Despite historically commanding lower transfer fees, compared to their star outfield counterparts, goalkeepers are perhaps the most important players on the pitch – especially when it comes to your Career Mode on FIFA 21.
As the position that you have the least control over, you need a player with the best possible ratings because your skilful play can’t compensate for any lacking attributes, for the most part.
However, the best goalkeepers in the game tend to be expensive and on the older side, so bringing in one of the best young goalkeepers of FIFA 21’s Career Mode behind a decent defence is a great way to go.
On this page, you’ll find Career Mode’s best young GKs to sign, enabling you to bring in a netminder who will become your number-one for the next decade.
Choosing FIFA 21 Career Mode’s best young goalkeepers (GK)
The best young goalkeepers that feature in this article have been selected and ranked based on their overall ratings coming into FIFA 21.
To be classed as a young goalkeeper worth signing in Career Mode, the players also have to be under the age of 23-years-old and have an overall rating of at least 76 OVR to make the cut.
So that you know how far your investment – both in terms of time on the pitch and the transfer fee – will go, we’ve also included each GK’s potential rating (POT).
If you’re looking for the best young goalkeepers with the highest potential ratings, check out the GK wonderkids article.
For a full list of ALL of the best young GK in FIFA 21, view the table towards the end of the page.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (85 OVR – 92 POT)
Team: AC Milan
Overall/Potential: 85 OVR / 92 POT
Value: £84 million
Wage: £30,500 per week
Best Attributes: 89 Goalkeeper Reflexes, 89 Goalkeeper Diving, 83 Goalkeeper Positioning
On 25 October 2015, a lanky 16-year-old Italian started for AC Milan against US Sassuolo, with the club winning the game 2-1. Since then, the profile of Gianluigi Donnarumma has only continued to grow, with him now commonly cited as the next superstar between the posts.
Still the floundering Milan’s go-to goalkeeper, Donnarumma has now played 208 games for the San Siro co-residents, keeping 76 clean sheets to date.
Standing 6’5’’ with an 85 overall rating, Donnarumma already stands as a top GK target in FIFA 21, with the fact that he’s still only 21-years-old making him the best young goalkeeper to sign in Career Mode.
With 81 goalkeeper handling, 79 reactions, 83 goalkeeper positioning, 89 goalkeeper reflexes, and 89 goalkeeper diving, the Italian is already a worthy first-choice goalie.
Dean Henderson (80 OVR – 87 POT)
Team: Manchester United
Overall/Potential: 80 OVR / 87 POT
Value: £32.5 million
Wage: £63,000 per week
Best Attributes: 83 Goalkeeper Reflexes, 80 Goalkeeper Handling, 80 Goalkeeper Diving
Playing for Sheffield United in 2018/19, the on-loan Dean Henderson was pivotal in the club’s promotion-winning campaign. Loaned to the Blades again for their first season back in the Premier League, the young goalie’s 13 clean sheets while only allowing 33 against in 36 games greatly helped the newly-promoted team finish ninth in the top-flight.
Now, Henderson’s in the mix at his parent club, Manchester United, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær hoping that he’ll either push David de Gea back to his best or prove himself worthy of taking the crease. So far, he’s kept two EFL Cup clean sheets in two starts, winning 3-0 against Brighton & Hove Albion days after De Gea eked-out a 3-2 win against the Seagulls.
Given his performances over the last couple of years, Henderson seems underrated in FIFA 21 at 80 OVR, but his lofty 87 POT makes up for this, somewhat.
Even with a relatively low overall rating, the Englishman is one of the best young GKs to sign in Career Mode, with his 83 goalkeeper reflexes and 77 goalkeeper positioning helping his case as an occasional starter.
Unai Simón (80 OVR – 86 POT)
Team: Athletic Bilbao
Overall/Potential: 80 OVR / 86 POT
Value: £24.5 million
Wage: £16,500 per week
Best Attributes: 83 Goalkeeper Positioning, 81 Goalkeeper Diving, 80 Goalkeeper Reflexes
In the summer of 2018, Athletic Bilbao cashed-in on 23-year-old goalie Kepa Arrizabalaga, selling him to Chelsea for a world-record fee for a goalkeeper (£72 million). After two seasons of the Spaniard’s saloon-door wrists on show, Chelsea have signed his replacement, while Bilbao have developed their own.
Not quite ready to command the crease in La Liga for a whole season in 2018/19, Unai Simón became the Basque club’s number-one last season, only allowing 31 goals and keeping 15 clean sheets through 37 games.
Simón is one of the best young goalkeepers in FIFA 21, holding an 80 OVR from the start and a decent 86 POT to grow into over the coming seasons.
The 6’3’’ Spanish netminder already holds some favourable attribute ratings, including his 81 goalkeeper diving, 83 goalkeeper positioning, and 77 goalkeeper handling.
