butland is now playing in the Championship for the second year in a row and at 26 years old it would take something special for him to hit that 89 mark. Hopefully he can revamp his career with FCG Wunderkinder!

Review


https://i.ibb.co/hXg81xT/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-3-41-04-PM.png

https://i.ibb.co/zGr3zyj/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-1-47-17-PM.png

https://i.ibb.co/fqXYSnN/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-1-07-20-PM.png


At the moment it looks like Butland, Romero, and Scuffet will be my 3 goalkeeper choices for FCG Wunderkinder. Butland and Romero will fight for the starting spot while I try to develop Scuffet to eventually overtake them as first-choice. I welcome any suggestions about other keepers who failed to live up to their expectations or any opinions at all. Let me know!
What an interesting challenge you've taken on! Freddy Adu (USA) comes to mind very first. Back in the day, in his teens, he was touted as a future star player and the older FM games pretty much reflected that expectation as well, giving him high attributes, although, I never tested how well he would fair along his simulated FM career. He's still plying his trade in some part of the world in real life. Not sure where.
What an interesting challenge you've taken on! Freddy Adu (USA) comes to mind very first. Back in the day, in his teens, he was touted as a future star player and the older FM games pretty much reflected that expectation as well, giving him high attributes, although, I never tested how well he would fair along his simulated FM career. He's still plying his trade in some part of the world in real life. Not sure where.


Yeah Freddy Adu was one of the first names I thought of as well, and I'm not sure if he'll be included in the next FM as the last club he played for was the Las Vegas Lights in 2018 but he's still in the FM 19 database so maybe I'll throw him in the squad for shits and giggles lol. His current ability's only 95 so I don't think he'd make the lineup but he'd definitely be a good mascot!
interesting concept this

Ravel Morrison even SAF said he was the best prospect he had seen at the academy ...hasnt reeached anywhere near his potential
Use the Forums for requests or questions please


https://thumbs.gfycat.com/WearyRemarkableIbex-size_restricted.gif
Right Backs


Antonio Barragan

https://i.ibb.co/fpNyWBC/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-3-52-40-PM.png

Current Ability: 126
Potential Ability: 144

Barragan was touted as a potential star back when he moved from Sevilla to Liverpool in 2005 at just 18 years old despite having never played a first team game for Sevilla. He failed to impress at Liverpool and left after just a year, joining Deportivo in La Liga where he was then given a potential of 86 in FIFA (160-169) which quickly declined as he went on to have an average, though respectable career with various clubs in La Liga. At 32, Barragan now plays for Real Betis and would provide a decent backup option for FCG Wunderkinder if I were to pick him.

Davide Santon

https://i.ibb.co/z66hyrH/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-3-58-15-PM.png

Current Ability: 137
Potential Ability: 147

Santon was a relatively high-profile wonderkid earlier in his career, and I remember he'd be my first-choice signing whenever I needed a right back in my old FIFA/FM careers. At one point he boasted a potential of 87 on FIFA (161-168 in FM) and despite spending much of his career at Inter where he was given extensive time to develop, he failed to achieve his potential and now plays for Roma as a backup right back. Perhaps Santon can find his place at FCG Wunderkinder!

Mattia De Sciglio

https://i.ibb.co/Gs4pTP3/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-4-04-02-PM.png

Current Ability: 142
Potential Ability: 151

Like Santon, De Sciglio excelled in the Serie A at a young age and was given high expectations as a result, but has since failed to reach those targets despite currently playing for Juventus. It seems like a disproportionate amount of the past wonderkids so far have been from Serie A, which may have something to do with the quality of EA's scouts covering Italy though I'm not sure. Regardless, De Sciglio has developed into a solid player but the past hype has undoubtedly stained his successful career, and he's therefore eligible for FCG Wunderkinder in my opinion!

Rafael

https://i.ibb.co/DG2Tc15/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-4-09-35-PM.png

Current Ability: 138
Potential Ability: 140

Rafael was a squad player for Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United for years and along with his brother, Fabio, was tipped as a future world-class right back. In FIFA 09 Rafael even possessed a potential of 89 (167-174) but he's clearly failed to reach that mark despite having a relatively successful spell with Lyon. With a current ability of 138 he's slightly better than Davide Santon though he's a year older, so at the moment De Sciglio and Santon will likely be my 2 right back choices.


Danilo

https://i.ibb.co/P5FZZmX/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-4-14-52-PM.png

Current Ability: 147
Potential Ability: 152

Danilo is a questionable candidate for FCG Wunderkinder, as he's played for FC Porto, Real Madrid, Manchester City, and Juventus to date. Looking at this fact alone most people would say that player has done pretty well for themself, but it's also true that Danilo seemed destined for greater things when he joined Real Madrid from Porto in 2015. He was given 87 potential in FIFA 16 but that potential has steadily declined as Danilo's development has stalled. While Danilo is undeniably a great player, he certainly isn't an 87-rated right back and can therefore be classified as a "failed wonderkid" in my opinion.

Review


https://i.ibb.co/P5FZZmX/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-4-14-52-PM.png

https://i.ibb.co/Gs4pTP3/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-4-04-02-PM.png


As it stands Danilo and Mattia De Sciglio are the 2 strongest right back options in the failed wonderkid pool, but as I said before feel free to mention any players I may have missed as I'm trying to get the most out of this save! Choosing these two will leave Juventus without a first-team right back but I think I'll leave the first transfer window open for the clubs from whom I've stolen players. So far I haven't found any failed German wonderkids to help with the registration rules, but hopefully I can find enough to fill the whole 25-man squad rather than forfeiting spaces. Schurrle, Meyer, Marin, and potentially Gotze come to mind but we're not there yet!
Center Backs


Serdar Tasci

https://i.ibb.co/8YX52fv/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-02-39-PM.png

Current Ability: 129
Potential Ability: 146

Tasci will walk into the FCG Wunderkinder squad due to his German nationality (and our lack of German options) as well as his past status as a wunderkind in Germany as he broke into the VfB Stuttgart first team in 2006 at just 19 years old. His impressive form during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons launched his FIFA potential to 89 (167-174 in FM) and he was seen as one of the best young German center backs to come through the Bundesliga at the time but his development has since stalled and declined. He's now a free agent following a brief spell with Istanbul Basaksehir, so he'll fit right into my squad.

Jeffrey Bruma

https://i.ibb.co/nj2mDHX/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-10-53-PM.png

Current Ability: 133
Potential Ability: 151

A Chelsea academy graduate, Jeffrey Bruma has struggled to fulfill his high potential in the Bundesliga, with unsuccessful spells at VfL Wolfsburg and Schalke 04 after a very successful spell with PSV in the Dutch Eredivisie from 2013-2016. Back in FIFA 11, Bruma had a potential rating of 87 (161-168 in FM) but his current ability now sits at 133. However, he speaks German and has experience playing in the Bundesliga so I believe he could be a reliable backup option along with Serdar Tasci.

Phil Jones

https://i.ibb.co/WDVq2R4/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-15-54-PM.png

Current Ability: 142
Potential Ability: 152

Back in 2013, the great Sir Alex Ferguson made an alarming declaration, stating "Jones, arguably the way he is looking, could be our best ever player. I think Jones may be one of the best players we have ever had, not matter where we play him. At 21 years of age, he is going to be a phenomenal player. I think he can play anywhere on the pitch." As you all know, Jones hasn't quite become the legend that Ferguson predicted and is now on the fringes as more of a meme than a player at this point. Despite this, with a current ability of 142 I think Jones could do a very good job in the Bundesliga and will likely be one of my starting center backs if chosen.

Chris Smalling

https://i.ibb.co/N7czZ9B/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-21-28-PM.png

Current Ability: 145
Potential Ability: 152

Along with Jones, Smalling was thought to be destined for great things under Sir Alex Ferguson, but the internal struggles that Manchester United has suffered in the years since Ferguson's retirement may have stalled both players' progress. Smalling is one of the players being pushed out of the club in the recent attempt at an overhaul, and is now on loan at Roma in similar fashion to the way Joe Hart was ousted from Manchester City. I think his strong current ability and partnership with Phil Jones could be great in the Bundesliga (it is a video game after all) so at the moment a Smalling-Jones partnership is definitely a strong contender for our final line up.

Mamadou Sakho

https://i.ibb.co/qJrPSHG/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-28-07-PM.png

Current Ability: 142
Potential Ability: 154

Coming through the ranks at PSG, Sakho broke into the first team in 2007 at just 17 years old. Naturally, he was given a massive 88 potential just a few years later, and he maintained that potential for 2 whole years before his progress began to stall. He was then sold to Liverpool (my club) in somewhat of a rollercoaster spell, before moving to Crystal Palace where he currently plays. It's safe to say he failed to reach the heights that were expected of him as a 17 year old first team player for PSG, but he could certainly do a job for FCG Wunderkind though I think I'd still prefer a Smalling-Jones partnership for better cohesion.

Matija Nastasic

https://i.ibb.co/0BjLZLX/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-34-19-PM.png

Current Ability: 146
Potential Ability: 162

I can already tell this is going to be a difficult decision when it comes down to the final cut. Matija Nastasic is a strong contender for a starting role due to his relatively high current ability and his 5 years of experience playing in the Bundesliga. Despite his solid current ability, Nastasic was touted a future star when he joined Manchester City and impressed in his first season. He's struggled to really take his game to the next level and at 26 it's unlikely that he'll reach the 88 potential he was given in FIFA 13 (164-174 in FM), but I think he'd be a great option in the left center back spot (yes, he's left-footed!).

