For the first time since 1958, Italy will not be heading to the World Cup. The Azzurri had a tough group facing Spain, but they should have had the quality to get past Sweden in the play-off. It now looks as if the old guard will step down, with Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini on the decline. The Italians must now look to the next generation to take them back to where they belong.
What is a wonderkid?
There is some fantastic talent in Italy, and we are looking at the best wonderkids on FM 18. These are youngsters aged 23 and under, with a potential ability (PA) rating of at least 150.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (CA 151 – PA 170-200)
Club: AC Milan
Best attributes: 18 jumping, 17 reflexes, 17 teamwork
Value: £16 million
Wage: £180,000 a week
One of the most sought-after goalkeepers in the world, Gianluigi Donnarumma is already cutting it with the world’s best at the age of 18. The AC Milan stopper made his debut for the Italian national team back in 2016, and it looks to be the perfect transition from namesake Gianluigi Buffon (CA 177 – PA 194) to Donnarumma in the Italian goal.
With attributes of 18 jumping, 17 reflexes and 17 teamwork, you will need around £80 million to sign Donnarumma, with wages of £180,000 a week. As his current ability rating is 151 and his potential is between 170 and 200, there are certainly worse deals to be had on FM.
Moise Kean (CA 116 – PA 160-190)
Positions: ST, AM (L)
Club: Verona (on loan from Juventus)
Best attributes: 20 adaptability, 20 ambition, 19 temperament
Value: £1.8 million
Wage: £17,000 a week
He may only be 17, but Moise Kean is already a dangerous player. After impressing for the Juventus youth teams (43 goals in 61 games), he made the step up to the first team last season, scoring on the final day of the campaign. He has since been loaned out to Hellas Verona where he has four goals so far this season.
Kean’s 116 CA consists of 20 adaptability, 20 ambition and 19 temperament, and he can grow to a potential between 160 and 190. The striker or left winger will set you back around £60 million with wages of £17,000 a week.
Pietro Pellegri (CA 110 – PA 160-190)
Best attributes: 18 ambition, 15 strength, 15 determination
Value: £4.9 million
Wage: £200 a week
Even younger still is Genoa’s Pietro Pellegri. The 16-year-old striker netted three goals in just six starts for Genoa, which earned him a move to Monaco in January. Pellegri has worked his way up through the Italy youth teams and is playing for the U19s which is no mean feat.
18 ambition, 15 strength and 15 determination give Pellegri a 110 CA rating, rising to a potential between 160 and 190. The youngster will cost close to £20 million, but you will need to dramatically improve his £200 a week wages.
Riccardo Orsolini (CA 128 – PA 150-180)
Positions: AM (RL), ST
Club: Atalanta (on loan from Juventus)
Best attributes: 16 ambition, 15 off the ball, 14 pace
Value: £4 million
Wage: £13,000 a week
Riccardo Orsolini made a name for himself by finishing top scorer of the U20 World Cup last year. On the back of that success, he headed to Atalanta on loan from Juventus, playing 10 times in the first half of the season. With things not quite going to plan, he has now joined up with Bologna on loan as he looks to make the breakthrough in Serie A.
Winge Orsolini has stats of 16 ambition, 15 off the ball and 14 pace on the game, which give him a CA of 128. You will need to wait until his loan spell is over to get your hands on his potential between 150 and 180, where he will cost around £15 million with wages of £13,000 a week.
Patrick Cutrone (CA 124 – PA 150-180)
Club: AC Milan
Best attributes: 18 loyalty, 15 natural fitness, 14 pace
Value: £3.7 million
Wage: £7,900 a week
Someone with plenty of top flight pedigree is Patrick Cutrone. The 19-year-old striker has scored 14 goals for AC Milan so far this season, building on the 47 he scored in 71 games for the youth sides. The young forward has progressed through Italy’s youth teams from U15 level, and he now has four goals in five games for the U21s.
Cutrone has a 124 current ability score which can improve to a potential between 150 and 180. His stats of 18 loyalty, 15 natural fitness and 14 pace will cost you around £30 million, but expect to pay more than his current £8,000 a week wages.
Andrea Pinamonti (CA 109 – PA 150-180)
Best attributes: 19 temperament, 17 ambition, 16 adaptability
Wage: £16,000 a week
Inter Milan striker Andrea Pinamonti has had to be patient with the opportunities at the San Siro. The 18-year-old made his debut for the club last season but has only appeared four more times since. His six goals in six UEFA Youth League games this season should bring him more opportunities, but with Mauro Icardi (CA 165 – PA 178) and Eder (CA 141 – PA 150) at the club a loan move may be on the cards.
Pinamonti’s 109 CA contains 19 temperament, 17 ambition and 16 adaptability, and he can improve to a potential between 150 and 180. You will need over £30 million to sign him with starting wages of £16,000 a week.
