Football Manager 2019 Wonderkids: Best Midfielders (Attacking, Defensive and Central) to sign

It is always wise to build for the future in Football Manager. Who are the midfielders that can dominate a few years into a game?

Toby Durant by Toby Durant

Regardless of what tactics or formations you use, having quality central midfielders is vital to the success of your team. From retaining possession, breaking up opposition attacks, or making killer passes up to the strikers, central midfielders are the beating heart of any team. Even for the biggest clubs in the world it is very difficult to get hold of quality midfield players, and extremely expensive. But what if you are ahead of the curve? What if you can spot the talented players when they are still young, unproven, and cheaper?

How to choose the best wonderkid midfielders in Football Manager 2019

In this article we will be looking at the best wonderkid midfielders in FM19. These are players that are 19 or younger when you start your career and have a potential ability of 151 or more at AM (C), 154 or more at M (C), and 140 or more at DM. They may not be very cheap to buy, but they will still be easier to get hold of than Paul Pogba or Luka Modric.

Wonderkid attacking midfielders

These are the players that can unlock a defence and create goals. They have the potential to be the next Mesut Ozil or Kevin De Bruyne if you handle them correctly. They are the wonderkids that could cost £100+ million if you wait too long.

For a full list of wonderkid attacking midfielders see the table below!

Kai Havertz (CA 140 – PA 176)

Age: 19

Position: AM (C), M (C) 

Club: Bayer Leverkusen

Country: Germany

Best Attributes: Vision (17), Composure (17), Technique (16)

Value: £18.75 million

Wage: £26,000 a week

Kai Havertz will be well known to Football Manager veterans as he has long held wonderkid status. He made his profession debut for Bayer Leverkusen in October 2016 and is already closing in on 100 appearances for the team. He also made his senior international debut for Germany in September 2018.

Havertz is already a strong player in Football Manager 19, who is good on the ball (15 first touch, 14 dribbling) and can pick out a pass very well (17 vision, 16 technique, 14 passing). His room for growth is incredible, but so is his price tag. Bayer will open negotiations at over £100 million, so it will take a serious investment to pry him away.

Kangin Lee (CA 90 – PA 150-180)

Age: 17

Position: AM (C), M (C)

Club: Valencia

Country: South Korea

Best Attributes: Determination (19), Flair (17), Passing (13)

Value: £145,000

Wage: £725 a week

If Havertz is beyond your budget then the next player to look at is Kangin Lee. He joined Valencia’s youth system in 2011 and recently became the youngest foreigner to make a senior appearance for the team after he made his debut on 30 October this year.

Lee is a raw player in FM, but he does possess some excellent stats already. There are some strong mental attributes (19 determination, 17 flair) that will allow him to compete and improve, and he is already good on the ball (13 first touch, 13 technique, 13 passing, 13 dribbling)

Phil Foden (CA 130 – PA 175)

Age: 18

Position: AM (C)

Club: Manchester City

Country: England

Best Attributes: Vision (16), Flair (16), Passing (15)

Value: £30.5 million

Wage: £12,000 a week

Phil Foden grew up a Manchester City fan and joined their academy when he was just eight. He hasn’t played anywhere else and has received glowing remarks from Pep Guardiola already. Foden made his senior debut for City as a substitute in the Champions League in November 2017 and became the youngest player evert to receive a Premier League winners’ medal in May 2018.

Foden is already a solid attacking midfielder in Football Manager 19. He pairs good ball skills (15 first touch, 15 dribbling, 15 technique, 15 passing) with impressive mental attributes for such a young player (16 vision, 16 flair). He also possesses decent speed for a central player (16 agility, 15 acceleration, 14 pace). He is already an expensive purchase to make though.

Pelayo Morilla (CA 100 – PA 150-180)

Age: 16

Position: AM (C)

Club: Sporting Gijon

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: Decisions (14), Dribbling (14), Technique (14)

Value: £225,000

Wage: £1,700 a week

Pelayo Morilla came up through the youth system of Sporting Gijon and was given his senior team debut in August 2018. He has scored once for Gijon so far, and has been capped up to U19 level by Spain.

