In our previous Football Manager article, we tried to predict the players we thought would achieve the status of ‘wonderkid’ within the game. As Football and Championship manager veterans will know, wonderkids are the most sought after players because they have the potential to become world class, and are often available at prices which are slightly below those of an already established world class player.
Our predictions in the aforementioned article (which was a list of players compiled with the help of @solanseven) were generally successful. Mother Superior jumped the gun on players such as Thorgen Hazard and Samed Yesil, who are almost too kiddish to achieve any kind of wonder on a normal database start-up other than the German or French league. They play for RC Lens and Bayer Leverkusen respectively.
However, we weren’t able to list every potential wonderkid as that would just be a ridiculously long list of every player in world football aged 19 or under, but here are a few who emerged once the game came out, and we were able to get a few of our virtual scouts on the job.
Leandro (Gremio) – A versatile forward who can play in most attacking positions, whether it be on the wing or through the middle, Weverson Leandro Oliveira Moura possesses great speed, technique and dribbling ability, attributes which have had Gremio fans thinking they have another future Brazilian superstar on their hands. The player was named as one of the outstanding forwards in the competition as he helped Gremio to the Campeonato Gaucho title earlier this year (2011).
Mbaye Niang (Caen) – One of the new bunch of French wonderkids who appear on each instalment of the Football Manager series, Niang is a striker who we will call the new Yaya Sanogo. A year younger and a few feet smaller than the Auxerre striker, Niang offers a similar combination of pace, power, technique and finishing ability which would give any team a striking option for most situations.
Jesé (Real Madrid) – Whilst our previous article focused on Alvaro Marata possibly being the next Raul, this time we find that they may also have a ready made Cristiano Ronaldo in their youth ranks in the form of Jesé Rodriguez. Slightly different to Cristiano Ronaldo in the fact that he’s Spanish, and won’t cost £80,000,000, but has the dribbling ability and flair to warrant any comparisons with the Portuguese winger.
Adryan (Flamengo) – Underwhelmingly compared with Dario Bottinelli on the game, Adryan is a talented attacking midfielder who has already been linked with a move to Manchester United of the English Premier League. At just 17 years old and valued at under £1m, he might be one of the bargain signings on the game if you can secure a work permit for him. No doubt Sir Alex Ferguson will.
Emre Can (Bayern Munich) – If anyone can, Emre Can (it had to be said). A defensive midfielder for whom Bayern Munich have high hopes. A physical player with great technique who hasn’t yet played for the Bayern first team; Can could be another one of the bargains of Football Manager 2012 if you can snap him up early.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (Borussia Monchengladbach) – Another possible future German international, ter Stegen achieves wonderkid status relatively early in the game, and might cost slightly more in terms of transfer fee because of this. However, he could probably go straight into any first team as he possesses all the attributes of a great goalkeeper even at the age of 19.
Lenny Nangis (Caen) – Seems like Caen have a couple of real talents in the striking department with Niang whom we’ve already mentioned, and the trickier more diminutive Lenny Nangis. In one game of FM he was one of many young players hurriedly signed by Manchester City, and on joining the club was immediately compared to Carlos Tevez. For his on the pitch performances, we presume.
Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) – Has already been snapped up by Real Madrid, but might still be available if they’re stupid enough not to play him. And you could always get him on loan and sneak in a future fee… Another of the French contingent, Varane is a ball playing centre back/defensive midfielder who would be a great addition to most sides in world football.
If these French players turn out as good as Football Manager makes them out to be, they should have some national side in a few years.
It’d be good if Emre Can played for Caen too…..