Football Manager 2022 wonderkids: Best young goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards

Martin Macdonald
Nico Gonzalez, Barcelona v Atletico Madrid

The full version of Football Manager 2022 has been released since November, with the Beta version already having been available to users for a while.

One of the best aspects of FM 2022 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.

READ MORE: Football Manager 2022 transfer budgets: Man Utd, Madrid, PSG & Europe's big clubs

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

What is a wonderkid on Football Manager?

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 2022.

Football Manager 2022 wonderkid goalkeepers

Goalkeepers

PlayerValuePotential Rating
Maarten Vandevoordt, 19, Genk£11m82
Ivan Martinez, 19, Atletico Pamplona£400k82
Gavin Bazunu, 19 Man City£10.5m81
Andre Gomes, 16 Benfica£425k80
Rome-Jayden Owusu-Oduro, 17, AZ£400k80
Juan Castillo, 18, Fortaleza£160k79
Giorgi Mamardashvili, 20, Dinamo Tb£240k79
James Trafford, 18, Man City£230k79
Murray Johnson, 16, Hibs£110k78
Alejandro Iturbe, 17, Atletico£3.9m78
Francisco Meixedo, 20, Porto£180k78
Lucao, 20, Vasco£2.1m78
Joaquin Blazquez, 20, Talleres£325k78
Samuel Brolin, 20, AIK£1m78
Ruslan Nescheret, 19, Dynamo Kyiv£600k78

Though he will not come cheap, young Genk stopper Maarten Vandevoordt will represent value for money as he could easily by the goalkeeper for your chosen team for over a decade. He has a potential rating of 82, though there is the possibility for this to drop higher or lower depending on his development.

Football Manager 2022 wonderkid defenders

Centre-backs/Right-backs/Left-backs

PlayerValuePotential Rating
Tanguy Nianzou (CB), 19, Bayern£22m86
Wesley Fofana (CB), 20, Leicester£73m86
Renan (CB), 19, Palmeiras£10m84
Benoit Badiashile (CB), 20, Monaco£5.8m83
Ethan Ampadu (CB), 20, Chelsea£17.5m83
Wisdom Amey (CB), 15, Bologna£6.8m82
Kaiky (CB), 17,Santos£350k82
Illya Zabarnyi (CB), 18, Dynamo Kyiv£31m82
Tino Livramento (RB), 18, Southampton£40m86
Calegari (RB), 19, Fluminense£11m84
Goncalo Esteves (RB), 17, Sporting£250k83
Rodrigo Pinheiro (RB), 18, Porto£130k83
Vanderson (RB), 18, Gremio£5.4m83
Sergino Dest (RB), 20, Barcelona£26m83
Alejandro Frances (RB), 18, Zaragoza£7m83
Jurrien Timber (RB), 20, Ajax£21m82
Josko Gvardiol (LB), RB Leipzig£40m88
David De la Vibora (LB), 18, Real Madrid£850k87
Miguel Gutierrez (LB), 19, Real Madrid£30m87
Rayan Ait-Nouri (LB), 20, Wolves£30m86
Alphonso Davies (LB), 20, Bayern£45m86
Luke Thomas (LB), 20, Leicester£39m86
Luca Netz (LB), 18, Gladbach£20m84

The highest rated young centre-back in Football Manager 2021 is Bayern Munich's Tanguy Nianzou. He may be valued at around £22m at the start of the game in July of 2021, but don't expect Bayern to accept anywhere near that amount for one of their star youngsters.

At full-back, Chelsea might have made a mistake in letting Tino Livramento go as, according to FM Scout, he will develop into one of the best right-backs in the game.

Josko Gvardiol was one of the best young players in FM22 and his development has continued to the point where he will undoubtedly become one of the best players in the game overall, and he can also play at both centre-back and left-back.

Football Manager 2022 wonderkid midfielders

Defensive Mids/Centre Mids

PlayerValuePotential
Oliver Skipp, 20, Tottenham£28m86
Nicolo Rovella, 19, Juventus£13.5m85
Dario Essugo, 16, Sporting£350k83
Rafael Luis, 16, Benfica£170k83
Maxim Mukhin, 19, CSKA Moscow£4.6m83
Nicolas Seiwald, 20, Salburg£5.8m83
Nico, 19, Barcelona£16m83
Manuel Ugarte, 20, Sporting£20m82
Angelo Stiller, 20, Hoffenheim£7m82
Unai Vencedor, 20, Athletic£16m82
Ilaix Moriba, 18, RB Leipzig£83m90
Eduardo Camavinga, 18, Real Madrid£66m90
Jude Bellingham, 18, Dortmund££88m88
Dominik Szoboszlai, 20, RB Leipzig£78m88
Gavi, 16, Barcelona£43m87
Ivan Ilic, 20, Verona£13.5m86
Alfie Devine, 16, Tottenham£33m85
Emre Demir, 17, Kayserispor£330k85
Takuhiro Nakai, 17, Real Madrid£11m85
Aster Vranckx, 18, Wolfsburg£5.4m85
Samuele Ricci, 19, Empoli£12m85

The above list is split into defensive midfielders and then central midfielders.

