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Washed-Up Wonderkids FC

Created a German club called "Fußballverein für Gescheiterte Wunderkinder" or "Football Club for Failed Wonderkids" and I need your help filling the squad!
Started on 9 September 2019 by liverpool8 / First Post
Latest Reply on 16 September 2019 by BigMaguire / Last Post
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Introduction

Fußballverein für Gescheiterte Wunderkinder (FCG Wunderkinder) will start in the German Bundesliga in the 2018/19 season with a yet-to-be-named squad of 25 (plus any players still 21 or younger) players who were previously identified as potential "wonderkids" before failing to reach their expectations in both spectacular or unspectacular fashion (from Freddy Adu to Matija Nastasic). I threw together the crude club emblem above with the Champions League ball logo to represent the final goal of the save, and I may tweak it a bit before booting up the save. For now I need your help narrowing the talent (or lack thereof) pool so I'll go from position to position with the options and y'all can feel free to contribute with the names of any flops I may have missed or anyone you'd like to see in the squad! Let's do this.
Goalkeepers

Joe Hart
Current Ability: 130
Potential Ability: 163
Joe Hart is a man who needs no introduction, and you are all probably familiar with his quick decline from England and Man City mainstay to Burnley backup. At one point Hart had a FIFA potential of 88, which would roughly translate to 164-174 on the Football Manager scale. Despite this, he failed to really push himself to the heights necessary to reach that level, and fell out of favor with Pep Guardiola due to his lack of footwork. He's now sitting at a 130 current ability and at 32 he won't improve further. Nevertheless Hart could certainly play backup if we can find a better flop to be our starting keeper.

Guillermo Ochoa
Current Ability: 130
Potential Ability: 148
Guillermo Ochoa is another keeper who failed to reach the heights he promised at a younger age. Back in FIFA 07 his potential was amazingly 91 (176-182 in FM) and he was subsequently featured on the cover of FIFA 09. Despite all the hype, Ochoa never really played at a high level and failed to fulfill this potential and is now back in Mexico with his boyhood club America. He's currently operating at the same level as Joe Hart but is 2 years older so if it comes down to it I'll probably go with Hart as my backup keeper over Ochoa.

Simone Scuffet
Current Ability: 123
Potential Ability: 147
At 23 years old, Scuffet still has time to turn his fortunes around, though it's clear he won't reach the levels that were expected of him when he first broke into the Udinese first team and impressed in 2014. As a result of his good first impression, he was awarded a potential of 88 (164-174 in FM) in FIFA but has since faltered and failed to make much more progress. He still has time to reach that 147 potential if I put him in the FCG Wunderkinder
squad so he's a very strong candidate.


Scott Carson
Current Ability: 134
Potential Ability: 148
Scott Carson has become somewhat of a meme since joining Manchester City on loan from Derby to help fill City's squad registration requirements, but he was once tipped as a future star back in the mid-2000s and even boasted a 90 potential rating in FIFA 07. Clearly he failed to reach that mark and is now third-string keeper at Man City at 33 years old, which isn't a bad gig all things considered! Nevertheless, Carson's 134 current ability is higher than both Ochoa and Hart's and he's right in between them in terms of age so he's ahead of them in my book.

Emiliano Viviano
Current Ability: 136
Potential Ability: 144
Viviano is somewhat of a journeyman, having played for a total of 11 clubs (including Arsenal) in a respectable career. Given a potential of 88 in FIFA 09, Viviano impressed greatly early in his career as Brescia's starting goalkeeper for 3 years in Serie B in his early 20s. He then took a step up to the Serie A to become Bologna's starting keeper for 2 years and impressed enough to be signed by Inter in 2011 which is where his career began to plateau and subsequently decline. Despite this, he still has a current ability of 136 which is higher than any of the previous candidates, so he's a strong candidate to make the final squad!

Sergio Romero
Current Ability: 140
Potential Ability: 146
I missed Sergio Romero in my initial search for previous wonderkid keepers but it turns out due to impressive performances with AZ Alkmaar in 2010 he was given a potential rating of 87 in FIFA (161-168 in FM) before moving to Sampdoria where his potential declined steadily. As you all likely know, Romero is now backup to David De Gea at Manchester United and has done a good job in that role which has contributed to his impressive 140 current ability. As it stands Romero will be my first choice keeper for FCG Wunderkinder.

