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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 8 October 2019 by liverpool8 / Last Post
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Attacking Midfielders

Ryad Boudebouz
Current Ability: 135
Potential Ability: 140
Ryad Boudebouz broke into the Sochaux first team in Ligue 1 at just 18 years old, and became a regular starter afterwards due to his impressive talent at such a young age. Naturally the hype followed, with EA setting his potential at 86 (160-169 in FM) which lasted for 2 years until his progress slowed. Like many of the failed wonderkids on this list, Boudebouz peaked at a young age and his career since has been respectable but somewhat forgettable when compared with what could've been. Boudebouz now plays for AS Saint-Etienne after an unsuccessful spell with Real Betis, but with a current ability of 135 Boudebouz could still play a backup role for me in the CAM spot.

Javier Pastore
Current Ability: 145
Potential Ability: 159
Pastore attracted attention from a number of big clubs such as Manchester United, Porto, Milan, and Chelsea before moving to Palermo from Argentine club Huracan. He then established himself very quickly as one of their best players despite his young age, and was given a potential of 90 (171-179 in FM) back in FIFA 11, roughly 4 months before he signed for PSG for €39.8m. This is where he somewhat plateaued and failed to become the world-class player that PSG had expected when they signed him. Pastore now plays for AS Roma but has struggled to assert himself in the squad despite his relatively high ability. Pastore could be a top contender for the starting CAM role in my lineup, but I'll keep looking to see if I kind find any slightly better options.

Renato Augusto
Current Ability: 146
Potential Ability: 159
Augusto was (and may still be) regarded as one of the best products of Brazilian club Flamengo's youth academy in recent years, but I'm certainly not alone in thinking Augusto could've achieved much more if he had fulfilled the potential that was expected of him when he joined Bayer Leverkusen back in 2008. When I first started playing FM on the FM mobile versions, Augusto was always one of my first transfer targets as one of the brightest young prospects in the world at that time. Back in FIFA 10, Augusto was given a potential of 88 (164-174 in FM) and though I don't know exactly what his potential was in FM at the time, he always became a world-class player in each of my saves. Augusto's story is unique from the other wonderkids, though, as he seemed on track to have quite an illustrious career until he decided to leave Bayer Leverkusen to return to Brazil at the age of 24 due to homesickness, right when he should've been taking the next step up to take his game to the next level. Clearly this had an effect on his development and after 3 years he signed for Beijing Guoan, which is odd considering his homesickness but I suppose the money must've been enough to convince him. Regardless, Augusto still possesses great ability and could make a triumphant return to Germany by helping FCG Wunderkinder achieve Champions League qualification.

Manuel Lanzini
Current Ability: 140
Potential Ability: 160
Lanzini came through the highly respected River Plate academy in his native Argentina before making an odd career move to join Al Jazira Club in the UAE at just 21, despite interest from numerous European clubs. He then joined West Ham on loan before making the deal permanent the following summer, and has since had an impressive spell in the Prem, attracting further interest from top clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United over the past few years. However, Lanzini spent most of last season on the sidelines and though he's featuring once again for the West Ham first team, it's hard to imagine that at 26 Lanzini will improve much more to reach the 87 potential (161-168 in FM) that was once given to him. Lanzini is around the same level as Renato Augusto and Javier Pastore, and due to his younger age he could potentially beat out both of them to make the final squad, we'll see.

Ganso
Current Ability: 138
Potential Ability: 158
Like Renato Augusto, Ganso broke out as a "wonderkid" around the time when I first started playing FM and I distinctly remember recruiting him for my legendary FM 2011 Liverpool team. Ganso really broke through in 2009, making 33 appearances for Santos at just 20 years old and subsequently being nominated for the Brazilian Football Confederation award for "Breakthrough Player" of the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, given to the best rookie of the competition. His development somewhat stagnated after that, failing to feature as much for Santos before moving to Sao Paulo in 2012 where he stayed until 2016 before finally taking the leap to Europe to sign for Sevilla. He struggled to get into the team at Sevilla and has since returned to Brazil, potentially for the same reasons as Renato Augusto. If Ganso moved to Europe after that impressive 2009 season, I think he'd have gotten much closer to the 89 (167-174 in FM) potential he was once given in FIFA. He now plays for Fluminense but with a current ability of 138 he could provide a solid backup option for me in the CAM position.

Mario Gotze
Current Ability: 151
Potential Ability: 173
Gotze is first player on this list to hold a current ability rating of over 150 in FM, and therefore has already made the team by default! His German nationality will also help with the squad registration quota, so I think I'll go with a 4-2-3-1 formation rather than my preferred 4-1-4-1 due to the better options in the CAM position than the CDM role. Gotze was expected to be one of the best players in the world after breaking into the impressive Borussia Dortmund first team under Jurgen Klopp in 2009 when he was only 17 years old. His progress continued after he signed for Bayern for €37 million, making him the second most expensive German player to date at just 21 years old, and his development seemingly climaxed with his late winner in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final, cementing his name in German history at just 22 years old. At this time, the hype around him was still huge, with a potential of 92 (189 in FM) looming over his head. The 2014-15 season then began without giving him much of a breather, and he seemingly struggled to regain his form and make any improvement in his game which led to heavy criticism from Franz Beckenbauer over his "lack of determination". After falling down the pecking order at Bayern under Pep Guardiola, Gotze moved back to Borussia Dortmund where he has since plateaued as a solid first team player for the club, far from the world-class star that Dortmund fans had hoped for when he broke into the team at 17. Though many of you probably already know this story, I just thought it was interesting how quickly Gotze's world was turned upside-down.

