Traditionally, goalkeepers only come to the fore in their late twenties, and peak just after turning 30. Only a few have been exceptions to this; think of Gianluigi Buffon when he burst on the scene, as did Iker Casillas and Petr Cech. It’s becoming more common for goalkeepers to grab the headlines much earlier in their career, and if you are fortunate enough to have one of these wonderkids ‘keepers, you have a position filled in your side on Football Manager 2018 for 15 years.
We bring you the best goalkeepers aged 23 and under to sign on FM 18.
For a full list of wonderkid goalkeepers with a potential ability (PA) score of 146 and over please visit the bottom of this page.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (CA 151 – PA 170-200)
Club: AC Milan
Best attributes: 18 jumping reach, 17 reflexes, 16 aerial ability
Value: £14 million
Wage: £180,000 a week
With Italy not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and Gianluigi Buffon retiring, it’s paved the way for namesake Gianluigi Donnarumma to show his quality on the international stage. The 18-year-old made his debut for AC Milan at the age of 16 and is already regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. A rumoured move to Real Madrid never seems to go away, and if Donnarumma brings his form from club level to the international stage, it’s only a matter of time before he heads to the Bernabeu.
Donnarumma’s 151 current ability rating can hit anything above 170, meaning he technically could go on to become the best player in the world. 18 jumping reach, 17 reflexes and 16 aerial ability are fantastic attributes for a teenager, but you will need to fork out around £100 million to sign him and match his £180,000 a week wages.
Predrag Rajkovic (CA 135 – PA 170)
Club: Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Best attributes: 16 command of area, 15 reflexes, 14 handling
Value: £1 million
Wage: £10,300 a week
You may be surprised to hear that there is a potential superstar goalkeeper playing in Israel, but Maccabi Tel-Aviv’s Predrag Rajkovic is already a Serbian international. The 21-year-old has won both the U19 Euros and U20 World Cup, so he looks to be part of a golden generation of Serbian footballers.
Rajkovic will set you back around £25 million, with £10,300 a week wages. That cost will get you his 135 CA score, which can rise to a fantastic 170 potential. 16 command of area, 15 reflexes and 14 handling are his best attributes.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (CA 143 – PA 167)
Club: Athletic Bilbao
Best attributes: 17 reflexes, 15 communication, 15 handling
Value: £5.1 million
Wage: £26,500 a week
With David de Gea the Spanish number one, you wouldn’t have thought anybody else would get a look in, but the 22-year-old Kepa Arrizabalaga made his international debut in November 2017, showing how highly regarded he is. The ‘keeper kept eight clean sheets for Athletic Bilbao last season, but has found things more difficult this year with the Basque side down in 15th place in the La Liga table.
Arrizabalaga’s 143 current ability rating can rise to a very reliable 167, with his best attributes being his 17 reflexes, 15 communication and 15 handling. You’ll need around £30 million for his services though, with an extra £26,500 a week for wages.
Alex Meret (CA 124 – PA 166)
Club: SPAL (on loan from Udinese)
Best attributes: 16 agility, 16 reflexes, 15 aerial ability
Value: £2.4 million
Wage: £7,900 a week
Alex Meret is enjoying a second season on loan at SPAL after helping them to promotion to Serie A last season. The 20-year-old is yet to feature this season due to injury, and with the club down in 10th place in Serie A they need him back ASAP.
You can move to buy Meret straightaway but you will not sign the Udinese man until his loan deal has finished. You’ll need around £30 million for him, with his wages close to £8,000 a week. 16 agility, 16 reflexes and 15 aerial ability make up his 124 current ability rating, with a potential of 166.
Jordan Pickford (CA 143 – PA 165)
Best attributes: 18 kicking, 17 reflexes, 16 communication
Value: £15.5 million
Wage: £60,000 a week
Everton have had little to shout about so far this season, but the signing of Jordan Pickford looks to be a good one. The 23-year-old made the move from Sunderland to Goodison Park for £25 million, and his efforts in a poor Everton side earned him a first England cap in November 2017.
Pickford is renowned for his footwork, which is shown by his 18 kicking along with other attributes of 17 reflexes and 16 communication. Those stats help make up Pickford’s 143 current ability rating, and he has the potential to reach 165 on FM. You may need as much as £50 million to sign the talented youngster, with his wages currently £60,000 a week.