Andrea Consigli
Current Ability: 134
Potential Ability: 145
Consigli's status as a "failed wonderkid" is questionable, as he's had a very respectable career as Atalanta's first-choice keeper from 2009-2014 and Sassuolo's since then. However, he was tipped with 86 potential (160-169) from 2008-2010 in FIFA which he certainly failed to reach. With a current ability of 134 at 32 Consigli would be ahead of Joe Hart, Guillermo Ochoa, and Scott Carson to make the final squad.

Sergio Rico
Current Ability: 140
Potential Ability: 157
Sergio Rico is a strong option to be my first-choice keeper following his disastrous spell with Fulham in the 2018-19 Premier League season. Rico was previously expected to be a top goalkeeper, becoming Sevilla's #1 at just 21 years old and achieving a potential rating of 87 in FIFA 17 (161-168 in FM) but his development has stalled and he's now on loan at PSG where he'll play backup to Keylor Navas. Clearly this won't help his development either, so hopefully playing for FCG Wunderkinder will give Rico a new lease of life!

Jack Butland
Current Ability: 141
Potential Ability: 161
I'm amazed that Butland is the last keeper I could think of who failed to reach his potential, as I'd totally forgotten about him. At one point Butland possessed 89 potential on FIFA (167-174 in FM) and was largely thought to be the future England keeper, and a damn good one at that. However, due to the decline of his club Stoke City, Butland is now playing in the Championship for the second year in a row and at 26 years old it would take something special for him to hit that 89 mark. Hopefully he can revamp his career with FCG Wunderkinder!

Review


At the moment it looks like Butland, Romero, and Scuffet will be my 3 goalkeeper choices for FCG Wunderkinder. Butland and Romero will fight for the starting spot while I try to develop Scuffet to eventually overtake them as first-choice. I welcome any suggestions about other keepers who failed to live up to their expectations or any opinions at all. Let me know!
Right Backs

Antonio Barragan
Current Ability: 126
Potential Ability: 144
Barragan was touted as a potential star back when he moved from Sevilla to Liverpool in 2005 at just 18 years old despite having never played a first team game for Sevilla. He failed to impress at Liverpool and left after just a year, joining Deportivo in La Liga where he was then given a potential of 86 in FIFA (160-169) which quickly declined as he went on to have an average, though respectable career with various clubs in La Liga. At 32, Barragan now plays for Real Betis and would provide a decent backup option for FCG Wunderkinder if I were to pick him.

Davide Santon
Current Ability: 137
Potential Ability: 147
Santon was a relatively high-profile wonderkid earlier in his career, and I remember he'd be my first-choice signing whenever I needed a right back in my old FIFA/FM careers. At one point he boasted a potential of 87 on FIFA (161-168 in FM) and despite spending much of his career at Inter where he was given extensive time to develop, he failed to achieve his potential and now plays for Roma as a backup right back. Perhaps Santon can find his place at FCG Wunderkinder!

Mattia De Sciglio
Current Ability: 146
Potential Ability: 151
Like Santon, De Sciglio excelled in the Serie A at a young age and was given high expectations as a result, but has since failed to reach those targets despite currently playing for Juventus. It seems like a disproportionate amount of the past wonderkids so far have been from Serie A, which may have something to do with the quality of EA's scouts covering Italy though I'm not sure. Regardless, De Sciglio has developed into a solid player but the past hype has undoubtedly stained his successful career, and he's therefore eligible for FCG Wunderkinder in my opinion!

Rafael
Current Ability: 138
Potential Ability: 140
Rafael was a squad player for Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United for years and along with his brother, Fabio, was tipped as a future world-class right back. In FIFA 09 Rafael even possessed a potential of 89 (167-174) but he's clearly failed to reach that mark despite having a relatively successful spell with Lyon. With a current ability of 138 he's slightly better than Davide Santon though he's a year older, so at the moment De Sciglio and Santon will likely be my 2 right back choices.


Danilo
Current Ability: 147
Potential Ability: 152
Danilo is a questionable candidate for FCG Wunderkinder, as he's played for FC Porto, Real Madrid, Manchester City, and Juventus to date. Looking at this fact alone most people would say that player has done pretty well for themself, but it's also true that Danilo seemed destined for greater things when he joined Real Madrid from Porto in 2015. He was given 87 potential in FIFA 16 but that potential has steadily declined as Danilo's development has stalled. While Danilo is undeniably a great player, he certainly isn't an 87-rated right back and can therefore be classified as a "failed wonderkid" in my opinion.