Maximilian Meyer
Current Ability: 139
Potential Ability: 151
Meyer was touted as a future star when he became a regular first team player for Schalke at just 18 years old, and was handed a potential of 87 (161-168 in FM) back in FIFA 14 as a result. However, Meyer's development since joining Crystal Palace has stalled, and questions about his attitude and professionalism seem to have cemented his status as a failed wonderkid despite his young age. Still, at 23 (almost 24), Meyer still has time to improve and with a decent current ability and potential as well as the fact that he's German, he would make a great backup for Gotze for my final squad.

Giovani dos Santos
Current Ability: 132
Potential Ability: 150
Giovani dos Santos came through Barcelona's academy, La Masia, and featured heavily in his debut season for the club in the 2007-08 season when he was only 18 years old, so expectations were high when he joined Tottenham Hotspur for €6 million in 2008. However, dos Santos only managed to make 17 league appearances over 4 years with the club, and despite several loan spells dos Santos failed to improve much during his time with Spurs before moving to Mallorca in 2012. dos Santos has since had several successful years in Spain and the U.S., and now plays for America in Mexico. With a current ability of 132, dos Santos is good enough to play a backup role for me but due to the better options in the squad it's unlikely that he'll make the cut.

Bojan
Current Ability: 128
Potential Ability: 146
Like dos Santos, Bojan came through the La Masia academy but was undoubtedly more hyped than dos Santos when he broke into the Barcelona first team at just 17 years old, beating Messi's record to become the youngest Barcelona player to feature in a La Liga match (actually coming on for dos Santos as a 78' substitution). This was quite an achievement, and Bojan was deservedly given a potential of 92 (189 in FM) back in FIFA 09 which began to decline in FIFA 10 as he failed to work his way up the Barcelona pecking order. He then joined Roma and has struggled to find a home since, now playing for Montreal Impact in the MLS following a mixed spell with Stoke City. With a current ability of 128, Bojan isn't quite good enough for FCG Wunderkinder but I couldn't leave Bojan out of this list as he's one of the first names that comes to mind in the "failed wonderkids" discussion.

Ravel Morrison
Current Ability: 125
Potential Ability: 138
When Morrison came through the Manchester United academy back in 2009, Sir Alex Ferguson reportedly "thought he was the best player he had seen at that age" according to Rio Ferdinand, and his high natural ability led EA to give him a potential of 84 (149-159) which isn't exactly world-class but is still a very high level compared to where Morrison is at now. Multiple assault charges and various disciplinary issues have stunted Morrison's career, but he's been given a chance to resurrect his career by Chris Wilder after joining Sheffield United from Swedish club Ostersunds FK over the summer. With a current ability of just 125, Morrison won't make the FCG Wunderkinder squad but I felt he deserved an honorable mention.

Ryan Gauld
Current Ability: 112
Potential Ability: 140
Another honorable mention, Ryan Gauld made waves in the FM community following his breakout season with Dundee United in the Scottish Premiership in the 2013-14 season at just 17 years old. Despite interest from Manchester United, Everton, Liverpool, and even Real Madrid, Gauld joined Sporting CP in 2014 and his development has gone somewhat backwards since then. Gauld now plays for Portuguese club Farense in the second division of Portugal, likely far from where he thought he'd be at this stage. With a current ability of just 112, Gauld wouldn't get anywhere near the first team for FCG Wunderkinder, but I thought he was worth mentioning due to his huge popularity among FM players back when he was first touted as "the Scottish Messi" (yes that was actually a thing).

Review


Despite the extensive options in the CAM position, Gotze and Meyer were relatively easy choices due to their relative abilities, ages, and nationality. Gotze will play the starting CAM role for FCG Wunderkinder and Meyer will play backup while also rotating into the midfield behind Gotze to continue his development. Barring any late mix-ups, Gotze and Meyer will be my 2 options ahead of the others listed above and the defensive midfielders I wrote about before (Nuri Sahin and Johannes Geis).
Right Wingers

Alen Halilovic
Current Ability: 125
Potential Ability: 146
Alen Halilovic is a fairly recent wonderkid flop, having made his professional debut for Dinamo Zagreb during the 2012-13 season at just 16 years old and impressing so much that Barcelona decided to buy him for €2.2m in 2014. Halilovic looked to be on track to become the "Croatian Messi" when he first joined Barca, at one point being awarded a potential of 91 in FIFA (176-182 in FM) before his controlling father and a "crippling injury" severely stunted his development. Halilovic currently plays for Dutch Eredivisie side SC Heerenveen, on loan from A.C. Milan following a brief spell on loan at Standard Liege in Belgium during the second half of last season. At 23 years old, he could still improve and potentially reach a decent level of 146 so Halilovic is certainly a decent option for my backup right winger.

