It’s easy to recognize the brilliance of young stars such as Pedri, Vini Jr., and Musiala, so for the purposes of this article, we’re going to look at those players who have a huge delta in their current overall and future potential. These are more than likely players who will be easier to obtain but will require some patience and training as they develop into the kind of players who can carry your squad for years to come. In other words, while I’ll technically say this feature is about the “best young players in FIFA 23 career mode,” think of this more like the “under the radar” edition of that list because it should mostly be obvious who the “best” ones are in the game based on their ratings.
I’ll break this out into three (3) tiers:
- Tier I – Targets suited for bigger clubs
- Tier II – Targets suited for mid-table clubs and/or bigger clubs as backup options to be developed further
- Tier III – Targets suited for smaller clubs and/or mid-table clubs as backup options to be developed further
Add Value/Wages/Ratings/Potential/Current Contract Length
- We’re defining “young players” as anyone who is 24 years of age and under.
- Ratings/Values are for the first season within career mode and are current as of November 16
FIFA 23: Best Young Players In Career Mode
When it comes to the men between the posts, there are a few notable standouts to look for when bolstering your squad. While the likes of Ramsdale and Donnarumma are already established at their current clubs and unlikely to move due to being at big clubs (Arsenal & PSG), there are still some hidden gems to be had.
Illan Meslier (GK) – Leeds United – 22 years old – 77 OVR/87 POT – 18.5 million value, 25K/week wage
It’s hard to believe that Meslier, who has been a mainstay for Leeds over the last three years, is still only 22 years of age. Premier League proven, tall, and an excellent shot stopper due to his “Saves with Feet” trait, Illan is primed for a move to a bigger club and should be able to command the top spot almost instantly.
Marco Carnesecchi (GK) – Cremonese – 22 years old – 74 OVR/82 POT – 8 million value, 23K/week wage
The Atalanta loanee who is currently plying his trade with Cremonese, Carnesecchi has good size (6’2) to go along with some decent ratings, although he’s not really adept at long kicks (64 GK kicking). At a reasonable 8 million euros, Marco is a great mid-level value who can see some cup action while developing with his eye on the #1 spot in a few years.
Maarten Vandevoordt (GK) – Genk – 20 years old – 71 OVR/83 Potential – 4 million value, 5K/week wage
The ultimate “buy low” keeper target this year, Maarten is a perfect buy for top clubs who can afford to stash him with a few choice loans before easing him to the #1 spot. Mid-to-low table clubs can look at him with eyes on a first team spot with the occasional start. You could also force him into the #1 shirt if you’re inclined to cash in on your current top goalie.
Many FIFA career mode players, including myself, like to have a youth product as your #2 due to the fact that a rotation is rarely needed for keepers, but with injuries this strategy could leave you a little thin should your #1 go down. The last thing you want when chasing a trophy is having a 17-year-old kid between the posts. With keepers being able to play for a long time, this is one position that is worth locking up for the long haul if you can swing it.
Defenders (CB, RB, LB)
For the purpose of brevity, I’ve lumped center backs in with fullbacks. Defender is one position, along with striker, where you might have to splash some cash if you’re chasing the next Thiago Silva. With defenders like Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alphonso Davies, and a few others on this list currently at big clubs, it’s going to be hard to pry them away as you’ll need both the cash and prestige to attract them to your club.
Mohamed Simakan (CB) – RB Leipzig – 22 years old – 78 OVR/86 Potential – 26 million value, 35K/week wages
While most eyes are fixated on Josko Gvardiol, it’s Simakan who might be the better value here given the large fee it would take to acquire Josko. After having produced and developed the likes of Konate (Liverpool) and Upamecano (Bayern Munich), RB Leipzig keeps churning out the prospects, so if you miss out on Gvardiol settling for Mohamed isn’t a bad Plan B.
Jeremie Frimpong (RB) – Bayer Leverkusen – 21 years old – 80 OVR/86 Potential – 31 million value, 40K/week wages
In this modern age of soccer, fullbacks are just as much attackers as they are defenders with the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James leading the way. Next in line, enter one Jeremie Frimpong who has a leg, or rather two legs up on Reece and Trent when it comes to speed (93 pace). Never fear, Jeremie is also a capable crosser (83 crossing) and top dribbler (85 dribbling). He’s going to cost a bit more, which is why he finds himself in Tier 1, but his current overall means he can slot right in for a lot of top clubs.
Goncalo Inacio (CB) – Sporting CP – 20 years old – 79 OVR/88 POT – 36 million value, 11K/week wages
A rare CB with pace (81 sprint speed) and power (78 strength), Goncalo would find himself firmly cemented in Tier 1 if it were not for his affordable wages. You might have to splash some cash to get him, but even if you double or triple his current wage you’re still getting yourself a bargain — one that could solidify your backline for years or make you a profit if you’re looking to raise some cash.
Morato (CB) – Benfica – 21 years old – 74 OVR/84 POT – 9 million value, 8K/week wages
A defender’s defender, Morato is tall (6’3), strong (88 strength), and aggressive (82). While he’s not particularly good on the ball, the Brazilian defender is severely underrated as he’s one of the best CBs in Portugal right now, so you’ll need to scoop him before his ratings and more importantly his value significantly jump.
Midfielders (CM, CAM, CDM)
Similar to defenders, I’ve grouped midfielders together. While it might be true that the #10 is being phased out in real life, it makes sense to lump them together as many can play at one or more midfield slots. The usual suspects like Jude Bellingham and Tchouameni are excluded for obvious reasons, but if you’re cash flush, by all means splurge. For those who enjoy the challenge of finding talents from the lesser path, this is for you.
