Team of the Season has arrived in FIFA 21 Ultimate Team and brought with it an absolute deluge of new cards that can liven up virtually any team. We're only a couple of weeks into the promotion, but already Division Rivals and Weekend League are heaving with overhauled teams full of endgame players that won't cost an arm and a leg. If you want to join the party but haven't got many coins on hand, here's a guide to the best TOTS bargains.
Please note: Prices were accurate on 7th May 2021, but will rise and fall with the market.
"The current meta is to run full backs at centre back," says Ryan Pessoa, "which is one of the reasons cards like Team of the Season Aaron Wan-Bissaka are so expensive compared to TOTS centre-backs. Speed is one of the reasons full-backs are popular, but you should also look for key stats like Defensive Awareness to make sure they work well in the centre of the defence."
1. Max Aarons
Norwich City have breezed back into the Premier League this season and right-back Max Aarons has been a key player. Already coveted by elite clubs during his last spell in the top flight, the English defender gets a deserved TOTS card with high agility and balance, good defensive awareness and lightning pace to make him a good choice at full-back or in the centre of defence.
2. Ricardo Santos
If you've been lucky enough to pack Rúben Dias or João Cancelo in your SBCs and rewards and need someone with a good link to either of Man City's Portuguese players, you could do a lot worse than Ricardo Santos. The standout defender in EFL League Two, Santos is fast enough to hold his own against endgame strikers and won't be muscled out of the way thanks to 99 strength. He even has 99 agility despite his 6'5" frame. Considering he goes for a fraction more than his discard price, this card is crazy good value.
3. Yasser Al-Shahrani
The MBS Pro League isn't the most exciting TOTS squad, but it often throws up a couple of fun cards, and Yasser Al-Shahrani looks to be the pick of the defenders. Near enough maximum pace means you can stick a chemistry style on him to boost defence, passing or whatever suits your style of play. And while Saudi Arabia and Al Hilal may not be the most hybrid-friendly links, he gets a hyper link to left midfielder Salem Al-Dawsari, who looks very strong, so consider Al-Shahrani part of a bundle deal. Just be aware that Al-Shahrani is quite short for a defender, so moving him to central defence is not advised.
"At this stage of the FUT cycle, you need midfielders who can do everything, not just attack or defend well," says Ryan Pessoa. "Even if you plan to have them sit deep, there's no reason to skimp on attacking stats. Even the lowest leagues have players who would make it into the 'Gullit Gang' of players with 80+ for every face stat!"
4. Salem Al-Dawsari
There will be plenty of wide midfielders with 4* skills and 4* weak foot released during Team of the Season, but Al-Dawsari is one of the cheapest due to what should be difficult links: Saudi Arabian nationality and MBS Pro League. But as mentioned above, he gets a hyper link to the solid-looking Yasser Al-Shahrani, meaning you can put a formidable left side of your team in place for less than 50,000 coins.
5. İlkay Gündoğan
Cards like Gündoğan's Team of the Season (and to a lesser extent the cheaper Tomáš Souček card) expose the lunacy of this time in FUT. This is a 92-rated Premier League midfielder who is a perfect box-to-box player, with strong pace, fantastic shooting, passing and dribbling, decent physicals and defensive stats, and four star skills and weak foot. Stick a Shadow on him and he will be one of the most versatile and reliable players in your team, and his German nationality even helps link hybrids together. But he's essentially been written off in the FUT economy because he's one of the easiest Premier League TOTS cards to pack and there are better alternatives. Don't sleep on this card!
6. Christopher Nkunku
He's a bit more expensive than the other cards on this list, but we had to give a shout out to RB Leipzig's French midfielder. Great dribbling and passing, max pace and almost maxed-out shooting with a Hunter means that he will feel fantastic playing in attack, out wide or off the front men, and his French Bundesliga links mean he can tie a hybrid together nicely. We played a Weekend League with him on the right wing in a 4-4-2 and he bagged the most assists of anyone outside the strikers.
7. Piotr Zieliński
At the time of writing, EA has yet to release the Serie A Team of the Season squad, and we wouldn't be surprised to see Zieliński rise in price when they do, because he will probably hold his own against that squad. One of the cheaper beasts in the Community TOTS squad, Zieliński has 4* skills and a 5* weak foot, stats that are good enough for a box-to-box role alongside a more hard-tackling CM partner, and would even work well dropping into a full-back or wing-back role if you like rejigging your line-up in-game with Custom Tactics.
8. Arnaut Danjuma Groeneveld
Groeneveld looks like an unremarkable wide midfielder for this time of year, with 4*/4*, max pace and excellent passing or shooting stats with the right Chem Style. The reason we're interested in him though is the forthcoming Ligue 1 Team of the Season, when his Dutch compatriot Memphis Depay (recipient of three in-forms this year) is likely to receive a fantastic endgame card. Given that lots of people reading this probably did the What If Leroy Fer and Showdown Sean Klaiber SBCs, and perhaps even Flashback Arjen Robben, there is the making of a fabulous Netherlands team that Groeneveld would suit very well.
"I wouldn't really recommend trying to save coins up front during Team of the Season," says Ryan Pessoa, "because everyone else will have endgame strikers who finish all their chances, so you don't want somebody with low shot power or low composure. Look for maximum pace, too, because everyone is using full-backs in defence and they will catch anyone who doesn't have 99 acceleration and sprint speed!"
9. Odsonne Edouard
It may have been Rangers' year domestically, but Celtic's Odsonne Edouard is the preeminent striker from Glasgow in this year's Team of the Season squad, and this card looks fabulous value for money without too much compromise in stats. He has four stars each for skills and weak foot, pace is virtually maxed out with a Hawk chemistry style, and that also gives Edouard maximum shot power and a boost to physicality to go with his excellent dribbling. French links are the icing on the cake.
10. Bafétimbi Gomis
If you're looking for a French striker partner for Edouard, Bafétimbi Gomis looks ferocious. Three-star weak foot is a slight concern, but as a pure flat-track bully to go next to Edouard's trickery, this will be a good card. The Power Header trait and 99 heading accuracy means he is going to be nasty on corners, too.
11. Josip Iličić
Iličić is one of those players who just doesn't quite fit FIFA, never quite fast enough to keep up with the best strikers and not versatile enough to do much in other positions. But this TOTS card could be the exception. If you can work around the pace deficit, the rest of his stats are ridiculous. Played at CAM with an Engine card, his shooting, passing and dribbling should all be world class, and his mixture of traits (Flair, Finesse Shot, Outside Foot Shot) and 98 base long shots mean he will be good for smashing them in from distance. Right now he is priced the same as 91-rated SBC fodder, too, so the absolute worst case scenario is that you try him, don't like him, and then sell him at a profit when EA releases a highly sought after SBC in the future.