Every year EA Sports predicts the next football superstar in their annual release of the multi-platform game FIFA.
We have selected 10 players who EA believed to grow into football’s next big thing. Did they get it right?
The 19 year old Croatian midfielder is currently on loan at Sporting Gijon from F.C Barcelona. Halilovic has looked promising at times this season, scoring three goals and five assists although has lacked important game-time.
Croatia recently announced that Halilovic would not be in the Euro 2016 squad. This is a major setback for Halilovic, who made history in 2013 as the youngest ever Croatian débutante at 16 years of age.
Rated 77 overall on FIFA 16, Halilovic’s potential has been envisaged to reach 90 overall.
R.S.C. Anderlecht are known for producing young football gems, and Youri Tielemans is no exception. The 19 year old midfielder is already being scouted by multiple big name clubs including Real Madrid and Manchester United. Tielemans is the youngest Belgian player to play in the UEFA Champions League at just 16! The teenager has capped over 100 league appearances and has even represented Belgium in the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Wales.
With 34 appearances and six goals this season, Tielemans is on his way to becoming a star for club and country.
His rating on FIFA 16 sits at 76 and projected to grow to 88 overall. EA definitely got this one right.
Could there have been a more disappointing player this season? In what looked to be a super signing from League winning PSV Eindhoven to Manchester United, turned into a total fail. Depay no doubt has the skill to be a big club player, but his mental attitude could cost him. The Dutch attacking midfielder struggled for form, and found himself in and out of United’s under 21’s reserves. Depay scored 7 goals in 29 appearances, and has been rumoured to be leaving the club.
Unless Depay does something unbelievable, his 81 rating on FIFA probably won’t last too long.
Solid, that’s one word that describes Tah perfectly. The 20 year old is a unit and has been on EA’s radar for some time now. The German centre back plays for Bayer Leverkusen, and has been a regular starter from centre back.
Tah was offered a contract by Manchester United at the age of 16, but decided to stay in Germany to learn his trade. That decision paid off, earning a call up to Germany’s national team in March against England.
With Champions League experience to add to his resume, Tah definetly deserves his 76 rating on FIFA 16. He is projected to reach 88 overall!
Team-mate to Jonathan Tah is 20 year old winger Julian Brandt. Brandt is an energetic, pacey right winger who knows how to find the back of the net. The German also broke the record this season for the youngest player sind Gerd Müller to score in six consecutive Bundesliga matches.
Brandt is another youngster to have played in the Champions League, and was even called to Germany’s provisionary Euro 2016 squad by World Cup winning coach Joachim Low.
Rated at 76 overall with a projected rating of 88, this kid has definitely lived up to expectation!
His name may be hard to pronounce, but London rivals Tottenham FC and Arsenal FC certainly know who Riechedly Bazoer is.
The 19 year old central midfielder has been a breath of fresh air at Ajax, scoring five goals and appearing 39 times this season.
The Dutchman also made his debut for the Netherlands national team against Wales last year. Last week the Mirror reported that Mauricio Pochettino watched Bazoer in the stands for Netherlands match against Republic of Ireland.
He is rated at 77 and projected to rise to as high as 88 overall. Perhaps Pochettino has been playing a little bit too much FIFA.
Breel Donald Embolo
When playing FIFA 16 manager mode, Breel Donald Embolo is the best choice for a young striker. The 19 year old Swiss international is an agile, strong and clinical striker. Embolo earned himself a spot in Switzerland’s Euro 2016 official squad after scoring 12 goals from 35 appearances. His stellar form this season for FC Basel in the Swiss League has created a transfer media circus between Tottenham and Liverpool FC.
Whoever wins the war for Embolo’s signature will certainly get their moneys-worth.
The striker is rated 76 overall, and rises to 88 on FIFA 16 manager mode, and that’s without using training!
Gabriel Jesus is yet another example of Brasil amazing home grown talent. Jesus has scored eight goals from 15 appearances and has already scored one goal from Palmeiras’ first two league games.
What’s with Brazilians and Visa’s? Jesus was set to replace injured Douglas Costa for Brasil in the Copa America Centenario this Friday, but head coach Dunga said he had no US Visa.
He opted to choose veteran Kaka instead.
Unbelievably, his agent has turned away offers from Manchester United and Juventus saying they are too low. Juventus reportedly agreed on a €25m deal, but his agent said they will take no less than €40m.
“As long as we need him, Gabriel Jesus will remain at Palmeiras. He is not going to Italy.” said Palmeiras director of football Alexandre Mattos.
If you want a player on the cheap, Gabriel is the way to go, rated 72 overall and projected to grow to 85 overall.
Manchester City have birthed a new star. Iheanacho has proved to be a saviour for City, in a Premier League season that has taken its fair amount of twist and turns. The 19 year old Nigerian striker scored 14 goals in 35 appearances for the Sky Blues and has been a great backup to star Sergio Aguero.
His first international debut for Nigeria was in March against Egypt in an African Cup of Nations Qualifier.
His pace has been known to leave defenders in the dust on FIFA 16 and in real life.
Rating 73. Potential 87.
We left him until last and there is a perfect reason, Renato Sanches is footballs next big thing. He’s the youngest player to make the Portugese player to be selected for an international competition, which Cristiano Ronaldo has proudly held for 12 years.
Sanches starred for Portugese title winners S.L Benfica and has recently been transfered to German giants Bayern Munich for €35m (£27.5m). The 18 year old was almost swayed by Manchester United, but chose Bayern due to the clubs atmosphere and title winning mentality. It would have been a great story if Sanches signed for United as the successor to Cristiano Ronaldo, but times have changed since Sir Alex Ferguson departure.
Sanches has been selected for Portugal’s Euro 2016 squad.
He is rated 76 overall and is projected to reach 88. We predict by FIFA 17 he will have risen much higher than that.