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FIFA 14 Future Stars

In part one of this week's Backpage, football journalist and FIFA fan Darren Cross picks out 20 of FIFA 14’s best Career Mode wonderkids.

Looking for great young players for your FIFA 14 Career Mode team who'll improve quickly and eventually become top stars, worth loads more than you paid for them? Then you've come to the right place, because over the next week you'll find 40 of the game's top future superstars in a two-part series here on the Backpage.

All of these players have a potential Overall rating of 85 or above – some are even higher, as you’ll see below – which they'll hit as long as you give them plenty of action on the pitch and get them playing well. I’ll also tell you what kind of players they are and roughly how much you'll have to pay to convince their clubs to sell.

So think of this as a head start with scouting, but remember to use your scout reports from the Global Transfer Network and your shortlist to track the players here that you don't manage to sign right away. Some aren't available instantly, so keep an eye on them and swoop as soon as you can.

Mr Manager, your first scout report is ready...

ZAKARIA BAKKALI
RW * PSV * 17
STARTING OVR: 73
POTENTIAL OVR: 90
Of all the FIFA 14 future stars we’ll look at, PSV’s Zakaria Bakkali has the most potential, topping out at a massive 90 Overall. It takes him a while to get to that level of course, but the good news is that he feels great to use right from the start of the game, thanks to his high Acceleration, Sprint Speed and Dribbling. You can sign him in the first summer transfer window for around £6 million.

ADRIAN CENTURION
LM * Racing Club * 20
STARTING OVR: 74
POTENTIAL OVR: 85
Winger Centurion starts off on loan at Genoa so you’ll have to wait to sign him. When he becomes available expect to pay upwards of £3 million, which will buy you an incredibly quick young winger with great stamina, good dribbling ability and four star skills. Like all of the players here he improves quickly as long as you get him playing well and often.

OLIVER TORRES
CAM * Atletico Madrid * 18
STARTING OVR: 74
POTENTIAL OVR: 85
Playmaker Torres is a brilliant young midfielder with all of the technical abilities you’d expect in an advanced creative player; Dribbling, Ball Control, Short Pass and Vision. All of those attributes jump up nicely over the seasons along with his price, so it’s worth putting an offer in for Torres right away and giving him plenty of first-team action. Atletico initially quoted me £10.5 million for him but, after some negotiation, eventually accepted £5.5 million, which is a good example of why you should always offer a few million pounds less than the asking price.

VICTOR ANDRADE
CF * Santos * 17
STARTING OVR: 67
POTENTIAL OVR: 85
If you’re looking for a quick striker who’s good on the ball and won’t break the bank, head over to Santos and snap up Andrade. He only has a year left on his contract at the start of the game so you’ll be able to sign him for around £1.5 million, and for that you get Acceleration, Sprint Speed, Agility, Balance and Dribbling all up in the 80s – fantastic numbers for such a young player. On a side note he has got one of the lowest Strength stats I’ve seen in the game, so future powerhouse striker he is not.

JURGEN LOCADIA
ST * PSV * 19
STARTING OVR: 73
POTENTIAL OVR: 85
Talking of powerhouse strikers, meet PSV’s Jurgen Locadia. The 6ft 3in ST starts off with ratings in the mid-to-high 70s for attributes like Acceleration, Sprint Speed, Strength and Finishing, so it doesn’t take too long for all of those to creep into the 80s and keep on climbing from there. He’s one of my favourite young strikers in my current Career save, where I partner him with a smaller, quicker forward.

NICOLAS LOPEZ
ST * Udinese * 19
STARTING OVR: 72
POTENTIAL OVR: 85
Udinese spotted Lopez’s potential in real life and brought him in from Roma over the summer, which unfortunately means they won’t sell him to you straight away in the game – even if you offer them way more than he’s worth. Add him to your shortlist though, because you won’t want to miss the man that some call ‘The New Luis Suarez’. By the time you get to sign him he should be quick, a decent finisher and a great dribbler.

JUAN ITURBE
LW * FC Porto * 20
STARTING OVR: 74
POTENTIAL OVR: 85
In my first FIFA 14 Career Mode save I started as FC Porto, who I recommend as their squad is packed with promising young players. Iturbe spent a while out on loan at first, but very quickly played his way into the team when he came back – he felt so good to use that I couldn’t leave him out even though there was plenty of competition for the left wing spot. He is incredibly quick, a brilliant dribbler who feels really responsive in possession and he can do four star skill moves.

MATTIA DE SCIGLIO
RB * Milan * 20
STARTING OVR: 77
POTENTIAL OVR: 85
De Sciglio’s a really solid right back who can also play on the left effectively, thanks to his five star weak foot. He’s quick, has a great Stamina rating and can whip in really good crosses for a full-back, but you’ll need a few quid to sign him up. Milan wanted £10 million from me initially but eventually accepted £8 million.

FRED
CAM * FC Shakhtar * 20
STARTING OVR: 74
POTENTIAL OVR: 85
The good news about Fred is that he’s got loads of key attributes in the high 70s to mid 80s that all improve well, and he shouldn’t cost you too much. The bad news is he’s another player that only joined his club recently, so you’ll have to shortlist him for now and sign him up later. When you do get him you’ll see he’s got loads of technical ability and he’s a good finisher for a CAM.