Eliaquim Mangala

https://i.ibb.co/bsF4fQN/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-41-01-PM.png

Current Ability: 135
Potential Ability: 141

Another failed Manchester City wonderkid, Eliaquim Mangala once boasted an overall rating of 81 and a potential of 86 on FIFA. Let that sink in. He's now a rotation option at Valencia and could fill the same role at FCG Wunderkinder if I decide to choose him, though it's unlikely.

Reece Oxford

https://i.ibb.co/0QD8m8R/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-44-35-PM.png

Current Ability: 122
Potential Ability: 144

Reece Oxford is a unique candidate, as he's still only 20 years old while most of the other failed wonderkids are in their primes (or should be in their primes at their age) or older. However, it's clear that he's struggled since becoming the Premier League's youngest ever player at just 16 years old (later beaten by Harvey Elliott). Once boasting a FIFA potential of 86 (160-169 in FM) as a promising West Ham starlet, he now plays for FC Augsburg in the Bundesliga where he's trying to kickstart his development. As he wouldn't need to be registered in the first season, Oxford has already officially made the FCG Wunderkinder squad!

Jairo Riedewald

https://i.ibb.co/qRpmHQf/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-50-45-PM.png

Current Ability: 126
Potential Ability: 149

With the addition of Riedewald to this list, I'm noticing a trend in Crystal Palace's recruitment. Some of you may have noticed this before but Crystal Palace seems to be emulating what I'm trying to do with FCG Wunderkinder, by recruiting failed wonderkids excessively. They've got Sakho, Riedewald, Meyer, and Benteke to name a few (they will all be featured on this list) so it seems Palace may be down to bare bones once we're done with them! Riedewald made a name for himself at Ajax at a very young age and at one point he possessed a potential rating of 86 on FIFA, but his development has stalled since joining Crystal Palace and his future doesn't appear as bright as before. However, at 22 years old he's a very strong contender for FCG Wunderkinder as he could still reach a solid ability level and he'd provide much-needed depth in several positions.

Mauricio Lemos

https://i.ibb.co/s2DSTd4/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-58-29-PM.png

Current Ability: 126
Potential Ability: 145

Lemos is another relatively young option who could provide backup while he continues his development. If it comes down to it I'll probably choose Riedewald over Lemos but I thought Lemos was worth mentioning because of his ridiculously high recent potential in FIFA. In FIFA 17 Lemos was given 88 potential (164-174 in FM) after impressing for Las Palmas, and in just 2 years that potential has fallen to 79 (135-145 in FM), a figure that FM seems to agree with. As I said before, Lemos likely won't make the final cut but was worth mentioning nonetheless.

Eric Bailly

https://i.ibb.co/vdqGs4T/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-6-03-24-PM.png

Current Ability: 145
Potential Ability: 161

It seems Manchester United and Crystal Palace could be major contributors to the final FCG Wunderkinder squad, which I suppose could be good for the dressing room and overall team cohesion. It's sort of a frightening prospect though, isn't it? Anyway, Eric Bailly's spell at Manchester United has exactly panned out the way he must've expected when he joined in 2016. At that time he boasted a FIFA potential of 87 (161-168 in FM) and looked destined to solve Manchester United's defensive woes once and for all. Obviously that didn't happen and Bailly seems to be somewhat mirroring Sakho's spell with Liverpool during their difficult time. Bailly certainly makes my final decision difficult, with Nastasic, Jones, Smalling, and Sakho all providing strong options to be my starting center backs.

Review


https://i.ibb.co/0BjLZLX/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-34-19-PM.png

https://i.ibb.co/vdqGs4T/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-6-03-24-PM.png

https://i.ibb.co/N7czZ9B/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-21-28-PM.png

https://i.ibb.co/8YX52fv/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-02-39-PM.png

https://i.ibb.co/qRpmHQf/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-50-45-PM.png

https://i.ibb.co/0QD8m8R/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-44-35-PM.png


My current 6 choices for center back in my pre-determined pecking order are Nastasic, Bailly, Smalling, Tasci, Riedewald, and Oxford. Nastasic and Bailly will start as I believe they could both still improve marginally, while Smalling will play a rotation role along with Tasci. I'll try to develop Riedewald and Oxford to reach their full potentials though it may be difficult with that much competition in the center of the park. Let me know what you think or who you'd choose!
interesting concept this

Ravel Morrison even SAF said he was the best prospect he had seen at the academy ...hasnt reeached anywhere near his potential


Yeah Fergie said that about Jones too! Crazy, I think Morrison will get an honorable mention when I get to the center midfielders but I don't think he'll be good enough for the final cut
Freddy Guarin, Colombian central midfielder who was one of the best on the game a few years back. Never reached his 'virtual' potential in real life and may well be playing in China at the moment.
http://www.liveonlineradio.net/wp-content/themes/Music_Covers/images/music2.gif -------- http://rs648.pbsrc.com/albums/uu204/JeWeL1980_photos/7505xjc54lf3np.gif~c200 -------- http://www.liveonlineradio.net/wp-content/themes/Music_Covers/images/music2.gif
Freddy Guarin, Colombian central midfielder who was one of the best on the game a few years back. Never reached his 'virtual' potential in real life and may well be playing in China at the moment.


Ah good call, I hadn't thought of him. There's a few players in China that I'll be looking at for this squad like El Shaarawy, it's so interesting seeing where all these wonderkids ended up
Left Backs


Fabio

https://i.ibb.co/mN4cych/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-10-52-22-AM.png

Current Ability: 123
Potential Ability: 132

Like his twin brother Rafael, Fabio was signed and developed by Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United; but unlike Rafael, Fabio failed to break through into the first team and was subsequently sold to Cardiff. He now plays for FC Nantes and hasn't come close to reaching the 87 potential he was given back in FIFA 11. He could potentially operate as a backup for my FCG Wunderkinder squad, but it's unlikely as there will probably be better options.

Fabio Coentrao

https://i.ibb.co/x1bRGrq/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-10-54-57-AM.png

Current Ability: 138
Potential Ability: 150

Fabio Coentrao broke into the Benfica first team at 21 years old and impressed enough to be signed by Real Madrid for €30m in 2011. He was then given a potential of 86 from FIFA 11 to FIFA 13 before his development stalled and his career declined. He returned to his boyhood club Rio Ave once his contract was finally terminated by Real Madrid in 2018, but he has since left the club and is now a free agent at 31 years old. Makes me wonder why Liverpool didn't sign him as backup! With a current ability of 138 I believe Coentrao could still do a job so he's certainly a stronger candidate than Fabio.

Luke Shaw

https://i.ibb.co/D4vtw16/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-10-57-39-AM.png

Current Ability: 146
Potential Ability: 152

Luke Shaw adds to the growing number of Manchester United players featured on this list (Sergio Romero, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, who's next?). Shaw came through the esteemed Southampton academy where he greatly impressed as one of the most promising left backs in not just the league but the entire world. At one point Shaw even possessed a potential of 89 on FIFA 16, but his progress has been marred by injury problems, weight issues, and internal club struggles that you're probably all very aware of. At 24 years old, Shaw still has time to push his development further but it's clear he'll never be the 89-rated monster that Manchester United and England fans had hoped for. Despite this, he'd fit in perfectly at FCG Wunderkinder with his former teammates Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling, and Sergio Romero.

Theo Hernandez

https://i.ibb.co/wgVcPBd/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-10-59-04-AM.png

Current Ability: 138
Potential Ability: 152

Just 2 years ago, Theo Hernandez was seen as one of the brightest left back prospects in the world along with his brother Lucas Hernandez, but his poor attitude and work ethic saw him fall out with Real Madrid and his development has suffered since he signed for the club in 2017 for €24m. In those two years when he could've been taking his game to the next level, Hernandez has seemingly taken a step back in his development and has now signed for A.C. Milan (for €4m less than he joined Real) where he will try to fix his damaged career. At just 21 years old, I think Hernandez will reach that 152 potential ability at FCG Wunderkinder so I will more than likely choose him as one of my final 2 left backs.

Jetro Willems

https://i.ibb.co/j6NVfSD/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-11-02-48-AM.png

Current Ability: 136
Potential Ability: 149

I remember Jetro Willems from my FIFA career mode days. He was a powerful wing back who could do it all really, and he was a guaranteed future beast every time I'd start a new career. Nowadays Willems plays for Steve Bruce's Newcastle United on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt, and isn't anywhere near the 86 potential he had as recently as FIFA 17. He could operate as a reliable backup option for FCG Wunderkinder, but at the moment Shaw and Hernandez are the two front-runners.

Layvin Kurzawa

https://i.ibb.co/MPtt83L/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-11-03-59-AM.png

Current Ability: 141
Potential Ability: 145

Perhaps Liverpool's extensive left back woes during their dark ages were what put me so in tune with the up-and-coming left backs in the football world. Every year I'd start up my FIFA career mode or FM save using Liverpool and the first signing I'd make was a promising left back. Luke Shaw, Theo Hernandez, Jetro Willems, and Layvin Kurzawa have all featured for my past Liverpools and have all failed to excel in the same way they did for my various Liverpool teams (clearly they picked the wrong clubs!). Layvin Kurzawa seems to have fallen out of favor at PSG, despite having boasted a potential of 88 in FIFA 16, a rating that would've made him the best left back in the world. I believe he's still a solid player, but Luke Shaw appears to be the better option to be a starter and Theo Hernandez's age puts him ahead of Kurzawa in my book.