Review


As it stands Danilo and Mattia De Sciglio are the 2 strongest right back options in the failed wonderkid pool, but as I said before feel free to mention any players I may have missed as I'm trying to get the most out of this save! Choosing these two will leave Juventus without a first-team right back but I think I'll leave the first transfer window open for the clubs from whom I've stolen players. So far I haven't found any failed German wonderkids to help with the registration rules, but hopefully I can find enough to fill the whole 25-man squad rather than forfeiting spaces. Schurrle, Meyer, Marin, and potentially Gotze come to mind but we're not there yet!
For CAM/RW/LW/St, Adrian of Osasuna. He was a serious wonderkid back when he was with Atletico. Yet he has only made 2 caps for Spain. He's 31 now. Also for CM, Fran Merida. At Arsenal back in 06 was touted as the next big thing. Now he's 29,never made a senior appearance for Spain, and also with Osasuna!
2019-09-10 07:46#261039 BigMaguire : For CAM/RW/LW/St, Adrian of Osasuna. He was a serious wonderkid back when he was with Atletico. Yet he has only made 2 caps for Spain. He's 31 now. Also for CM, Fran Merida. At Arsenal back in 06 was touted as the next big thing. Now he's 29,never made a senior appearance for Spain, and also with Osasuna!

Good call! I'll take a look at them. This story's been a nice trip down memory lane so far but I'm also finding so many players I hadn't even heard about before and it's changing the way I see these players who "failed" in their careers, it's a tough world!
Center Backs

Serdar Tasci
Current Ability: 129
Potential Ability: 146
Tasci will walk into the FCG Wunderkinder squad due to his German nationality (and our lack of German options) as well as his past status as a wunderkind in Germany as he broke into the VfB Stuttgart first team in 2006 at just 19 years old. His impressive form during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons launched his FIFA potential to 89 (167-174 in FM) and he was seen as one of the best young German center backs to come through the Bundesliga at the time but his development has since stalled and declined. He's now a free agent following a brief spell with Istanbul Basaksehir, so he'll fit right into my squad.

Jeffrey Bruma
Current Ability: 133
Potential Ability: 151
A Chelsea academy graduate, Jeffrey Bruma has struggled to fulfill his high potential in the Bundesliga, with unsuccessful spells at VfL Wolfsburg and Schalke 04 after a very successful spell with PSV in the Dutch Eredivisie from 2013-2016. Back in FIFA 11, Bruma had a potential rating of 87 (161-168 in FM) but his current ability now sits at 133. However, he speaks German and has experience playing in the Bundesliga so I believe he could be a reliable backup option along with Serdar Tasci.

Phil Jones
Current Ability: 142
Potential Ability: 152
Back in 2013, the great Sir Alex Ferguson made an alarming declaration, stating "Jones, arguably the way he is looking, could be our best ever player. I think Jones may be one of the best players we have ever had, not matter where we play him. At 21 years of age, he is going to be a phenomenal player. I think he can play anywhere on the pitch." As you all know, Jones hasn't quite become the legend that Ferguson predicted and is now on the fringes as more of a meme than a player at this point. Despite this, with a current ability of 142 I think Jones could do a very good job in the Bundesliga and will likely be one of my starting center backs if chosen.

Chris Smalling
Current Ability: 145
Potential Ability: 152
Along with Jones, Smalling was thought to be destined for great things under Sir Alex Ferguson, but the internal struggles that Manchester United has suffered in the years since Ferguson's retirement may have stalled both players' progress. Smalling is one of the players being pushed out of the club in the recent attempt at an overhaul, and is now on loan at Roma in similar fashion to the way Joe Hart was ousted from Manchester City. I think his strong current ability and partnership with Phil Jones could be great in the Bundesliga (it is a video game after all) so at the moment a Smalling-Jones partnership is definitely a strong contender for our final line up.

Mamadou Sakho
Current Ability: 142
Potential Ability: 154
Coming through the ranks at PSG, Sakho broke into the first team in 2007 at just 17 years old. Naturally, he was given a massive 88 potential just a few years later, and he maintained that potential for 2 whole years before his progress began to stall. He was then sold to Liverpool (my club) in somewhat of a rollercoaster spell, before moving to Crystal Palace where he currently plays. It's safe to say he failed to reach the heights that were expected of him as a 17 year old first team player for PSG, but he could certainly do a job for FCG Wunderkind though I think I'd still prefer a Smalling-Jones partnership for better cohesion.