In Football Manager 19 Morilla combines good physical skill (15 natural fitness, 14 pace, 14 acceleration) with solid mental attributes (14 vision, 14 decisions) and nice talent on the ball (14 technique, 14 dribbling, 14 first touch). He is also capable in front of goal (12 finishing) which is a nice bonus in someone so young.

Joao Felix (CA 128 – PA 172)

Age: 18

Position: AM (LC), M (C)

Club: Benfica (SLB)

Country: Portugal

Best Attributes: Technique (16), Passing (15), Frist Touch (15)

Value: £3.1 million

Wage: £3,400 a week

Joao Felix is another name that should be familiar to Football Manager players. He was one of the best wonderkid attacking midfielders in last year’s game, and this year it is no different. Felix has progressed to Benfica’s first team and started scoring for them already, he is yet to receive a senior cap from Portugal, but it can’t be far away.

In Football Manager 19 Felix already has well-developed skills on the ball (16 technique, 15 first touch, 15 passing) and the mental attributes to help pick a defence apart (15 vision, 15 composure). He has reasonable athleticism for a central player (14 agility, 13 pace) but it is his talent on the ball and his potential for growth there that makes him such an impressive wonderkid. Benfica will want around £35 million for him, but he will be well worth the investment for most clubs.

Wonderkid central midfielders

These are your box to box players. Capable of moving the ball in possession and being part of a well-organised defence without it. They can do a bit of everything and could well be the next Luka Modric or Paul Pogba.

For a full list of wonderkid central midfielders see the table below!

Sergio Gomez (CA 120 – PA 150-180)

Age: 17

Position: AM (LC), M (LC)

Club: Borussia Dortmund

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: Technique (17), First Touch (16), Vision (16)

Value: £2.1 million

Wage: £17,250 a week

Borussia Dortmund have a long history of producing some excellent players, and Sergio Gomez seems to be the next on their list. He joined from Barcelona in January 2018 and has already made his debut for the senior team. He has also been capped up to U19 level by Spain.

In Football Manager 19 Sergio Gomez is already an excellent passer of the ball (17 technique, 16 vision, 14 passing). That is combined with several good mental attributes (16 flair, 15 composure, 14 teamwork) creating a midfielder that is impressive going forward.

Nicolo Zaniolo (CA 115 – PA 140-170)

Age: 18

Position: AM (C), M (C)

Club: Roma

Country: Italy

Best Attributes: Off The Ball (15), Jumping Reach (15), Strength (14)

Value: £1.5 million

Wage: £850 a week

Nicolo Zaniolo made his senior debut for Virtus Entella in Serie B in March 2017 before moving to Inter Milan that summer. He moved to Roma as part of the deal that took Radja Nainggolan to Inter. He was handed his Serie A debut by Roma this season at the end of September.

What sets Zaniolo apart from other teenage midfielders is an impressive level of physicality (15 jumping, 14 strength) that you just don’t see in most players his age. He is solid on the ball (13 technique, 13 first touch, 13 passing) and can make a tackle (11) too. He is also pretty good in front of goal (13 finishing)

Mickael Cuisance (CA 125 – PA 168)

Age: 18

Position: AM (C), M (C)

Club: Borussia Monchengladbach

Country: France

Best Attributes: Technique (16), Vision (16), Passing (16)

Value: £4.3 million

Wage: £26,000 a week

Mickael Cuisance moved from Nancy to Borussia Monchengladbach in 2017 and has quickly become a regular contributor for the first team. He has also been capped by France up to U20 level.

Cuisance is an excellent passer in Football Manager 19 (16 technique, 16 passing, 16 vision) and can already help a team retain possession and unlock a defence. Without the ball he is useful too (14 work rate, 11 tackling). He can also deliver a good corner (16).

