FIFA 16 Career Mode: Bundesliga Wonderkid XI
Germany isn’t just about Bayern Munich – check out some of the talent on show in the Bundesliga.
The current World Cup holders have experienced a revival in fortunes at club level as of late. Bayern Munich are once again one of Europe – and FIFA’s – most formidable clubs, but contrary to popular opinion, it’s not all about them. Borussia Dortmund are still a significant force, and clubs like Schalke 04 and Bayer Leverkusen are bursting at the seams with young talent.
When scouring their ranks in FIFA 16 Career Mode however, you need to know what you’re looking for. For example, if you’re on the hunt for a quality under-21 full-back, you’re not going to have much luck in Germany. Instead, the Bundesliga is home to some of the best young centre-back talent in the world, as well as some of FIFA’s most technically-gifted midfielders. We’ve assembled an all-star side of wonderkids from Germany’s top league, featuring as many centre-backs and midfielders as we could squeeze in. Check it out!
Timo Horn If you’re looking for under-21 'keepers in Germany, you’ll be sadly disappointed, so we’re breaking the rules just this once. Germany’s golden generation of goalkeepers is a worthy reason though, and 22-year-old Timo Horn is one of the world’s most in-demand net custodians. At 79 overall with solid all-around stats, he can come in and do a job immediately in your starting XI, and he’ll grow up to an 88 potential rating, becoming one of – if not the – best keepers in the world within a few years.
Niklas Süle Süle is 1.96m of mighty German oak in the heart of your defence – big, powerful and strong as an ox. He’s also incredibly slow, but what he lacks in pace he makes up for with his defensive talent. At just 20 years old, he already has an 81 defensive rating that includes 84 standing tackle, 81 sliding tackle and a monstrous 93 strength! His 80+ heading also makes him a potent threat from corners and set pieces, and he’ll grow into one of the world’s best centre-backs with his 88 potential rating.
Jonathan Tah Like Niklas Süle, Tah is built from classic centre-half material – he’s big, strong and slow. In fact, they’re incredibly similar to each other. Tah is also 1.96m, with a 91 strength rating but he’s quicker, better on the ball and he has a much better leap than Süle, which likely makes him a more consistent aerial defender. As such, they complement each other fairly well, as long as you have reasonably pacey cover at right- and left-back, or a once-in-a-generation talent like Manuel Neuer in goal. We have neither of those things, but if anyone thinks they can run through Tah and Süle, they can be our guests.
Tin Jedvaj If you feel like you need a bit more pace at centre-back, Croatian-born Tin Jedvaj is your man. His 70 pace stat really stands out amongst the trees, and though he’s not nearly as imposing a defensive presence as Tah or Süle, he’s still very solid with mid-70 stats across the board, and good physical stats too. Plus, his 86 overall potential rating means that you can really accelerate his defending, and still keep that all-important pace. That makes Jedvaj potentially one of the most versatile defenders in the game, and well worth a place in your squad.
Julian Brandt Brandt has been tipped for greatness for a number of years now, but FIFA 16 has him pegged as one of the world’s brightest stars, with a potential overall of 88 awaiting those who nurture him effectively. At just 19 years old and 74 overall, Brandt is already a useful winger, thanks to his four-star weak foot and four-star skill moves, and supplements that with 78 pace and 79 overall dribbling. Though listed as a left midfielder, he’s also capable of playing both sides of the pitch – he rightly has a four star weak foot rating as well, which mirrors his real-life versatility. Snap him up early, because if you don’t, someone else will.
Central defensive midfield
Leon Goretzka Much has been expected of Leon Goretzka for a while now, and his talent is starting to come to the fore at Schalke 04 as of the last couple of years. Regarded as one of the most talented footballers of his generation in Germany, Goretzka has been likened toformer Manchester United player Paul Scholes for his technique and ability to control a game. He’s only 20 years old, but he starts with some excellent stats, though his shooting is perhaps a little underrated. He’s quick enough to play anywhere across the midfield, with four star skill moves and weak foot rating too, and while his potential overall is only 84, we’ve seen him reach 86 in Career Mode before.
Central attacking midfield
Levin Öztunali Öztunali started as a defensive midfielder in FIFA, and has been highly rated for a couple of years now. His talents were always as a playmaker, so his move into the attacking half of the pitch makes plenty of sense. As a result, he’s a pretty well-rounded midfielder with good attacking instincts and particularly good passing and dribbling. More importantly, he has a great potential rating of 86 overall, which means that he’s essentially a blank midfield canvas for you to train and evolve as you see fit for your team.
Maximilian Meyer A club-mate of Leon Goretzka, Meyer is another phenomenal talent currently plying his trade at Schalke 04, and he’s a perfect complement to his midfield partner. Whilst Goretzka can control the tempo of a game, Meyer is a specialist at unlocking defenses with tricky dribbling and fantastic passing and vision. Both the latter stats start at 80 and with his potential overall rating set at 88, the sky really is the limit for this talented 20-year-old. And that’s in spite of his relatively poor pace stat – a rating that doesn’t make sense for Meyer, whose speed is a huge part of his attacking game. Hopefully it’s something EA will rectify next year.
Leroy Sané Sané’s 70 overall rating at the start of the game looks pretty silly in light of the phenomenal season he has had for Schalke 04 – a season that has put him on the radar of every top club in Europe, and has put a £40 million transfer fee on his head. Unfortunately, Sané only has a potential rating of 83 in FIFA 16, but he’s still a useful player thanks to his excellent pace stats – 84 acceleration and 86 sprint speed – as well as four-star weak foot rating. As a result, he won’t cost you that much, but keep an eye on him in FIFA 17, where he’s bound to have monster potential.
Timo Werner Though EA have listed Werner as a left midfielder in FIFA 16, the young speedster is really more of a forward at VfB Stuttgart, and his goalscoring record for club and country backs that up. Unfortunately, EA have vastly underrated his shooting stats – listed as only 67 overall in this year’s game – but that can be remedied with plenty of attention in the training ground, and Werner has one key stat that makes him a nightmare for opposition defenders – pace. Get him riding on the defensive line and his 91 acceleration and 90 sprint speed will cause havoc, even in his first few seasons. His potential is relatively low at just 84 overall, but he’ll always be a threat regardless.
Allan Saint-Maximin We wouldn’t recommend signing another young striker from Germany, but Saint-Maximin is a real bargain basement player, and a solid pickup for those who love to see young talent grow from nothing to something. He starts at a paltry 64 overall, but he does at least have that all important pace – 86 acceleration and 82 sprint speed – to be a problem once you’ve trained him up. In total, he’ll improve by 17 points up to a an overall rating of 81 – one of the highest growth numbers in the whole Bundesliga.