Matija Nastasic
Current Ability: 146
Potential Ability: 162
I can already tell this is going to be a difficult decision when it comes down to the final cut. Matija Nastasic is a strong contender for a starting role due to his relatively high current ability and his 5 years of experience playing in the Bundesliga. Despite his solid current ability, Nastasic was touted a future star when he joined Manchester City and impressed in his first season. He's struggled to really take his game to the next level and at 26 it's unlikely that he'll reach the 88 potential he was given in FIFA 13 (164-174 in FM), but I think he'd be a great option in the left center back spot (yes, he's left-footed!).

Eliaquim Mangala
Current Ability: 135
Potential Ability: 141
Another failed Manchester City wonderkid, Eliaquim Mangala once boasted an overall rating of 81 and a potential of 86 on FIFA. Let that sink in. He's now a rotation option at Valencia and could fill the same role at FCG Wunderkinder if I decide to choose him, though it's unlikely.

Reece Oxford
Current Ability: 122
Potential Ability: 144
Reece Oxford is a unique candidate, as he's still only 20 years old while most of the other failed wonderkids are in their primes (or should be in their primes at their age) or older. However, it's clear that he's struggled since becoming the Premier League's youngest ever player at just 16 years old (later beaten by Harvey Elliott). Once boasting a FIFA potential of 86 (160-169 in FM) as a promising West Ham starlet, he now plays for FC Augsburg in the Bundesliga where he's trying to kickstart his development. As he wouldn't need to be registered in the first season, Oxford has already officially made the FCG Wunderkinder squad!

Jairo Riedewald
Current Ability: 126
Potential Ability: 149
With the addition of Riedewald to this list, I'm noticing a trend in Crystal Palace's recruitment. Some of you may have noticed this before but Crystal Palace seems to be emulating what I'm trying to do with FCG Wunderkinder, by recruiting failed wonderkids excessively. They've got Sakho, Riedewald, Meyer, and Benteke to name a few (they will all be featured on this list) so it seems Palace may be down to bare bones once we're done with them! Riedewald made a name for himself at Ajax at a very young age and at one point he possessed a potential rating of 86 on FIFA, but his development has stalled since joining Crystal Palace and his future doesn't appear as bright as before. However, at 22 years old he's a very strong contender for FCG Wunderkinder as he could still reach a solid ability level and he'd provide much-needed depth in several positions.

Mauricio Lemos
Current Ability: 126
Potential Ability: 145
Lemos is another relatively young option who could provide backup while he continues his development. If it comes down to it I'll probably choose Riedewald over Lemos but I thought Lemos was worth mentioning because of his ridiculously high recent potential in FIFA. In FIFA 17 Lemos was given 88 potential (164-174 in FM) after impressing for Las Palmas, and in just 2 years that potential has fallen to 79 (135-145 in FM), a figure that FM seems to agree with. As I said before, Lemos likely won't make the final cut but was worth mentioning nonetheless.

Eric Bailly
Current Ability: 145
Potential Ability: 161
It seems Manchester United and Crystal Palace could be major contributors to the final FCG Wunderkinder squad, which I suppose could be good for the dressing room and overall team cohesion. It's sort of a frightening prospect though, isn't it? Anyway, Eric Bailly's spell at Manchester United has exactly panned out the way he must've expected when he joined in 2016. At that time he boasted a FIFA potential of 87 (161-168 in FM) and looked destined to solve Manchester United's defensive woes once and for all. Obviously that didn't happen and Bailly seems to be somewhat mirroring Sakho's spell with Liverpool during their difficult time. Bailly certainly makes my final decision difficult, with Nastasic, Jones, Smalling, and Sakho all providing strong options to be my starting center backs.

Review


My current 6 choices for center back in my pre-determined pecking order are Nastasic, Bailly, Smalling, Tasci, Riedewald, and Oxford. Nastasic and Bailly will start as I believe they could both still improve marginally, while Smalling will play a rotation role along with Tasci. I'll try to develop Riedewald and Oxford to reach their full potentials though it may be difficult with that much competition in the center of the park. Let me know what you think or who you'd choose!
Left Backs

Fabio
Current Ability: 123
Potential Ability: 132
Like his twin brother Rafael, Fabio was signed and developed by Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United; but unlike Rafael, Fabio failed to break through into the first team and was subsequently sold to Cardiff. He now plays for FC Nantes and hasn't come close to reaching the 87 potential he was given back in FIFA 11. He could potentially operate as a backup for my FCG Wunderkinder squad, but it's unlikely as there will probably be better options.

