FIFA 19 Career Mode: Top Lower League Gems

Want to find a little beauty in the lower leagues? We look at ALL the best lower league gems on FIFA 19’s Career Mode.

Alastair Pusinelli by Alastair Pusinelli

It is rare, but just sometimes, players rise from the lower leagues. Tottenham’s Dele Alli (OVR 84) played over 80 games for MK Dons in League One, Paulo Dybala (OVR 89) earned his stripes  in the Italian second tier with Palermo, and Jamie Vardy (OVR 82) came up from the Conference to sign for Leicester in the Championship, going on to win the Premier League two years later. 

It’s satisfying for a manager to snap someone from a lesser division as they often come with a cheap price tag. You don’t just need to scout the top league in Europe to pick up top talent on FIFA 19’s Career Mode. 

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Advantages of Lower League Gems

The big advantage of signing these lower league players is the saving on transfer fees. With the players less known and at large having weaker overall ratings, they will come at a fraction of the price than players of the same potential in the big leagues. 

All the players we are looking at have a starting overall no higher than 74, with a potential of at least 83. It terms of the leagues, none of these players play in any of Europe’s big five leagues (English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A, French Ligue 1) or feature in the Champions League or Europa League this season.

For a full list of ALL our lower league gems, look at the table at the end of the page.

Ezequiel Barco (OVR 74 – POT 89)

Age: 19

Positions: LM, CAM, ST

Club: Atlanta United (American MLS)

Country: Argentina

Growth: 15

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 90 acceleration, 85 balances, 83 dribbling

Cost: £17 million

Wage: £4,000 a week

We start in the MLS, which slowly but surely is growing in quality. Ezequiel Barco is one of the hottest talents across the pond, with the versatile Argentine scoring five goals and bagging three assists for the high-flying Atlanta United this season. The left or attacking midfielder and striker made the switch from Independiente back in January 2018 for £12 million.

The 19-year-old Barco has abilities of 90 acceleration, 85 balance and 83 dribbling on FIFA 19, making him a real handful for defenders. Those stats take him to an overall of 74, which can rise to a remarkable 89. You are looking at a fee of around £17 million for the talented youngster, with wages of £4,000 a week. 

Sandro Tonali (OVR 66 – POT 88)

Age: 18

Positions: CDM, CM

Club: Brescia (Italian Calcio B)

Country: Italy

Growth: 12

Work rate: Medium/Medium 

Best stats: 73 balance, 71 short passing, 70 ball control

Cost: £2.5 million

Wage: £880 a week

It’s great to see an 18-year-old show such discipline in the middle of the park, with the young Sandro Tonali impressing for Brescia in the Italian second tier last season. The Italy U19 international has made 25 appearances for the club but with a recent call-up to the U21 squad, expect the attention in him to grow.

Tonali’s 66 overall can improve to a fantastic 88 potential, so his stats of 73 balance, 71 short passing and 70 ball control are set for considerable boosts. You can sign the defensive or central midfielder for just £2.5 million, but you will need to increase his £880 a week wages.

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Jann-Fiete Arp (OVR 69 – POT 88)

Age: 18

Positions: ST

Club: Hamburg (German Bundesliga 2)

Country: Germany

Growth: 19

Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 80 agility, 74 finishing, 74 positioning

Cost: £4.3 million (release clause)

Wage: £5,000 a week

Jann-Fiete Arp was a hot prospect on FIFA last year, and nothing has changed despite Hamburg’s relegation to the second division. That should mean more opportunity for the 18-year-old striker who scored two goals inside his first three Bundesliga appearances last season.

Arp, who has 18 goals in 19 games for Germany U17s, takes a 69 overall this year, with a potential of 88. His abilities of 80 agility, 74 finishing and 74 positioning will cost you his £4.3 million release clause along with wages of £5,000 a week. 

