Football Manager 2021 wonderkids: All the best young goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards

By Martin Macdonald

By Martin Macdonald

Updated 7:00 AM - March 17, 2021

Football Manager 2021 has been released for a while now, but that doesn’t mean a new game can’t be fired up at any point, with glory awaiting users who master their tactics, man management, and of course recruitment.

One of the best aspects of FM 2021 is trying to identify and sign the ‘next big thing’ superstar – a wonderkid who can be moulded into the player to take your team to trophies.

It can be a minefield at times, but FootballTransfers has you covered.

A player earns a ‘Wonderkid’ tag within Football Manager due to their potential ability being high.

Wonderkids have been ranked using the FMScout rating system as a guide, while we have kept our list to players who are 20 or younger as of 1 January 2021.

The potential ratings below are based on recommendation levels from 1 to 100 given by scouts on FM 2021.

Football Manager 2021 wonderkid goalkeepers

PlayerValue (M)Potential Rating
Maarten Vandevoordt, 18, Genk3.385
Mikki van Sas, 16, Man City0.0182
Alejandro Iturbe, 16, Atletico0.0382
Ivan Martinez, 18, Pamplona0.1380
Gavin Bazunu, 18, Man City0.280
Alex Padilla, 16, Athletic Bilbao0.0479
Manuel Gasparini, 18, Udinese0.1778
Cristian, 18, Atletico Mineiro,0.0178
Francisco Meixedo, 19, Porto0.0378
Alessandro Russo, 19, Sassuolo0.4278

One of the best rated young goalkeepers in the game is actually Leeds United shot-stopper Illan Meslier who has a potential rating of 84, but as he is relatively well-known he has been left off our list.

Two Manchester City youngsters make the list in Mikki van Sas and Gavin Bazunu, but at such young ages it will likely be a while before we see them take to the pitch at the Etihad.

The best-rated young goalkeeper in the game is Maarten Vandevoordt of Genk. In December of 2019, he became the youngest goalkeeper ever to feature in the Champions League.

Football Manager 2021 wonderkid central defenders

PlayerValue (M)Potential Rating
Marash Kumbulla, 20, Roma8.087
Josko Gvardiol, 18, RB Leipzig3.586
Tanguy Nianzou, 18, Bayern1.685
Nehuen Perez, 20, Atletico5.885
Matteo Lovato, 20, Verona3.384
Bright Arrey-Mbi, 17, Bayern,0.3584
Igor Diveev, 20, CSKA Moscow2.284
Bosko Sutalo, 20, Atalanta284
Andrea Papetti, 18, Brescia1.683
Armel Bella-Kotchap, 18, Bochu0.0683
Alvaro Carrillo, 18, Real Madrid0.1583
Timothee Pembele, 17, PSG0.582
Strahinja Pavlovic, 19, Monaco1.882
Benoit Badiashele, 19, Monaco5.282
Nnamdi Collins, 16, Dortmund0.0582

Three of the most highly-rated central defenders under 20-years-old on FM 2021 are players you will be familiar with, Matthijs de Ligt, Wesley Fofana, and Jean-Clair Todibo, so they have been left off the list.

The highest-rated player on our list is actually the most expensive, too, as Roma centre-back Marash Kumbulla is valued at £8m.

If you are really planning for the future, 16-year-old Nnamdi Collins of Dortmund might be worth a look.

Football Manager 2021 wonderkid full-backs

PlayerValue (M)Potential Rating
Nuno Mendes, 18, Sporting CP4.586
Luka Thomas, 19, Leicester1186
Riccardo Calafiori, 18, Roma0.8585
Juan Miranda, 20, Barcelona2.185
Rayan Ait-Nouri, 19, Angers385
Owen Wijndal, 20, AZ4.785
David de la Vibora, 17, R. Madrid0.0285
Noah Katterbach, 19, Koln2.584
Brandon Williams, 19, Man Utd16.583
Max Aarons, 20, Norwich1586
Pedro Porro, 20, Man City2.785
Devyne Rensch, 17, Ajax1.883
Tomas Estevez, 18, Porto0.483
Pierre Kalulu, 20, Milan2.283

A couple of recognisable names in here like Brandon Williams, who is also the most expensive wonderkid on our list.