Fabio Coentrao
Current Ability: 138
Potential Ability: 150
Fabio Coentrao broke into the Benfica first team at 21 years old and impressed enough to be signed by Real Madrid for €30m in 2011. He was then given a potential of 86 from FIFA 11 to FIFA 13 before his development stalled and his career declined. He returned to his boyhood club Rio Ave once his contract was finally terminated by Real Madrid in 2018, but he has since left the club and is now a free agent at 31 years old. Makes me wonder why Liverpool didn't sign him as backup! With a current ability of 138 I believe Coentrao could still do a job so he's certainly a stronger candidate than Fabio.

Luke Shaw
Current Ability: 146
Potential Ability: 152
Luke Shaw adds to the growing number of Manchester United players featured on this list (Sergio Romero, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, who's next?). Shaw came through the esteemed Southampton academy where he greatly impressed as one of the most promising left backs in not just the league but the entire world. At one point Shaw even possessed a potential of 89 on FIFA 16, but his progress has been marred by injury problems, weight issues, and internal club struggles that you're probably all very aware of. At 24 years old, Shaw still has time to push his development further but it's clear he'll never be the 89-rated monster that Manchester United and England fans had hoped for. Despite this, he'd fit in perfectly at FCG Wunderkinder with his former teammates Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling, and Sergio Romero.

Theo Hernandez
Current Ability: 138
Potential Ability: 152
Just 2 years ago, Theo Hernandez was seen as one of the brightest left back prospects in the world along with his brother Lucas Hernandez, but his poor attitude and work ethic saw him fall out with Real Madrid and his development has suffered since he signed for the club in 2017 for €24m. In those two years when he could've been taking his game to the next level, Hernandez has seemingly taken a step back in his development and has now signed for A.C. Milan (for €4m less than he joined Real) where he will try to fix his damaged career. At just 21 years old, I think Hernandez will reach that 152 potential ability at FCG Wunderkinder so I will more than likely choose him as one of my final 2 left backs.

Jetro Willems
Current Ability: 136
Potential Ability: 149
I remember Jetro Willems from my FIFA career mode days. He was a powerful wing back who could do it all really, and he was a guaranteed future beast every time I'd start a new career. Nowadays Willems plays for Steve Bruce's Newcastle United on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt, and isn't anywhere near the 86 potential he had as recently as FIFA 17. He could operate as a reliable backup option for FCG Wunderkinder, but at the moment Shaw and Hernandez are the two front-runners.

Layvin Kurzawa
Current Ability: 141
Potential Ability: 145
Perhaps Liverpool's extensive left back woes during their dark ages were what put me so in tune with the up-and-coming left backs in the football world. Every year I'd start up my FIFA career mode or FM save using Liverpool and the first signing I'd make was a promising left back. Luke Shaw, Theo Hernandez, Jetro Willems, and Layvin Kurzawa have all featured for my past Liverpools and have all failed to excel in the same way they did for my various Liverpool teams (clearly they picked the wrong clubs!). Layvin Kurzawa seems to have fallen out of favor at PSG, despite having boasted a potential of 88 in FIFA 16, a rating that would've made him the best left back in the world. I believe he's still a solid player, but Luke Shaw appears to be the better option to be a starter and Theo Hernandez's age puts him ahead of Kurzawa in my book.

Ricardo Rodriguez
Current Ability: 145
Potential Ability: 156
Ricardo Rodriguez has actually had a very respectable career so far, but I can't help think about what would've been if he had reached his given 87 potential and became the world-beater that FM and FIFA communities around the Internet had expected for so many years. At 26 years old, Rodriguez's development seems to have hit a ceiling of 145, which is certainly short of the mark I expected him to reach at this point in his career. Nevertheless, Rodriguez is a strong contender for my left back spot as he seems less injury-prone than Luke Shaw and my next option.

Benjamin Mendy
Current Ability: 148
Potential Ability: 160
Yes, the most injury-prone of them all. And yet Benjamin Mendy is the best choice available to me for the starting left-back spot. This will be a difficult decision. Benjamin Mendy joined Manchester City in July 2017 and was given a potential of 86 due to his impressive spell with AS Monaco. He has since featured in just 17 Premier League matches of a possible 80 and it's clear that injuries have hampered his progress. With the introduction of Angelino to the Manchester City squad and some very impressive form by Zinchenko, Mendy is definitely not where he thought he'd be when he joined the club for a massive £52m. It'd be a gamble to choose him as my starting left back as his injuries could make him an unreliable choice, but his high current ability and potential make him a very strong contender.

