Last month, we looked at which players could suffer the biggest rating drops in the upcoming FIFA 20 release. This article lists the players who will be going the opposite way.
As with every year, the 2018/19 season saw plenty of unexpected stars and fearless youngsters making their mark on the football world.
Based on their ratings at the start of FIFA 19, RealSport looks at which players could see huge rating boosts, including some who could increase by double figures.
Daniel James (OVR 59 - 76)
Position: LW, RW
Club: Manchester United
Daniel James has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the last 12 months: he was rated on 59 on FIFA 19, and now he’s starting for Manchester United. The lightning-quick winger scored seven goals and assisted four in the Championship last season for Swansea, earning him a £15 million move to Old Trafford. His rating should skyrocket into the mid-to-high seventies. Keep an eye on his pace stat, which could be the nineties.
Declan Rice (OVR 69 - 79)
Position: CDM, CM, CB
Club: West Ham
At the beginning of FIFA 19, Declan Rice was listed as an Irish 69-rated centre-back. His FIFA 20 rating will look remarkably different. In the space of a year, Rice has gone from promising youngster to the fulcrum of West Ham’s midfield. He delivered some fantastic performances last season in an otherwise inconsistent West Ham side, and declared his international allegiance for England, receiving a senior call-up almost immediately. His FIFA 20 rating could be as high as 79 or 80.
Joao Felix (OVR 69 - 83)
Position: CF, LW
Club: Atletico Madrid
Joao Felix was a relative unknown at the start of last season and is now the third-most-expensive player in history. Atletico Madrid signed him as a direct replacement for Antoine Griezmann, even giving him Griezmann’s no. 7 shirt. He’s only 19, but his pre-season performances demonstrate that he can live up to the hype. If EA doesn't limit his rating because of his age, it could be as high as 83.
Jadon Sancho (OVR 72 - 83)
Position: LM, RM
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Jadon Sancho seemed an underwhelming, risky replacement for Ousmane Dembele when he left for Barcelona in 2017. In fact, he’s proved to be an upgrade. The teenager scored 14 and assisted 12 in the Bundesliga last season, not only establishing himself as one of the most promising English talents but also one of the best young players in the world. He could be a key man in Gareth Southgate’s side at the Euros next summer. His rating should be around the 83 mark.
Nicolas Pepe (OVR 75 - 84)
Position: RM, ST
Country: Ivory Coast
Nicolas Pepe was the unexpected star of Ligue 1 last season, his 22 league goals only bettered by Kylian Mbappe. The £72 million that Arsenal have spent on him is a massive gamble considering he only has one top-class season under his belt, but it also indicates just how good he was last year. His rating should increase to 84 as he joins a fierce-looking Arsenal frontline that already boasts Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
Frenkie de Jong (OVR 77 - 84)
Position: CM, CDM
In hindsight, it was very canny indeed of Barcelona to secure Frenkie de Jong’s £65 million summer transfer in January. Had the negotiations been in May, Ajax could have commanded a larger fee, largely thanks to their fairytale Champions League campaign. De Jong was central to their run to the semi-finals, passing both Real Madrid and Juventus off the park. Similar to Sancho, his rating should increase as high as 84.
Raheem Sterling (OVR 85 - 90)
Position: RW, LW
Club: Manchester City
Raheem Sterling differs to the other players on this list as his FIFA 19 rating was already high. However, last season saw Sterling fulfil his potential and take his game to another level. His movement off the ball is as good as any winger in world football, and there can no longer be complaints about his finishing ability - last season he scored 17 in the Premier League. His rating was boosted to 87 in January - now, having proven himself as one of the best attackers in the world, he will be rated 89 or maybe even 90.