30 Highest Potential Players in FIFA 21 Career Mode

Oct 13, 2020, 5:15 PM GMT+1
Erling Braut Haaland, Jadon Sancho
We take a look at the 30 players with the highest potential in Career Mode in FIFA 21 | TF-Images/Getty Images
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There are a number of approaches FIFA players can take when starting a Career Mode. Sure, you can start with a top team and use their wealth to invest in world-class talents to improve your already ridiculous side and make you pretty much unbeatable.

But, let's be honest, there's nothing quite like investing your time in a young talent and seeing them develop into the top players many had predicted they would become, is there? And with FIFA 21's all new player development feature as well, you can now not only help them reach their potential, but also alter their position and style to suit your system.

Here's a look at the top 30 players aged 23 or under with the highest potential in FIFA 21...

30. Martin Odegaard (Real Madrid)

Martin Odegaard
Odegaard is now back with Real Madrid | Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Position: Attacking Midfield
Age: 21
Original Rating: 83
Potential Rating: 89

After a very successful loan spell at Real Sociedad, Odegaard has seen his rating rise in FIFA 21. Now back with Real Madrid, he has already featured three times this season and could be a valuable squad member for Zinedine Zidane.

While he may not be the quickest player in the game, Odegaard brings creativity and skill. At just 21, he still has a lot of room for improvement in training as well.

29. Arthur (Piemonte Calcio)

AS Roma v Juventus - Serie A
Arthur joined Juventus during the summer | MB Media/Getty Images

Position: Central Midfield
Age: 23
Original Rating: 84
Potential Rating: 89

Are you still amazed as to how Barcelona thought it was a good idea to sell Arthur to Juventus (sorry, Piemonte Calcio) and bring in Miralem Pjanic as his replacement?

Yes? Well, you're definitely not the only one.

An excellent player to have controlling the game in the middle of the park, although you may struggle to sign him immediately as he only made his move during the summer.

28. Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona)

Ousmane Dembele
Man Utd were keen on Dembele as a Sancho alternative during the summer window | TF-Images/Getty Images

Position: Left Wing
Age: 23
Original Rating: 83
Potential Rating: 89

There have been - and continue to be - a lot of 'ifs and buts' regarding Dembele. While he is blessed with phenomenal talent and skill, his development has been stunted due to his extremely poor injury record.

But in FIFA, there are no such worries.

Instead, players who choose to sign Dembele or play with him will be treated to his outstanding pace, ridiculous skill and end product as well.

27. Houssem Aouar (Lyon)

Houssem Aouar
Arsenal were interested in Aouar during the summer | Pool/Getty Images

Position: Central Midfield
Age: 22
Original Rating: 81
Potential Rating: 89

It may well be Partey time at Arsenal at the moment, but they were unable to conclude a deal for another top target in Lyon's Aouar.

While predominantly a central midfielder, he is also comfortable operating out on the left. With the right training, Aouar could become a very versatile player in any Career Mode squad - not to mention his obvious quality as well.

26. Takefusa Kubo (Villarreal on Loan From Real Madrid)

FBL-ESP-LIGA-VILLARREAL-ALAVES
Kubo joined Villarreal on loan during the summer | JOSE JORDAN/Getty Images

Position: Right Midfield
Age: 19
Original Rating: 75
Potential Rating: 89

One of the many youngsters on the books of Real with a very bright future ahead of him.

While FIFA players may have to wait until the following summer to be able to sign him, he could be a very shrewd acquisition for the long-term at a very reasonable price.

Early development will be crucial, however, if he is to fulfil his potential in FIFA 21.

25. Marc Cucurella (Getafe)

Marc Cucurella
A number of clubs were interested in Cucurella over the summer | Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Position: Left Midfield
Age: 21
Original Rating: 81
Potential Rating: 89

Another play who users will have to be patient with before they will be sold is Cucurella, as he completed a permanent switch to Getafe from Barcelona during the summer.