Ricardo Rodriguez

https://i.ibb.co/09Q6FyN/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-11-07-30-AM.png

Current Ability: 145
Potential Ability: 156

Ricardo Rodriguez has actually had a very respectable career so far, but I can't help think about what would've been if he had reached his given 87 potential and became the world-beater that FM and FIFA communities around the Internet had expected for so many years. At 26 years old, Rodriguez's development seems to have hit a ceiling of 145, which is certainly short of the mark I expected him to reach at this point in his career. Nevertheless, Rodriguez is a strong contender for my left back spot as he seems less injury-prone than Luke Shaw and my next option.

Benjamin Mendy

https://i.ibb.co/mzQ6wsM/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-11-08-55-AM.png

Current Ability: 148
Potential Ability: 160

Yes, the most injury-prone of them all. And yet Benjamin Mendy is the best choice available to me for the starting left-back spot. This will be a difficult decision. Benjamin Mendy joined Manchester City in July 2017 and was given a potential of 86 due to his impressive spell with AS Monaco. He has since featured in just 17 Premier League matches of a possible 80 and it's clear that injuries have hampered his progress. With the introduction of Angelino to the Manchester City squad and some very impressive form by Zinchenko, Mendy is definitely not where he thought he'd be when he joined the club for a massive £52m. It'd be a gamble to choose him as my starting left back as his injuries could make him an unreliable choice, but his high current ability and potential make him a very strong contender.

Review


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With an abundance of options this has been my most difficult decision yet, but I've decided on Benjamin Mendy and Theo Hernandez for now. Mendy will be my starting left back, though his injury-proneness will provide many opportunities for Theo Hernandez to step in and continue his development for us. Who would you guys choose?
Defensive Midfielders


Johannes Geis

https://i.ibb.co/4WdsxL5/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-4-01-15-PM.png

Current Ability: 132
Potential Ability: 147

Johannes Geis will join Serdar Tasci in fulfilling the minimum German player quota for the squad registration, which is 12. I don't believe I'll reach this mark but the maximum number of players that can be registered is 99 so I don't think it'll be a big deal if we have to forfeit some spaces lol. Geis entered the spotlight after impressing for Mainz in the Bundesliga from 2013-2015 and was given a FIFA potential of 86 (160-169 in FM) before being sold to Schalke for €12 million. His progress has suffered since and he now plays for FC Nurnberg following a brief 6-month stint in the second half of the season with FC Koln. With a current ability of 132 and still some time to improve further, in addition to his German nationality, Geis is a fine candidate for FCG Wunderkinder.

Nuri Sahin

https://i.ibb.co/rbzv8N6/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-4-03-35-PM.png

Current Ability: 139
Potential Ability: 148

Nuri Sahin may also contribute to the minimum German player requirement as he was born in Germany, though he has declared for Turkey so I'm not sure how that will affect his registration. Nuri Sahin came through the ranks at Borussia Dortmund, being hailed as a "wunderkind" since he was a teenager, and he came very close to fulfilling his potential until joining Real Madrid where his career began to slide downhill. At one point he had an overall rating of 85 on FIFA (151-161 on FM) with a potential of 88 (164-174 on FM), and now he sits far from those figures with a current ability of 139 in FM. As Sahin may contribute to the German player quota, I think I may include him in the final squad but I'm still looking for someone better who could start ahead of him.

Yann M'Vila

https://i.ibb.co/TRkRySh/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-4-04-04-PM.png

Current Ability: 136
Potential Ability: 140

Yann M'Vila showed real promise when he came through the Stade Rennais academy, securing a starting role in the first team in Ligue 1 at just 19 years old. He held that spot for 3 and a half years before being sold to Rubin Kazan in Russia. Due to a dispute with the Rubin Kazan coach caused by M'Vila returning to France and skipping the club's training camp, probably along with several other factors, M'Vila's development suffered and he failed to reach the 86 potential he was once given by FIFA. He's still a solid player in his prime, however, and our lack of options makes him a candidate for sure.

Review


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I struggled to find many defensive midfielders that fit the criteria so as it stands Nuri Sahin and Johannes Geis are the two likely choices for the defensive midfield role. I considered Douglas Luiz but decided he's more of a box to box midfielder and still has time to get his development back on track. I also considered Lars Bender who would've been perfect to put in the heart of the FCG Wunderkinder midfield but I think it'd be harsh to classify Bender as a "failed wonderkid" as he's made over 224 league appearances for Bayer Leverkusen and is now their captain so I decided against including him in the pool. Can any of you guys think of any better options than Nuri Sahin? I'm trying lol
Freddy Adu immediately springs to mind. But very interesting challenge you've got going here, am interested to see where it takes you
Can any of you guys think of any better options than Nuri Sahin? I'm trying lol


Maybe Michael Johnson of Man City?
Center Midfielders


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

https://i.ibb.co/qMct5w3/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-12-06-46-PM.png

Current Ability: 147
Potential Ability: 154

Oxlade-Chamberlain is one that rings close to home, as Ox now plays for my favorite club Liverpool. Like several other names on this list, Ox came through the Southampton academy as a lightning-fast right midfielder with great technique, attributes which ensured interest from the top 6 of England and ultimately led to his signing for Arsenal. Ox made a total of 132 Prem appearances for Arsenal over 7 seasons but failed to make the progress that he had hoped to achieve under Arsene Wenger, and decided to join the great Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool where he has since experienced somewhat of a rollercoaster ride with a great debut season capped with a horrid Champions League final loss to Real Madrid, a nightmare second season spent on the sidelines and capped with a Champions League trophy/medal, and a slow start to his third so far. Ox would provide some pace and flair in the midfield if I recruited him for FCG Wunderkinder, and there's a good chance he'll make the final squad.

Riechedly Bazoer

https://i.ibb.co/gtgPQ20/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-11-58-33-AM.png

Current Ability: 134
Potential Ability: 154

A Dutch wonderkid, Riechedly Bazoer attracted Ajax's attention from a very young age, joining from PSV in 2012 when he was just 15 years old and gaining massive attention as Holland's "next star". Bazoer's development. I'm not sure exactly what went wrong with his development, and at one point Bazoer boasted a FIFA potential of 88 (164-174 in FM) but it's becoming clear that Bazoer won't reach that mark. While on loan at FC Porto, Bazoer was reportedly forced to play for the B team due to repeated injuries and lack of discipline, so these issues may have caused his original decline. Regardless, Bazoer is still only 22 years old and has time to reach his respectable 154 potential so there's a good chance he'll make the final cut.

Andre Gomes

https://i.ibb.co/9yTmg1S/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-12-25-34-PM.png

Current Ability: 144
Potential Ability: 151

There seems to be an abundance of failed wonderkids in the center midfield department, which is great news for FCG Wunderkinder. Andre Gomes joined and graduated from the Benfica academy at 18, and worked his way into the fringes of the first team before being sold to Valencia where he became a starter at just 21 years old. He impressed so much that Barcelona bought him for €35 million plus €20 million in add-ons, and he did so well in his first season that he was given an overall rating of 84 in FIFA (149-159) and a potential of 90 (171-179). He seemed to have struggled for confidence during his second season and was subsequently loaned to Everton, to whom he was later sold for about half the price Barca paid. Clearly he won't become the Barcelona legend that was briefly expected of him, but Gomes could slot right into the box-to-box midfield role or really whatever role I decide as he has very well-rounded attributes. We'll have to see if he's still good enough to make the final cut.

Renato Sanches

https://i.ibb.co/6sZpRMD/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-12-33-43-PM.png

Current Ability: 137
Potential Ability: 162

There have been a few players that I've left out of this list due to their young ages and potential to turn things around, but Renato Sanches is a very high-profile flop and despite still only being 21 years old (just turned 22 in real life), his future doesn't appear as bright as it once did. Sanches came through the esteemed Benfica academy, playing there from the ages of 9-18 before breaking into the first team as a 19 year old starlet with bags of potential, so much so that Bayern decided to buy the kid for a whopping total of €80 million (including all add-ons). He was then awarded the European Golden Boy award in October of 2016, launching his FIFA potential up to 90 (171-179 in FM), but his development has declined since then and he recently signed for Lille for just €25 million. I think Lille is a great project at the moment and he's made a good career move by joining them, but I doubt Sanches will reach the heights that the football world had originally hoped for and therefore he qualifies for (and will likely make) the FCG Wunderkinder squad.

Andre Horta

https://i.ibb.co/Wpcnss4/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-12-42-47-PM.png

Current Ability: 129
Potential Ability: 152

I'm noticing a trend here with Portuguese center midfielders failing to reach their potentials, and Andre Horta seems like another one. Horta's career has taken some strange turns, such as a one year spell with LAFC which started off with a back pass resulting in the opposite team scoring the final equalizing goal. His career seems to have gone downhill from that moment, seeing his previously high FIFA potential and overall rating fall significantly before being sold to Braga only a year later for just $2.5m (half the price of the fee LAFC spent on him). Like Renato Sanches, Horta is still young and has plenty of time to reach his respectable potential of 152, so there's a fair chance Horta could make the final squad.

Emre Can

https://i.ibb.co/WDQmMYd/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-12-52-39-PM.png

Current Ability: 150
Potential Ability: 159

I'm sure when Emre Can left Liverpool to join Juventus it seemed like the next logical step in his career to finally break through and reach his full potential, but it seems he may have already done that at Liverpool. Can now finds himself on the fringes of the Juventus squad, behind Pjanic, Khedira, Ramsey, Matuidi, Bentancur, and Rabiot in the pecking order. He was actually left out of Juventus's Champions League squad this season after they failed to sell him during the summer transfer window, and will now spend most of the season on the bench which definitely won't help his development. As a German national, Can would make a great addition to the FCG Wunderkinder squad and could even be an option for my captain. We'll see, but I can say with full confidence that Emre Can will make the final squad.