Review


With an abundance of options this has been my most difficult decision yet, but I've decided on Benjamin Mendy and Theo Hernandez for now. Mendy will be my starting left back, though his injury-proneness will provide many opportunities for Theo Hernandez to step in and continue his development for us. Who would you guys choose?
So just to check are you creating the squad or are you going to give a team a massive budget a la Man City chelsea and go out to buy them.

I think the second option is the harder but the process would be more interesting and if you had a fixed budget that might mean you need to prioritise key players.

E.g Coentrao as a freebie is good backup and free rather than £80m on two left backs.

It’s interesting though.

Id go tasci nastatic and Bruma at centre half to fulfil quotas and be taken in midfield
Nabil bentaleb in centre midfield
Federico Macheda has to be one surely!
2019-09-11 17:51#261071 stigzee : So just to check are you creating the squad or are you going to give a team a massive budget a la Man City chelsea and go out to buy them.

I think the second option is the harder but the process would be more interesting and if you had a fixed budget that might mean you need to prioritise key players.

E.g Coentrao as a freebie is good backup and free rather than £80m on two left backs.

It’s interesting though.

Id go tasci nastatic and Bruma at centre half to fulfil quotas and be taken in midfield

I thought about doing it that way, with the fixed budget in place, but I decided it's going to be difficult enough to put the team together in terms of cohesion and if I used a budget I'd probably end up in a relegation battle rather than a Champions League push. If I was going for a more long-term save I'd probably do it that way but I'm only aiming for a 2-3 season experiment. I might swap Smalling and Bruma for the quota though and I'll think about Coentrao for sure.
Defensive Midfielders

Johannes Geis
Current Ability: 132
Potential Ability: 147
Johannes Geis will join Serdar Tasci in fulfilling the minimum German player quota for the squad registration, which is 12. I don't believe I'll reach this mark but the maximum number of players that can be registered is 99 so I don't think it'll be a big deal if we have to forfeit some spaces lol. Geis entered the spotlight after impressing for Mainz in the Bundesliga from 2013-2015 and was given a FIFA potential of 86 (160-169 in FM) before being sold to Schalke for €12 million. His progress has suffered since and he now plays for FC Nurnberg following a brief 6-month stint in the second half of the season with FC Koln. With a current ability of 132 and still some time to improve further, in addition to his German nationality, Geis is a fine candidate for FCG Wunderkinder.

Nuri Sahin
Current Ability: 139
Potential Ability: 148
Nuri Sahin may also contribute to the minimum German player requirement as he was born in Germany, though he has declared for Turkey so I'm not sure how that will affect his registration. Nuri Sahin came through the ranks at Borussia Dortmund, being hailed as a "wunderkind" since he was a teenager, and he came very close to fulfilling his potential until joining Real Madrid where his career began to slide downhill. At one point he had an overall rating of 85 on FIFA (151-161 on FM) with a potential of 88 (164-174 on FM), and now he sits far from those figures with a current ability of 139 in FM. As Sahin may contribute to the German player quota, I think I may include him in the final squad but I'm still looking for someone better who could start ahead of him.

Yann M'Vila
Current Ability: 136
Potential Ability: 140
Yann M'Vila showed real promise when he came through the Stade Rennais academy, securing a starting role in the first team in Ligue 1 at just 19 years old. He held that spot for 3 and a half years before being sold to Rubin Kazan in Russia. Due to a dispute with the Rubin Kazan coach caused by M'Vila returning to France and skipping the club's training camp, probably along with several other factors, M'Vila's development suffered and he failed to reach the 86 potential he was once given by FIFA. He's still a solid player in his prime, however, and our lack of options makes him a candidate for sure.

Review


I struggled to find many defensive midfielders that fit the criteria so as it stands Nuri Sahin and Johannes Geis are the two likely choices for the defensive midfield role. I considered Douglas Luiz but decided he's more of a box to box midfielder and still has time to get his development back on track. I also considered Lars Bender who would've been perfect to put in the heart of the FCG Wunderkinder midfield but I think it'd be harsh to classify Bender as a "failed wonderkid" as he's made over 224 league appearances for Bayer Leverkusen and is now their captain so I decided against including him in the pool. Can any of you guys think of any better options than Nuri Sahin? I'm trying lol
If I was being picky Chalobah Romeu Grujic from Liverpool? Bakayoko and Sanches are probably mcs not dms?
2019-09-13 18:51#261116 stigzee : If I was being picky Chalobah Romeu Grujic from Liverpool? Bakayoko and Sanches are probably mcs not dms?

