10 Football Manager 2016 wonderkids who moved for real this summer
1. Andrija Zivkovic
Being likened to Lionel Messi is arguably more of a burden than a benefit, but left-footed wide man Zivkovic certainly shares some traits with the Barcelona man
Being likened to Lionel Messi is more of a burden than a benefit, but left-footed wideman Zivkovic certainly shares some traits with the Barcelona man.
The 20-year-old was a key figure in Serbia's Under-20 World Cup triumph last year, with his performances in that tournament and for Partizan helping to earn him a summer switch to Benfica. He'll face competition in the form of Andre Carrillo, Pizzi, Eduardo Salvio and Oscar Benitez, but Zivkovic has the talent to make a mark.
2. Jesus Vallejo
The centre-back, who captained Spain to the UEFA Under-19 Championship title in 2015, is regarded as one of the brightest talents in the country
Real Madrid have decided to loan Vallejo out to Eintracht Frankfurt this year after two seasons with Real Zaragoza in the second tier of Spanish football.
The centre-back, who captained Spain to the UEFA U19 Championship title in 2015, is regarded as one of the brightest talents in the country, which explains why Madrid's staff refused to add a future transfer clause in his Frankfurt loan contract.
3. Matheus Pereira da Silva
Juventus signed teenager Matheus Pereira from Corinthians for £1.7m this summer, with Empoli then landing him on a season-long loan from the Bianconeri.
The gifted attacking midfielder is still inexperienced at club level but did impress while playing for Brazil in the U17 South American Championship.
4. Emanuel Mammana
Lyon identified the 20-year-old defender, who won the Copa Libertadores in 2015, as an ideal replacement for new Barcelona man Samuel Umtiti this summer
The River Plate academy product debuted for Argentina before making his first official appearance at club level in October 2014. Lyon identified the 20-year-old defender, who won the Copa Libertadores in 2015, as an ideal replacement for new Barcelona man Samuel Umtiti this summer, and duly brought him to France for just £6.4m.
Mammana should receive plenty of game time at Lyon and could even become a first-team regular before the end of the 2016/17 campaign.
5. Bartlomiej Dragowski
Despite being considered one for the future, the teenage custodian's already made 69 appearances at senior club level
Fiorentina brought the 19-year-old goalkeeper – first choice at Polish side Jagiellonia Bialystok for the last two seasons – to the Artemio Franchi for £2.7m last month.
Despite being considered one for the future, the teenage custodian has already made 69 appearances at senior club level, including four in the Europa League, and will be aiming to usurp the error-prone Ciprian Tatarusanu in the coming months.
6. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
The 21-year-old box-to-box midfielder cost Southampton £12.8 million, with Saints supporters hoping he can step into the shoes of Victor Wanyama
After helping Augsburg and Schalke to fifth-place finishes in the Bundesliga in consecutive campaigns, Hojbjerg has finally departed Bayern Munich on a permanent basis.
The 21-year-old box-to-box midfielder cost Southampton £12.8m, with Saints supporters hoping he can step into the shoes of Victor Wanyama, who joined Tottenham earlier this summer.
Despite being strongly linked with Barcelona in recent months, Roma won the race for the 19-year-old winger's signature
Despite being strongly linked with Barcelona in recent months, Roma won the race for the 19-year-old winger's signature, paying £14.1m to bring him to the Italian capital.
The former Fluminense man is the 39th Brazilian to join Roma and will be hoping to make an impact as big as that of club legend Paulo Roberto Falcao – someone Gerson looks up to despite being too young to have seen him play.
8. Breel Embolo
Embolo was a real favourite on Football Manager 2016, with Schalke paying £23.8 million - about £8.8 million more than he cost on the game - to snap him up in June
Embolo was a real favourite on Football Manager 2016, and Schalke coughed up £23.8m – almost £9m more than he cost on the game – to snap him up in June.
Swiss fans complained that he didn't play more during Euro 2016, but his cameos were enough to show he's the perfect man to lead the line for the German outfit this term.
9. Renato Sanches
Bayern Munich splashed out an initial £28m to capture Europe’s latest sensation Renato Sanches – about a third less than the £42 million Benfica demanded in FM 2016.
The 18-year-old midfielder played an important role in Portugal’s European Championship triumph this summer, with Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti describing his new signing's ability as "fantastic".
10. Leroy Sane
One of the most popular wonderkids in the last few editions of Football Manager, Sane left boyhood club Schalke to join the Pep Guardiola revolution at Manchester City this summer.
The £42.5m price tag could weigh heavily on both manager and player's shoulders if things don’t go well from the start. The 20-year-old has certainly got the talent to thrive in the Premier League, though, and under the guidance of Guardiola he could make that outlay look like a bargain in a few years' time.