Jack Wilshere

https://i.ibb.co/9NCG6r6/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-1-02-34-PM.png

Current Ability: 139
Potential Ability: 157

Because what would a failed wonderkids list be without Jack Wilshere? Lol, though Wilshere doesn't appear to be good enough to beat out the other former wonderkids for a starting spot on FCG Wunderkinder, I think Wilshere could potentially play a backup or rotation role for us, though his injury-proneness could cause problems for us as it has for his development as a player. Wilshere seemed like the next great England player when he broke into the Arsenal first team in the 2008-09 season. He was given a FIFA potential of 90 (171-179 in FM) which stuck for quite a while, but injuries hampered his progress and he now plays for West Ham United, where his extensive injury problems have continued. Is he worth another chance?

Alan Dzagoev

https://i.ibb.co/HKbP3xP/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-1-07-48-PM.png

Current Ability: 134
Potential Ability: 140

Dzagoev was awarded "Best Young Player" in the Russian Premier League in his debut season at just 16 years old. Obviously the "wonderkid" talk soon followed after such an achievement, and Dzagoev was later awarded a potential of 90 in FIFA 10. Despite being regarded as a "star" in his native North Ossetia, Dzagoev has failed to become a world-beater and has instead become somewhat of a CSKA Moscow legend, with over 300 total appearances for the club since joining back in 2008. With a current ability of 134, Dzagoev could play a backup or rotation role for FCG Wunderkinder, so I'll certainly consider him.

Fabian Delph

https://i.ibb.co/C8GMz4Y/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-1-15-31-PM.png

Current Ability: 140
Potential Ability: 149

There seems to be an abundance of English center midfielders on this list, and Delph adds to that group as somewhat of a sell-out. Delph was once regarded as a potential future star, maintaining a potential of 86 on FIFA for over 2 years while at Aston Villa, but his slow development saw him fail to reach this target and instead joined Manchester City to fill their squad registration requirements as an English player back in 2015. God knows how much this man was paid to warm the bench for them but now he has a chance to redeem himself for FCG Wunderkinder!

Ross Barkley

https://i.ibb.co/ZJXqZFh/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-1-21-41-PM.png

Current Ability: 145
Potential Ability: 155

Barkley is yet another English option for my center midfield pool, as his progress has stalled since joining Chelsea in January of last year (2018). Back in FIFA 17, Barkley actually had 89 potential (167-174 in FM) and looked to be on track with his development at Everton, but he's now a squad player at Chelsea and it seems he won't ever quite be "world-class" as many Everton fans probably hoped back in the day. I think playing under Frank Lampard could be really good for Barkley IRL, but playing under me for FCG Wunderkinder would be a life-changing privilege for him so hopefully for his sake I choose him lol.

Anderson

https://i.ibb.co/yfKSBvL/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-1-30-02-PM.png

Current Ability: 105
Potential Ability: 155

This is more of an honorable mention than anything else, but I figured I'd include Anderson on this list as he was a very high-profile flop during his time at Sir Alex Ferguson's dominant Manchester United. Anderson joined Manchester United back in 2007, and though his work permit application was originally rejected, it was later approved on appeal because of the “exceptional talent he will bring to the Premier League”. Born in the same city as the legendary (yet also notably an underachiever) Ronaldinho, Anderson's journey to the top was followed by a rapid decline caused by injury problems, lack of commitment, personal issues, you name it. At 31 years old, Anderson now plays for Adana Demirspor in the second tier of Turkey. Probably not quite where he thought he'd end up.

Review


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My current top 4 choices for the final squad are Can, Ox, Sanches, and Bazoer. Can and Ox would be my primary starting partnership, with Sanches and Bazoer rotating in behind them in the pecking order to continue their development. This was a very difficult choice as there are many solid options in this position, but I figured I'd go with the 2 strongest and the 2 youngest options. I still haven't decided if I'll go with defensive midfielders or attacking midfielders for my final formation, so I'll be going over the attacking midfielders available to me in the next post.
Maybe Michael Johnson of Man City?


Lol damn is Michael Johnson still around?? Seems like ages ago I've heard anything about him
Attacking Midfielders


Ryad Boudebouz

https://i.ibb.co/v4G3rNh/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-3-06-52-PM.png

Current Ability: 135
Potential Ability: 140

Ryad Boudebouz broke into the Sochaux first team in Ligue 1 at just 18 years old, and became a regular starter afterwards due to his impressive talent at such a young age. Naturally the hype followed, with EA setting his potential at 86 (160-169 in FM) which lasted for 2 years until his progress slowed. Like many of the failed wonderkids on this list, Boudebouz peaked at a young age and his career since has been respectable but somewhat forgettable when compared with what could've been. Boudebouz now plays for AS Saint-Etienne after an unsuccessful spell with Real Betis, but with a current ability of 135 Boudebouz could still play a backup role for me in the CAM spot.

Javier Pastore

https://i.ibb.co/PgsZh2c/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-3-21-45-PM.png

Current Ability: 145
Potential Ability: 159

Pastore attracted attention from a number of big clubs such as Manchester United, Porto, Milan, and Chelsea before moving to Palermo from Argentine club Huracan. He then established himself very quickly as one of their best players despite his young age, and was given a potential of 90 (171-179 in FM) back in FIFA 11, roughly 4 months before he signed for PSG for €39.8m. This is where he somewhat plateaued and failed to become the world-class player that PSG had expected when they signed him. Pastore now plays for AS Roma but has struggled to assert himself in the squad despite his relatively high ability. Pastore could be a top contender for the starting CAM role in my lineup, but I'll keep looking to see if I kind find any slightly better options.

Renato Augusto

https://i.ibb.co/QpvZ8cK/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-3-30-33-PM.png

Current Ability: 146
Potential Ability: 159

Augusto was (and may still be) regarded as one of the best products of Brazilian club Flamengo's youth academy in recent years, but I'm certainly not alone in thinking Augusto could've achieved much more if he had fulfilled the potential that was expected of him when he joined Bayer Leverkusen back in 2008. When I first started playing FM on the FM mobile versions, Augusto was always one of my first transfer targets as one of the brightest young prospects in the world at that time. Back in FIFA 10, Augusto was given a potential of 88 (164-174 in FM) and though I don't know exactly what his potential was in FM at the time, he always became a world-class player in each of my saves. Augusto's story is unique from the other wonderkids, though, as he seemed on track to have quite an illustrious career until he decided to leave Bayer Leverkusen to return to Brazil at the age of 24 due to homesickness, right when he should've been taking the next step up to take his game to the next level. Clearly this had an effect on his development and after 3 years he signed for Beijing Guoan, which is odd considering his homesickness but I suppose the money must've been enough to convince him. Regardless, Augusto still possesses great ability and could make a triumphant return to Germany by helping FCG Wunderkinder achieve Champions League qualification.

Manuel Lanzini

https://i.ibb.co/FJwwYBR/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-3-41-41-PM.png

Current Ability: 140
Potential Ability: 160

Lanzini came through the highly respected River Plate academy in his native Argentina before making an odd career move to join Al Jazira Club in the UAE at just 21, despite interest from numerous European clubs. He then joined West Ham on loan before making the deal permanent the following summer, and has since had an impressive spell in the Prem, attracting further interest from top clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United over the past few years. However, Lanzini spent most of last season on the sidelines and though he's featuring once again for the West Ham first team, it's hard to imagine that at 26 Lanzini will improve much more to reach the 87 potential (161-168 in FM) that was once given to him. Lanzini is around the same level as Renato Augusto and Javier Pastore, and due to his younger age he could potentially beat out both of them to make the final squad, we'll see.

Ganso

https://i.ibb.co/9pb1nZw/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-3-50-46-PM.png

Current Ability: 138
Potential Ability: 158

Like Renato Augusto, Ganso broke out as a "wonderkid" around the time when I first started playing FM and I distinctly remember recruiting him for my legendary FM 2011 Liverpool team. Ganso really broke through in 2009, making 33 appearances for Santos at just 20 years old and subsequently being nominated for the Brazilian Football Confederation award for "Breakthrough Player" of the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, given to the best rookie of the competition. His development somewhat stagnated after that, failing to feature as much for Santos before moving to Sao Paulo in 2012 where he stayed until 2016 before finally taking the leap to Europe to sign for Sevilla. He struggled to get into the team at Sevilla and has since returned to Brazil, potentially for the same reasons as Renato Augusto. If Ganso moved to Europe after that impressive 2009 season, I think he'd have gotten much closer to the 89 (167-174 in FM) potential he was once given in FIFA. He now plays for Fluminense but with a current ability of 138 he could provide a solid backup option for me in the CAM position.

