For another part of RealSport's wonderkid series, we've taken an in-depth look at Football Manager 2017's wingers to provide you with the best young talent for out wide. The beauty of the modern game is that most of these wonderkids are versatile enough to play either on the right or left, the centre of an attacking midfield or, even, up front. However, players on this list are wingers, first and foremost, and this is where you should look to play them.
Andrija Zivkovic, 19, Winger, Benfica (£4.6m, £13.25k p/w, CA 3 – PA 5)
The 19-year-old Serbian winger is a well-known wonderkid from previous Football Manager games and it’s more of the same on FM17. He’s a good athlete (pace 14, acceleration 15 and agility 14), he’s mentally attuned to the game (anticipation 15, vision 13, flair 16 and work rate 14), plus he’s technically gifted (dribbling 15, first touch 14, crossing 13, finishing 12 and technique 15). All in all, Zivkovic develops into a world-class winger and he should be available fairly cheaply given that he is still playing for Benfica’s reserve side. Get in there quick and you won’t be disappointed!
Breel Embolo, 19, Winger, Schalke (£10.25m, £66k p/w, CA 3 – PA 5)
It's a shame that Breel Embolo signed for Schalke this summer as it's massively boosted his value and it's also going to make him harder to sign. I signed him on FM16 for under £20m and, wow, was he worth it. His versatility as a striker, central attacking midfielder or wide inside forward made him instrumental to my success on previous games. This is because he's fast (pace 17 and acceleration 14) and can dribble (13), finish (13) and pass (12). These stats will only improve over time. Moreover, the 19-year-old is brave (17), hard working (17), determined (15) and has a good level of flair (15) to beat his marker.
Ousmane Dembélé, 19, Winger, Dortmund (£21.5m, £49.5k p/w, CA 3.5 – PA 5)
Having recently burst onto the scene as a star for Dortmund, the 19-year-old is quickly growing his reputation as a potential star. He’s a phenomenal athlete (pace 18, acceleration 16 and agility 15) which underpins his tricky approach to the game. Technically, the French winger is gifted, too. His dribbling (17), first touch (15), passing (13) and technique (16) make him a brilliant young winger to begin with. Although his flair is 17, his mental attributes need some work as his composure (10), work rate (10) and determination (11) are not yet up to scratch. This, however, will naturally improve over time.
Christian Pulisic, 17, Winger, Dortmund (£16m, £3.9k p/w, CA 3 – PA 5)
Dortmund always seem to have some great young talent and the 17-year-old American, Christian Pulisic, is no different. He's valued at £16m, but expect to pay massively over the odds to acquire a player of his potential. However, you would be getting a great, versatile player, capable of playing anywhere across the front attacking three. His best position is a right winger, though. This is because he can dribble (15), accelerate (16), beat his man with flair (17), use his first touch to his advantage (16) and he works hard (14). Although his crossing can do with some improvement (11), he has good finishing for a youngster (12) and has good vision (15) to be an advanced playmaker.
Kenedy, 20, Winger, Chelsea (£10.5m, £25k p/w, CA 3 – PA 5)
Kenedy, too, was a name that rose to prominence on FM16 and it’s clear that clubs are already becoming aware of his fine talents as he begins my FM17 save on loan at Premier League side Watford. They’ve selected Kenedy as a first team player, indicating his readiness for top-flight football already. This is because his technical attributes are impressive. He can finish (14), dribble (13), pass (12), plus he’s a goal-threat from distance with his long-range shooting (15).
He’s also a great athlete (acceleration 14, pace 14 and strength 15). Moreover, he’s mentally ready for the game. His flair is 15, vision 12, composure 13 and determination 13. Kenedy represents bang for your buck, furthermore, as he’s adept at playing in most positions on the left and right side of the field, ranging from wingback roles to an advanced inside forward. The 20-year-old Brazilian is adaptable, versatile and, ultimately, well worth the money.