Tottenham could have a future superstar on their hands if the rating for Oliver Skipp is anything to go by here. The young English midfielder starred on loan at Norwich in 2020/21 and is now a full member of the first team in North London.

As he is English, he will cost a pretty penny in FM 22.

Juventus were desperate for a new central midfielder in the summer and ended up bringing in Manuel Locatelli on loan from Sassuolo with the option to buy. They might have been better served giving opportunities to young Nicolo Rovella, though. Rovella is currently on loan at Genoa.

Manuel Ugarte was a star wonderkid in FM 21 and retains that status in FM 22.

Attacking midfielders

PlayerValuePotential
Pedri, 18, Barcelona£69m93
Florian Wirtz, 18, Leverkusen£54m90
Giovanni Reyna, 18, Dortmund£42m88
Antoni Milambo, 16, Feyenoord£6.8m88
Yusuf Demir, 18, Barcelona£10.5m87
Bruno, 18, Real Madrid£16m86
Luka Romero, 16, Lazio£19m86
Matias Palacios, 19, San Lorenzo£350k86
Angel Gomes, 20, Lille£8.6m85
Lazar Samardzic, 19, Udinese£7m85
Arsen Zakharyan, 18, Dinamo Moscow£7.4m85
Gianluca Busio, 19, Venezia£12.5m85
Nathanael Mbuku, 19, Reims£7m85
Cristian Medina, 19, Boca£3.4m85
Facundo Farias, 18, Colon£700k85

No prizes for guessing the top two on the list for this one as Pedri and Florian Wirtz are already two of the most exciting players in the world.

Pedri in particular is already proving his maturity by becoming a key starter for Barcelona, and at 18, he will only get better.

The future is bright for Barca in attacking midfield as they also have the likes of Yusuf Demir and Gavi.

There are two 16-year-olds on the list in the form of Antoni Milambo and Luka Romero.

Romero was chased by a number of elite clubs in Europe before signing for Lazio.

Football Manager 2022 wonderkid forwards

Wingers

PlayerValuePotential
Rayan Cherki, Lyon, 17£29m90
Ansu Fati, 18, Barcelona£43m90
Nico Serrano, 18, Athletic£9m88
Shola Shoretire, 18, Man Utd£16m88
Gabriel Martinelli, 20, Arsenal£55m86
Roger Fernandes, 15, Braga£150k86
Sergey Pinyaev, 16, Krylya£250k86
Francisco Conceicao, 18, Porto£7.8m86
Christos Tzolis, 19, Norwich £23m86
Gabriel Veron, 18, Palmeiras£5m86
Rodrygo, 20, Real Madrid£42m86
Bukayo Saka, 19, Arsenal£53m86
Yeremi Pino, 19, Villarreal£24m86
Brian Oddei, 18, Sassuolo£8.6m85
Renyer, 17, Santos£220k85
Angelo Gabriel, 16, Santos£7.6m85
Nico Williams, 19, Athletic£17.5m84
Julio Enciso, 17, Club Libertad£500k84
Jota, 22, Benfica£6.2m84
Kaide Gordon, 18, Liverpool£19.5m84

Rayan Cherki and Ansu Fati are already two very well known names.

The Spaniard recently signed a new contract with Barcelona with a 1 billion euro release clause, so good luck trying to sign him!

Yeremi Pino, too, has already made a name for himself after a breakthrough season at Villarreal.

Shola Shoretire represents an interesting option for the future from Man Utd, while Arsenal have Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli on that left wing.

Strikers

PlayerValuePotential
Erling Haaland, 20, Dortmund£96m94
Youssoufa Moukoko, 16, Dortmund£46m93
Mason Greenwood, 19, Man Utd£67m93
Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer, 19, Dynamo Dresden£3m89
Fabio Silva, 18, Wolves£57m88
Joao Pedro, 19, Watford£39m88
Lorenzo Lucca, 20, Pisa£3m87
Dane Scarlett, 17, Tottenham£36m86
Goncalo Ramos, 20, Benfica£14m86
Benjamin Sesko, 18, Salzburg£12m85
Folarin Balogun, 20, Arsenal£26m85
Martin Satriano, 20, Inter£11m85
Sebastiano Esposito, 19, Basel£8m85
Karim Adeyemi, 19, Salzburg£16m85
Joe Gelhardt, 19, Leeds£16m85

Erling Haaland could still be labelled as a wonderkid due to his age, but you know all about him.

If managed well, Youssoufa Moukoko will probably become the best striker in the game as the years progress, so if you can get him early, go for it. Dortmund will, as always, command a massive fee though.

Mason Greenwood may only be 19 by he is already one of the most potent forwards in the game as highlighted by his superb attributes.

Sebastiano Esposito has been an FM Wonderkid for a couple of seasons now and starts this one on loan at Basel, but he is sure to excel again with Inter.

Folarin Balogun and Dane Scarlett are other promising youngsters from Premier League sides.

To look at wonderkids from Football Manager 2021 who will likely still be relevant in the 2022 edition of the game, click here.