Few countries in the world have the passion for football that Turkey does. Despite the hype around the big money-spinning European leagues like La Liga, Bundesliga, the Premier League and Serie A, the standard of football in the Süper Lig has remained strong for years, with Turkish clubs always providing a tough test in the Champions League and Europa League competitions.
FIFA 17 might rate many of Turkey’s high-achieving clubs well below the top European names, but there are still some fantastic young players to be found there.
Check out the Süper Lig and you'll find that the talent on offer – particularly across midfield – is fantastic, and there are some brilliant bargains out there for managers willing to do a bit of digging. To save you the digging time, we've scoured the squads and put together our favourite XI of wonderkids in Turkey, so take a look.
Goalkeeper: Goran Karačić
For those in search of a keeper, Turkey probably isn't the best hunting ground. You're likely to find much better options in Italy and France, but Karačić is a very cheap signing with plenty of upside for anyone who’s willing to play the long game.
At 67 overall, Karačić mightn't even be your third choice keeper when you sign him, but if you send him out on some decent loan spells – and make sure he's regularly in your training rotation when he's back at base – he'll grow 13 points up to a decent 80 overall. His diving, handling and reflexes are the stronger parts of his game, so he should be a dependable shot-stopper, and a good investment or solid back up if nothing else.
Left Back: Emre Taşdemir
We featured Taşdemir in last year's FIFA 16 Süper Lig Wonderkids round up, and although he's not quite as highly rated this year in terms of potential, he's still a really solid signing, with some good stats. Chief among those is his pace – 86 sprint speed and 85 acceleration – which lets him get up and down the flank quickly, putting him in useful positions.
The rest of his stats are all middling, as you'd expect when you look at his 71 overall rating, but fear not, he still has eight points of growth left in him. By the time he reaches 79 overall, his pace combined with his improved stats will make him a very useful left back in years to come.
Centre Back: Kenneth Omeruo
We've looked at some real brick wall centre backs over the course of this series, and while Omeruo isn't one of those, he has potential far beyond his 81 potential overall rating. His defensive stats – 70 sliding tackle, 72 standing tackle, 71 marking and 71 interceptions – are pretty lacklustre compared to most centre backs in their early 20s.
But what Omeruo lacks in those skills he makes up for with sheer athleticism. With 72 acceleration and 79 sprint speed, he's remarkably quick for a centre half, and his 84 jumping and 82 strength makes him a dominant force in the air. Fortunately, you can improve his defensive stats in training, and once they're up to par, Omeruo will be a top quality centre half.
Centre Back: Ahmet Çalık
Çalık isn't the athlete that Omeruo is, but his defensive skill makes him a good foil for the young Nigerian. His 75 sliding tackle, 79 standing tackle and 77 marking and interceptions are all pretty good numbers, especially given his 76 overall rating and the fact he only turned 23 this year. He's no slouch in the physical department either. His pace is decent and his 78 strength and 84 jumping stats make him excellent in the air.
Like Omeruo, his weakness is a technical one – Çalık isn't very comfortable on the ball and isn't a particularly good passer. Work on those points in training and he'll be an excellent addition to your squad.
Right Back: Ozan Tufan
Although he's just 21-years-old, Tufan is already a 30-cap veteran of the Turkish national side and a key part of Fenerbahçe's squad, just two years after joining from Bursaspor. Technically, he's a defensive midfielder now – that's where he plays for club and country – but he was previously a right back, and still has the skills to be effective there.
His 80 stamina stat is pretty good considering his age, so he has the engine to keep going up and down the flanks, and his tackling, marking and interceptions are all in the mid-70s. As you'd expect, he's definitely better defensively than going forward, but still has plenty of room for improvement. He'll grow from 75 to 83 overall within a few years, so you can build him into an excellent all-round full back.
Centre Midfield: Yusuf Yazici
Take a quick look at Yazici and you'd be quick to assume he's an all round midfield talent, thanks to the abundance of stats in the 70s. But he has one weakness that defines how you'll play him. His defensive stats are poor: 45 sliding tackle, 48 standing tackle, 45 marking and 38 interceptions are not good numbers for a central midfielder, so we'd recommend playing him alongside someone who can cover for that, ideally a CDM.
Aside from that, he's excellent going forward, a good passer and his 80 stamina stat means he can handle the rigours of a long season. He's definitely worth looking at, especially as he has a decent ceiling of 82 overall.
Centre Midfield: Abdülkadir Ömür
Like many on this list, Ömür needs lots of time to grow, but he has incredible growth potential – 16 points to be exact. He starts the game at just 17-years-old and 67 overall, but he already has some key stats that indicate he'll be a brilliant technical midfielder in the years to come, including 82 acceleration and sprint speed, 84 agility and 90 balance.
As he grows into his 83 potential, his passing and shooting will all improve hugely, and his free-kick taking – already pretty good thanks to his 81 curve rating – will do the same. By his mid-20s, Ömür could well be one of the best technicians in Europe. Buy early if you can.
Right Midfield: Aminu Umar
We highlighted Umar in our piece on FIFA 17's best bargain wingers and with good reason. The young Nigerian is hot property at the moment thanks to his 90 acceleration and 88 sprint speed. There are other facets of his game that need developing – his crossing, finishing and passing could all be better – but he has plenty of time to become an excellent winger or striker, depending where you want to play him. His overall will go from 75 to 84 if you nurture him right, taking him from bargain youngster to fully fledged star.
Left Midfield: Bruma
Bruma is without doubt the crown jewel of the Süper Lig when it comes to potential stars of the future. The 22-year-old Portuguese winger has always been highly regarded in FIFA, and although his potential has seen a slight dip this year, his 80 overall rating includes some fantastic stats, including 94 acceleration, 92 sprint speed, 93 agility, 92 balance and 86 dribbling.
Throw in his four-star still moves and four-star weak foot rating, and you're looking at a scary prospect for opposition defenders, especially when you consider that he'll grow up to 86 overall. Use that time to work on his finishing and passing, and Bruma will prove to be a superb signing in the years to come.
Striker: Anderson Talisca
Talisca is listed as an attacking midfielder in FIFA 17, only adding to the wealth of midfield talent on display in the Süper Lig. But a quick look at his stats shows that you can easily deploy him as a striker – in fact, we think he might be more effective further up the pitch.
His pace stats are around the mid-70s, so he's not a real threat in behind defences, but Talisca excels at dropping into space in between the opposition defence and midfield, where he can cause havoc with his 83 attack positioning, 84 shot power and 87 long shots. He has a bit of room to grow into an 82 overall rating as well, so if you work on his vision and technique, he'll become incredibly effective in that second striker role.
Striker: Kubilay Kanatsızkuş
At 19, Kanatsızkuş is a definite work in progress, but it's clear that this youngster has real promise. Having been capped at under-19 and under-21 level for Turkey, he already has five goals in 15 appearances for Bursaspor, and a quick look at his stats shows that he has a bright Career Mode future too, thanks to a potential overall rating of 83.
There's plenty of time for you to work on any facet of his game you like, but his stats have him well set up as a traditional centre forward. He's already strong, with good heading, finishing and a 6ft 2in frame that helps him win aerial duels. Best of all, you'll be able to sign him for next to nothing and make a tidy profit later on if you decide he doesn't fit your plans.