FILIP DURICIC
LM * Benfica * 21
STARTING OVR: 77
POTENTIAL OVR: 85
Duricic is another wonderkid winger that’s very good on the ball. He’s quick, starts out with really high Dribbling ability and his vision is pretty good too. He’s not a fantastic crosser so is more suited to a direct style, where his four star skill moves and weak foot also help him out. Again you’ll have to wait a while to get him in your team, as he recently joined Benfica from Heerenveen.

KYRIAKOS PAPADOPOULOS
CB * Schalke * 21
STARTING OVR: 78
POTENTIAL OVR: 85
If you’re looking for a new centre-back and you’ve got at least £10 million in your pocket, then sign up Schalke star Papadopoulos. He’s an exceptionally strong defender who’s also very good in the air and, although he’s not that quick, he’s by no means slow either. His club will probably ask for around £14 million if you make an enquiry first, but they should drop that price by £4 million eventually.

LORENZO INSIGNE
CF * Napoli * 22
STARTING OVR: 76
POTENTIAL OVR: 85
Insigne is a player that I find myself passing to all the time whenever he’s on the pitch, because he feels like he can make things happen on the ball. That’s mostly down to his high attribute scores for Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Sprint Speed, Ball Control and Dribbling, but he’s not cheap. Napoli wanted £11 million from me and would only drop their price to £9 million after a long negotiation. He’s worth it though.

ANGEL CORREA
CAM * San Lorenzo * 18
STARTING OVR: 73
POTENTIAL OVR: 86
Correa is a very fast attacking midfielder who you can sign before the end of the first window for around £5 million. Some of his attributes aren’t that high at first, but with a potential Overall ability of 86 you can expect them to rise significantly as long as he gets plenty of time on the pitch.

LEANDRO PAREDES
CAM * Boca Juniors * 19
STARTING OVR: 75
POTENTIAL OVR: 86
There are loads of exciting young CAMs in the game that climb rapidly in terms of Overall ability, and Paredes is definitely one of them. He starts off with lots of key attributes – like Acceleration, Ball Control and Dribbling – up in the mid or high 70s, but his stand out skill is definitely his Long Shots. Understandably Boca aren’t too keen to sell so expect to pay £6 million for the 6ft tall 19 year old.

MARCO VERRATTI
CDM * PSG * 20
STARTING OVR: 77
POTENTIAL OVR: 88
PSG star Verratti is a deep-lying playmaker with excellent passing skills that improve significantly. He isn’t the quickest but doesn’t really need to be for his role so don’t let that put you off making an offer for him, which should be accepted at around the £10 million mark.

SEMIH KAYA
CB * Galatasaray * 22
STARTING OVR: 79
POTENTIAL OVR: 86
Kaya’s got loads of attributes I look for when I’m shopping for a central defender; Strength, Aggression, Interceptions, Marking, Standing Tackle and just enough speed to keep up with rival strikers. His club stuck a whopping great asking price of £20 million on him when I made my first approach, but took £15 million in the end.

ADAM MAHER
CAM * PSV * 20
STARTING OVR: 78
POTENTIAL OVR: 86
Midfielder Maher completes the trio of promising PSV stars we’ll look at, so you can see why I’m enjoying my Career save with them so much. He’s another player that feels really responsive when you’re changing direction quickly with the ball at your feet, and he can also do four star skill moves. If you’re using any club other than PSV then he’ll cost you upwards of £6 million, but the Dutch side won’t sell straight away.

MATEO KOVACIC
CM * Inter * 19
STARTING OVR: 77
POTENTIAL OVR: 87
Kovacic is a really good all-round midfielder who becomes one of the best in the game in his position. He’s quick enough, good on the ball, can pick out tough passes and he’s a threat at goal from distance due to his Long Shot rating. Inter will ask for around £14 million when you make an enquiry for him, but play hardball with them as I managed to get him for £10 million.

ADRYAN
CAM * Flamengo * 18
STARTING OVR: 70
POTENTIAL OVR: 86
You can pick up Flamengo CAM Adyran for under £3 million if you bargain with his club, and for that you get a tricky midfielder that could improve his Overall ability by as much as 16. He’s quick, agile, good technically and an excellent dribbler, plus he can do four star skill moves and has a four star weak foot.

JUNIOR MALANDA
CDM * Wolfsburg* 18
STARTING OVR: 71
POTENTIAL OVR: 85
Malanda is a midfield powerhouse who you’ll eventually be able to sign for less than £1 million, once he returns from a loan spell at Zulte-Waregem. He’s an incredibly strong ball winner who can really dominate games sitting just in front of your defence.

So that’s all for part one, but please come back here next week when I’ll reveal a further 20 future stars. In the meantime, sign as many of these players as you can and let me know if your scouting networks pick up any more wonderkids I haven’t mentioned by commenting below or tweeting me @darren_cross.

Thanks for reading,
Darren.