But he is definitely worth keeping a very close eye on before making a move for him. Comfortable as a left-back and a midfielder as well, users can decide which position to deploy him in for the long-term.

24. Ferran Torres (Manchester City)

Ferran Torres
Torres has made a strong start to the 2020/21 season | Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Position: Right Midfield
Age: 20
Original Rating: 81
Potential Rating: 89

Manchester City's purchase of Ferran Torres didn't receive quite as much attention as perhaps it should have done due to the number of other high-profile deals that were also being mentioned at the time.

But the Spaniard could be an excellent signing for City not just in the long-term, but also immediately.

Only problem for FIFA 21 players? He could be quite challenging to steal away from the Etihad...

23. Sergio Reguilon (Tottenham)

Sergio Reguilon
Reguilon has shone during his early games for Tottenham | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Position: Left Back
Age: 23
Original Rating: 82
Potential Rating: 89

Real Madrid made the decision to part ways with Reguilon during the summer as Zidane already has two left-backs at his disposal.

But their loss is Tottenham's gain.

As a quick and attack-minded full-back, Reguilon is an excellent option in FIFA as he has the natural ability to get forward and support attacks. There aren't many better full-back options out there.

22. Thiago Almada (Velez Sarsfield)

FBL-SUDAMERICANA-AUCAS-VELEZ
Almada has attracted plenty of interest from European clubs | RODRIGO BUENDIA/Getty Images

Position: Attacking Midfield
Age: 19
Original Rating: 73
Potential Rating: 89

Oh yes, it's everyone's favourite Football Manager wonderkid.

Yet to seal a move away (despite interest from the likes of Man Utd and Leeds), Almada's price tag remains relatively low - something which should be taken advantage of by those who start a Career Mode.

With 89 potential, signing Almada should be a top priority.

21. Mason Greenwood (Manchester United)

Mason Greenwood
Greenwood netted 17 times for United in 2019/20 | Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

Position: Right Midfield
Age: 19
Original Rating: 77
Potential Rating: 89

Well, it's safe to say Greenwood did more than enough to earn himself a major improvement on his 67 rating in FIFA 20, didn't he?

Not only has the Man Utd youngster seen his rating jump up ten, but he has also been converted from a striker to a right-sided midfielder.

United, however, may not be quite so keen to sell one of the most exciting talents in Europe...

20. Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich)

Alphonso Davies
Davies was sensational for Bayern in 2019/20 | Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Position: Left Back
Age: 19
Original Rating: 81
Potential Rating: 89

Alphonso Davies' 96 pace is enough of a reason in itself for Career Mode players to go out and sign him immediately.

But if that isn't enough, there's also the fact that he's already rated 81 at just 19, and can play at either left-back or further up on the wing. Whatever the position, Davies could be unstoppable after a few seasons.

Convinced yet? You should be.

19. Ansu Fati (Barcelona)

Ansu Fati
Fati has made an outstanding start to the season | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Position: Left Wing
Age: 17
Original Rating: 76
Potential Rating: 90

Fati was recently named La Liga Player of the Month for September, which saw him set yet another record. Yep, he became the youngest recipient of the award.

The young (very young) Spaniard already has three goals to his name this campaign in just three games, and is proving to be a valuable first team member at Barcelona.

It shouldn't be a case of whether to sign him, but rather how you're going to sign him.

18. Rodrygo (Real Madrid)

Rodrygo
Rodrygo can play on either flank effectively | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Position: Right Wing
Age: 19
Original Rating: 79
Potential Rating: 90

Another player capable of playing on the left or the right, Rodrygo has the pace and trickery to be a real threat in any Career Mode side.

Valued at around €21m as well, it would be wise to snap him up early on as his value is likely to drastically increase in a short space of time.

17. Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad)

Mikel Oyarzabal
Man City held an interest in Oyarzabal | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Position: Left Wing
Age: 23
Original Rating: 84
Potential Rating: 90

There's no doubting what Oyarzabal would bring to any team in Career Mode. But there are two potential sticking points.