Alphonso Davies (OVR 72 – POT 87)

Age: 17

Positions: LM, RM

Club: Vancouver Whitecaps (American MLS)

Country: Canada

Growth: 15

Work rate: High/High

Best stats: 93 sprint speed, 92 acceleration, 84 agility

Cost: £10.5 million

Wage: £3,000 a week

Alphonso Davies won’t be a lower league gem for much longer, with the Canadian off to Bayern Munich in January. Aged just 17, the left or right midfielder has earned the move by scoring six goals and assisting a further nine for Vancouver Whitecaps this season, along with three goals in seven international caps.

Davies is a pure speedster, holding attributes of 93 sprint speed, 92 acceleration and 84 agility. Rated 72 already, this can hit 87, meaning he will cost you £10.5 million with wages of £3,000 a week. 

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Takefusa Kubo (OVR 63 – POT 85)

Age: 17

Positions: CAM, RM, ST, LM

Club: Yokohama F. Marinos (on loan from FC Tokyo) (Japanese J1 League)

Country: Japan

Growth: 12

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 89 acceleration, 87 balance, 82 agility

Cost: n/a

Wage: £1,000 a week

Born in 2001, Takefusa Yobo made his J League debut aged 15 and is the youngest player to both play and score in the division. Now on loan at Yokohama F. Marinos, the 17-year-old will look for more game time and show why he is a product of the Barcelona academy.

Kubo can operate as an attacking, right or left midfielder and striker thanks to 89 acceleration, 87 balance and 82 agility. Those abilities take him to a 63 overall, rising to a potential of 85. You will need to wait until he returns from loan in January to sign him, but he should cost just £2 million with wages of £1,000 a week. 

Myron Boadu (OVR 66 – POT 85)

Age: 17

Positions: ST

Club: AZ Alkmaar (Dutch Eredivisie)

Country: Holland

Growth: 19

Work rate: High/Medium

Best stats: 91 jumping, 84 acceleration, 80 sprint speed

Cost: £2.4 million (release clause)

Wage: £3,000 a week

Unfortunately, Myron Boadu is currently on the injury table with an ankle injury until January, but the striker made an electric start to the season. Just 17, Boadu scored three goals and assisted a further two in his first five Eredivisie games for AZ Alkmaar, earning him a spot in the Holland U19 squad.

Boadu is a fantastic athlete, shown by stats of 91 jumping, 84 acceleration and 80 sprint speed. With an overall of 66 which can improve all the way to 85, you must consider the forward who will set you back just £2.4 million and wages of £3,000 a week. 

Erling Braut Haland (OVR 68 – POT 85)

Age: 18

Positions: ST

Club: Molde (Norwegian Eliteserien)

Country: Norway

Growth: 17

Work rate: High/High

Best stats: 84 strength, 80 sprint speed, 80 aggression

Cost: £3 million (release clause)

Wage: £3,000 a week

Molde’s Erling Braut Haland looks to be a top talent, with the striker working his way up from Norway U15 to U21 level. For his club, he has scored a useful 18 goals in 46 games, a remarkable record for someone aged just 18. 

A £3 million release clause and wages of £3,000 a week will get you Haland’s 68 overall which can improve to an 85 potential. His best abilities include 84 strength, 80 sprint speed and 80 aggression.

Jonathan David (OVR 68 – POT 85)

Age: 18

Positions: ST

Club: Gent (Belgian Pro League)

Country: Canada

Growth: 17

Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 81 acceleration, 80 sprint speed, 78 jumping

Cost: £3.5 million (release clause)

Wage: £7,000 a week

A second young Canadian, which is fantastic news for the country as they slowly build towards the 2026 World Cup they are co-hosting with USA and Mexico. It’s been a remarkable start to his professional career for Jonathan David, with the striker scoring six goals in his first 11 appearances for Belgian side Gent. 

David holds abilities of 81 acceleration, 80 sprint speed and 78 jumping on the game, providing him with an overall of 68. This can improve to an 85 potential meaning he will cost £3.5 million and wages of £7,000 a week. 