Ryan Gravenberch (CA 103 – PA 150-180)

Age: 16

Position: DM, AM (C), M (C)

Club: Ajax

Country: Holland

Best Attributes: Flair (15), Technique (13), Decisions (13)

Value: £250,000

Wage: £90 a week

Ryan Gravenberch has been with Ajax since 2010 and made his senior debut with the club in September 2018, becoming the youngest player ever to play in the Eredivisie. He has been capped by the Netherlands up to U19 level so far.

Not a lot stands out about Gravenberch immediately in Football Manager 19, but for a player that is just 16 his stats are pretty good. He already has a few good mental attributes (15 flair, 13 decisions, 12 composure) and he can move the ball well (13 technique, 11 passing). He has a lot of room for improvement and with a 166 potential ability he could quickly become an excellent player for almost any side.

Arne Maier (CA 132 – PA 165)

Age: 19

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: Hertha BSC

Country: Germany

Best Attributes: Teamwork (17), Natural Fitness (16), Composure (16)

Value: £8.5 million

Wage: £17,250 a week

Arne Maier joined Hertha BSC in 2007 at just 8 years old and he’s been there ever since. Maier made his senior debut for the reserve side in 2017 but soon found himself in the first team squad. He has become something of a regular for Hertha already, and has been capped three times by Germany at Under-21 level.

In Football Manager 19 Maier already has several well-developed mental attributes (17 teamwork, 16 composure, 14 anticipation). He also brings solid ball skills (15 first touch, 15 technique, 14 passing) to help retain possession and break down the opposition. He is reasonable off the ball too (11 tackling, 10 marking).

Wonderkid defensive midfielders

The ball-winners and attack-breakers. These are the midfielders who shield the defence, close down space in the midfield and generally torment opposing attackers. The future N’Golo Kantes and Casemiros are here.

For a full list of wonderkid defensive midfielders see the table below!

Sandro Tonali (CA 115 – PA 150-180)

Age: 18

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: Brescia

Country: Italy

Best Attributes: Determination (15), Composure (15), Work Rate (14)

Value: £1.2 million

Wage: £775 a week

Sandro Tonali made his professional debut for Brescia at just 17. He has gone on to become a regular in their first team in Serie B, but looks ready to make the step up sooner rather than later. He has been capped 10 times by Italy at U19 level.

In Football Manager 19 Tonali has a remarkable head on his shoulders for someone so young (15 determination, 15 composure, 14 work rate, 14 teamwork) and already has good physicality (13 natural fitness, 13 stamina, 12 strength). He is more of a base to attack from (15 passing, 14 technique) than an out-and-out defensive shield (12 tackling) but he can certainly win the ball back and disrupt the opposition.

Declan Rice (CA 134 – PA 140-170)

Age: 19

Position: D (C), DM, M (C)

Club: West Ham

Country: Republic of Ireland

Best Attributes: Composure (16), Tackling (15), Positioning (15)

Value: £21.5 million

Wage: £3,000 a week

Declan Rice was a part of the Chelsea academy before he was released at age 14 and joined West Ham. There he progressed through the youth system and eventually made his senior debut against Burnley in May 2017. He has gone on to make over 30 appearances for West Ham already and has received three senior caps for the Republic of Ireland to date, although he has had his head turned by an approach to represent England.

Rice is already and excellent defensive midfielder. He knows where to be on the field (15 positioning, 14 anticipation) and is a hard-worker (15 work rate, 14 teamwork). He can win the ball back (15 tackling, 14 marking) and is a reasonable passer too (12 passing, 12 technique). He also has solid athleticism already (14 stamina, 13 strength). The asking price for Rice can start at £100+ million, so be prepared to spend a lot if you want him on your team.

Florentino Luis (CA 121 – PA 140-170)

Age: 18

Position: DM, M (C)

Club: SLB

Country: Portugal

Best Attributes: Work Rate (15), Teamwork (15), Determination (15)

Value: £1.3 million

Wage: £1,800 a week

Florentino Luis joined Benfica in 2010 and hasn’t looked back. Since then he has progressed through the team and become a staple of the Benfica B side in the second tier of Portuguese football, but he seems ready to step into the first team at the first opportunity. He has been capped 10 times by Portugal at Under-20 level.