Erik Lamela
Current Ability: 142
Potential Ability: 150
Erik Lamela became a regular starter for his boyhood club River Plate at just 18 years old before being signed by AS Roma for €12m in 2011. After a solid first season and a spectacular second season in which he scored 15 league goals in 33 appearances (more than he's scored in 129 league appearances for Spurs), Lamela was signed by Tottenham for a club record £25.8m plus £4.2m in bonuses. Out of curiosity I calculated what that value would equate to in today's market and in total this transfer would cost ~£60.3m. So while Lamela has held down a playing role for Spurs for years and contributed many great moments, I think it's safe to say he hasn't quite fulfilled the potential that was expected of him when he moved to the club. However, Lamela's high current ability and versatility make him a strong option for a spot in the final FCG Wunderkinder squad.

Levin Oztunali
Current Ability: 133
Potential Ability: 143
Oztunali came through the Hamburger SV academy, but was signed by rivals Bayer Leverkusen before making his senior debut for the latter club in 2013 at just 17 years old, making him the youngest player to make a Bundesliga appearance in the club's history. After making 9 league appearances that season, Oztunali was voted 2nd best U18 player in the league behind Julian Brandt, so it's understandable that he was later given a potential of 86 in FIFA 15 (160-169 in FM). Despite this promising start to his career, Oztunali failed to progress enough to earn a place in the Leverkusen first team, and now plays for Mainz with his future appearing slightly dimmer. At 23, I believe Oztunali still has time to grow and as a German national there's a very good chance he'll be my backup right winger.

Juan Iturbe
Current Ability: 124
Potential Ability: 150
Iturbe stood out as a young player in Paraguay, and was awarded a FIFA potential of 88 (164-174 in FM) when he joined FC Porto following his 18th birthday. After failing to break into the Porto team, Iturbe moved to Hellas Verona on loan where he featured regularly and was subsequently bought by AS Roma just weeks after permanently signing for Hellas Verona. At this time his potential hadn't fallen but irregular playtime and a series of unsuccessful loan stints have since stunted his development and he now appears to have gone backwards somewhat, now playing for Pumas in Mexico on loan from Roma. With a current ability of just 124, Iturbe is more of an honorable mention than a serious candidate for a spot in the final squad at this point.

Xherdan Shaqiri
Current Ability: 149
Potential Ability: 155
In the spirit of transparency, I'm slightly biased toward picking Shaqiri as my starting right winger as a Liverpool fan. I'd also love to see Shaqiri and Gotze back in the same side, tearing up the Bundesliga. Shaqiri broke into the FC Basel first team at just 17, attracting interest from several European clubs before signing for Bayern Munich for €11.6m. He struggled to hold down a regular role for the club and after 3 years moved to Inter Milan for €15m. At this time his stock hadn't fallen much, but this was certainly a step down for him before he took yet another step down to join Stoke City the following season for £12m. He spent arguably the most important developmental years of his career fighting relegation battles, which I believe stunted his progress and had he played for Jurgen Klopp rather than Mark Hughes, perhaps things would be different. As it stands, Shaqiri plays backup to Mohamed Salah and understandably struggles for game-time as a result, but I think Shaqiri deserves a starting spot for a Champions League club and hopefully I can give him that at FCG Wunderkinder.

Adnan Januzaj
Current Ability: 144
Potential Ability: 155
Januzaj complicates things a bit, as I want to choose Shaqiri as my starting right winger but I believe Januzaj would be the better theoretical choice if he were to fulfill his potential completely. Januzaj broke into the first team at Manchester United under David Moyes, and spent several years seeing his minutes reduced during the turbulent early phase of Manchester United's downfall. Januzaj has since found a home in Real Sociedad, where he's developed into a solid right winger. At 24, he still has time to improve but I'm not sure if it's enough to convince me to choose him over Shaqiri.

Lazar Markovic
Current Ability: 131
Potential Ability: 138
Like Shaqiri, Markovic is one that hits close to home. Unlike Shaqiri, I don't really like Markovic. Perhaps you can understand my frustration with him when you remember that he was signed for £20m back in 2014, which translates to roughly £32.2m in today's market. Markovic struggled to break into the Liverpool first team despite his hefty price tag and massive potential, and after 4 unsuccessful loan stints in various countries he now finds himself back at his boyhood club, Partizan Belgrade. With a current ability of 131, Markovic could play a backup role if I wanted him, but I don't lol.

Domenico Berardi
Current Ability: 140
Potential Ability: 152
Berardi made his professional debut for Sassuolo back in 2012 at 18 years old, and became a regular thereafter, having featured in a total of 215 league appearances for the club over the past 7 seasons. His "prolific" performances in the Serie A during his first 2 seasons in the league made him one of the hottest prospects in the country, with 16 goals in 29 appearances in his first season at just 19 years old followed by another 15 goals in 32 appearances the next season. These contributions set his FIFA potential at 87 (161-168), but Berardi has since struggled to reach those same heights and he seems to have peaked early. Despite this, Berardi still possesses great ability and goalscoring ability, and at 24 he could still reach that 152 potential. Like Januzaj, Berardi certainly makes this decision more difficult and I'll have to seriously weigh my options before choosing.