Firstly, already rated 84, a move for him would not come cheap (at all). Secondly, at the age of 23, he could struggle to fulfil his full potential if he isn't signed early on and worked on in training.

16. Federico Valverde (Real Madrid)

Fede Valverde
Valverde's all-round ability makes him a valuable player under Zidane | Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Position: Central Midfield
Age: 22
Original Rating: 83
Potential Rating: 90

Fede Valverde is so good that Bayern Munich wanted him to replace Thiago Alcantara, but Los Blancos refused to discuss a move.

As an all-round complete midfielder and still just 22, Valverde would be a dominant force in the centre of the park for any Career Mode team for a number of seasons.

15. Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig)

Dayot Upamecano
Upamecano would be an excellent addition at a very affordable price | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Position: Central Defence
Age: 21
Original Rating: 79
Potential Rating: 90

Upamecano may start off as a 79-rated defender, but he already has the ability to be a leading defender in any Career Mode team.

Pace, power, wide range of passing and strong aerial ability, Upamecano is a must-have in any team.

Oh, and he's available at a very reasonable price as well.

14. Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)

Frenkie de Jong
De Jong has the ability to dictate games with his range of passing | David Ramos/Getty Images

Position: Central Midfield
Age: 23
Original Rating: 85
Potential Rating: 90

De Jong may just be out of reach in terms of price for...well, the majority of teams in the game initially as he's already rated 85.

As well as having 80 pace and 90 short passing, he also has the ability to weave through defences and create real moments of magic with his 87 dribbling.

13. Sandro Tonali (Milan on Loan From Brescia)

Sandro Tonali
Tonali is an excellent signing for Milan | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Position: Defensive Midfield
Age: 20
Original Rating: 77
Potential Rating: 91

Career Mode players were left devastated when Tonali completed his initial loan switch to Milan this summer, as it meant they were going to be unable to sign the outrageously gifted Italian at a bargain price from Brescia in FIFA 21.

But while he may now have made the step up, Tonali is a player that you should be ready to pounce on at the next available opportunity.

After all, he does have 91 potential.

12. Francisco Trincao (Barcelona)

Francisco Trincao
Leicester attempted to sign Trincao during the summer | Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Position: Right Wing
Age: 20
Original Rating: 78
Potential Rating: 91

Barcelona may well be a mess at the moment, but they did manage to do something right with the signing of Trincao.

Not only does he have one of the highest potential ratings, he is also one of the more affordable (even though Barça won't sell straight away).

11. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

Marcus Rashford
Rashford has been outstanding both on and off the pitch | Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Position: Left Midfield
Age: 22
Original Rating: 85
Potential Rating: 91

Sure, Rashford may have been awarded an MBE and will become the youngest recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester - but that doesn't quite compare to having a 91 potential rating on FIFA 21, does it?

Hmmm, actually, hold on...

Anyway, the Englishman is one of the most exciting players in the game, with his pace, skill and dribbling ability making him almost impossible to stop.

10. Lautaro Martinez (Inter)

Lautaro Martinez
Barcelona were very interested in Lautaro | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Position: Striker
Age: 23
Original Rating: 84
Potential Rating: 92

Lautaro's FIFA 21 rating may be just 84, but he already has excellent ratings for pace, shooting, dribbling and physicality. At 23 as well, these will only improve.

What more could you want from a striker?

9. Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan)

Gianluigi Donnarumma
Donnarumma should be the primary goalkeeping target in Career Mode | Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Position: Goalkeeper
Age: 21
Original Rating: 85
Potential Rating: 92

How is Donnarumma still only 21? Really?!

The three numbers above underline exactly why every Career Mode player should be looking to sign Donnarumma to fill their goalkeeping position straight away. It's that simple.

