Football journalist and FIFA fan Darren Cross returns with more top FIFA 12 prospects for you to sign up…
In last week's Backpage we looked at five promising young players to buy in Career Mode who all go on to be world class. I got some great responses to the column through Twitter, and it's good to know that so many people are enjoying their in-game careers following the improvements to the mode from FIFA 11.
Player growth in particular is far better in FIFA 12, so taking the time to find good prospects then improving their attributes through matches can be very rewarding.
Not everyone has got the time to find those players in the first place though. Judging by some of the messages I received there are plenty of FIFA fans out there who want to scout for good youngsters but would prefer to spend most of their time on the pitch playing the game so, with that in mind, this week's Backpage is packed with a load more wonderkids I've found who all come very highly recommended.
All you have to do is buy them early on then give them plenty of games, and I can't stress this enough. Yes, young players will improve while sitting on your bench, but their growth is faster and more dramatic the more minutes you give them…
In the real world… Heung-Min Son is a South Korean striker with a knack for scoring goals. A product of the Hamburg youth team, Son has come through the ranks and, after hitting 18 goals in nine pre-season games, is very much a part of the first team set up. This is someone to look out for in the future.
In FIFA 12… I’ve just paid £20 million to sign him in season five, but he’s yours in season one for about £6 million. He starts the game aged 18 with an Overall rating of 73, but at 23 years old in my save he has an Overall of 81 after putting almost 20 points on some of his key attributes. He’s also left-footed, which I find is a bonus.
Belgian side Anderlecht are renowned for uncovering promising young players, and you can definitely count Brazilian midfielder Fernando Canesin among them.
In the real world… Canesin is a skilful creative midfielder who’s very comfortable running with the ball, and he has a trick or two up his sleeve. He’s now a regular for Anderlecht.
In FIFA 12… Canesin starts off with an Overall of 69 and currently has an Overall of 82 in season five. He has 99 ratings for Acceleration, Sprint Speed and Stamina in my save, and his Dribbling has jumped from 78 to 95. You can pick him up for just £2 million in your first season, but he’ll soon be worth ten times that.
If you’re after a fast winger with top Agility, Balance and Dribbling stats, look no further than Swiss wonderkid Shaqiri.
In the real world… You’ve probably already heard quite a bit about Xherdan Shaqiri. He’s touted by those in Switzerland as the next big thing, and has plenty of scouts from big clubs watching him very closely.
In FIFA 12… The winger will cost you a fair bit from the word go – at least £12 million – but he really is worth every penny. His 76 Overall rises quickly and in my save game he’s now an 84 and worth the best part of £30 million. Oh yeah, and Acceleration, Agility, Balance and Sprint Speed are all 99, although he only has 94 for dribbling. Bah.
Another incredibly quick winger with good dribbling ability, Nigerian prospect Musa can also play as an out-and-out striker.
In the real world… Musa broke scoring records in the Nigerian Premier League before being picked up by Dutch club VVV. His goals kept them up last season and he was apparently the subject of a very large bid from an unnamed European club, which Venlo rejected. Watch this space.
In FIFA 12… If you like your players to have as many 99 ratings as possible, you need to get Ahmed Musa on your shortlist.
Unfortunately, that’s where he’ll have to stay for a while as VVV lack players in his position so they’re reluctant to sell. I’ve been trying to get him for three seasons but they’re not playing ball, which is annoying as his stats are awesome – there are six 99s on the first page of his attributes!
Casemiro will hold his own in your midfield from the start of your FIFA 12 career, but he’ll be doing much more than that after a season or two.
In the real world… The Brazilian Under-20 international is a powerful holding midfielder who’s also very handy going forward, similar in style to Tottenham’s Sandro.
In FIFA 12… Casemiro starts out with an already decent Overall of 74 and is valued at £7 million. By season five his Overall is 85 and you won’t get much change from £30 million, thanks mostly to his growth in the Jumping, Stamina, Strength and Marking departments.
So that’s pretty much a whole team we’ve looked at, although we haven’t talked about a keeper yet, have we? Although he’s a bit old to be a wonderkid, Ajax’s Kenneth Vermeer is young for a keeper so there’s plenty of room for growth. He begins with an Overall of 75 and a £4 million asking price, and in my save he’s currently an 81 and has only just turned 30.
Have fun and thanks for reading.