Gonçalo Guedes, 19, Winger, Benfica (£4.1m, £6.5k p/w, CA 3 – PA 5)
As I’ve already said in previous articles, the Portuguese top-flight is a hotbed of young, promising talent and Guedes is just another name on the list. The 19-year-old Portuguese winger is a backup player for Benfica, though that doesn’t mean Benfica will be willing to sell. It’ll take a big offer to tempt the club into parting with such a talented individual. Whilst his technical attributes are strong (dribbling 12, finishing 13, passing 12 and technique 13), it’s his mental attributes that are most outstanding. He’s brave (15), aggressive (14), determined (16) and works hard (16). Moreover, he’s a serious athlete; pace 16 and acceleration 14. He’s not particularly agile (11), however.
Kingsley Coman, 20, Winger, Juventus (£23m, £23k p/w, CA 3.5 – PA 5)
Good luck tempting this young 20-year-old winger away from his parent club Juventus or Bayern Munich, for that matter, the club he spent the last season on loan at. He’s been loaned back to the Bavarian giants for the 2016/17 season because of how impressive he was previously. At age 20, Coman has already won the French Ligue 1 with PSG, the Serie A with Juventus and the Bundesliga with Bayern! It’s astonishing! The Frenchman’s best asset is certainly his athleticism; pace 19, acceleration 17, agility 15 and natural fitness 16. Moreover, he’s mentally aware; work rate 15, vision 12 and flair 15, though his anticipation (11) and decision-making (10) need improving before he takes the next step. In terms of his technical ability, Coman, again, impresses. His dribbling (15), first touch (14), crossing (14) and technique (14) all add to his underlying ability as a winger.
Oliver Burke, 19, Winger, RB Leipzig (£4.1m, £13k p/w, CA 2.5 – PA 5)
The Scottish 19-year-old joined RB Leipzig, the 2nd placed team in Germany branded as the league’s ‘most hated club,’ for £13m from Nottingham Forest in the summer transfer window, so you may have a tough time tempting him out of East Germany in the immediate future, but it’s worth shortlisting Burke for the future. This is because of his sheer athleticism. He’s phenomenally quick (pace 18 and acceleration 14), not to mention balanced (17) which aids his skilful style of football. As a winger, he’s technically gifted at such a young age; crossing is 11, dribbling 14, technique 12 and first touch 12. All of these attributes will, of course, improve in the future. Mentally, he’s determined (14), works fairly hard (12) and is brave (14).
Hirving Lozano, 20, Winger, Pachuca (£5.5m, £15.5k p/w, CA 3 – PA 5)
Playing for Pachuca, a club in the Mexican First Division, it shouldn’t be too expensive to bring Lozano to your club, costing roughly £20m, which, for a promising talent, isn’t much money at all. He’s already established himself as a key member of the Mexican team, though he’s yet to be called up by his native Mexico as of yet. As an athlete, Lozano is pacey (14), accelerates well (16) and agile (15). He’s also technically gifted for a 20-year-old, particularly for his best role as an inside forward: crossing 13, dribbling 14, technique 14 and long shots 14. However, it’s his mental attributes that stand out the most. He anticipates the game well (16), makes good decisions (14), has flair (16), is determined (16) and moves well off the ball (15). Although he’s predominately right footed, Lozano is versatile enough to play either on the left or right wing.
Anthony Martial, 20, Winger, Manchester United (£31m, £110k p/w, CA 3.5 – PA 5)
Joining Manchester United last summer as a 19-year-old, Martial has already firmly established himself as a Premier League star and a key player for his side, so good luck prising him away from the Red Devils. Moreover, his £110k p/w wages may prove to be something of a stumbling block. However, he’s worth the money if you do decide to pursue him. He’s a fantastic athlete (pace 17, acceleration 18 and agility 17), plus he’s versatile to play out wide or up front.
This is because he can finish (15), dribble (17) and he has a good first touch and technique (both 15). Mentally, the Frenchman can do with some improvement, though he is determined (15), has flair (14), good off the ball movement (15) and works hard (14). Due to his ability as a striker, Martial will guarantee you goals from a wide position; one of his specialty traits is to cut inside from the left and place his shots.