The left-back with the best potential ability is Sporting defender Nuno Mendes, who has been attracting the attention of the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona, and Real Madrid in the real football world.

The right-back with the best potential ability is Norwich defender Max Aarons, who has been strongly linked with Bayern Munich.

Football Manager 2021 wonderkid midfielders

PlayerValue (M)Potential Rating
Edoardo Camavinga, 17 Rennes2091
Sandro Tonali, 20, Milan10.587
Florentino Luis, 20, Benfica986
Gustavo Assuncao, 20, Famalicao584
Oliver Skipp, 19, Tottenham12.584
Nicolo Rovella, 19, Juventus1.683
Eduardo Camavinga, 17, Rennes2091
Ilaix Moriba, 17, Barcelona3.289
Vitor Ferreira, 20, Porto1.788
Mickael Cuisance, 20, Bayern3.287
Pipi, 16, Real Madrid0.1287
Yusuf Demir, 17, Rapid Vienna0.8288
Florian Wirtz, 18, Leverkusen3.587
Gavi, 15, Barcelona0.2186
Eljif Elmas, 20, Napoli986
Mohamed Ihatteren, 18, PSV5.586

The above list has been split into defensive midfielders, central midfielders, and then central attacking midfielders.

Some players, of course, can play in numerous central positions in midfield.

Edoardo Camavinga may indeed be a well-known name to Football Manager players, but merits his place on the list due to his potential rating being one of the highest in the game at 91. At just 17-years-old, too, he could be your leading midfielder for 15 seasons!

Football Manager 2021 wonderkid wingers

PlayerValue (M)Potential Rating
Nico Serrano, 17, Athletic Bilbao0.4588
Rayan Cherki, 16, Lyon0.688
Shola Shoretire, 16, Man Utd0.187
Amine Gouiri, 20, Nice5.287
Naci Unuvar, 17, Ajax0.3386
Diego Lainez, 20, Real Betis386
Francisco Conceicao, 17, Porto0.4586
Yeremi Pino, 17, Villarreal587
Antony, 20, Ajax8.287
Harvey Elliott, 17, Liverpool8.586
Nico Williams, 18, Athletic0.8586
Emanuel Vignato, 19, Bologna2.785
Fabio Vieira, 20, Porto385
Savio, 16, Atletico Mineiro0.0684
Renyer, 17, Santos0.0584

The above list is split into left wingers and right wingers, with well-known names like Rodrygo, Jadon Sancho, Dejan Kulusevski, Ansu Fati, and Pedro Neto left out, because we know you know about them!

It would appear Porto are set for their winger roles for the next 10 years as they have Francisco Conceicao and Fabio Vieira within their ranks.

Towards the bottom of the list we see two interesting entries from Brazil in Savio of Atletico Mineiro and Renyer of Santos. Work permits might be a problem for those two young wonderkids initially, though.

Shola Shoretire, who recently debuted for Man Utd, is a sure fire future superstar.

Football Manager 2021 wonderkid strikers

PlayerValue (M)Potential Rating
Youssoufa Moukoko, 15, Dortmund1.195
Fabio Silva, 18, Wolves2.288
Dusan Vlahovic, 20, Fiorentina8.988
Alexander Isak, 20, Real Sociedad887
Lazaro, 18, Flamengo0.0386
Joao Pedro, 18, Watford6.386
Jose Juan Macias, 20, Chivas1.686
Jamal Musiala, 17, Bayern3.186
Sebastiano Esposito, 18, Inter1.185
Evanilson, 18, Porto6.385
Eddie Salcedo, 18, Inter2.485
Luis Carbonell, 17, Zaragza0.0285
Ali Akman, 18, Bursaspor1.785
Dane Scarlett, 16, Tottenham0.1185
Kaio Jorge, 18, Santos2.484

Football Transfers isn’t going to insult your intelligence by including Erling Haaland on a list of the top Football Manager wonderkids.

If you’re not aware of Haaland, FM 2021 might not be the game for you…

However, his young team-mate Youssoufa Moukoko leads the list as he has a potential ability of 95 which is the highest of any wonderkid on our list, and at just 15-years-old.

Previous FM specials Sebastiano Esposito and Eddie Salcedo of Inter feature again, suggesting the future is bright for the Nerazzurri.

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