Theo Walcott
Current Ability: 134
Potential Ability: 160
Walcott's story is one I'm sure most of you are familiar with, but I'll briefly go over it as I have with everyone else. Walcott was produced by the esteemed Southampton academy, with his blistering pace attracting attention from Arsenal, whom he later signed for in 2006 for £5m. At one point, Walcott had a FIFA potential of 93 (190-194 in FM) which is just ridiculous if you really think about it, though I think the potentials were exaggerated back then. A series of never-ending injuries somewhat hampered Walcott's development, but having made almost 300 league appearances for the club over the years it's hard to argue that this was the sole reason for his failure to reach his potential. Regardless, Walcott now finds himself playing quite regularly for Everton, though he hasn't appeared so far this season. With a current ability of 134 and no time to improve, it's unlikely Walcott will make the final squad but he deserved a mention nonetheless.

Aaron Lennon
Current Ability: 126
Potential Ability: 155
Somewhat mirroring Walcott's career path, Lennon came through a respectable academy at Leeds United and attracted attention from some bigger clubs due to his impressive pace. Rather than joining Arsenal, though, Lennon signed for their local rivals Tottenham and actually made only 4 less league appearances during his time with the club (266) than Walcott did at Arsenal (270). Lennon now plays for Burnley as a backup player and with a current ability of just 126 and the fact that he's approaching the end of his career, Lennon won't make the final cut for FCG Wunderkinder.

Review


At the moment I'm leaning towards Shaqiri and Oztunali as my 2 right wing options, with Shaqiri playing the starting role and Oztunali continuing his development as my backup. Januzaj, Berardi and Lamela were strong contenders for the starting spot but I think Shaqiri would fit into the system better than the 3 of them, and Oztunali's young age and German nationality cemented his spot as backup.
LW: Jese Rodriguez. Was a huge prospect at Real Madrid, but got shipped out to PSG. In his time at PSG he has had 3 unsuccessful loan spells including one with Stoke City in the Premier League. He is now shipped out to Sporting CP on loan, where he has yet to even make a single league appearance, and despite being 26, has less than 100 appearances in his professional career in league competitions (excluding Castilla, Real B team). Has also never been called up at senior level for Spain.
2019-09-15 08:27#261131 BigMaguire : LW: Jese Rodriguez. Was a huge prospect at Real Madrid, but got shipped out to PSG. In his time at PSG he has had 3 unsuccessful loan spells including one with Stoke City in the Premier League. He is now shipped out to Sporting CP on loan, where he has yet to even make a single league appearance, and despite being 26, has less than 100 appearances in his professional career in league competitions (excluding Castilla, Real B team). Has also never been called up at senior level for Spain.

Great call! I think I'd thought of him earlier and then he completely slipped my mind once I started working on the preliminary list for the left wingers. Atm I've got 16 options to go through on the left wing which is way more than I need or have time for so I'm gonna try to cut that list down if possible before I start working on the post
1
Left Wingers

Marko Marin
Current Ability: 130
Potential Ability: 147
Nicknamed "the German Messi," which inevitably seems to set young players up for failure, Marko Marin attracted global attention when he broke into the Borussia Monchengladbach side during the 2007-08 season and managed to hold down a starting role at just 18 years old. After being given a potential of 89 in FIFA (167-174 in FM), Marin moved to Werder Bremen for €8.2m and formed a fantastic partnership with Mesut Ozil which no doubt had an effect on the hype around him considering Ozil's 2010 World Cup performance and subsequent transfer to Real Madrid. Following Ozil's departure, Marin's form dropped significantly and he struggled to regain that same level before moving to Chelsea in 2012 for £8m. A series of unsuccessful loan spells soon followed, and Marin's potential as the "German Messi" has become a distant memory for most football fans. Marin currently plays for Red Star Belgrade, and possesses enough ability to play a backup role on the left wing, though I'll see if I can find any better options.

Viktor Fischer
Current Ability: 138
Potential Ability: 155
Nicknamed "the Danish Messi" (yes, I know this is getting out of hand), Viktor Fischer attracted interest from clubs such as Chelsea, Inter Milan, Manchester City, and Manchester United due to his performances in the U17 World Cup for Denmark, but decided to sign for Ajax from FC Midtjylland in 2011. He was then given a potential of 87 in FIFA (161-168 in FM) upon being added, and the top European clubs continued to monitor his progress in Holland but he struggled to progress as much as some had hoped, and he then shockingly joined newly-promoted English club Middlesbrough for €5m in 2016. Fischer now plays for FC Kobenhavn back in his native Denmark, but he could revive his career and try and push towards his still high 155 potential if I were to include him in the FCG Wunderkinder squad.