Mario Gotze

https://i.ibb.co/MDZ8g2z/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-4-00-27-PM.png

Current Ability: 151
Potential Ability: 173

Gotze is first player on this list to hold a current ability rating of over 150 in FM, and therefore has already made the team by default! His German nationality will also help with the squad registration quota, so I think I'll go with a 4-2-3-1 formation rather than my preferred 4-1-4-1 due to the better options in the CAM position than the CDM role. Gotze was expected to be one of the best players in the world after breaking into the impressive Borussia Dortmund first team under Jurgen Klopp in 2009 when he was only 17 years old. His progress continued after he signed for Bayern for €37 million, making him the second most expensive German player to date at just 21 years old, and his development seemingly climaxed with his late winner in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final, cementing his name in German history at just 22 years old. At this time, the hype around him was still huge, with a potential of 92 (189 in FM) looming over his head. The 2014-15 season then began without giving him much of a breather, and he seemingly struggled to regain his form and make any improvement in his game which led to heavy criticism from Franz Beckenbauer over his "lack of determination". After falling down the pecking order at Bayern under Pep Guardiola, Gotze moved back to Borussia Dortmund where he has since plateaued as a solid first team player for the club, far from the world-class star that Dortmund fans had hoped for when he broke into the team at 17. Though many of you probably already know this story, I just thought it was interesting how quickly Gotze's world was turned upside-down.

Maximilian Meyer

https://i.ibb.co/xXxVnDd/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-4-21-01-PM.png

Current Ability: 139
Potential Ability: 151

Meyer was touted as a future star when he became a regular first team player for Schalke at just 18 years old, and was handed a potential of 87 (161-168 in FM) back in FIFA 14 as a result. However, Meyer's development since joining Crystal Palace has stalled, and questions about his attitude and professionalism seem to have cemented his status as a failed wonderkid despite his young age. Still, at 23 (almost 24), Meyer still has time to improve and with a decent current ability and potential as well as the fact that he's German, he would make a great backup for Gotze for my final squad.

Giovani dos Santos

https://i.ibb.co/sK31nS5/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-4-30-15-PM.png

Current Ability: 132
Potential Ability: 150

Giovani dos Santos came through Barcelona's academy, La Masia, and featured heavily in his debut season for the club in the 2007-08 season when he was only 18 years old, so expectations were high when he joined Tottenham Hotspur for €6 million in 2008. However, dos Santos only managed to make 17 league appearances over 4 years with the club, and despite several loan spells dos Santos failed to improve much during his time with Spurs before moving to Mallorca in 2012. dos Santos has since had several successful years in Spain and the U.S., and now plays for America in Mexico. With a current ability of 132, dos Santos is good enough to play a backup role for me but due to the better options in the squad it's unlikely that he'll make the cut.

Bojan

https://i.ibb.co/Gd3TvVB/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-5-21-42-PM.png

Current Ability: 128
Potential Ability: 146

Like dos Santos, Bojan came through the La Masia academy but was undoubtedly more hyped than dos Santos when he broke into the Barcelona first team at just 17 years old, beating Messi's record to become the youngest Barcelona player to feature in a La Liga match (actually coming on for dos Santos as a 78' substitution). This was quite an achievement, and Bojan was deservedly given a potential of 92 (189 in FM) back in FIFA 09 which began to decline in FIFA 10 as he failed to work his way up the Barcelona pecking order. He then joined Roma and has struggled to find a home since, now playing for Montreal Impact in the MLS following a mixed spell with Stoke City. With a current ability of 128, Bojan isn't quite good enough for FCG Wunderkinder but I couldn't leave Bojan out of this list as he's one of the first names that comes to mind in the "failed wonderkids" discussion.

Ravel Morrison

https://i.ibb.co/WW0xNq1/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-4-21-28-PM.png

Current Ability: 125
Potential Ability: 138

When Morrison came through the Manchester United academy back in 2009, Sir Alex Ferguson reportedly "thought he was the best player he had seen at that age" according to Rio Ferdinand, and his high natural ability led EA to give him a potential of 84 (149-159) which isn't exactly world-class but is still a very high level compared to where Morrison is at now. Multiple assault charges and various disciplinary issues have stunted Morrison's career, but he's been given a chance to resurrect his career by Chris Wilder after joining Sheffield United from Swedish club Ostersunds FK over the summer. With a current ability of just 125, Morrison won't make the FCG Wunderkinder squad but I felt he deserved an honorable mention.

Ryan Gauld

https://i.ibb.co/C7Ls24M/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-4-52-19-PM.png

Current Ability: 112
Potential Ability: 140

Another honorable mention, Ryan Gauld made waves in the FM community following his breakout season with Dundee United in the Scottish Premiership in the 2013-14 season at just 17 years old. Despite interest from Manchester United, Everton, Liverpool, and even Real Madrid, Gauld joined Sporting CP in 2014 and his development has gone somewhat backwards since then. Gauld now plays for Portuguese club Farense in the second division of Portugal, likely far from where he thought he'd be at this stage. With a current ability of just 112, Gauld wouldn't get anywhere near the first team for FCG Wunderkinder, but I thought he was worth mentioning due to his huge popularity among FM players back when he was first touted as "the Scottish Messi" (yes that was actually a thing).

Review


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https://i.ibb.co/xXxVnDd/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-4-21-01-PM.png


Despite the extensive options in the CAM position, Gotze and Meyer were relatively easy choices due to their relative abilities, ages, and nationality. Gotze will play the starting CAM role for FCG Wunderkinder and Meyer will play backup while also rotating into the midfield behind Gotze to continue his development. Barring any late mix-ups, Gotze and Meyer will be my 2 options ahead of the others listed above and the defensive midfielders I wrote about before (Nuri Sahin and Johannes Geis).
Right Wingers


Alen Halilovic

https://i.ibb.co/0fhCwF0/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-3-57-45-PM.png

Current Ability: 125
Potential Ability: 146

Alen Halilovic is a fairly recent wonderkid flop, having made his professional debut for Dinamo Zagreb during the 2012-13 season at just 16 years old and impressing so much that Barcelona decided to buy him for €2.2m in 2014. Halilovic looked to be on track to become the "Croatian Messi" when he first joined Barca, at one point being awarded a potential of 91 in FIFA (176-182 in FM) before his controlling father and a "crippling injury" severely stunted his development. Halilovic currently plays for Dutch Eredivisie side SC Heerenveen, on loan from A.C. Milan following a brief spell on loan at Standard Liege in Belgium during the second half of last season. At 23 years old, he could still improve and potentially reach a decent level of 146 so Halilovic is certainly a decent option for my backup right winger.

Erik Lamela

https://i.ibb.co/GH8fBFZ/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-00-45-PM.png

Current Ability: 142
Potential Ability: 150

Erik Lamela became a regular starter for his boyhood club River Plate at just 18 years old before being signed by AS Roma for €12m in 2011. After a solid first season and a spectacular second season in which he scored 15 league goals in 33 appearances (more than he's scored in 129 league appearances for Spurs), Lamela was signed by Tottenham for a club record £25.8m plus £4.2m in bonuses. Out of curiosity I calculated what that value would equate to in today's market and in total this transfer would cost ~£60.3m. So while Lamela has held down a playing role for Spurs for years and contributed many great moments, I think it's safe to say he hasn't quite fulfilled the potential that was expected of him when he moved to the club. However, Lamela's high current ability and versatility make him a strong option for a spot in the final FCG Wunderkinder squad.

Levin Oztunali

https://i.ibb.co/265f5rT/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-02-01-PM.png

Current Ability: 133
Potential Ability: 143

Oztunali came through the Hamburger SV academy, but was signed by rivals Bayer Leverkusen before making his senior debut for the latter club in 2013 at just 17 years old, making him the youngest player to make a Bundesliga appearance in the club's history. After making 9 league appearances that season, Oztunali was voted 2nd best U18 player in the league behind Julian Brandt, so it's understandable that he was later given a potential of 86 in FIFA 15 (160-169 in FM). Despite this promising start to his career, Oztunali failed to progress enough to earn a place in the Leverkusen first team, and now plays for Mainz with his future appearing slightly dimmer. At 23, I believe Oztunali still has time to grow and as a German national there's a very good chance he'll be my backup right winger.

Juan Iturbe

https://i.ibb.co/JmzdL36/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-07-05-PM.png

Current Ability: 124
Potential Ability: 150

Iturbe stood out as a young player in Paraguay, and was awarded a FIFA potential of 88 (164-174 in FM) when he joined FC Porto following his 18th birthday. After failing to break into the Porto team, Iturbe moved to Hellas Verona on loan where he featured regularly and was subsequently bought by AS Roma just weeks after permanently signing for Hellas Verona. At this time his potential hadn't fallen but irregular playtime and a series of unsuccessful loan stints have since stunted his development and he now appears to have gone backwards somewhat, now playing for Pumas in Mexico on loan from Roma. With a current ability of just 124, Iturbe is more of an honorable mention than a serious candidate for a spot in the final squad at this point.

Xherdan Shaqiri

https://i.ibb.co/BCtQ3pX/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-09-04-PM.png

Current Ability: 149
Potential Ability: 155

In the spirit of transparency, I'm slightly biased toward picking Shaqiri as my starting right winger as a Liverpool fan. I'd also love to see Shaqiri and Gotze back in the same side, tearing up the Bundesliga. Shaqiri broke into the FC Basel first team at just 17, attracting interest from several European clubs before signing for Bayern Munich for €11.6m. He struggled to hold down a regular role for the club and after 3 years moved to Inter Milan for €15m. At this time his stock hadn't fallen much, but this was certainly a step down for him before he took yet another step down to join Stoke City the following season for £12m. He spent arguably the most important developmental years of his career fighting relegation battles, which I believe stunted his progress and had he played for Jurgen Klopp rather than Mark Hughes, perhaps things would be different. As it stands, Shaqiri plays backup to Mohamed Salah and understandably struggles for game-time as a result, but I think Shaqiri deserves a starting spot for a Champions League club and hopefully I can give him that at FCG Wunderkinder.