Salih Ozcan (OVR 70 – POT 85)

Age: 19

Positions: CM, CDM

Club: Koln (German Bundesliga 2)

Country: Germany

Growth: 15

Work rate: Medium/Medium

Best stats: 76 standing tackle, 75 ball control, 74 short passing

Cost: £6.5 million

Wage: £10,000 a week

Salih Ozcan also suffered relegation from the Bundesliga last season, but a poor campaign for Koln did provide him with plenty of football. The 19-year-old made 30 appearances for the club, starting five Europa League matches, earning him a call-up to the Germany U21 squad.

Ozcan’s 70 overall consists of 76 standing tackle, 75 ball control and 74 short passing, which will improve as he climbs to an 85 potential. You will only need £6.5 million to sign him, with wages of £10,000 a week on FIFA 19. 

Diego Rossi (OVR 72 – POT 85)

Age: 20

Positions: LW, ST, RW

Club: Los Angeles FC (American MLS)

Country: Uruguay

Growth: 13

Work rate: High/Low

Best stats: 81 agility, 81 balance, 80 acceleration

Cost: £10.5 million

Wage: £5,000 a week

Diego Rossi has arrived in the MLS this season and made a fantastic start. The 20-year-old left Penarol in his native Uruguay in January 2018 for just over £2 million and has bagged 15 goals and 8 assists in his first 32 games for LAFC.

Winger or striker Rossi has a 72 overall on the game which can improve to an 85 potential. His stats of 81 agility, 81 balance and 80 acceleration will cost you £10.5 million and wages of £5,000 a week. 

