Holland may have missed out on qualification for the World Cup in Russia this year, but the Dutch have a history of producing fantastic talent. Despite the Oranje never winning the World Cup, the likes of Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Robin van Persie have been fantastic servants to their country.
What is a wonderkid?
Dutch football is in a mini crisis, with no trip to a tournament finals since 2014, so the country is now looking for young talent to step forward. We look at the best Dutch wonderkids on Football Manager 2018, with all these youngsters aged 23 or below, with a potential ability (PA) rating of at least 140.
Matthijs de Ligt (CA 132 – PA 150-180)
Positions: D (C), DM
Best attributes: 17 adaptability, 16 professionalism, 16 determination
Value: £5.3 million
Wage: £9,000 a week
At 17, Matthijs de Ligt is one of the brightest prospects in world football. The centre back was a regular for Ajax last season as they made it all the way to the Europa League final, and made his debut for the Dutch national team. As the young defender develops, expect him to be linked with a number of clubs across Europe.
De Ligt has stats of 17 adaptability, 16 professionalism and 16 determination, giving him a current ability rating of 132. His potential between 150 and 180 will cost you at least £40 million with his wages of £9,000 a week to increase.
Donny van de Beek (CA 134 – PA 140-170)
Positions: M (C), DM, AM (C)
Best attributes: 20 adaptability, 15 creativity, 15 first touch
Value: £4.9 million
Wage: £1,400 a week
Staying with Ajax, Donny van de Beek has been the star this season. The central, defensive or attacking midfielder has scored 11 goals so far this term, earning him a Netherlands debut back in November. At the age of 20, we should see him remain in his homeland for a couple more seasons before taking the next step.
Van De Beek has a CA rating of 134 on the game, which can grow to a potential between 140 and 170. His stats of 20 adaptability, 15 creativity will set you back at least £20 million, with his current wages just £1,400 a week.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah (CA 130 – PA 140-170)
Positions: M (C), D (RC), DM
Club: Crystal Palace (on loan from Manchester United)
Best attributes: 18 temperament, 16 acceleration, 16 ambition
Value: £15 million
Wage: £15,000 a week
After impressing over two seasons at Manchester United, Timothy Fosu-Mensah now has the opportunity to play on a consistent basis on loan at Crystal Palace. A versatile player, the 19-year old can operate in central or defensive midfield and as a right or centre back.
Fosu-Mensah has a 130 CA which can improve to a potential between 140 and 170. His stats of 18 temperament, 16 acceleration and 16 ambition will cost you a massive £100 million with wages starting at £15,000 a week.
Justin Kluivert (CA 122 – PA 140-170)
Positions: AM (RLC), ST
Best attributes: 15 dribbling, 14 acceleration, 14 agility
Value: £4.2 million
Wage: £9,000 a week
Justin Kluivert is improving week on week. The 18-year-old looks on course to eclipse his father Patrick’s career, with the youngster scoring six goals and recording four assists so far this season. The winger or striker has been linked heavily with a move to Manchester United, but he shouldn’t rush into such a big move so quickly.
Kluivert’s 122 CA consists of 15 dribbling, 14 acceleration and 15 agility and those stats will improve as he reaches a potential between 140 and 170. To sign him you will need around £60 million, but his wages of £9,000 a week will need to be vastly improved.
Abdelhak Nouri (CA 117 – PA 140-170)
Positions: AM (CRL), M (C)
Best attributes: 19 adaptability, 17 flair, 16 technique
Value: £2.6 million
Wage: £6,700 a week
One of football’s sad stories, the talented Abdelhak Nouri collapsed during a pre-season friendly back in July, leaving him with permanent brain damage. The attacking midfielder made 12 appearances for the Ajax first team last season, and over 26 games for the U21s scored 10 and assisted a further 11.
Nouri is available to play and sign on Football Manager 2018, but the 20-year-old is set to retire at the end of his contract in 2020. You can sign him for £12 million with wages of £6,700 a week, getting you his 117 CA and potential between 140 and 170. His best stats are 19 adaptability, 17 flair and 16 technique.
Calvin Stengs (CA 116 – PA 140-170)
Positions: AM (RLC), M (RL)
Best attributes: 18 temperament, 17 determination, 17 adaptability
Wage: £2,200 a week
An injury has ruled out Calvin Stengs for the entirety of the current campaign, but the AZ Alkmaar winger certainly has potential. The 18-year-old made 22 appearances for the U21 side last season, scoring six times and setting up a further eight for his teammates.
On FM 18, Stengs has a 116 CA rating, which can improve to a potential between 140 and 170. His stats of 18 temperament, 17 determination and 17 adaptability will cost £20 million with wages upwards of £2,200 a week.
Myron Boadu (CA 94 – PA 140-170)
Positions: ST, AM (L)
Best attributes: 16 temperament, 14 pace, 14 crossing
Wage: £100 a week
If you’re looking for a very young player to nurture, Myron Boadu is your man. Aged just 16, the striker scored seven goals in 13 games for AZ U19s last season, and then switching to the U21s to bag six goals in nine.
16 temperament, 14 pace and 14 crossing are Boadu’s best attributes, which give him a 94 CA. This can increase to a potential between 140 and 170, meaning he will cost £2.5 million with wages as little as £100 a week.
Nathan Ake (CA 136 – PA 161)
Positions: D (CL), DM
Best attributes: 16 versatility, 16 adaptability, 15 acceleration
Value: £14 million
Wage: £40,000 a week
A Premier League regular these days, Nathan Ake left Chelsea last season to become the defensive foundation at Bournemouth. The 22-year-old can play at centre back, left back or in defensive midfield and it’s a big couple of seasons for the defender as he proves he can cut it with the EPL’s best week-in, week-out.
Ake has a 136 CA rating on the game, which can improve to a potential of 161. His best stats are 16 versatility, 16 adaptability and 15 acceleration, which will cost around £60 million with wages of £40,000 a week.
Wesley Hoedt (CA 143 – PA 157)
Positions: D (C)
Best attributes: 18 professionalism, 18 sportsmanship, 17 work rate
Value: £21 million
Wage: £60,000 a week
Wesley Hoedt was brought in last summer by Southampton to add some defensive security, and although he’s looked promising, the lack of quality around him explains why the Saints are in a relegation battle. The 23-year-old performed well over two seasons at Lazio, which earned him the £15 million switch to St. Mary’s.
You will need around £100 million to sign Hoedt, so you may want to hold off for the time being. His current ability score is 143, improving to a 157 potential, with his best stats 18 professionalism, 18 sportsmanship and 17 work rate. The centre back’s wages are currently £60,000 a week.
Kenny Tete (CA 136 – PA 155)
Positions: D (RC), WB (R)
Best attributes: 20 adaptability, 15 marking, 15 balance
Value: £6.9 million
Wage: £19,000 a week
Quality full backs are a rare commodity these days, but Kenny Tete could sort you out in the transfer window. The right back shone over two seasons at Ajax, earning him a move to Lyon for just £2.7 million. The 21-year-old is now a regular for the Dutch national side as they look to youth as they build towards qualifying for a first major tournament since 2014.
Tete has a 136 CA with stats of 20 adaptability, 15 marking and 15 balance. His potential of 155 will set you back around £30 million with wages of £19,000 a week.
More Dutch wonderkids
Tonny Trindade De Vilhena
Rick van Drongelen
Sven van Beek
Anwar El Ghazi
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