In Football Manager 19 Luis already has excellent mental attributes (15 teamwork, 15 work rate, 14 decisions, 14 positioning) which will help him no end in every aspect of his game. He is a well-balanced player with good defensive skills (13 tackling, 11 marking) already and can also help the team when in possession (14 technique, 13 passing).

Claudio Gomes (CA 100 – PA 150-180)

Age: 17

Position: DM

Club: Manchester City

Country: France

Best Attributes: Natural Fitness (15), Work Rate (14), Bravery (14)

Value: £575,000

Wage: £20,000 a week

Claudio Gomes is already well-travelled despite his young age. Manchester City are his fourth team, signing for them after his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expired. He made just one appearance for the PSG reserves during his time in the French capital and has been capped four times by France at U19 level.

Gomes is raw in FM this year, but already has some strong mental attributes (14 work rate, 14 bravery, 13 teamwork). He is a good tackler (13) and can pick out a pass very well for someone his age (13 technique, 12 passing)

Tyler Adams (CA 111 – PA 130-160)

Age: 19

Position: D (R), WB (R), DM, M (C)

Club: New York Red Bulls

Country: USA

Best Attributes: Stamina (15), Work Rate (14), Determination (14) 

Value: £1.6 million

Wage: £1,300 a week

Tyler Adams has been with New York since 2010, coming up through their academy to be a regular in the first team. He made his MLS debut in April 2016 at just 17 years old and has already made 50 appearances for them as well as winning 7 full caps for the USMNT.

In Football Manager 19 Adams is an extremely versatile player, but his best position is defensive midfield. He has good athleticism (15 stamina, 13 pace) and solid defensive skills already (12 tackling, 11 passing) as well as very good mental attributes (14 work rate, 14 determination).

All wonderkid attacking midfielders

Name Pos Club Country Age CA PA Value Wage
Kai Havertz AM (C), M (C) Bayer 04 Germany 19 140 176 £18.75m £26k
Kangin Lee AM (C), M (C) Valencia South Korea 17 90 >150 £145k £725
Phil Foden AM (C) Man City England 18 130 175 £30.5m £12k
Pelayo Morilla AM (C) S. Gijon B Spain 16 100 >150 £225k £1.7k
João Félix AM (LC), M (C) SLB Portugal 18 128 172 £3.1m £3.4k
Thiago Almada AM (C) Vélez Argentina 17 105 >140 £750k £2k
Alberto Soro AM (C), M (C) Zaragoza B Spain 19 105 >140 £675k £3.3k
Houssem Aouar AM (C), M (C) OL France 19 136 165 £8.25m £24k
Lazar Samardzic AM (C) Hertha BSC Germany 16 86 >140 £110k £55
Roberto López AM (LC) Real San Sebastián C Spain 18 97 >140 £200k £925
Elias Abouchabaka AM (LC), M (LC) SpVgg Greuther Fürth Germany 18 110 >140 £450k £7k
Ezequiel Barco AM (LRC) Atlanta United Argentina 19 127 >140 £4.2m £21k
Manuel Pherai AM (C), M (C) Borussia Dortmund Holland 17 103 >130 £300k £850
Robert Navarro AM (LC) AS Monaco Spain 16 96 >130 £275k £2.8k
Augusto AM (LC) R. Madrid B Brazil 19 85 >130 £145k £975
Brahim Díaz AM (RC), M (C) Man City Spain 18 117 >140 £3.7m £8k
Giorgi Chakvetadze AM (LC), M (C) AA Gent Georgia 18 115 >140 £4.7m £8.5k
Morgan Gibbs-White AM (C), M (C) Wolves England 18 108 >130 £925k £1.5k
Matt O’Riley DM, AM (C), M (C) Fulham England 17 100 >130 £450k £500

