Photo by Антон Зайцев / CC BY-SA 3.0

As one of the biggest sports games in the world, Football Manager is loved by millions for the realism and detail of its gameplay. Indeed, there’s no better feeling than managing a minnow to eventual success or taking an ailing giant back to the top on Football Manager.

Indeed, the Copa Manageria sees the greatest players from across the globe compete for the ultimate FM title. Whilst the competition’s cash prizes can’t quite compete with the biggest eSports prizes in history, it is certainly a great honour for the eventual winner.

Without doubt one of the most satisfying aspects of FM is the nurturing and development of young players. Yes, it’s wonderful if you can land that 30-goal-a-season striker from your big rival, but if that’s not in the cards financially, it can be just as smart to sign a talented, young prospect and allow him to flourish.

By now many are aware of the likes of Joao Felix, Frenkie de Jong and Kylian Mbappé, who are some of the best young players in the world. The beauty with FM wonderkids, though, is that they can often be found hiding in the deepest and darkest corners of academy rosters or in low-tier leagues across the globe.

Without further ado, here is our selection of the very best wonderkids of Football Manager 2019…

Pedro Neto

When it comes to unearthing a great wonderkid, two stats mean more than any other. Firstly you have to pay attention to the player’s cost; this ensures that signing him is a realistic possibility for your team. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it’s key to keep an eye on a young player’s potential rating. For Pedro Neto, a fleet-footed Portuguese starlet currently on loan from Braga at Lazio, both ratings are extraordinary. With a cost of just £275k, but a rating of four stars and a potential rating of five stars, this is a player whose contract is up in June 2019. Missing out on such an exciting young prospect at this bargain rate would be a travesty, so snapping up Neto as soon as possible is recommended.

Mason Greenwood

After making a breakthrough into the struggling Manchester United first XI towards the back end of last season, Mason Greenwood is a name that many football fans will be aware of. It seems, however, that Football Manager has not yet caught up on the hype surrounding this goal scorer, with the prospect costing just £2 million to sign. Add to this wages of just £100 per week and a potential rating of four-and-a-half stars, and you have one of the true bargains of Football Manager’s wonderkid world.

One of FM 2019’s top wonderkids, Embolo looks set to seal a big money move in the near future.

Photo by Sandro Halank / CC BY-SA 3.0

Pelayo Morilla

The extremely highly-rated Gijon attacking midfielder is quickly gaining a reputation in his home nation of Spain. With a cost of £2 million at such a young age, there is something of a risk here, but the sheer five-star potential of this young forward is too good to miss. Wages of £2k per week may be a little steep for a player of his age, but by signing Morilla, you would be making a serious investment that could last more than a decade.

Ryan Gravenberch

This Dutch wonderkid is already making waves at Ajax and is reportedly pushing for the club’s first team. With such a venerated history of producing world-class players from its academy, Ajax will be keeping a close eye on Gravenberch, and you would be wise to do the same on FM 2019. With a cost of £7m, it might be seen as a risk; but the potential of this box-to-box midfielder is too good to ignore, and coupled with minuscule wages, it’s probably worth a punt on him.

Breel Embolo

By no means an unknown player, the name Breel Embolo has been making an impact across European football for the last twelve months or so. With lightning pace and bullish strength, he has become one of FC Schalke’s finest assets in the last year, fulfilling years of predictions by scouts and keen observers alike. With such pedigree, the 21-year-old Swiss doesn’t come cheap, with an FM 2019 cost of £9m. Add to this his wages of £69k per week and you are dealing with a real top-tier player. However, Embolo’s potential and current form make him a near risk-free signing—and if you’re fortunate enough to snag him, you will reap the benefits for years to come.