Great call on Romeu! I hadn't thought about him or Chalobah and I think both would be improvements. I thought about Grujic but I decided he didn't quite fit the criteria, would you call him a failed wonderkid? I'm on the fence tbh
Center Midfielders

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Current Ability: 147
Potential Ability: 154
Oxlade-Chamberlain is one that rings close to home, as Ox now plays for my favorite club Liverpool. Like several other names on this list, Ox came through the Southampton academy as a lightning-fast right midfielder with great technique, attributes which ensured interest from the top 6 of England and ultimately led to his signing for Arsenal. Ox made a total of 132 Prem appearances for Arsenal over 7 seasons but failed to make the progress that he had hoped to achieve under Arsene Wenger, and decided to join the great Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool where he has since experienced somewhat of a rollercoaster ride with a great debut season capped with a horrid Champions League final loss to Real Madrid, a nightmare second season spent on the sidelines and capped with a Champions League trophy/medal, and a slow start to his third so far. Ox would provide some pace and flair in the midfield if I recruited him for FCG Wunderkinder, and there's a good chance he'll make the final squad.

Riechedly Bazoer
Current Ability: 134
Potential Ability: 154
A Dutch wonderkid, Riechedly Bazoer attracted Ajax's attention from a very young age, joining from PSV in 2012 when he was just 15 years old and gaining massive attention as Holland's "next star". Bazoer's development. I'm not sure exactly what went wrong with his development, and at one point Bazoer boasted a FIFA potential of 88 (164-174 in FM) but it's becoming clear that Bazoer won't reach that mark. While on loan at FC Porto, Bazoer was reportedly forced to play for the B team due to repeated injuries and lack of discipline, so these issues may have caused his original decline. Regardless, Bazoer is still only 22 years old and has time to reach his respectable 154 potential so there's a good chance he'll make the final cut.

Andre Gomes
Current Ability: 144
Potential Ability: 151
There seems to be an abundance of failed wonderkids in the center midfield department, which is great news for FCG Wunderkinder. Andre Gomes joined and graduated from the Benfica academy at 18, and worked his way into the fringes of the first team before being sold to Valencia where he became a starter at just 21 years old. He impressed so much that Barcelona bought him for €35 million plus €20 million in add-ons, and he did so well in his first season that he was given an overall rating of 84 in FIFA (149-159) and a potential of 90 (171-179). He seemed to have struggled for confidence during his second season and was subsequently loaned to Everton, to whom he was later sold for about half the price Barca paid. Clearly he won't become the Barcelona legend that was briefly expected of him, but Gomes could slot right into the box-to-box midfield role or really whatever role I decide as he has very well-rounded attributes. We'll have to see if he's still good enough to make the final cut.

Renato Sanches
Current Ability: 137
Potential Ability: 162
There have been a few players that I've left out of this list due to their young ages and potential to turn things around, but Renato Sanches is a very high-profile flop and despite still only being 21 years old (just turned 22 in real life), his future doesn't appear as bright as it once did. Sanches came through the esteemed Benfica academy, playing there from the ages of 9-18 before breaking into the first team as a 19 year old starlet with bags of potential, so much so that Bayern decided to buy the kid for a whopping total of €80 million (including all add-ons). He was then awarded the European Golden Boy award in October of 2016, launching his FIFA potential up to 90 (171-179 in FM), but his development has declined since then and he recently signed for Lille for just €25 million. I think Lille is a great project at the moment and he's made a good career move by joining them, but I doubt Sanches will reach the heights that the football world had originally hoped for and therefore he qualifies for (and will likely make) the FCG Wunderkinder squad.

Andre Horta
Current Ability: 129
Potential Ability: 152
I'm noticing a trend here with Portuguese center midfielders failing to reach their potentials, and Andre Horta seems like another one. Horta's career has taken some strange turns, such as a one year spell with LAFC which started off with a back pass resulting in the opposite team scoring the final equalizing goal. His career seems to have gone downhill from that moment, seeing his previously high FIFA potential and overall rating fall significantly before being sold to Braga only a year later for just $2.5m (half the price of the fee LAFC spent on him). Like Renato Sanches, Horta is still young and has plenty of time to reach his respectable potential of 152, so there's a fair chance Horta could make the final squad.