Luís Maximiano (78 OVR – 88 POT)
Team: Sporting CP
Overall/Potential: 78 OVR / 88 POT
Value: £24.5 million
Wage: £6,600 per week
Best Attributes: 79 Goalkeeper Reflexes, 79 Goalkeeper Diving, 76 Goalkeeper Handling
Brought up to the Sporting CP first-team as a 20-year-old back-up to Renan Ribeiro, Luís Maximiano was given a couple of cup game starts in the early season, but was very much the second-choice goalie.
In November, Ribeiro picked up an injury, with Maximiano stepping up to offer some strong performances. Even after Ribeiro was fit to return, Sporting rode the hot hand, with the young goalie keeping his mitts on the starting XI job.
Following his breakout season in his native Portugal, Maximiano has been given a middling 78 OVR but a very promising 88 POT.
Still quite cheap to pick-up, the 6’3’’ goalie boasts some fairly good attribute ratings for a 21-year-old, including 79 goalkeeper reflexes, 76 reactions, and 76 goalkeeper handling.
Alex Meret (78 OVR – 87 POT)
Team: SSC Napoli
Overall/Potential: 78 OVR / 87 POT
Value: £24.5 million
Wage: £32,500 per week
Best Attributes: 82 Goalkeeper Reflexes, 79 Goalkeeper Diving, 77 Goalkeeper Positioning
SSC Napoli know that they have a future star goalkeeper on their hands with Alex Meret, but the club demands results. So, they’ve taken a cautious approach to bringing through Meret, having him play in tandem with David Ospina for the last few years.
Last season, the Italian was the team’s first-choice goalie in the Champions League group stage, with him finishing the campaign with seven clean sheets and 37 goals against in 29 games. The 2020/21 campaign also looks to have Meret and Ospina playing in rotation.
Having been spotted as a top talent several seasons ago, Meret has been on the best young goalkeepers list in FIFA for many years, with FIFA 21 keeping him on the list as a 23-year-old.
The 6’3’’ goalie’s starting rating of 78 OVR isn’t optimal for Career Mode teams seeking a new starter, but he has a solid 82 for his goalkeeper reflexes and will quickly grow into his 87 POT if given game time.
All the Best Young Goalkeepers (GK) in FIFA 21
In the table below, you’ll find all of the young GK players with the highest OVR in Career Mode, as well as each goalie’s potential rating and best attributes.
|Gianluigi Donnarumma||21||GK||85||92||AC Milan||89 Goalkeeper Reflexes, 89 Goalkeeper Diving, 83 Goalkeeper Positioning|
|Dean Henderson||23||GK||80||87||Manchester United||83 Goalkeeper Reflexes, 80 Goalkeeper Handling, 80 Goalkeeper Diving|
|Unai Simón||23||GK||80||86||Athletic Bilbao||83 Goalkeeper Positioning, 81 Goalkeeper Diving, 80 Goalkeeper Reflexes|
|Luís Maximiano||21||GK||78||88||Sporting CP||79 Goalkeeper Reflexes, 79 Goalkeeper Diving, 76 Goalkeeper Handling|
|Alex Meret||23||GK||78||87||SSC Napoli||82 Goalkeeper Reflexes, 79 Goalkeeper Diving, 77 Goalkeeper Positioning|
|Alban Lafont||21||GK||78||84||FC Nantes (on-loan from ACF Fiorentina)||82 Goalkeeper Reflexes, 79 Goalkeeper Diving, 76 Goalkeeper Handling|
|Paul Bernardoni||23||GK||78||84||Angers SCO||84 Goalkeeper Reflexes, 78 Goalkeeper Diving, 77 Goalkeeper Positioning|
|Gautier Larsonneur||23||GK||77||82||Stade Brestois 29||79 Goalkeeper Diving, 78 Goalkeeper Handling, 78 Goalkeeper Reflexes|
|Lucas Mantela||20||GK||77||77||Palmeiras||79 Goalkeeper Diving, 77 Goalkeeper Positioning, 77 Goalkeeper Handling|
|Emil Audero||23||GK||77||87||Sampdoria||80 Goalkeeper Diving, 80 Goalkeeper Reflexes, 75 Reactions|
|Florian Müller||22||GK||76||83||SC Freiburg||80 Goalkeeper Reflexes, 75 Goalkeeper Diving, 74 Reactions|
|Justin Bijlow||22||GK||76||84||Feyenoord||78 Goalkeeper Diving, 77 Goalkeeper Reflexes, 75 Goalkeeper Kicking|
|Nelsildo Reis||20||GK||76||76||Botafogo||78 Strength, 77 Goalkeeper Handling, 77 Goalkeeper Kicking|
If your defence is strong enough to ease a prospect GK into a respectable overall rating, get your hands on one of the best young goalkeepers of Career Mode to protect your net for years to come.
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