Adnan Januzaj

https://i.ibb.co/Fnv93wn/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-11-48-PM.png

Current Ability: 144
Potential Ability: 155

Januzaj complicates things a bit, as I want to choose Shaqiri as my starting right winger but I believe Januzaj would be the better theoretical choice if he were to fulfill his potential completely. Januzaj broke into the first team at Manchester United under David Moyes, and spent several years seeing his minutes reduced during the turbulent early phase of Manchester United's downfall. Januzaj has since found a home in Real Sociedad, where he's developed into a solid right winger. At 24, he still has time to improve but I'm not sure if it's enough to convince me to choose him over Shaqiri.

Lazar Markovic

https://i.ibb.co/hCZhZgR/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-14-34-PM.png

Current Ability: 131
Potential Ability: 138

Like Shaqiri, Markovic is one that hits close to home. Unlike Shaqiri, I don't really like Markovic. Perhaps you can understand my frustration with him when you remember that he was signed for £20m back in 2014, which translates to roughly £32.2m in today's market. Markovic struggled to break into the Liverpool first team despite his hefty price tag and massive potential, and after 4 unsuccessful loan stints in various countries he now finds himself back at his boyhood club, Partizan Belgrade. With a current ability of 131, Markovic could play a backup role if I wanted him, but I don't lol.

Domenico Berardi

https://i.ibb.co/wg3VMmh/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-17-39-PM.png

Current Ability: 140
Potential Ability: 152

Berardi made his professional debut for Sassuolo back in 2012 at 18 years old, and became a regular thereafter, having featured in a total of 215 league appearances for the club over the past 7 seasons. His "prolific" performances in the Serie A during his first 2 seasons in the league made him one of the hottest prospects in the country, with 16 goals in 29 appearances in his first season at just 19 years old followed by another 15 goals in 32 appearances the next season. These contributions set his FIFA potential at 87 (161-168), but Berardi has since struggled to reach those same heights and he seems to have peaked early. Despite this, Berardi still possesses great ability and goalscoring ability, and at 24 he could still reach that 152 potential. Like Januzaj, Berardi certainly makes this decision more difficult and I'll have to seriously weigh my options before choosing.

Theo Walcott

https://i.ibb.co/Gnxf43R/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-19-54-PM.png

Current Ability: 134
Potential Ability: 160

Walcott's story is one I'm sure most of you are familiar with, but I'll briefly go over it as I have with everyone else. Walcott was produced by the esteemed Southampton academy, with his blistering pace attracting attention from Arsenal, whom he later signed for in 2006 for £5m. At one point, Walcott had a FIFA potential of 93 (190-194 in FM) which is just ridiculous if you really think about it, though I think the potentials were exaggerated back then. A series of never-ending injuries somewhat hampered Walcott's development, but having made almost 300 league appearances for the club over the years it's hard to argue that this was the sole reason for his failure to reach his potential. Regardless, Walcott now finds himself playing quite regularly for Everton, though he hasn't appeared so far this season. With a current ability of 134 and no time to improve, it's unlikely Walcott will make the final squad but he deserved a mention nonetheless.

Aaron Lennon

https://i.ibb.co/B2RkhGk/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-22-00-PM.png

Current Ability: 126
Potential Ability: 155

Somewhat mirroring Walcott's career path, Lennon came through a respectable academy at Leeds United and attracted attention from some bigger clubs due to his impressive pace. Rather than joining Arsenal, though, Lennon signed for their local rivals Tottenham and actually made only 4 less league appearances during his time with the club (266) than Walcott did at Arsenal (270). Lennon now plays for Burnley as a backup player and with a current ability of just 126 and the fact that he's approaching the end of his career, Lennon won't make the final cut for FCG Wunderkinder.

Review


https://i.ibb.co/BCtQ3pX/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-09-04-PM.png

https://i.ibb.co/265f5rT/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-02-01-PM.png


At the moment I'm leaning towards Shaqiri and Oztunali as my 2 right wing options, with Shaqiri playing the starting role and Oztunali continuing his development as my backup. Januzaj, Berardi and Lamela were strong contenders for the starting spot but I think Shaqiri would fit into the system better than the 3 of them, and Oztunali's young age and German nationality cemented his spot as backup.
Left Wingers


Marko Marin

https://i.ibb.co/rtPLfRr/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-18-03-PM.png

Current Ability: 130
Potential Ability: 147

Nicknamed "the German Messi," which inevitably seems to set young players up for failure, Marko Marin attracted global attention when he broke into the Borussia Monchengladbach side during the 2007-08 season and managed to hold down a starting role at just 18 years old. After being given a potential of 89 in FIFA (167-174 in FM), Marin moved to Werder Bremen for €8.2m and formed a fantastic partnership with Mesut Ozil which no doubt had an effect on the hype around him considering Ozil's 2010 World Cup performance and subsequent transfer to Real Madrid. Following Ozil's departure, Marin's form dropped significantly and he struggled to regain that same level before moving to Chelsea in 2012 for £8m. A series of unsuccessful loan spells soon followed, and Marin's potential as the "German Messi" has become a distant memory for most football fans. Marin currently plays for Red Star Belgrade, and possesses enough ability to play a backup role on the left wing, though I'll see if I can find any better options.

Viktor Fischer

https://i.ibb.co/MPKJYRx/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-21-20-PM.png

Current Ability: 138
Potential Ability: 155

Nicknamed "the Danish Messi" (yes, I know this is getting out of hand), Viktor Fischer attracted interest from clubs such as Chelsea, Inter Milan, Manchester City, and Manchester United due to his performances in the U17 World Cup for Denmark, but decided to sign for Ajax from FC Midtjylland in 2011. He was then given a potential of 87 in FIFA (161-168 in FM) upon being added, and the top European clubs continued to monitor his progress in Holland but he struggled to progress as much as some had hoped, and he then shockingly joined newly-promoted English club Middlesbrough for €5m in 2016. Fischer now plays for FC Kobenhavn back in his native Denmark, but he could revive his career and try and push towards his still high 155 potential if I were to include him in the FCG Wunderkinder squad.

Ryan Babel

https://i.ibb.co/r2jkgrd/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-23-13-PM.png

Current Ability: 140
Potential Ability: 155

Babel was a product of the Ajax academy, featuring quite regularly for the club from the age of 18 before signing for Liverpool in 2007 for £14m, which would equate to a whopping £37.24m in today's market. He then failed to secure a regular first team position before leaving in 2011 with his stock having fallen quite considerably as he was sold for just £8m, nearly half what he was originally bought for. Babel now plays for Galatasaray and though he still possesses a solid current ability of 140, his relatively high age in comparison to the other players on this list means he'll likely be left out of the final squad.

Jese

https://i.ibb.co/dpcfCpv/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-26-57-PM.png

Current Ability: 130
Potential Ability: 148

Jese came through the Real Madrid academy as a very hot prospect, being given his first professional chance by then-manager Jose Mourinho, who later explained that Jese's lack of game-time over the subsequent seasons was due to the fact that his position for Real Madrid Castilla didn't exist in the first team. This hurt Jese's development considerably, and a similarly unsuccessful spell with PSG has seen him go on loan to Sporting this season, where he will hopefully revamp his career and development. At 26, Jese's a bit of a gamble considering his low current ability and the low probability that he'll improve much more, so it's unlikely that he'll make the final cut for the team.

Andre Schurrle

https://i.ibb.co/0DpYtGc/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-31-59-PM.png

Current Ability: 132
Potential Ability: 140

Schurrle began his career at Mainz before joining Bayer Leverkusen for £6.5m following a highly impressive season in which he scored 15 goals in 33 Bundesliga appearances at just 20 years old. He continued to progress well with Bayer Leverkusen before making the classic blunder of moving to Chelsea as a U23 player. Schurrle struggled for consistent game time at Chelsea and his career has been a series of backwards steps since. However, Schurrle is still in the prime of his career (though maybe not his peak) at 28 years old and with a current ability of 132 added to the fact that he's a German national, he'd made a perfect backup on the left wing.

Stephan El Shaarawy

https://i.ibb.co/6XrfhRx/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-33-27-PM.png

Current Ability: 149
Potential Ability: 156

El Shaarawy is a product of the Genoa academy, but joined AC Milan at the young age of 19 and instantly made an impact in the first team. The following season he amassed 16 goals in 37 appearances for the club at just 20 years old, and the hype soon followed. I remember back in FIFA 12 when the finesse shots were still OP, El Shaarawy was an absolute beast. In fact, his potential rose to an 89 in the following FIFA game (167-174 in FM) but a devastating injury followed by several setbacks ultimately hampered his development. El Shaarawy now plays in China despite having made a return to his old form with Roma in the past couple of years, and though he still possesses great ability I can't be the only that had hoped for more from him than playing for Shenhua at 26 years old. Still, with a current ability of 149 El Shaarawy is a top contender for my starting left winger place.

Bernard

https://i.ibb.co/YThNWfy/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-36-00-PM.png

Current Ability: 144
Potential Ability: 150

Bernard came through the Athletico Mineiro academy before moving to Shakhtar Donetsk for a massive €25m at just 21 years old. As somewhat of a European hub for promising Brazilian players, Shakhtar Donetsk seemed like a great place for Bernard to develop before taking his next step up to a top European club, but no moves materialized and I believe he overstayed his welcome. Bernard now plays for Everton and though he's undoubtedly a good player, he certainly isn't the top player that many FIFA and FM players imagined he would be over the years. Still, with a current ability of 144, Bernard makes my decision more difficult.