Emre Can
Current Ability: 150
Potential Ability: 159
I'm sure when Emre Can left Liverpool to join Juventus it seemed like the next logical step in his career to finally break through and reach his full potential, but it seems he may have already done that at Liverpool. Can now finds himself on the fringes of the Juventus squad, behind Pjanic, Khedira, Ramsey, Matuidi, Bentancur, and Rabiot in the pecking order. He was actually left out of Juventus's Champions League squad this season after they failed to sell him during the summer transfer window, and will now spend most of the season on the bench which definitely won't help his development. As a German national, Can would make a great addition to the FCG Wunderkinder squad and could even be an option for my captain. We'll see, but I can say with full confidence that Emre Can will make the final squad.

Jack Wilshere
Current Ability: 139
Potential Ability: 157
Because what would a failed wonderkids list be without Jack Wilshere? Lol, though Wilshere doesn't appear to be good enough to beat out the other former wonderkids for a starting spot on FCG Wunderkinder, I think Wilshere could potentially play a backup or rotation role for us, though his injury-proneness could cause problems for us as it has for his development as a player. Wilshere seemed like the next great England player when he broke into the Arsenal first team in the 2008-09 season. He was given a FIFA potential of 90 (171-179 in FM) which stuck for quite a while, but injuries hampered his progress and he now plays for West Ham United, where his extensive injury problems have continued. Is he worth another chance?

Alan Dzagoev
Current Ability: 134
Potential Ability: 140
Dzagoev was awarded "Best Young Player" in the Russian Premier League in his debut season at just 16 years old. Obviously the "wonderkid" talk soon followed after such an achievement, and Dzagoev was later awarded a potential of 90 in FIFA 10. Despite being regarded as a "star" in his native North Ossetia, Dzagoev has failed to become a world-beater and has instead become somewhat of a CSKA Moscow legend, with over 300 total appearances for the club since joining back in 2008. With a current ability of 134, Dzagoev could play a backup or rotation role for FCG Wunderkinder, so I'll certainly consider him.

Fabian Delph
Current Ability: 140
Potential Ability: 149
There seems to be an abundance of English center midfielders on this list, and Delph adds to that group as somewhat of a sell-out. Delph was once regarded as a potential future star, maintaining a potential of 86 on FIFA for over 2 years while at Aston Villa, but his slow development saw him fail to reach this target and instead joined Manchester City to fill their squad registration requirements as an English player back in 2015. God knows how much this man was paid to warm the bench for them but now he has a chance to redeem himself for FCG Wunderkinder!

Ross Barkley
Current Ability: 145
Potential Ability: 155
Barkley is yet another English option for my center midfield pool, as his progress has stalled since joining Chelsea in January of last year (2018). Back in FIFA 17, Barkley actually had 89 potential (167-174 in FM) and looked to be on track with his development at Everton, but he's now a squad player at Chelsea and it seems he won't ever quite be "world-class" as many Everton fans probably hoped back in the day. I think playing under Frank Lampard could be really good for Barkley IRL, but playing under me for FCG Wunderkinder would be a life-changing privilege for him so hopefully for his sake I choose him lol.

Anderson
Current Ability: 105
Potential Ability: 155
This is more of an honorable mention than anything else, but I figured I'd include Anderson on this list as he was a very high-profile flop during his time at Sir Alex Ferguson's dominant Manchester United. Anderson joined Manchester United back in 2007, and though his work permit application was originally rejected, it was later approved on appeal because of the “exceptional talent he will bring to the Premier League”. Born in the same city as the legendary (yet also notably an underachiever) Ronaldinho, Anderson's journey to the top was followed by a rapid decline caused by injury problems, lack of commitment, personal issues, you name it. At 31 years old, Anderson now plays for Adana Demirspor in the second tier of Turkey. Probably not quite where he thought he'd end up.

Review


My current top 4 choices for the final squad are Can, Ox, Sanches, and Bazoer. Can and Ox would be my primary starting partnership, with Sanches and Bazoer rotating in behind them in the pecking order to continue their development. This was a very difficult choice as there are many solid options in this position, but I figured I'd go with the 2 strongest and the 2 youngest options. I still haven't decided if I'll go with defensive midfielders or attacking midfielders for my final formation, so I'll be going over the attacking midfielders available to me in the next post.

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