15 of the finest FIFA 18 hidden gems you can sign in Career Mode

FIFA 18 hidden gems

With big clubs stockpiling talent all over Europe, strengthening your squad in FIFA 18’s Career Mode can be difficult without investing in youth or paying through the nose. But young players start with low overall ratings and need a lot of work to realise their full potential, so they’re no use if you want to bring someone in who’ll improve your team immediately.

Every one of these players can go on to be considered among the world’s best

That’s why FourFourTwo has scoured the leagues to find first-team quality players outside of the mega-clubs, who also have the potential to go on to great things. None of them are what you’d call cheap, but they’re more affordable than more recognised names.

Each of them is available in the first transfer window of the game’s Career Mode and, based on our experiences, we’ve tried to give you an idea of how much it’ll cost to secure their services. If you want to pay less, try throwing in sell-on clauses to sweeten the deal.

With the right training and playing time, every one of these players can go on to be considered among the world’s best.   

1. Alban Lafont (Toulouse) GK

Rating: 77, Potential: 89

Need to know: Despite being only 18 years old, Lafont has already played enough first-team football for his overall rating to reach 77, making him one of the most highly regarded young goalkeepers in FIFA 18. Thanks to stats such as 79 for reflexes, 78 for diving and 76 for positioning, he’s already first choice for Toulouse, with many predicting he’ll eventually replace Hugo Lloris in goal for Les Bleus.

Expect to pay: £14m

2. Malcom (Bordeaux) RW

Rating: 81, Potential: 88

Need to know: The main thing you need to know about Malcom is that he won’t come cheap, although his asking price is still less than one Kyle Walker. The diminutive Bordeaux winger also sounds like he was named after a painter and decorator, which might be enough for some, but in case it’s not, perhaps his close control, dribbling skills and knack for free-kicks will convince you he’s worth the cash.

Expect to pay: £36m

3. Malang Sarr (OGC Nice) CB

Rating: 75, Potential: 88

Need to know: Given his imposing physical attributes, you might not expect Malang Sarr to be much cop with the ball at his feet, but with 69 for long passing and 72 for short, his distribution is surprisingly good. With 79 for strength and 77 for standing tackles, the 18-year-old is up there with Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt and RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano as one of them most promising defenders in Europe.

Expect to pay: £11m

4. Seko Fofana (Udinese) CM

Rating: 75, Potential: 86

Need to know: A tenacious presence in the centre of midfield, Udinese’s Fofana works hard both in and out of possession. Combining strength and stamina with a good touch, composed passing and decent dribbling skills, he’ll give your midfield direction and purpose, chipping in with the odd goal from outside the box too. Fofana is an affordable all-rounder who’s only going to get better.

Expect to pay: £14.5m

5. Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht) CDM

Rating: 79, Potential: 86

Need to know: Monaco paid €25m for Youri Tielemans in the summer and his compatriot Dendoncker could soon move for a similar figure. His stamina and strength stand out, with good stats for aggression, tackling and interceptions, but the 22-year-old is much more than just a battering ram. He’s got the ability to spray the ball all around the pitch, with a formidable shot on him, too.    

Expect to pay: £22m

6. Antonio Sanabria (Real Betis) ST

Rating: 78, Potential: 86

Need to know: Leaving Barcelona as a youngster is a brave thing to do but it clearly didn’t do Tonny Sanabria any harm – he can’t stop scoring for Betis this season. The 21-year-old Paraguayan has good stats for dribbling and ball control, with a burst of pace that can get him away from his marker and allow him to make the most of his 80 rating for finishing.  

Expect to pay: £21m

7. Antonio Barreca (Torino) LB

Rating: 75, Potential: 86

Need to know: The two most important traits you want when looking for a full-back are pace and stamina – and Torino’s Antonio Barreca has both in spades. 91 for sprint speed and 90 for stamina mean he’ll run up and down the wing all day, with 77 for crossing meaning he’ll whip a dangerous ball in given half the chance, too.  

Expect to pay: £11.5m

8. Alassane Plea (Nice) ST

Rating: 80, Potential: 86

Need to know: Competing with Mario Balotelli to play as Nice’s lone striker, Plea is a better all-round forward player. More mobile, and with better positioning, Plea is also almost as good a finisher as his loose cannon of a team-mate. He’s also more effective from out wide, with 76 for crossing and the skilled dribbling trait to help him beat his man. With no major weaknesses, the 24-year-old striker can develop into a top-class No.9.