Ryan Babel
Current Ability: 140
Potential Ability: 155
Babel was a product of the Ajax academy, featuring quite regularly for the club from the age of 18 before signing for Liverpool in 2007 for £14m, which would equate to a whopping £37.24m in today's market. He then failed to secure a regular first team position before leaving in 2011 with his stock having fallen quite considerably as he was sold for just £8m, nearly half what he was originally bought for. Babel now plays for Galatasaray and though he still possesses a solid current ability of 140, his relatively high age in comparison to the other players on this list means he'll likely be left out of the final squad.

Jese
Current Ability: 130
Potential Ability: 148
Jese came through the Real Madrid academy as a very hot prospect, being given his first professional chance by then-manager Jose Mourinho, who later explained that Jese's lack of game-time over the subsequent seasons was due to the fact that his position for Real Madrid Castilla didn't exist in the first team. This hurt Jese's development considerably, and a similarly unsuccessful spell with PSG has seen him go on loan to Sporting this season, where he will hopefully revamp his career and development. At 26, Jese's a bit of a gamble considering his low current ability and the low probability that he'll improve much more, so it's unlikely that he'll make the final cut for the team.

Andre Schurrle
Current Ability: 132
Potential Ability: 140
Schurrle began his career at Mainz before joining Bayer Leverkusen for £6.5m following a highly impressive season in which he scored 15 goals in 33 Bundesliga appearances at just 20 years old. He continued to progress well with Bayer Leverkusen before making the classic blunder of moving to Chelsea as a U23 player. Schurrle struggled for consistent game time at Chelsea and his career has been a series of backwards steps since. However, Schurrle is still in the prime of his career (though maybe not his peak) at 28 years old and with a current ability of 132 added to the fact that he's a German national, he'd made a perfect backup on the left wing.

Stephan El Shaarawy
Current Ability: 149
Potential Ability: 156
El Shaarawy is a product of the Genoa academy, but joined AC Milan at the young age of 19 and instantly made an impact in the first team. The following season he amassed 16 goals in 37 appearances for the club at just 20 years old, and the hype soon followed. I remember back in FIFA 12 when the finesse shots were still OP, El Shaarawy was an absolute beast. In fact, his potential rose to an 89 in the following FIFA game (167-174 in FM) but a devastating injury followed by several setbacks ultimately hampered his development. El Shaarawy now plays in China despite having made a return to his old form with Roma in the past couple of years, and though he still possesses great ability I can't be the only that had hoped for more from him than playing for Shenhua at 26 years old. Still, with a current ability of 149 El Shaarawy is a top contender for my starting left winger place.

Bernard
Current Ability: 144
Potential Ability: 150
Bernard came through the Athletico Mineiro academy before moving to Shakhtar Donetsk for a massive €25m at just 21 years old. As somewhat of a European hub for promising Brazilian players, Shakhtar Donetsk seemed like a great place for Bernard to develop before taking his next step up to a top European club, but no moves materialized and I believe he overstayed his welcome. Bernard now plays for Everton and though he's undoubtedly a good player, he certainly isn't the top player that many FIFA and FM players imagined he would be over the years. Still, with a current ability of 144, Bernard makes my decision more difficult.

Samu Castillejo
Current Ability: 142
Potential Ability: 151
Castillejo graduated from Malaga's youth system, and was given the nickname El Fideo or "the noodle" because of his ability to slip through tight spaces. Castillejo made a name for himself at Villarreal, gaining a potential rating of 88 in FIFA 17 (164-174 in FM) but his progress has since stalled as he currently plays for AC Milan. With a Champions League having been placed on the club recently, it seems Castillejo will fall short of the 88 potential that he was given just a couple of years ago, but with a current ability of 142 and still time to improve I think he provides a solid option on the left wing.

Bruma
Current Ability: 142
Potential Ability: 152
Bruma is at the same level as Castillejo, having come through the esteemed Sporting CP academy before making his professional debut at 18 years old. His impressive performances for the club in 2013 boosted his FIFA potential to 88 just like Castillejo, but he then signed for Galatasary for €10m where I imagine the Turkish league hampered his development. Bruma now plays for PSV in Holland, and it's clear that he won't reach the 88 potential he was once given, but with similar ratings to Castillejo he certainly provides an interesting option for the final squad.

Royston Drenthe
Current Ability: 99
Potential Ability: 142
Royston Drenthe is more of an honorary mention at this point, following his 2 year hiatus from playing football. Drenthe graduated from the Feyenoord academy in 2005 and later won the 2007 UEFA European U21 Championship with Holland which led to his transfer to Real Madrid for €14m when he was just 20 years old, the same amount and year as Ryan Babel's move to Liverpool. Drenthe was given a FIFA potential of 86 (160-169) upon joining Real Madrid, and though he was given adequate game time to prove his worth he struggled to progress much due to his party-lifestyle and lack of commitment. Drenthe's career slipped downhill, with unsuccessful spells with Reading and Russian side FC Alania before his decision to step away from professional football at the age of 29 to pursue other interests. Drenthe has since started playing again, and now plays for Dutch third-tier side Kozakken Boys. With a current ability of just 99, Drenthe wouldn't get near the FCG Wunderkinder first team but I thought his story was worth mentioning.

