When you play FIFA 14 in career mode as a manager, a major part of your duties requires you to scout young talent. Finding players who have a decent rating to begin with, realistic eligibility for the upcoming transfer period and a high potential rating is ideal.
As you can imagine, locating that perfect blend of traits in a prospect is rare and difficult.
Thanks to Darren Cross of EA Sports and Match Magazine, we've been given a helpful list of names to keep an eye on in our FIFA career mode experiences. Cross identifies a healthy group of players as young as 17 and no older than 22.
Despite their ages, these players are already capable of being somewhat effective. As good as they can be right now, their bright future is what should make virtual managers excited.
You can see the entire list via EA.com, but for now let's focus on the players with the most potential.
Zakaria Bakkali, PSV Eindhoven—Potential Rating: 90
Per Cross, this 17-year-old budding star has an overall rating of 73, but his 90 potential makes him a must to target for virtual managers. Bakkali already has an 87 rating in acceleration and agility. That's not the end of his physical prowess. His balance rating is an amazing 92.
Bakkali has the skills you can't teach. Because he's just 17 years old, he's only going to add to the skills. He will be available for gamers to acquire on the transfer market for around £6 million, according to Cross.
If real life is any indication of what to expect in the game, you'll probably have some competition in your pursuit of the young phenom.
Per John Richardson of The Express, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal are interested in prying him away from PSV Eindhoven.
Marco Verratti, Paris Saint-Germain—Potential Rating: 88
Verratti is already in the starting lineup for his club on FIFA 14.
He's already rated a 77 overall, and at 20 years old he has room for improvement. Cross says Verratti can be had for a price near the £10 million mark.
For my tastes, that's a little steep for a centre defensive midfielder. He's a little closer to peaking than Bakkali, but overall, he is still ascending. There is no denying his current abilities and his upside.
In real life, Verratti signed an extension with PSG, per Miles Chambers of Goal.com.
Mateo Kovacic, Inter—Potential Rating: 87
Even though Verratti has a slightly higher potential rating, I like Kovacic better.
He's a year younger at 19, and he's physically superior. He has a higher rating in speed and acceleration, 77 to 68 and 79 to 68, respectively.
Obviously, they play different positions, but it is still a drastic difference in an important category. Cross recommends driving a hard bargain with Kovacic.
He says he asked for £14 million, but can be talked down to £10 million. I'd grab him up at that price.
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