Nicolo Rovella (CM, CDM) – AC Monza – 20 years old – 76 OVR/88 POT, 18 million value, 58K/week wages
Nicolo is similar to Tier II prospect Miretti but finds himself one tier up due to his higher wages, which might not be affordable for certain clubs. Already a 76 OVR, Nicolo is solid technically and physically with an 87 stamina rating, meaning he won’t need to be rotated much if you’re playing two matches a week. A long passer and long shot specialist, he reminds some of a more physically talented Andrea Pirlo when compared at a similar age.
Fabio Miretti (CM, CDM) – Juventus – 18 years old – 73 OVR/88 POT, 7 million value, 22K/week wages
Another young talented Italian finds his way on the midfielder list. Young Fabio has enough current ability to hang around the first team now and pick up minutes here and there. Solid both physically and technically, Miretti has the potential to reach Sandro Tonali levels (84 OVR) and is one to keep an eye out for in both real life and of course FIFA 23.
Cristian Volpato (CAM) – Roma – 18 years old – 64 OVR/82 POT, 1.3 million value, 3K/week wages
You won’t find the likes of Bellingham, Musiala, Foden, Gravenberch, Pedri, and others on this list as it would require a fortune to acquire their services. Instead, players like Volpato are the hidden gems that can grow with your squad if you start off in a lower division. It’s often players of Volpato’s ilk that make career modes worthwhile as you can mold them into the kind of players that suit your system.
With infinite wads of cash, the likes of Vinicius Jr., Rodrygo, Foden, and and Rafael Leao would easily top this list, but with them currently being at the top of club football they’re just not very obtainable. Instead, we’ll look to lesser leagues to populate the list of wide players, a position that now is all about those goal contributions.
Noa Lang – (LW/RW) – Club Brugge – 23 years old – 77 OVR/84 POT, 21 million value, 25K/week wages
The ex-Ajax youth, Noa Lang will be present for the Dutch at this year’s World Cup, a testament to his solid current ability while also gaining some experience needed to be a key player at the 2024 Euros in Germany. Equipped with 4* skill moves, Lang can also play up top in a pinch and create for himself with his excellent agility, balance, ball control, and dribbling skills (all 80+). He’s going to cost some coin to pry away, but he’s primed for a step up in competition.
Thiago Almada (LW/RW) – Atlanta United – 21 years old – 76 OVR/87 POT, 17 million value, 7K/week wages
Currently plying his trade in the MLS, Thiago was recently called up to represent Argentina, a pre-tournament favorite, in the 2022 World Cup. Almada is versatile enough to play anywhere in the attacking trio behind the striker with his insane acceleration (90), agility (90), and balance (93). Short, powerful, and Argentine sounds a bit familiar — but we won’t put those kind of expectations on the kid!
Antonio Nusa (LW, RW, ST) – Club Brugge – 17 years old – 68 OVR/88 POT – 3.3 million value, 2K/week wages
Nusa is a pace merchant (85 pace) with excellent agility (89) and good dribbling skills (4* skills). Like most young players, his end product leaves a lot to be desired (58 finishing/58 crossing), but those are areas of his game that can be targeted through training. Antonio could very well find himself in Tier 1 under different circumstances, and with his combination of low current market value and high potential, he could be a great fit no matter what size club you manage.
For a little while, it looked like the traditional #9 was dying out with wide players like Mo Salah and Mbappe banging in the goals. Fast forward a few years, and it seems like half of the young stars are strikers. Guys like Halaand, Lataura, Vlahovic, Osimhen, Darwin Nunez, Isak, and Scamacca are all under the age of 24 and will carry the torch once Benzema, Lewandoski, and company retire. For obvious reasons, none of these guys make this list.
Hugo Duro (ST) – Valencia – 22 years old – 77 OVR/84 POT – 22 million value, 32K/week wages
What Duro lacks in outright pace (76 pace) he more than makes up for in finishing (80), which is rare for younger players. Players like Hugo, who can finish but need development elsewhere, can be quickly trained up as goals strongly influence match ratings that allow you to hit those objectives and maintain solid match sharpness. His next move will be to a larger club, but he could use a year playing as your #2 striker to further develop.
Hugo Ekitike (ST) – PSG – 20 years old – 76 OVR/85 POT – 17 million Value, 19K/week wages
Don’t worry, the run on Hugo ends here, but what a way to end it! Hugo Ekitike is billed as one of the next big things, so much so that PSG snapped him for a reported 35 million euros, but luckily you won’t have to pay that much for his services. Another excellent finisher in the mold of Hugo Duro, Ekitike has good height (6’0) to go along with solid, albeit not spectacular physical traits. He’s certainly marked for stardom, so if you can acquire his services now you’d be looking at someone who can either lead you to the top of the table or help finance your way to the top by way of a sale.
Mohamed-Ali Cho (ST) – Real Sociedad – 18 years old – 72 OVR/85 POT – 6 million value, 9K/week wages
When Real Sociedad cashed in on former young star Isak, they immediately took the cash Newcastle sent over and acquired Cho from Angers. The French U-21 striker who spent time in both PSG & Everton’s academy is a low risk-high return buy. He’s nowhere near ready to contribute to a solid club right now, but a loan or cup minutes with a heavy focus on training could give you a feel for the youngster. His release clause being ~15 million probably isn’t worth it if you’re looking for an immediate impact player, but stick with him and he should come good.
Finding the next big thing is an institution in FIFA. With all of the leagues to pick over, there’s no shortage of talent that can be had below the insane fees that come with the likes of Bellingham, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Halaand to name a few. Balancing out a few key additions with some youth prospects is a good way to balance the books while filling out your squad.
Who are your under-the-radar kids making the difference for your club?