Are you in charge of a big club but can't afford the silly money for Football Manager's most prized jewels? If the answer is yes, then step right forward.
After the success of our 2016 guide we've picked out 14 of the latest game's under-21s with the most potential, so you can be sure that with your nurturing hand they'll be reliably brilliant for years to come.
- SEE ALSO FourFourTwo's 59 Best Under-21 Wonderkids in the World
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- FourFourTwo's 84 Best Football Manager 2017 wonderkids... by budget: for unlimited spending
- FourFourTwo's 84 Best Football Manager 2017 wonderkids... by budget: Under £20m
- FourFourTwo's 84 Best Football Manager 2017 wonderkids... by budget: Under £7m
- FourFourTwo's 84 Best Football Manager 2017 wonderkids... by budget: Under £3.5m
14. Riechedly Bazoer
Available for: £20m
Need to know: Full Netherlands international having played for every youth team from U15 level, and been in Ajax’s first-team squad since making his debut in early 2015. The classy defensive midfielder only turned 20 in October but has made over 70 appearances for Ajax.
13. Jorge Meré
Available for: £21.5m (release clause)
Need to know: Spain’s successor to Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique, Meré is only in his second La Liga season at Sporting Gijon but has demonstrated class beyond his years that belies his team’s lowly position. Moving on to bigger things is inevitable in the near future.
12. Kingsley Coman
Available for: N/A (loan clause)
Starting value: £23m
Need to know: Only featuring in this section of our wonderkids list because he’s technically unavailable from the start of your save – Coman, valued at £23m, is in his second year on loan at Bayern Munich. The France speedster has already played for three of Europe’s biggest clubs aged 20, but it’s not yet clear whether he’ll stay put in Munich beyond the current campaign. Expect to pay big bucks for his services, though.
11. Christian Pulisic
Available for: £24m
Need to know: The USA’s great hope, Pulisic burst onto the scene with Dortmund last season aged only 17 and has continued his upward trajectory ever since. The exciting wideman is learning fast under Thomas Tuchel – but could be yours for a £24m fee that will represent fine value over time.
Next page: The striker wanted by everyone
10. Jesus Vallejo
Available for: £25m
Need to know: Spanish centre-back currently on loan from Real Madrid with Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga. The 19-year-old was plucked from Zaragoza for €6m in 2015, where he was captain aged only 18.
Available for: £26m
Need to know: Brazilian forward currently in his second season at Bordeaux, but going from strength to strength. Scored three goals in his first six Ligue 1 games of the season before tailing off, but showing intriguing promise aged 19.
8. Gonçalo Guedes
Available for: £27m
Need to know: Benfica forward who, according to recent reports, was recently being watched by up to 31 clubs across Europe. Now a full Portugal and regular for his club side – and yes, his agent is Jorge Mendes.
7. Nadiem Amiri
Available for: £27m
Need to know: Germany U21 international attacking midfielder who grabbed hold of a first-team place at Hoffenheim last season. This term is continuing in similar fashion, and while he still has much to prove, his Football Manager potential is the same as compatriot Leroy Sané’s.
Next page: Young before his time?
6. Martin Odegaard
Available for: £27m (release clause)
Need to know: Norwegian midfielder – still only 17 until mid-December – who made his international debut aged only 15 and earned a move to Real Madrid in 2015. Has only appeared once for los Blancos’ first team so far, instead honing his skills with their Castilla side, but we repeat: he’s not even an adult yet.
5. Presnel Kimpembe
Available for: £30m
Need to know: Promising PSG centre-back who has been called up for the senior France squad and is now establishing a partnership with Thiago Silva for the Ligue 1 giants. Played for Congo at U20 level but represented les Bleus since 2015.
4. Isaac Success
Available for: £32m
Need to know: Brilliantly named Watford forward who joined from Pozzo family-owned Granada for £12.5m in the summer. Still making inroads at Vicarage Road and hasn’t yet made his senior Nigeria debut, but well worth nurturing carefully if you take the Hornets reins on FM.
Next page: The serial record breaker
3. Ruben Neves
Available for: £34.5m (release clause)
Need to know: Classy central midfielder and serial record breaker, Neves became Porto’s youngest-ever goalscorer, the Dragons’ youngest player to make 50 appearances, the Champions League’s youngest-ever Portuguese player and, later, captain of any nationality aged only 18. There’s more: he made his Portugal U21s debut aged 17. Get the picture?
2. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
Available for: £35m
Need to know: Intelligent midfielder signed by Southampton after struggling to hold down a regular spot in Bayern Munich’s first team, having become the Bavarians' youngest-ever player in April 2013. Spent time on loan in between at Augsburg and Schalke before making a smart move to the Saints for just shy of £13m. Don’t get any ideas, Liverpool.
1. Julian Weigl
Available for: £35m
Need to know: Oh, the Germans do make them well. Weigl only had second division appearances to his name before Dortmund bought him for a paltry £2m from 1860 Munich in summer 2015, but it didn’t seem to matter. He’s fitted into the first team beautifully ever since, a metronomic passing machine who keeps Tuchel’s team ticking.
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