Review


I've chosen El Shaarawy and Schurrle as my two left wingers, with the former starting and the latter operating as backup due to their relative current abilities. Though there were stronger options than Schurrle for the backup spot, I decided his German nationality was enough for me to pick him. What do you guys think?
ST: Alexandre Pato
Was a superstar for AC Milan back in the day, but he peaked early and with unsuccessful spells in Spain, England and China, he is now playing back in Brazil with Sao Paulo
Strikers

Michy Batshuayi
Current Ability: 144
Potential Ability: 155
Michy Batshuayi began his career with Standard Liege in Belgium, making his professional debut in 2011 at just 17 years old. Batshuayi soon became a regular for the club and scored an impressive 23 goals in 49 appearances in all competitions in his final season for the club before moving to Marseille for £4.5m at just 20 years old. Batshuayi made a name for himself at Marseille, earning a FIFA potential of 86 (160-169 in FM) before moving to Chelsea for £33.2m in 2016. A lack of consistent game-time and a series of unsuccessful loans has stalled Batshuayi's development since, and as third-choice striker under Frank Lampard it seems his development won't go much further until he finds a way out of the club. With a solid current ability and still some time to improve, Batshuayi could make a could first-choice striker for FCG Wunderkinder.

Luciano Vietto
Current Ability: 133
Potential Ability: 142
Luciano Vietto is a product of the Racing Club academy in Argentina, but he really made a name for himself when he scored 20 goals in 48 competitions in his first and only season with Villarreal at just 22 years old. Vietto then moved to Atletico Madrid where his progress began to stall and even go backwards, and he now plays for Sporting CP after being sold by Atletico Madrid for less than half of what they paid for him. With a current ability of 133, Vietto could provide backup to my first-choice striker so there's a decent chance he could make the final cut.

Kelechi Iheanacho
Current Ability: 128
Potential Ability: 149
When Iheanacho signed for Leicester back in 2017 for £25m I thought it was a great deal for all parties, with the player's impressive performances for Manchester City contributing to his massive 89 FIFA potential (167-174 in FM). However, Iheanacho has struggled to produce more at Leicester, only managing 1 goal in 30 league appearances for the club last season and it now seems very unlikely that he'll reach that 167-174 range in the future. However, with a potential ability of 149 Iheanacho would be a good option for my backup striker as he could still grow to a very useful level.

Antonio Sanabria
Current Ability: 131
Potential Ability: 157
Antonio Sanabria actually began his playing career in futsal before moving to football when he joined Cerro Porteno's youth academy in Paraguay at just 8 years old. He later joined Barcelona's La Masia academy at 13 years old and stayed until he was 17, when he moved to Roma. Sanabria really attracted attention when he scored 11 goals in 30 La Liga matches while on loan at Sporting Gijon from Roma at just 19 years old, causing Real Betis to purchase the player for €7.5m. His progress has since stalled, and it doesn't seem like he'll ever reach the 88 potential (164-174 in FM) he was once given. Clearly FM still rates him, with a potential ability of 157 and at 23 years old he could still get pretty close if not all the way to that rating, though he would likely need to be a regular starter for that to happen. With a current ability of 131, Sanabria would be my backup striker, but I think he could still develop to at least a 140 so he's a very strong contender for a spot in the final team.

Andre Silva
Current Ability: 141
Potential Ability: 156
Andre Silva is an academy graduate from FC Porto, making his first team debut in 2015 at 20 years old. He started out as fourth-choice striker in the 2015-16 striker but worked his way up to become a first team regular before moving to A.C. Milan for €38m in 2017. Since joining Milan, Silva has struggled to regain his prolific form that he enjoyed under then-manager Julen Lopetegui at Porto and seems likely to fall short of the 87 potential he was once given in FIFA (161-168 in FM). And yet at 23 years old Silva could still push closer to his 156 potential and become a very good striker in spite of the past couple of years, so there's a very good chance I'll choose him for the final squad.

Patrik Schick
Current Ability: 136
Potential Ability: 158
Schick made his professional debut for Sparta Prague just before turning 18, and his performances while on loan at Bohemians 1905 attracted the attention of Sampdoria who then decided to buy the player for €4m. He scored 13 goals in 35 appearances for the club in all competitions before Juventus attempted to trigger Schick's release clause resulting in 2 failed medicals and Juventus backing out of the deal before his eventual move to Roma. He struggled to regain his form while at Roma, and is now on loan at RB Leipzig with an option to buy. At 23 years old, Schick could still get much closer to that 158 potential ability so he presents a very interesting option, though I'm not sure he's the type of striker I'm looking for.

Luis Muriel
Current Ability: 149
Potential Ability: 158
Muriel started his professional career in Colombia with Deportivo Cali before moving to Udinese at 19 years old. During his second season with the club, Muriel scored 11 goals in 22 league appearances, earning himself a potential of 88 on FIFA (164-174 in FM) as he was just 20 years old at the time. However, Muriel has been unable to consistently produce at a high level for his clubs in the years since, and though he's proven to have enormous quality he doesn't seem to have what it takes to become a consistent, world-class player as some had hoped for in the past. However, with a current ability of 149, Muriel is technically our strongest option yet so I'll certainly consider him for the final starting role.