Samu Castillejo

https://i.ibb.co/JdfWJ3P/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-38-36-PM.png

Current Ability: 142
Potential Ability: 151

Castillejo graduated from Malaga's youth system, and was given the nickname El Fideo or "the noodle" because of his ability to slip through tight spaces. Castillejo made a name for himself at Villarreal, gaining a potential rating of 88 in FIFA 17 (164-174 in FM) but his progress has since stalled as he currently plays for AC Milan. With a Champions League ban having been placed on the club recently, it seems Castillejo will fall short of the 88 potential that he was given just a couple of years ago, but with a current ability of 142 and still time to improve I think he provides a solid option on the left wing.

Bruma

https://i.ibb.co/MRdHYsG/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-40-35-PM.png

Current Ability: 142
Potential Ability: 152

Bruma is at the same level as Castillejo, having come through the esteemed Sporting CP academy before making his professional debut at 18 years old. His impressive performances for the club in 2013 boosted his FIFA potential to 88 just like Castillejo, but he then signed for Galatasary for €10m where I imagine the Turkish league hampered his development. Bruma now plays for PSV in Holland, and it's clear that he won't reach the 88 potential he was once given, but with similar ratings to Castillejo he certainly provides an interesting option for the final squad.

Royston Drenthe

https://i.ibb.co/KxjycR8/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-3-12-58-PM.png

Current Ability: 99
Potential Ability: 142

Royston Drenthe is more of an honorary mention at this point, following his 2 year hiatus from playing football. Drenthe graduated from the Feyenoord academy in 2005 and later won the 2007 UEFA European U21 Championship with Holland which led to his transfer to Real Madrid for €14m when he was just 20 years old, the same amount and year as Ryan Babel's move to Liverpool. Drenthe was given a FIFA potential of 86 (160-169) upon joining Real Madrid, and though he was given adequate game time to prove his worth he struggled to progress much due to his party-lifestyle and lack of commitment. Drenthe's career slipped downhill, with unsuccessful spells with Reading and Russian side FC Alania before his decision to step away from professional football at the age of 29 to pursue other interests. Drenthe has since started playing again, and now plays for Dutch third-tier side Kozakken Boys. With a current ability of just 99, Drenthe wouldn't get near the FCG Wunderkinder first team but I thought his story was worth mentioning.

Review


https://i.ibb.co/6XrfhRx/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-33-27-PM.png

https://i.ibb.co/0DpYtGc/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-31-59-PM.png


I've chosen El Shaarawy and Schurrle as my two left wingers, with the former starting and the latter operating as backup due to their relative current abilities. Though there were stronger options than Schurrle for the backup spot, I decided his German nationality was enough for me to pick him. What do you guys think?
Strikers


Michy Batshuayi

https://i.ibb.co/4wkCDfV/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-18-26-AM.png

Current Ability: 144
Potential Ability: 155

Michy Batshuayi began his career with Standard Liege in Belgium, making his professional debut in 2011 at just 17 years old. Batshuayi soon became a regular for the club and scored an impressive 23 goals in 49 appearances in all competitions in his final season for the club before moving to Marseille for £4.5m at just 20 years old. Batshuayi made a name for himself at Marseille, earning a FIFA potential of 86 (160-169 in FM) before moving to Chelsea for £33.2m in 2016. A lack of consistent game-time and a series of unsuccessful loans has stalled Batshuayi's development since, and as third-choice striker under Frank Lampard it seems his development won't go much further until he finds a way out of the club. With a solid current ability and still some time to improve, Batshuayi could make a could first-choice striker for FCG Wunderkinder.

Luciano Vietto

https://i.ibb.co/0ZTFg9C/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-19-31-AM.png

Current Ability: 133
Potential Ability: 142

Luciano Vietto is a product of the Racing Club academy in Argentina, but he really made a name for himself when he scored 20 goals in 48 competitions in his first and only season with Villarreal at just 22 years old. Vietto then moved to Atletico Madrid where his progress began to stall and even go backwards, and he now plays for Sporting CP after being sold by Atletico Madrid for less than half of what they paid for him. With a current ability of 133, Vietto could provide backup to my first-choice striker so there's a decent chance he could make the final cut.

Kelechi Iheanacho

https://i.ibb.co/N7kgNf7/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-22-57-AM.png

Current Ability: 128
Potential Ability: 149

When Iheanacho signed for Leicester back in 2017 for £25m I thought it was a great deal for all parties, with the player's impressive performances for Manchester City contributing to his massive 89 FIFA potential (167-174 in FM). However, Iheanacho has struggled to produce more at Leicester, only managing 1 goal in 30 league appearances for the club last season and it now seems very unlikely that he'll reach that 167-174 range in the future. However, with a potential ability of 149 Iheanacho would be a good option for my backup striker as he could still grow to a very useful level.

Antonio Sanabria

https://i.ibb.co/6WYWCM1/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-24-40-AM.png

Current Ability: 131
Potential Ability: 157

Antonio Sanabria actually began his playing career in futsal before moving to football when he joined Cerro Porteno's youth academy in Paraguay at just 8 years old. He later joined Barcelona's La Masia academy at 13 years old and stayed until he was 17, when he moved to Roma. Sanabria really attracted attention when he scored 11 goals in 30 La Liga matches while on loan at Sporting Gijon from Roma at just 19 years old, causing Real Betis to purchase the player for €7.5m. His progress has since stalled, and it doesn't seem like he'll ever reach the 88 potential (164-174 in FM) he was once given. Clearly FM still rates him, with a potential ability of 157 and at 23 years old he could still get pretty close if not all the way to that rating, though he would likely need to be a regular starter for that to happen. With a current ability of 131, Sanabria would be my backup striker, but I think he could still develop to at least a 140 so he's a very strong contender for a spot in the final team.

Andre Silva

https://i.ibb.co/7XgWXzJ/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-26-46-AM.png

Current Ability: 141
Potential Ability: 156

Andre Silva is an academy graduate from FC Porto, making his first team debut in 2015 at 20 years old. He started out as fourth-choice striker in the 2015-16 striker but worked his way up to become a first team regular before moving to A.C. Milan for €38m in 2017. Since joining Milan, Silva has struggled to regain his prolific form that he enjoyed under then-manager Julen Lopetegui at Porto and seems likely to fall short of the 87 potential he was once given in FIFA (161-168 in FM). And yet at 23 years old Silva could still push closer to his 156 potential and become a very good striker in spite of the past couple of years, so there's a very good chance I'll choose him for the final squad.

Patrik Schick

https://i.ibb.co/nj3S5vB/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-30-37-AM.png

Current Ability: 136
Potential Ability: 158

Schick made his professional debut for Sparta Prague just before turning 18, and his performances while on loan at Bohemians 1905 attracted the attention of Sampdoria who then decided to buy the player for €4m. He scored 13 goals in 35 appearances for the club in all competitions before Juventus attempted to trigger Schick's release clause resulting in 2 failed medicals and Juventus backing out of the deal before his eventual move to Roma. He struggled to regain his form while at Roma, and is now on loan at RB Leipzig with an option to buy. At 23 years old, Schick could still get much closer to that 158 potential ability so he presents a very interesting option, though I'm not sure he's the type of striker I'm looking for.

Luis Muriel

https://i.ibb.co/7tkNbZr/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-32-26-AM.png

Current Ability: 149
Potential Ability: 158

Muriel started his professional career in Colombia with Deportivo Cali before moving to Udinese at 19 years old. During his second season with the club, Muriel scored 11 goals in 22 league appearances, earning himself a potential of 88 on FIFA (164-174 in FM) as he was just 20 years old at the time. However, Muriel has been unable to consistently produce at a high level for his clubs in the years since, and though he's proven to have enormous quality he doesn't seem to have what it takes to become a consistent, world-class player as some had hoped for in the past. However, with a current ability of 149, Muriel is technically our strongest option yet so I'll certainly consider him for the final starting role.

Daniel Sturridge

https://i.ibb.co/P49z7jJ/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-35-06-AM.png

Current Ability: 141
Potential Ability: 168

Daniel Sturridge spent his academy years moving between Aston Villa, Coventry, and Manchester City before joining Chelsea at 20 years old for a tribunal fee of £3.5m. Sturridge impressed heavily while on loan at Bolton during the 2010-11 season, pushing himself into the squad rotation at Chelsea the following season where he managed 11 goals in 30 league appearances at 22 years old. However, he struggled to find the same level of game time the following season and decided to join Liverpool for around £12m where he really made a name for himself. His prolific partnership with Luiz Suarez climaxed with a runner-up finish in which Sturridge scored 21 goals in 29 league matches during the 2013-14 season. As a Liverpool fan, I thought this was the beginning of a whole new chapter in our story with Suarez and Sturridge leading the line until Suarez was sold to Barcelona and Sturridge's injuries began. Sturridge hasn't looked like the same player since apart from brief glimpses of his skill such as the outside-of-the-box shot against Chelsea early last season, but with a current ability of 141 and still a few good years left in his prime he presents another strong choice for FCG Wunderkinder.

Alexandre Pato

https://i.ibb.co/PYGtM04/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-39-57-AM.png

Current Ability: 143
Potential Ability: 162

Pato made his professional debut at just 16 years old for Internacional in Brazil, and actually scored 12 goals in 27 appearances for the club before the age of 18, helping them win the 2006 FIFA Club World Cup. This was quite an impressive start to the boy's career, so it was understandable when A.C. Milan came calling and bought the 18 year old for €24m, which would equate to €63.84m in today's market! That's insane for an 18 year old from Brazil! Still, the hype was real and at one point Pato even had a potential of 93 in FIFA (190-194 in FM). Pato quickly became a regular for Milan, scoring 15 goals in 36 league matches during his second season with the club. He continued at this level for 2 more years until he ended up pulling his hamstring 3 times within the same year and his development began to falter. After making only 15 league appearances in his final 2 years with the club, he was sold to Corinthians back in Brazil and his career since has been rather forgettable. Pato is in the same league as many of the other options in terms of skill and relative age, so my final decision will undoubtedly be a difficult one.