All wonderkid central midfielders

Name Pos Club Country Age CA PA Value Wage
Sergio Gómez AM (LC), M (LC) Borussia Dortmund Spain 17 120 >150 £2.1m £17k
Nicolò Zaniolo AM (C), M (C) Roma Italy 18 115 >140 £1.5m £850
Mickaël Cuisance AM (C), M (C) Borussia M’gladbach France 18 125 168 £4.3m £26k
Ryan Gravenberch DM, AM (C), M (C) Ajax Holland 16 103 >150 £250k £90
Arne Maier DM, M (C) Hertha BSC Germany 19 132 165 £8.5m £17.25k
Houssem Aouar AM (C), M (C) OL France 19 136 165 £8.24m £24k
Exequiel Palacios M (RC) River Argentina 19 128 >140 £5.5m £4.3k
Mattias Svanberg M (C) Bologna Sweden 19 119 >140 £2.4m £12.75k
Nicolás Domínguez M (C) Vélez Argentina 19 127 >130 £4.3m £4k
Gedson Fernandes M (C) SLB Portugal 19 135 >150 £8m £6.25k
Alessio Riccardi M (C) Roma Italy 17 106 >140 £275k £5.75k
Fran Beltrán DM, M (C) Vigo Spain 19 128 >140 £2.6m £11.75k
Bastien Toma DM, M (C) Sion Switzerland 19 120 >130 £1.1m £3.4k
Atakan Akkaynak DM, M (C) Willem II Germany 19 110 >130 £675k £2.7k
Matteo Guendouzi DM, M (C) Arsenal France 19 133 155 £17.5m £40k
Gaspar AM (C), M (C) S. Gijon B Spain 18 90 >130 £115k £775
Miguel Baeza AM (LC), M (C) R. Madrid Spain 18 90 >140 £86k £55
Joe Willock M (C) Arsenal England 18 118 >130 £1.6m £5k

All wonderkid defensive midfielders

Name Pos Club Country Age CA PA value Wage
Sandro Tonali DM, M (C) Brescia Italy 18 115 >150 £1.2m £775
Declan Rice D (C), DM, M (C) West Ham Ireland 19 134 >140 £21.5m £3k
Florentino Luís DM, M (C) SLB Portugal 18 121 >140 £1.3m £1.8k
Claudio Gomes DM Man City France 17 100 >150 £575k £20k
Tyler Adams D (R), WB (R), DM, M (C) New York USA 19 111 >130 £1.6m £1.3k
Martín Calderón DM, M (C) R. Madrid B Spain 19 90 >140 £115k £625
Peru Nolaskoain D (C), DM, M (C) A. Bilbao C Spain 19 110 >130 £725k £2.8k
Bastien Toma DM, M (C) Sion Switzerland 19 120 >130 £1.1m £3.4k
Beni Baningime DM, M (C) Everton England 19 110 >130 £950k £8k
Atakan Akkaynak DM, M (C) Willem II germany 19 110 >130 £675k £2.7k
Federico Valverde DM, M (C) R. Madrid B Uruguay 19 125 155 £2.1m £14.75k
Manu Morlanes DM, M (C) Villarreal B Spain 19 105 >140 £500k £55
Gennaro Ruggiero DM, M (C) Palermo Italy 18 90 >130 £92k £200
Matheus Fernandes DM, M (C) BOT Brazil 19 131 150 £2.2m £5.25k
Oriol Busquets DM, M (C) Barcelona B Spain 19 113 >130 £925k £3k
Kevin Rüegg D (R), DM, M (C) Zürich Switzerland 19 115 >130 £1.6m £4.1k
Ronaldo Vieira DM, M (C) Sampdoria England 19 119 >130 £2.2m £24k
José Gragera DM, M (C) S. Gijon B Spain 18 95 >120 £180k £1.3k
Kamal Bafounta DM, M (C) Borussia Dortmund France 16 80 >120 £64k £55


Toby Durant