FIFA 16 is upon us, and along with the usual raft of squad changes, stat updates and new gameplay tweaks, EA's latest footie sim also features a significant update to career mode. Pre-season tournaments have been added to the game, along with week-by-week player training to help you boost stats. The transfer system has seen a major overhaul too, with scout reports, the loan system and player values all being made more realistic.
As anyone who loves career mode will know, winning matches is great, but the real joy comes in finding talented young guns on the cheap and nurturing them into world-beating superstars. There are hundreds of quality young players in FIFA 16, but we've picked out the most talented in each position, so if you've got a gap in your squad, we've got someone to fill it.
Goalkeeper: Kepa Arrizabalaga
Arrizabalaga joined Athletic Bilbao at the tender age of 10, so after a couple of good seasons on loan at Ponferradina and Valladolid, this should be the year where he finally fulfills his potential. He starts at a very respectable 74 rating in FIFA 16 – with superb diving and reflex stats – but get him in between the sticks and he'll grow to a fantastic 87 overall, providing a strong presence in net for your team for the next decade.
Left Back: José Luis Gayà
After being promoted to the Valencia starting XI just last year, José Gayà's outstanding performance have earned him a call up to the Spanish national team, as well as attention from Chelsea and Manchester City. That form, and his overall 80 rating will make him fairly expensive in the transfer market, but at 20-years-old and with a potential rating of 87, he's sure to be worth the investment.
Centre Back: Niklas Süle
At 193cm tall and built like a mighty oak, Süle is an aerial powerhouse and a brick wall in the middle of the back line. He started well at Hoffenheim last year before suffering a nasty ACL tear and missing the second half of the season. That might be a worry in real life, but in FIFA? Süle is ready for the big time. You should be able to pick him up for a relatively cheap fee, and he'll grow from a decent 78 to 88 overall if you give him consistent minutes.
Centre Back: Daniele Rugani
If Süle is the brawn of your centre back partnership, Rugani is the brains, with brilliant tackling and interception stats out of the gate. Rugani's immense 2014–15 season put him on the radar of every major club in Europe, and to demonstrate that, his rating has been bumped up from 67 in FIFA 15 to 78 in FIFA 16. Juventus only bought him outright last year so he'll cost you a pretty penny, but Rugani will become the latest in a long line of world class Italian centre backs if you can afford him, growing to 88 overall.
Right Back: Fabinho
There's a dearth of quality young right backs this year, but if you're looking for a young player to grow into a star, AS Monaco's Fabinho is your best bet. He starts off with good all around stats, which makes him useful going forward, as well as in defence, and he'll grow to around the 86 overall mark with a bit of nurturing. Or if you want someone a bit more exciting, Arsenal's Hector Bellerin is a lightning-quick attacking full back with similar overall potential.
Left Mid: Gonçalo Guedes
With Memphis Depay and Raheem Sterling practically unavailable at the start of your game, Guedes is a good long term option. Anyone dubbed 'the next Cristiano Ronaldo' has to be worth a look, and after Guedes forced his way into Benfica's first team squad last year, he's on everyone’s radar for 2016. EA has taken notice too, pushing his overall up from 64 to 70, and at just 18-years-old, he has the time and potential to grow into one of the best left mids in the world, with an 88 overall rating, and solid pace and attacking stats.
Centre Mid: Riechedly Bazoer
If money's no object, you should have your sights set on Paul Pogba as your midfield talisman for the next decade, but otherwise, Ajax's 18-year-old prodigy Riechedly Bazoer will do nicely, thanks very much. Fast, physical and good on the ball, Bazoer goes from a solid 75 rating to a massive 88 overall, becoming a midfield maestro who will dominate games for years.
Centre Mid: Youri Tielemans
Tielemans is a career mode favourite already, but FIFA 16 looks like the year he'll really shine – in fact, his potential rating of 90 is the highest in the game. He starts off with a respectable 76 overall rating (with outstanding shooting stats already), so he'll hold his own in midfield, but keep playing him and he'll develop into an absolute monster of a box-to-box midfielder. If anything, EA has undervalued his pace – one of his real-life assets – so he should be even better. A must buy.
Right Mid: Domenico Berardi
Like the situation in defence, FIFA this year is dominated by talent on the left of the midfield, leaving you with fewer options on the right. Berardi is more of a wing player than a traditional midfielder, but his 80 overall rating means he comes ready to slot into your first XI, and he'll provide plenty of attacking threat to worry the opposition, eventually growing to 87 overall. Or you could go for in-demand Man City teenager Patrick Roberts, who will go from 65 to 85 with a bit of time and training.
Striker: Paulo Dybala
If you've already signed the 'new Cristiano Ronaldo', why not pair him with the 'new Lionel Messi'? Dybala is considerably hotter property though, so don't expect to get him cheap. Juventus picked him up for considerable money this summer so you might have to wait a year to get him, but his 78 overall rating and incredible pace and shooting stats make him a guaranteed goal threat right out of the gate. And with a bit of time, he'll grow another 10 points to 88 overall, making him one of the best strikers in the game.
Striker: Breel-Donald Embolo
Last but not least, 18-year-old Breel Embolo is one of the best prospects in world football, and it's not hard to see why he's so highly sought-after. At just 18, he already has three caps for the Swiss international side, and FIFA 16 has him ranked 76 overall, with fantastic pace and attacking stats already. Get him playing regularly and he'll rise to 88 overall, and alongside Dybala, you'll have the most potent strike pairing in world football.