Bafetimbi Gomis

https://i.ibb.co/tp0cjbz/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-41-45-AM.png

Current Ability: 145
Potential Ability: 150

Gomis played youth football with Saint-Étienne before making his professional debut for the club in 2004, later being bought by Lyon for €13m where he scored 91 goals in 239 official matches for the club, earning himself a potential of 89 in FIFA (167-174 in FM) at one point due to his young age an high skill level. Gomis failed to reach that mark as he joined Swansea City from Lyon in somewhat of an odd transfer deal, only scoring 13 goals in 64 league appearances for the club over 3 years. Gomis has had considerably better scoring records with his last 3 clubs in the time since then, and now plays for Saudi Arabian champions Al-Hilal. At 33 years old, Gomis is still going strong but it's unlikely that I'll choose him because of his age.

Mario Balotelli

https://i.ibb.co/5srqWPf/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-43-00-AM.png

Current Ability: 146
Potential Ability: 156

Balotelli started his professional football career at F.C. Lumezzane and played for the first team twice before having an unsuccessful trial at Barcelona, and instead joined Inter Milan in 2007. At this point he was already 17 years old, so he had spent the majority of his childhood being trained in the academy of a Serie D club. After several successful campaigns with Inter Milan, Balotelli was bought by new-money Manchester City for €21.8m where he continued his development well, at one point being given a potential of 90 in FIFA (171-179 in FM). However, in his final season with the club Balotelli was only able to score 1 goal in 14 league appearances and with his disciplinary issues stunting his development under then-manager Roberto Mancini, he was then sold to A.C. Milan where he was able to find his form once again. Then he made the ill-informed decision of moving back to England to play under Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool, where he scored just 1 goal in 16 league appearances for the club as agent Balotelli (for City I'm assuming). Balotelli now plays for Brescia back in Italy, where I imagine he'll go back to being a prolific striker once again. Clearly, though, England was not the best career choice for Balotelli either time, and he's been doing just fine in France and Italy in the years since Liverpool (except for his return to A.C. Milan on loan when he scored just 1 goal in 20 apps). At 29, Balotelli is still in his prime and with a current ability of 146 I think he'd made a solid option for first-choice striker, but we'll see.

Stevan Jovetic

https://i.ibb.co/Q9Kx2fS/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-44-20-AM.png

Current Ability: 141
Potential Ability: 152

Jovetic began his career with FK Partizan, and actually managed to win the double with the club at just 18 years old, scoring 19 goals in 33 appearances in all competitions during the season which led to his transfer to Fiorentina for €10.8m the following summer. Jovetic struggled to find the same goalscoring form in his first 3 years with the club, but managed to get back into the double digits with 14 goals in 27 league appearances in his 4th season with the club, and after a similarly productive season the following year he was bought by Manchester City for €26.7m joining former teammate, close friend, and fellow wonderkid Matija Nastasic at the club. Jovetic wasn't given regular game time while at Manchester City, which likely stunted his development and he now plays for Monaco where he has similarly struggled for consistent form and regular game time. I could potentially reunited Nastasic and Jovetic at FCG Wunderkinder, but Jovetic is more of a second striker than an actual striker or my preferred pressing forward role so I'm not sure he's exactly the type of player I'm looking for.

Christian Benteke

https://i.ibb.co/NCts3MY/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-46-50-AM.png

Current Ability: 132
Potential Ability: 160

Benteke is the final name on this list, despite there being numerous other options and names I wanted to mention, there's just too many strikers who scored 10+ goals in their debut season and then for one reason another fail to live up to the hype that's placed on their shoulders. Benteke started his career with Standard Liege before joining Aston Villa for £7m, where he proved to be a prolific goalscorer for the club and attracted interest from all of the top 6 in the Premier League. After 3 years in a row of scoring in the double digits for Villa, Benteke signed for Liverpool for £32.5m where it quickly became apparent that like Andy Carroll, Robbie Keane, and Mario Balotelli before him, Benteke was not anything like the sort of striker to fit in our system. He managed to score 10 goals in 42 appearances for the club in all competitions, which wasn't enough to convince Klopp to keep him before joining Crystal Palace for £27m (still don't know how we managed that, thank God for Michael Edwards) and he has since failed to return to his scoring ways after an impressive first season with Palace. At 28 years old, Benteke now looks like a shadow of his former self, and it's pretty unlikely that he'll make the final cut for FCG Wunderkinder as there are many better options ahead of him.

Review


https://i.ibb.co/7XgWXzJ/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-26-46-AM.png

https://i.ibb.co/6WYWCM1/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-24-40-AM.png


At the moment I think Andre Silva and Antonio Sanabria are my 2 best striker options. I considered their attributes a little more closely than some of the other positions as I'm looking for more of a lively pressing forward than a target man or a second striker like many of the options above, so with that in mind added to the fact that both players still have very good potential abilities, Silva and Sanabria will be my two strikers for FCG Wunderkinder. If you guys can think of anyone else who might do an even better job let me know!
Season Preview


https://i.ibb.co/2SGhKqD/Screen-Shot-2019-09-19-at-12-21-35-AM.png

We're predicted to finish 4th in our debut season in the Bundesliga, ahead of impressive squads such as Schalke, Borussia Monchengladbach, and RB Leipzig. The team has blended well together in the pre-season so if we can start with a win I think we have a good chance of mounting a Champions League challenge in the league.

Pre-Season Results


https://i.ibb.co/0Q8y639/Screen-Shot-2019-09-20-at-10-09-52-PM.png

To be honest I let my assistant manager, Freddy Adu (just realized now that I forgot to mention this before, but there you have it) handle the pre-season friendlies because there were so many of them. The squad did well and didn't lose a single match, which is promising. The only injury going into the first match of the season is Xherdan Shaqiri, which is slightly disappointing but considering some of the players I have it could've been a lot worse.

Strongest XI


https://i.ibb.co/qgQx7cr/Screen-Shot-2019-09-19-at-12-21-59-AM.png

This is the ideal strongest XI, though I like to rotate heavily and as I stated before Shaqiri will miss the first match of the season due to injury. Butland is my strongest keeper ahead of Romero and Scuffet, with Danilo and Mendy slotting in at right and left back respectively. Bailly will start in the right of my central partnership, with the left-footed Nastasic starting to the left of him. Emre Can and Oxlade-Chamberlain will start in the midfield with Gotze in front of them. Shaqiri (when fit) and El Shaarawy will operate as inside forwards while Andre Silva will play the pressing forward role up top. Overall it's a much stronger lineup than I anticipated when I first came up with this idea, I'm hyped!
October Update


League Table

https://i.ibb.co/X570Y3X/Screen-Shot-2019-10-08-at-1-03-25-PM.png

I've had a busy few weeks off the field so I haven't made as much progress in this save as I expected, but since I have reached the current stage of the real Bundesliga (7 games in) I thought it'd be fun to give an update as to how it's going so far. Our current point tally and goal difference would put us in 2nd in the real Bundesliga, but we sit in 3rd in the game behind Bayern and Hertha BSC. Bayern is the only club to sit in both the real top 6 and the in-game top 6 at the moment, but this will likely change as both seasons progress.

Standout Performers


Andre Silva

https://i.ibb.co/vLZv11x/Screen-Shot-2019-10-08-at-1-03-39-PM.png

Andre Silva has exceeded my expectations by scoring in all of his 6 league starts as well as getting an assist, maintaining an average rating of 7.9. He's already showing some improvement across various attributes and he seems to fit my system perfectly. However, this has caused problems with Antonio Sanabria who believes he should be playing more, and this isn't an isolated incident (more on that later).

Xherdan Shaqiri

https://i.ibb.co/Z2X95dc/Screen-Shot-2019-10-08-at-1-03-57-PM.png

I can't say I didn't see it coming, but Shaqiri has been an absolute beast so far with 2 goals and 5 assists in just 4 league starts, putting his average rating at an even 8.00. He was sidelined with an injury for the first 3 matches but has since become our most creative attacker and I'm very happy with his contribution.

Stephan El Shaarawy

https://i.ibb.co/N2RkVq1/Screen-Shot-2019-10-08-at-1-04-15-PM.png

Along with Silva and Shaqiri, El Shaarawy has been tearing up oppositions' defenses week-in, week-out, with 4 goals and an assist in 7 league starts and an average rating of 7.47. It seems my devastating front 3 could carry us to success much sooner than I expected.

Issues

https://i.ibb.co/PTzM14Q/Screen-Shot-2019-10-08-at-1-03-15-PM.png

When I created this squad in the editor, it seems the squad roles were handed out almost randomly by the game which has resulted in several complaints from players who had originally expected to feature regularly such as Meyer, Romero, Scuffet, and Bazoer. You can imagine it's pretty frustrating when both of your backup keepers are saying they deserve more game time than your clearly better first-choice keeper, so I may need to make some January transfers to balance the dressing room again. For the purpose of this save I will only sign players I consider to be failed wonderkids, so I'll only be using the players I mentioned before in the talent pool or others that I may have missed.
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