One of the most fun elements of any FIFA game is shopping for the future in career mode – so FFT have hunted down the 11 players who’ll guarantee you success not just in 2016/17, but for the next decade. Household names such as Anthony Martial and Dele Alli cost big bucks, but there are some surprising bargains too, such as 19-year-old Manchester City goal machine Kelechi Iheanacho.
All 11 of these players below can be advanced to an overall rating (OVR) of 87 or above with training and maximum game time over the first few years of their career. Additionally, you should make a beeline to the London Stadium to grab Reece Oxford from West Ham. He’s not quite on a par with anyone in our XI to begin with, but the only player in FIFA 17 who can improve by 20 points in terms of OVR – from 66 to 86.
GK Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan, 17)
Already a cult hero in Milan for saving a penalty against former boss Sinisa Mihajlovic’s new club Torino, the 17-year-old stopper can be prised away for £10m – a swindle that brings new meaning to the term ‘The Italian Job’. His 76 OVR can be boosted up to 88 over the long haul, and he’s a serviceable No.2 from the outset with ratings of 84 for reflexes, 78 for diving, and 72 for both kicking and handling.
If the £23m demanded by Manchester United doesn’t sting enough, Shaw’s wage demands are an additional £90k-per-week gut punch. But despite his tender years, he’s already the complete full-back: 88 sprint speed, 83 acceleration, 81 marking, 82 stand tackle, 78 crossing. And that attractive overall rating of 81 can be taken all the way up to 88. Do beware, however, that he has the ‘injury prone’ trait, and so isn’t a Shaw thing to play 50 games a season.
You’ll have to cough up more than a pocketful of loose change to prise the France international away from Stamford Bridge – in-game he’s valued at £16.5m, and on wages of £78k per week before you even discuss a pay rise. Do manage to capture him and you get ratings of 85 for strength, 84 for jumping and 83 for standing tackle, with an overall of 80 that can be increased to 89 over time.
CB Jose Maria Gimenez (Atletico Madrid, 21)
Atletico Madrid’s Uruguayan starlet begins career mode with an 83 OVR, which can rise all the way up to 88 – so no wonder the bidding for his services starts at a fee of £36m. His initial stats alone are staggering: 90 jumping, 89 aggression, 87 slide tackle, 86 stand tackle, 86 strength and 85 marking. Expensive, then, but worth every penny.
RB Hector Bellerin (Arsenal, 21)
Pick a London rival such as Chelsea and you’ll simply be told that Bellerin has zero interest in joining your team – forcing you well above his £11m market value to snare him. £17million is usually enough to secure his services, but he’ll milk you dry for a second time by demanding a weekly wage of circa £90K. For that you’re getting one of the game’s swiftest players, with 94 sprint speed and a bonkers 96 for acceleration. His OVR can be increased from 79 to 87 with maximum long-term game time.
LM Anthony Martial (Manchester United, 20)
United, like Arsenal with Bellerin, are (understandably) reluctant to sell their brightest prospect. That means slapping down a cheque for £37 million in order to open talks – making him the second-most expensive player on this list. Be warned: he’ll request a £120,000 per week salary, which you can get down to around £110K. His best attributes are 91 sprint speed, 92 acceleration and 89 dribbling, with an overall that can be elevated from 82 to 90 long-term.
CM Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich, 19)
Having only recently arrived from Benfica, Sanches’s signature is initially impossible to land – your bids will be immediately refuted, so it’s best to hold off bidding until January when you can grab him for £20m. He’s worth the wait, though, with 93 stamina, 90 aggression, 88 balance, 85 power and 84 sprint speed – stats which will only increase further as you raise his initial 78 OVR towards its 90 peak.
CM Dele Alli (Tottenham, 20)
Alli starts the game with an 80 overall rating, that can be advanced to 90. A slight complication is that his preferred position is CAM, which may slightly stunt his development if used in this CM role – but he’s still too good to pass on if you have a spare £41 million kicking around. Yes, forty-one million. Standout early attributes include 81 ball control, 83 short pass and 78 dribbling.
RM Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund, 19)
The recent capture from Rennes begins with a 77 overall – a deceptive stat, as his 85 sprint speed, 85 dribbling and 83 acceleration make him an instant first teamer for almost all Premier League clubs. He can rise all the way up to 90 OVR. On bidding, you’ll be told ‘the player has just recently joined this club and won’t move again’, much like Renato Sanches. Instead, wait until the January transfer window to try again, when the game’s transfer algorithms will let you nab him for £20 million.
ST Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, 19)
Surprisingly, City don’t exactly play hardball with their goal-happy Nigerian – a £14m offer is usually sufficient to let them relinquish his rights. From there, £65K per week is sufficient to capture his signature. In return, you only score a 76 overall rating, but that can rise all the way up to 88. Initial strengths are sprint speed (85), acceleration (89) and finishing (79).
ST Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid)
Atletico want £23m in return for Correa’s services, but you can knock them down to £21m if you’re pushy. He’s handsomely adaptable, with CAM and CF eligibility in addition to ST, so you could play him and Alli behind Iheanacho in a 4-3-2-1 formation. Best of all, he’s rated 80+ in 10 different fields, including acceleration (86), ball control (85) and dribbling (87). Nice catch, with a potential OVR of 88, if you can afford him.