Ederson (CA 152 – PA 162)
Club: Manchester City
Best attributes: 20 kicking, 15 handling, 15 command of area
Value: £26.4 million
Wage: £80,600 a week
Speaking of goalkeepers good with their feet, Ederson may just be the best in the world in that department. The 23-year-old was sought out by Pep Guardiola to be the answer to Manchester City’s goalkeeping problems, with the Brazilian international arriving for £35 million from Benfica over the summer.
Ederson will offer you 20 kicking, 15 handling and 15 command of area, with his current ability score at 152. A potential of 162 looks to be a tad harsh for the City man, and it will cost around £60 million to get hold of him with £80,600 a week wage.
Pau Lopez (CA 135 – PA 160)
Best attributes: 14 command of area, 14 handling, 14 reflexes
Value: £2.9 million
Wage: £34,300 a week
Spain look to have many talented ‘keeper on their books, with Pau Lopez impressing for Espanyol this season. The 22-year-old was looked at by Tottenham last season, going on loan to the Premier League side, so don’t be surprised if the Spaniard joins up with former Espanyol player and coach Mauricio Pochettino in the future.
Pau has a 135 CA score on the game, with his potential a strong 160. 14 command of area, 14 handling and 14 reflexes are his best stats, and they can be yours for a deal worth around £25 million and wages of £34,300 a week.
Sergio Rico (CA 152 – PA 157)
Best attributes: 18 reflexes, 16 one on ones, 16 agility
Value: £15 million
Wage: £51,400 a week
Another Spaniard, you feel the 23-year-old Sergio Rico has been around for a while already. Rico has been Sevilla’s number one for the past three seasons, lifting the Europa League trophy in 2015 and 2016. The ‘keeper made his debut for the national team in 2016, and will be amongst the pack challenging David de Gea in a few years’ time.
Rico has 18 reflexes, 16 one-on-ones and 16 agility making up his 152 current ability score which can rise to a 157 potential. For those scores you will need around £30 million for the talented man, with his wages currently £51,400 a week.
Thomas Strakosha (CA 136 – PA 156)
Best attributes: 17 reflexes, 17 jumping reach, 15 one on ones
Value: £6.1 million
Wage: £25,400 a week
Thomas Strakosha displaced Federico Marchetti as Lazio’s number one last season, and at just the age of 22, expect big things from the Albanian international. With Lazio currently fifth in Serie A, they have Strakosha much to thank, and it may not be long before he gets noticed elsewhere in Europe.
17 reflexes, 17 jumping reach and 15 one-on-ones help make up Strakosha’s 136 current ability score with his potential a respectable 156. You are looking at a price upwards of £25 million for the youngster, with his wages currently £25,400 a week.
Ruben Blanco (CA 135 – PA 156)
Club: Celta Vigo
Best attributes: 16 agility, 15 reflexes, 14 jumping reach
Value: £2 million
Wage: £10,200 a week
Yet another Spanish ‘keeper, Ruben Blanco is currently undergoing a battle for the number one jersey at Celta Vigo with the experienced Sergio Alvarez Conde. Despite being nine years younger than Sergio, Blanco has put the pressure on with three clean sheets in seven games this season, so expect the youngster to come out on top in the second half of the season.
You will need just over £20 million for Blanco, with his current wages at £10,200 a week. For that price you will get his 16 agility, 15 reflexes and 14 jumping reach, giving him a current ability rating of 135. With a potential of 156, you can do a lot worse than the starlet Blanco.
More wonderkid goalkeepers
|Axel Werner||21||A. Madrid||Argentina||124/|
|Andre Moreira||21||A. Madrid||Portugal||119/|
|Alessandro Plizzari||17||AC Milan||Italy||107/|
|Christian Fruchtl||17||Bayern Munich||Germany||106/|
|Dominik Livakovic||22||GNK Dinamo||Croatia||127/|
|Pierluigi Gollini||22||Aston Villa||Italy||124/|
Who have you snapped on Football Manager 2018? Let us know in the comments section below.
Looking for wonderkids?
On a tight budget?
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?