Daniel Sturridge
Current Ability: 141
Potential Ability: 168
Daniel Sturridge spent his academy years moving between Aston Villa, Coventry, and Manchester City before joining Chelsea at 20 years old for a tribunal fee of £3.5m. Sturridge impressed heavily while on loan at Bolton during the 2010-11 season, pushing himself into the squad rotation at Chelsea the following season where he managed 11 goals in 30 league appearances at 22 years old. However, he struggled to find the same level of game time the following season and decided to join Liverpool for around £12m where he really made a name for himself. His prolific partnership with Luiz Suarez climaxed with a runner-up finish in which Sturridge scored 21 goals in 29 league matches during the 2013-14 season. As a Liverpool fan, I thought this was the beginning of a whole new chapter in our story with Suarez and Sturridge leading the line until Suarez was sold to Barcelona and Sturridge's injuries began. Sturridge hasn't looked like the same player since apart from brief glimpses of his skill such as the outside-of-the-box shot against Chelsea early last season, but with a current ability of 141 and still a few good years left in his prime he presents another strong choice for FCG Wunderkinder.

Alexandre Pato
Current Ability: 143
Potential Ability: 162
Pato made his professional debut at just 16 years old for Internacional in Brazil, and actually scored 12 goals in 27 appearances for the club before the age of 18, helping them win the 2006 FIFA Club World Cup. This was quite an impressive start to the boy's career, so it was understandable when A.C. Milan came calling and bought the 18 year old for €24m, which would equate to €63.84m in today's market! That's insane for an 18 year old from Brazil! Still, the hype was real and at one point Pato even had a potential of 93 in FIFA (190-194 in FM). Pato quickly became a regular for Milan, scoring 15 goals in 36 league matches during his second season with the club. He continued at this level for 2 more years until he ended up pulling his hamstring 3 times within the same year and his development began to falter. After making only 15 league appearances in his final 2 years with the club, he was sold to Corinthians back in Brazil and his career since has been rather forgettable. Pato is in the same league as many of the other options in terms of skill and relative age, so my final decision will undoubtedly be a difficult one.

Bafetimbi Gomis
Current Ability: 145
Potential Ability: 150
Gomis played youth football with Saint-Étienne before making his professional debut for the club in 2004, later being bought by Lyon for €13m where he scored 91 goals in 239 official matches for the club, earning himself a potential of 89 in FIFA (167-174 in FM) at one point due to his young age an high skill level. Gomis failed to reach that mark as he joined Swansea City from Lyon in somewhat of an odd transfer deal, only scoring 13 goals in 64 league appearances for the club over 3 years. Gomis has had considerably better scoring records with his last 3 clubs in the time since then, and now plays for Saudi Arabian champions Al-Hilal. At 33 years old, Gomis is still going strong but it's unlikely that I'll choose him because of his age.

Mario Balotelli
Current Ability: 146
Potential Ability: 156
Balotelli started his professional football career at F.C. Lumezzane and played for the first team twice before having an unsuccessful trial at Barcelona, and instead joined Inter Milan in 2007. At this point he was already 17 years old, so he had spent the majority of his childhood being trained in the academy of a Serie D club. After several successful campaigns with Inter Milan, Balotelli was bought by new-money Manchester City for €21.8m where he continued his development well, at one point being given a potential of 90 in FIFA (171-179 in FM). However, in his final season with the club Balotelli was only able to score 1 goal in 14 league appearances and with his disciplinary issues stunting his development under then-manager Roberto Mancini, he was then sold to A.C. Milan where he was able to find his form once again. Then he made the ill-informed decision of moving back to England to play under Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool, where he scored just 1 goal in 16 league appearances for the club as agent Balotelli (for City I'm assuming). Balotelli now plays for Brescia back in Italy, where I imagine he'll go back to being a prolific striker once again. Clearly, though, England was not the best career choice for Balotelli either time, and he's been doing just fine in France and Italy in the years since Liverpool (except for his return to A.C. Milan on loan when he scored just 1 goal in 20 apps). At 29, Balotelli is still in his prime and with a current ability of 146 I think he'd made a solid option for first-choice striker, but we'll see.

Stevan Jovetic
Current Ability: 141
Potential Ability: 152
Jovetic began his career with FK Partizan, and actually managed to win the double with the club at just 18 years old, scoring 19 goals in 33 appearances in all competitions during the season which led to his transfer to Fiorentina for €10.8m the following summer. Jovetic struggled to find the same goalscoring form in his first 3 years with the club, but managed to get back into the double digits with 14 goals in 27 league appearances in his 4th season with the club, and after a similarly productive season the following year he was bought by Manchester City for €26.7m joining former teammate, close friend, and fellow wonderkid Matija Nastasic at the club. Jovetic wasn't given regular game time while at Manchester City, which likely stunted his development and he now plays for Monaco where he has similarly struggled for consistent form and regular game time. I could potentially reunited Nastasic and Jovetic at FCG Wunderkinder, but Jovetic is more of a second striker than an actual striker or my preferred pressing forward role so I'm not sure he's exactly the type of player I'm looking for.