Expect to pay: £25m

9. Juan Pablo Anor (Malaga) RM

Rating: 76, Potential: 86

Need to know: More commonly known as Juanpi, Malaga’s 23-year-old Venezuelan is listed as a right-midfielder but has the technical skills suited to playing more centrally. He loves to dribble, with good ball control, balance and agility, plus a habit of scoring long-rangers. Good vision and positioning make him adept at finding space between the lines, with the passing skills needed to then pick out strikers in the box.

Expect to pay: £15m

10. Wylan Cyprien (Nice) CM

Rating: 78, Potential: 86

Need to know: A real box-to-box force, Wylan Cyprien has all the attributes needed to break up play and drive forward towards the opposition’s goal. Strength, stamina, aggression and interceptions stand out, but with equally high numbers for dribbling, passing, agility and ball control, it’s clear that there’s more to his game than just energy and brute force. His 79 for long shots and 82 for shot power make him a threat from the edge of the box, too.

Expect to pay: £20m

11. Lucas Tousart (Lyon) CDM

Rating: 78, Potential: 86

Need to know: Looking for some protection to plonk in front of your back four? Look no further than Lyon’s Lucas Tousart. With 86 for aggression, 82 for strength, 81 for jumping and tackling stats that would embarrass some centre-halves his age, the 20-year-old defensive midfielder is a formidable force to have in your team. As long as you keep the passing simple, he’ll provide a real platform to build your attacks from.

Expect to pay: £13m

12. Kieran Tierney (Celtic) LB

Rating: 75, Potential: 86

Need to know: Reportedly wanted by Manchester United to succeed where Luke Shaw failed, Kieran Tierney might not stay hidden for much longer. Another speedy full-back who won’t need to be hauled off with half an hour still to play, Tierney also has the crossing ability and dribbling skills to play as a wing-back. You’ll want to work on developing his tackling and positioning but at just 20 years old, there’s plenty of time for that.

Expect to pay: £13.5

13. Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad) LW

Rating: 79, Potential: 86

Need to know: La Real’s Mikel Oyarzabal isn’t quick enough to rely purely on pace to beat his man, so he’s not the obvious choice for a winger, but with good reactions, positioning, dribbling and ball control, the 21-year-old can still help you to gain an advantage in attack, particularly if you press high up the pitch. A crossing stat of 81 is particularly good for a player of his age and 75 for finishing isn’t bad for a wide player either.    

Expect to pay: £25m

14: Jakub Jankto (Udinese) CM

Rating: 76, Potential: 85

Need to know: Spotted playing in Sparta Prague’s U19 team, Jakub Jankto is a hard-working central-midfield player with the pace, dribbling and control to keep hold of the ball when under pressure in the middle of the park. Impressive short passing skills will help keep the ball moving in tight spaces, and while his finishing leaves a lot to be desired, from outside the box you can expect his shots to at least hit the target.

Expect to pay: £14.5m

15. German Conti (Colon) CB

Rating: 76, Potential: 85

Need to know: The 22-year-old Conti has a release clause of £15.3m but with only 12 months left on his contract, you can either take a gamble on picking him up for free next season or pay Colon just under £10m. With high numbers for tackling, marking and interceptions, he’s strong in all areas you’d want from a centre-half, but he’s no slouch either, with 74 for sprint speed and 73 for reactions giving him an edge over less mobile strikers.

Expect to pay: £9.5m

More FIFA 18 on FourFourTwo…

The 10 best FIFA 18 kits that’ll make your Ultimate Team look snazzy

FIFA 18 skill moves: How to do 7 of our favourites

FIFA 18 Chemistry Styles explained – and why they’re more important than you think

The 5 best formations in FIFA 18: our favourite systems explained

7 essential FIFA 18 tips: new defending, Career Mode advice, Ultimate Team web app and more

The 12 best FIFA 18 right-backs you should sign in Ultimate Team

FIFA 18 wonderkids: the 13 best young players to sign in Career Mode

How to do the 12 new FIFA 18 celebrations – plus more of our favourites

The 11 best cheap Premier League players for your FIFA 18 Ultimate Team

The 11 best free agents in FIFA 18

7 must-read FIFA 17 tips and tricks – directly from the developers at EA Sports

New features you’d love every day

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Tom Wiggins is a Freelance Content Manager. He has been writing for various magazines and websites for the past years including MSN South Africa, MSN UK, MSN, MSN Canada, TechRadar, Yahoo Sport UK, Red Bull, JAMA Oncology, TrustedReviews, FourFourTwo, ShortList, Wareable, Stuff India, Stuff (UK), FACT Magazine, Louder, Metro.News, PC & Tech Authority, The Set Pieces, Decrypt Media, FourFourTwo Australia, In Bed With Maradona, The Ambient, Inside Sport, The Baltimore Post, My Office News.