Football Manager

Football Manager 2022: The players who deserve upgrades in the Winter Update

Tom Gott
Gavi is enjoying a breakout year
Gavi is enjoying a breakout year / Eric Alonso/GettyImages

The Football Manager 2022 Winter Update is right around the corner, meaning the wait is almost over for players eager to see the game brought bang up to date.

As is the case every year, there will be widespread changes made to the current game - moving players to new clubs being the main one - but one of the best parts of the update is seeing the stars of the season in real life rewarded for their terrific form.

That comes in the form of current and potential ability upgrades, as well as the unlocking of a new generation stars that we perhaps weren't aware of at the beginning of the game.

Here are 10 players who deserve improvements to their stats when the Winter Update drops.

1. Vinicius Junior

Vinicius Junior
Vinicius is in unreal form / Denis Doyle/GettyImages

Vinicius Junior has been among the world's best wingers in 2021/22. The main reason for his up-turn in form has been an improve mentally, with players and managers alike praising his new-found composure.

That needs to be reflected in FM22. Vinicius has just 12 composure to go along with his 13 finishing. Those numbers were fair after the 2020/21 season, in which he managed three goals in 35 league games.

But the Real Madrid man has already completely obliterated that number this year and has bagged more goals than he managed in his previous three seasons combined. Time to upgrade? We think so.

2. Hugo Ekitike

Hugo Ekitike
Ekitike is a wanted man / Aurelien Meunier/GettyImages

Recently valued at over €30m by Stade Reims amid interest from Newcastle, Hugo Ekitike could be the next big thing coming out of France. The 19-year-old has been a revelation, bagging eight league goals across the first half of his breakthrough season.

He's clearly now a top-flight player, so his current ability of 98 needs a major improvement.

It could be one of the biggest changes of the update. Ekitike will go from an average academy talent to a bona-fide star. There's a reason scouts have called him the next Kylian Mbappe.

3. Tino Livramento

Tino Livramento
Livramento is flying with Southampton / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

This is Tino Livramento's first season of Premier League football, and it's safe to say that he's taken to it with ease.

The Southampton right-back starts the game with an overall ability of 128, which is obviously a respectful score but not one reflective of one of the league's top players in his positions.

128 is pretty low for a starter in the Premier League, so expect Livramento to be handed a tidy upgrade.

4. Trevoh Chalobah

Trevoh Chalobah
Chalobah is a regular starter for Chelsea / Robin Jones/GettyImages

Like Livramento, Trevoh Chalobah has shone in his first season in the Premier League and deserves an update that reflects that.

A regular in the defence of reigning European champions Chelsea, Chalobah begins the game with a current ability of 129, which leaves him getting bullied by most of the Premier League's top forwards.

He obviously has a lot of room left to grow, but Chalobah needs an update to reward his emergence as a top-flight talent.

5. Gavi

Pablo Martin Paez Gaviria 'Gavi'
Gavi could be the breakout star of the year / Eric Alonso/GettyImages

If you asked most Barcelona fans to name their team's best player of the season so far, you'd get plenty of shouts for teenage midfielder Gavi.

His current ability of 130 is good, but still leaves him well behind every other member of the senior squad at Camp Nou. Obviously, that's not how this season has played out.

Gavi is a full Spain international and Barcelona are scrambling to make sure his €50m release clause gets bumped up to an astronomical level because he's just that good.

6. Dusan Vlahovic

Dusan Vlahovic
Vlahovic made an expensive move to Juventus / Marco Canoniero/GettyImages

A £66.6m signing by Juventus this winter, Dusan Vlahovic now has the price tag to go along with his reputation as one of the game's most feared strikers.

His 17 finishing is fair (and could even be bumped up a little bit), but his current ability of 148 doesn't reflect just how good he has been. The Serbian hitman is on a new level.

Don't expect him bumped up to crazy heights just yet, but he'll get a reward for shining with Fiorentina and his rating in FM23 could skyrocket if he does well with Juventus.

7. Jonathan David

Jonathan David
David has plenty of suitors / Sylvain Lefevre/GettyImages

Canada international Jonathan David has been one of Europe's top forwards this season, but his current ability of 139 does not do that justice.

The Lille man has been keeping pace with Kylian Mbappe in Ligue 1 this season and is attracting major interest from the world's top sides. He's seen as a star striker with potential to take over the world.

His current ability should get a nice boost and don't be surprised if his potential gets an upgrade as well.

8. Fabio Carvalho

Fabio Carvalho
Carvalho has been excellent for Fulham / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Fabio Carvalho began the season as a star of English academy football and will end it as one of the top talents in the Championship. That's worthy of an upgrade.

The Fulham teenager, who begins with a current ability of 126, was expected to join Liverpool in January and is still likely to end up at Anfield sooner rather than later.

The feeling is that Carvalho is ready for top-flight action, and he deserves the stats to show that.

9. Anthony Elanga

Anthony Elanga
Elanga has impressed for United / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

At times this season, Anthony Elanga has been Manchester United's starting winger - and not because of injuries or a lack of options.

The Sweden youth international is still raw around the ages but is clearly good enough to be a genuine squad player at Old Trafford. His current ability of 120 doesn't really make that viable in FM22.

A slight jump on his potential, to make sure he develops into a top-flight player, wouldn't go amiss either.

10. Armel Bella-Kotchap

Armel Bella-Kotchap
Bella-Kotchap has impressed in the Bundesliga / Lars Baron/GettyImages

A long-time member of the wonderkid club, German centre-back Armel Bella-Kotchap is ready to be viewed as a ready-made talent.

On the books at Bochum, young Bella-Kotchap is thriving in his first season in the Bundesliga, exceeding what his current ability of 115 would suggest.

Now linked with the likes of Manchester United and Bayern Munich, Bella-Kotchap is emerging as one of the best young defenders around, so an upgrade to his stats is only fair.