Christian Benteke
Current Ability: 132
Potential Ability: 160
Benteke is the final name on this list, despite there being numerous other options and names I wanted to mention, there's just too many strikers who scored 10+ goals in their debut season and then for one reason another fail to live up to the hype that's placed on their shoulders. Benteke started his career with Standard Liege before joining Aston Villa for £7m, where he proved to be a prolific goalscorer for the club and attracted interest from all of the top 6 in the Premier League. After 3 years in a row of scoring in the double digits for Villa, Benteke signed for Liverpool for £32.5m where it quickly became apparent that like Andy Carroll, Robbie Keane, and Mario Balotelli before him, Benteke was not anything like the sort of striker to fit in our system. He managed to score 10 goals in 42 appearances for the club in all competitions, which wasn't enough to convince Klopp to keep him before joining Crystal Palace for £27m (still don't know how we managed that, thank God for Michael Edwards) and he has since failed to return to his scoring ways after an impressive first season with Palace. At 28 years old, Benteke now looks like a shadow of his former self, and it's pretty unlikely that he'll make the final cut for FCG Wunderkinder as there are many better options ahead of him.

Review


At the moment I think Andre Silva and Antonio Sanabria are my 2 best striker options. I considered their attributes a little more closely than some of the other positions as I'm looking for more of a lively pressing forward than a target man or a second striker like many of the options above, so with that in mind added to the fact that both players still have very good potential abilities, Silva and Sanabria will be my two strikers for FCG Wunderkinder. If you guys can think of anyone else who might do an even better job let me know!
Season Preview

We're predicted to finish 4th in our debut season in the Bundesliga, ahead of impressive squads such as Schalke, Borussia Monchengladbach, and RB Leipzig. The team has blended well together in the pre-season so if we can start with a win I think we have a good chance of mounting a Champions League challenge in the league.

Pre-Season Results

To be honest I let my assistant manager, Freddy Adu (just realized now that I forgot to mention this before, but there you have it) handle the pre-season friendlies because there were so many of them. The squad did well and didn't lose a single match, which is promising. The only injury going into the first match of the season is Xherdan Shaqiri, which is slightly disappointing but considering some of the players I have it could've been a lot worse.

Strongest XI

This is the ideal strongest XI, though I like to rotate heavily and as I stated before Shaqiri will miss the first match of the season due to injury. Butland is my strongest keeper ahead of Romero and Scuffet, with Danilo and Mendy slotting in at right and left back respectively. Bailly will start in the right of my central partnership, with the left-footed Nastasic starting to the left of him. Emre Can and Oxlade-Chamberlain will start in the midfield with Gotze in front of them. Shaqiri (when fit) and El Shaarawy will operate as inside forwards while Andre Silva will play the pressing forward role up top. Overall it's a much stronger lineup than I anticipated when I first came up with this idea, I'm hyped!
We're hyped as well!

Can't help but think that whatever flaw, bad luck or other circumstances caused this gang not to realize their potential in the first place is bound to show up at some time, but maybe they'll band together for one last push at glory?
October Update

League Table
I've had a busy few weeks off the field so I haven't made as much progress in this save as I expected, but since I have reached the current stage of the real Bundesliga (7 games in) I thought it'd be fun to give an update as to how it's going so far. Our current point tally and goal difference would put us in 2nd in the real Bundesliga, but we sit in 3rd in the game behind Bayern and Hertha BSC. Bayern is the only club to sit in both the real top 6 and the in-game top 6 at the moment, but this will likely change as both seasons progress.

Standout Performers

Andre Silva
Andre Silva has exceeded my expectations by scoring in all of his 6 league starts as well as getting an assist, maintaining an average rating of 7.9. He's already showing some improvement across various attributes and he seems to fit my system perfectly. However, this has caused problems with Antonio Sanabria who believes he should be playing more, and this isn't an isolated incident (more on that later).

Xherdan Shaqiri
I can't say I didn't see it coming, but Shaqiri has been an absolute beast so far with 2 goals and 5 assists in just 4 league starts, putting his average rating at an even 8.00. He was sidelined with an injury for the first 3 matches but has since become our most creative attacker and I'm very happy with his contribution.

Stephan El Shaarawy
Along with Silva and Shaqiri, El Shaarawy has been tearing up oppositions' defenses week-in, week-out, with 4 goals and an assist in 7 league starts and an average rating of 7.47. It seems my devastating front 3 could carry us to success much sooner than I expected.

Issues
When I created this squad in the editor, it seems the squad roles were handed out almost randomly by the game which has resulted in several complaints from players who had originally expected to feature regularly such as Meyer, Romero, Scuffet, and Bazoer. You can imagine it's pretty frustrating when both of your backup keepers are saying they deserve more game time than your clearly better first-choice keeper, so I may need to make some January transfers to balance the dressing room again. For the purpose of this save I will only sign players I consider to be failed wonderkids, so I'll only be using the players I mentioned before in the talent pool or others that I may have missed.

You are reading "Washed-Up Wonderkids FC".

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