Alessandro Plizzari (CA 107 – PA 150-180)
Club: Ternana (on loan from AC Milan)
Best attributes: 19 adaptability, 17 sportsmanship, 16 ambition
Wage: £3,000 a week
With Gianluigi Donnarumma on the books, being a fellow goalkeeper at AC Milan can’t be easy. As a result, the 17-year-old Alessandro Plizzari has gone out on loan to Serie B side Ternana, and with 19 appearances so far this season, he looks like he has a big future. With Donnarumma linked with an exit from the San Siro, the door could become open for Italy U20 international Plizzari.
Plizzari has a 107 CA rating, rising to a potential between 150 and 180. With stats of 19 adaptability, 17 sportsmanship and 16 ambition, you will need around £25 million to sign him with wages upwards of £3,000 a week.
Felice D’Amico (CA 88 – PA 150-180)
Positions: AM (CRL), ST
Club: Inter (on loan from Palermo)
Best attributes: 18 flair, 17 professionalism, 16 determination
Wage: £200 a week
At 16, Felice D’Amico is yet to play for Inter Milan’s first team, but he made the loan switch to Inter after impressing for Palermo’s youth sides. The attacking midfielder, winger or striker scored 29 goals over two seasons there, earning him a spot in Italy U20 side, for who his has four goals in six games.
D’Amico has stats of 18 flair, 17 professionalism and 16 determination on the game, giving him a CA of 88. This can improve to a potential between 150 and 180, but you will have to hope Inter do not make a permanent move for the player if you wish to sign him. He should only cost £1 million, but his wages of £200 a week will certainly increase.
Federico Bernardeschi (CA 152 – PA 172)
Positions: AM (RLC), M (R)
Best attributes: 17 dribbling, 17 pace, 17 first touch
Value: £23 million
Wage: £32,000 a week
Many were surprised to see Federico Bernardeschi make the step up from Fiorentina to Juventus in the summer, but his performances this season justify the deal. The winger has scored five goals and assisted a further seven this season, and if Italy were to be traveling to the World Cup this summer, the 23-year-old would certainly be on the plane.
Bernardeschi’s 152 CA consists of stats of 17 dribbling, 17 pace and 17 first touch, with the potential to reach 172. This will cost over £100 million with wages upwards of £32,000 a week.
Andrea Belotti (CA 157 – PA 170)
Best attributes: 18 off the ball, 18 strength, 18 temperament
Value: £38 million
Wage: £48,000 a week
Linked with moves to Chelsea and Manchester United last summer, Andrea Belotti must prove this season that he is ready to lead the line for a big club. The 23-year-old Torino striker scored 28 goals last season, but his eight so far this campaign shows he has work to do.
Belotti has stats of 18 off the ball, 18 strength and 18 temperament on the game, giving him a CA of 157. This can improve to a potential of 170, and you will need a sum upwards of £60 million to sign him, with his wages starting at £48,000 a week.
More Italian wonderkids
|Daniele Rugani||23||D (C)||Juventus||150/ 170||£18m||£32k|
|Alessio Romagnoli||22||D (C)||AC Milan||149/ 170||£17m||£63k|
|Mattia Caldara||23||D (C)||Juventus||144/ 170||£14m||£22k|
|Lorenzo Pellegrini||21||M (C) DM||Roma||141/ 169||£12m||£32k|
|Federico Chiesa||19||AM (RL) M (R) ST||Fiorentina||139/ 167||£11m||£12k|
|Roberto Gagliardini||23||M (C) DM||Inter*||146/ 166||£16m||£48k|
|Alex Meret||20||GK||Spal*||124/ 166||£3m||£8k|
|Domenico Berardi||22||AM (RLC) ST||Sassuolo||143/ 165||£16m||£63k|
|Emerson||23||D (LR) WB (L)||Roma||145/ 158||£14m||£19k|
|Andrea Conti||23||D (R) WB (R) M (R)||AC Milan||143/ 158||£12m||£63k|
|Marco Benassi||22||M (C)||Fiorentina||140/ 158||£11m||£22k|
|Davide Calabria||20||D (RL) WB (R)||AC Milan||128/ 156||£4m||£19k|
|Leonardo Capezzi||22||M (C) DM||Sampdoria||124/ 156||£4m||£13k|
|Andrea Petagna||22||ST||Atalanta||137/ 155||£10m||£19k|
|Simone Scuffet||21||GK||Udinese||123/ 155||£3m||£13k|
|Gianluca Mancini||21||D (C)||Atalanta||119/ 155||£2m||£6k|
|Stefano Sensi||21||M (C) DM||Sassuolo||130/ 154||£5m||£10k|
|Emil Audero||20||GK||Venezia*||110/ 154||£500k||£8k|
|Matteo Politano||23||AM (LR)||Sassuolo||137/ 153||£10m||£35k|
|Antonio Barreca||22||D (L) WB (L) M (L)||Torino||135/ 153||£7m||£13k|
|Alberto Grassi||22||M (C) DM||Napoli||131/ 151||£6m||£16k|
|Alessandro Murgia||20||M (C) DM||Lazio||124/ 151||£4m||£16k|
|Edoardo Goldaniga||23||D (CR)||Sassuolo||128/ 150||£4m||£13k|
|Filippo Costa||22||M (L) D (L) WB (L)||Spal||120/ 150||£2m||£11k|
*Denotes player on loan
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