All the Best Lower League Gems on FIFA 19

Player A Pos Club Country OVR POT G C W
Ezequiel Barco 19 LM
CAM
ST
Atlanta United Argentina 74 89 15 £17m £4k
Sandro Tonali 18 CDM
CM
Brescia Italy 66 88 22 £2.5m £880
Jann-Fiete Arp 18 ST Hamburg Germany 69 88 19 £4.3m £5k
Alphonso Davies 17 LM
RM
Vancouver Whitecaps Canada 72 87 15 £10.5m £3k
Jonathan David 18 ST Gent Canada 68 85 17 £3.5m £7k
Diego Rossi 20 LW
ST
RW
LAFC Uruguay 72 85 13 £10.5m £5k
Giorgi Chakvetadze 18 CAM
LM
Gent Georgia 72 85 13 £10m £8k
Myron Boadu 17 ST AZ Alkmaar Holland 66 85 19 £2.4m £3k
Erling Braut Haland 17 ST Molde Norway 68 85 17 £3m £3k
Takefusa Kubo 17 CAM
RM
ST
LM
Yokohama FM* Japan 63 85 22 n/a £1k
Bruno Xadas 20 RM Braga Portugal 74 85 11 £15m £10k
Alan Franco 21 CB Independiente Argentina 75 85 10 £13.4m £13k
Matias Zaracho 20 RM
CM
CAM
Racing Club Argentina 72 85 13 £10.5m £10k
Salih Ozcan 20 CM
CDM
Koln Germany 70 85 15 £7m £10k
Nahitan Nandez 22 CM
CDM
RM
Boca Juniors Uruguay 75 85 10 £14.8m £17k
Nicolas Benedetti 21 CAM
RM
Deportivo Cali Colombia 72 85 13 £9m £2k
Lucas Martínez Quarta 22 CB River Plate Argentina 72 85 13 £8m £11k
Nehuen Pérez 18 CB Argentinos Juniors* Argentina 70 84 14 n/a £13k
Anthony McDonald 17 RM
CAM
Hearts Scotland 62 84 22 £1.4m £880
Reece James 18 RB
CB
Wigan England 65 84 19 £1.6m £6k
Chris Durkin 18 CDM DC United USA 67 84 17 £2.6m £2k
Calvin Stengs 19 RW AZ Alkmaar Holland 69 84 15 £3.8m £5k
Sebastian Szymanski 19 CAM
RM
LM
Legia Warsaw Poland 67 84 17 £2.9m £3k
Dario Maresic 18 CB Sturm Graz Austria 72 84 12 £6.6m £7k
Zack Steffen 23 Gk Columbus Crew USA 75 84 9 £12m £5k
Oghenekaro Etebo 22 CDM
CM
LM
Stoke Nigeria 74 84 10 £14.8m £29k
Dodo 19 RB Vitoria Brazil 71 84 13 £6.5m £3k
Robert Gumny 20 RB Lech Poznan Poland 68 84 16 £3.1M £4k
Kamil Jozwiak 20 LM
RM
Lech Poznan Poland 66 84 18 £2.5m £2k
Tyler Adams 19 CDM
RWB
NY Red Bulls USA 72 84 12 £7.1m £3k
Braian Mansilla 21 LM
ST
Racing Club Argentina 69 84 15 £4.3m £9k
Ollie Watkins 22 LW
CAM
ST
Brentford England 74 84 10 £15m £35k
Gianni Azzinnari 17 ST Cosenza Italy 59 83 24 £785k £880
Adam Idah 17 ST Norwich Rep. Ireland 62 83 21 £1.3m £3k
Josha Vagnoman 17 LB
RB
Hamburg Germany 61 83 22 £1m £1k
Harry Cochrane 17 CM Hearts Scotland 64 83 19 £1.4m £1k
Nikola Vlasic 20 RM
CAM
CSKA Moscow Croatia 74 83 9 £16m £880
Luis Diaz 21 LM Junior Colombia 72 83 11 £7m £2k
Tomas Chancalay 19 ST
LM
CAM
Colon de Santa Fe Argentina 68 83 15 £3.6m £5k
Julian Carranza 18 ST Banfield Argentina 63 83 20 £1.3m £2k
Teun Koopmeiners 20 CM
CDM
CB
Alkmaar Holland 74 83 9 £11m £11k
Omar Alderete 21 CB Huracán Paraguay 73 83 10 £7.5m £11k
Raoul Petretta 21 LB Basel Italy 69 83 14 £3.5m £10k
Giulio Maggiore 20 CM La Spezia Italy 67 83 16 £3.2m £2k
Fedor Chalov 20 ST CSKA Moscow Russia 71 83 12 £6m £880
Emanuel Reynoso 22 CM
CAM
CDM
Boca Juniors Argentina 73 83 10 £9m £17k
Ben Brereton 19 ST
RM
Blackburn* England 69 83 14 n/a £16k
Blas Riveros 20 LB
LM
LWB
Basel Paraguay 69 83 14 £3.7m £10k
Rick van Drongelen 19 CB
LB
Hamburg Holland 71 83 12 £5.5m £5k
Ontiveros 20 RM
CAM
LM
Malaga Spain 71 83 12 £6m £6k
Exequiel Palacios 19 CM
CAM
River Plate Argentina 69 83 14 £3.7m £7k
Lloyd Kelly 19 LB
CB
Bristol City England 67 83 16 £2.7m £10k
Jonathan Leko 19 RW
ST
LW
West Brom England 66 83 17 £2.8m £6k
Lukas Nmecha 19 ST Preston England 66 83 17 £2.8m £3k
Dael Fry 20 CB Middlesbrough England 70 83 13 £5.8m £22k
Matias Vargas 21 CAM
LW
LM
Velez Sarsfield Argentina 72 83 11 £8m £8k
Wuilker Farinez 20 Gk Millonarios Colombia 73 83 10 £6.8m £2k
Greg Taylor 20 LB
CM
LM
Kilmarnock Scotland 69 83 14 £3.9m £3k
Kaku 23 CAM
RM
NY Red Bulls Paraguay 75 83 8 £15m £7k
Andre Horta 21 CM
CAM
LAFC Portugal 75 83 8 £15m £6k
Kevin Balanta 21 CDM
CM
Deportivo Cali Colombia 71 83 12 £5.3m £2k
Orbelin Pineda 22 CM
CAM
CDM
Guadalajara Mexico 75 83 8 £14.5m £28k

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Alastair Pusinelli

First console: GameBoy Color / Favourite Game: Assassin's Creed 2 / Currently playing: Football Manager 2020

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