8. Matthijs de Ligt (Piemonte Calcio)

Matthijs De Ligt
De Ligt is already one of the best central defenders in the game | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Position: Centre Back
Age: 21
Original Rating: 85
Potential Rating: 92

21-year-old De Ligt may have a potential rating of 92, but he's already rated at 85. Again, he's only 21.

There are some players who may well cost a lot, but are worth breaking the bank for - and De Ligt is one of them.

A De Ligt and Upamecano partnership at the back may just be unbeatable.

7. Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)

Erling Haaland
Haaland already has five goals to his name in 2020/21 | Lars Baron/Getty Images

Position: Striker
Age: 20
Original Rating: 84
Potential Rating: 92

Do we even really need to explain this one?

We're not really even sure if Haaland needs to participate in the training sessions in Career Mode, he's that good. There are no two ways about it, the striker is the goalscoring machine you need up front.

6. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

Trent Alexander-Arnold
Alexander-Arnold should be the top right-back target in Career Mode for those who can afford him | Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Position: Right Back
Age: 22
Original Rating: 87
Potential Rating: 92

The fact that Alexander-Arnold only recently turned 22 makes his 87 rating all the more impressive. With a powerful striker who is strong in the air, Alexander-Arnold could be even more threatening going forward.

Although his 80 rating for defending may be a bit generous.

5. Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)

Vinicius Junior
Vinicius Junior's shooting rating has let him down in FIFA 21 | Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Position: Left Wing
Age: 20
Original Rating: 80
Potential Rating: 93

Vinicius has always been phenomenally fun to play with in FIFA, but players of the game have often been left disappointed (and sometimes shocked) by his finishing ability.

Sure, he has 95 pace and 86 dribbling (that's just scary), but once again, his shooting rating (69) lets him down initially.

But with some training in this area, Vinicius could very quickly become one of the most dangerous players in the game.

Problem solved.

4. Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid)

Joao Felix
Felix has started the season well at Atletico | Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Position: Centre Forward
Age: 20
Original Rating: 81
Potential Rating: 93

Joao Felix endured a tough first season at Atletico Madrid - hence why his rating isn't as high as some would have predicted. But it's his 93 potential which matters most for Career Mode players.

While he may not be everyone's preferred player in the game due to the fact he doesn't exactly have lightning pace or isn't particularly strong, he has the talent to be the difference-maker in any game.

3. Kai Havertz (Chelsea)

Kai Havertz
Havertz joined Chelsea during the summer in a big money deal | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Position: Attacking Midfield
Age: 21
Original Rating: 85
Potential Rating: 93

Well, it was just a matter of time before Havertz left Bayer Leverkusen, wasn't it?

Unfortunately for those starting a Career Mode with any team apart from Chelsea, Havertz will be unavailable initially and even when he will become free to negotiate with, the Blues are sure to demand a hefty fee.

But it's the price you will have to pay if you want the best.

2. Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)

Jadon Sancho
Man Utd were unable to sign Sancho during the summer window | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Position: Right Midfield
Age: 20
Original Rating:
87
Potential Rating: 93

It's almost as if signing their primary target - who could be one of the world's best for years to come - would have been ideal for Man Utd.

But their ignorance meant Sancho stayed put during the summer.

What is most exciting about Sancho in FIFA 21 is that while he is already rated 87, he still has major areas for improvement in training sessions - such as his shooting and physicality.

1. Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

Kylian Mbappe
Mbappe has the highest potential in FIFA 21 | Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

Position: Striker
Age: 21
Original Rating:
90
Potential Rating: 95

Kylian Mbappe isn't just a potential future Ballon d'Or winner, he's already one of the very best in the world.

If we're being completely honest, the 95 potential is just an added incentive, considering he's already rated 90 and he's still just 21.

However, with this comes a fairly substantial price tag. It may take a couple of seasons (or many more), but it's hard to envisage any player in the game being able to stop a 95-rated Mbappe.

For more from Adam Aladay, follow him on Twitter!

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