There are plenty of wonderkids to buy in FIFA 21, with several of them will coming at a very high price and equally high wages. However, not all of the best young players in Career Mode require massive transfer fees to sign.
As has been the case in the past, one of the best ways to get around hefty fees for as-yet unproven players is to sign them from lower league clubs.
On this page, you’ll find the top lower league gems of FIFA 21 Career Mode, all of which boast high potential ratings while playing for teams in non-elite divisions.
Advantages of buying lower league gems
One of the best ways to go about signing great young players in Career Mode is to identify the talents at lower league clubs as they’ll tend to be much cheaper than the highest-rated young players.
As the FIFA 21 lower league gems haven’t been signed by the top clubs, their values are lower, but their potential ratings are still high.
Plus, even those with higher values are easier to acquire if you play the game as a top club – due to the player’s placement at a lower league team.
All of the lower league gems on this page are on the books of clubs that aren’t in the elite domestic divisions of world football, boasting potential ratings of at least 85 POT.
Thiago Almada (73 OVR – 89 POT)
Team: Vélez Sarsfield
Best Position: CM, CAM, LW
Overall/Potential: 73 OVR / 89 POT
Release Clause: £15.3 million
Best Attributes: 95 Balance, 93 Agility, 88 Acceleration
Playing on either wing, in attacking midfield, and occasionally up front, Thiago Almada impressed enough through several stints on the pitch to earn a place as a regular starter for Vélez Sarsfield.
As a teenager, the Argentine amassed five goals and two assists through his 25 games last season, which also helped him to earn a couple more caps for the Argentina under-20s.
Based on his potential rating, Almada is the best high potential young player in FIFA 21: it just so happens that he hasn’t yet moved to a big-money club.
Still on the books at Vélez Sarsfield, the FIFA 21 lower league gem carries lofty ratings of 93 agility, 84 sprint speed, 88 acceleration, 81 curve, 78 dribbling, and 80 composure.
Agustín Urzi (73 OVR – 88 POT)
Team: CA Banfield
Best Position: CM, LM, RM
Overall/Potential: 73 OVR / 88 POT
Release Clause: £14.3 million
Best Attributes: 89 Sprint Speed, 85 Acceleration, 78 Balance
Still only 20-years-old, Agustín Urzi broke into the CA Banfield first-team towards the end of the 2018/19 Superliga campaign, scoring twice in his ten league games.
Last season, the diminutive Argentine continued to be given starting XI appearances, playing in the middle of the park but predominantly on the left wing. However, in 19 games, Urzi could only muster one assist.
With a high attacking work rate, four-star skill moves, 85 acceleration, and 89 sprint speed, Urzi presents himself as one of the top lower league gems to sign in Career Mode.
Based on Urzi’s favourable 77 crossing, 77 dribbling, 73 ball control, 72 positioning, 76 stamina, 78 balance, and 77 agility, the 20-year-old is already worthy of first-team play.
Maarten Vandevoordt (68 OVR – 87 POT)
Team: KRC Genk
Best Position: GK
Overall/Potential: 68 OVR / 87 POT
Release Clause: £5.2 million
Best Attributes: 72 Goalkeeper Diving, 71 Goalkeeper Reflexes, 67 Goalkeeper Handling
After being given a start in the Champions League and a run of four starts in the Jupiler Pro League – before requiring surgery – in 2019/20, Maarten Vandevoordt now stands as KRC Genk’s back-up goalie.
Playing behind 35-year-old Danny Vukovic, the 18-year-old Belgian was given a couple of starts when the veteran was out, conceding twice in a draw with KV Oostende and once in a tie against Waasland-Beveren.
While his 68 overall rating means that Vandevoordt likely can’t play as your first-choice goalkeeper from the start of Career Mode, his 87 POT indicates that you’ll want to play the shot-stopper regularly to allow him to grow into his decent potential.
The lower league gem can be snapped up for a mere £5.2 million from KRC Genk, with the 6’2’’ goalkeeper coming in with some decent base ratings, as shown by his 63 reactions, 72 goalkeeper diving, and 67 goalkeeper handling.
Ismaïla Sarr (78 OVR – 87 POT)
Best Position: RM, ST
Overall/Potential: 78 OVR / 87 POT
Release Clause: £56.7 million
Best Attributes: 95 Acceleration, 94 Sprint Speed, 84 Shot Power
The club may have been relegated at the end of last season, but one of the bright spots of Watford’s last Premier League campaign was Ismaïla Sarr and his blistering pace.
Predominantly from the right wing, the Senegalese speedster – who had just signed from Stade Rennais – scored five goals and six assists in the English top-flight, and has been a first-team regular in the Championship.
Sarr is certainly one of the best players that you can find at a lower league club, especially in FIFA 21, due to his 95 acceleration, 78 agility, 94 sprint speed, and 83 dribbling.
Still only 22-years-old with a 78 overall rating, Sarr is already worthy of playing in most starting XIs simply due to his pace, with his 87 potential rating giving you even more reason to start the winger regularly.
Aster Vranckx (66 OVR – 86 POT)
Team: KV Mechelen
Best Position: CDM, CM
Overall/Potential: 66 OVR / 86 POT
Release Clause: £5.2 million
Best Attributes: 73 Strength, 72 Stamina, 72 Aggression
Aster Vranckx may only be 18-years-old now, but towards the end of last season, the central midfielder seemingly cemented himself as a starter in the Jupiler Pro League.
This season, given a starting role from the opening match, Vranckx has rewarded KV Mechelen with classy performances from the middle of the pitch, scoring three times in seven games.
In FIFA 21, the young Belgian is one of the best lower league gems to sign, with his five-star weak foot, £5.2 million release clause, and 86 POT making him an essential buy even if you have a hefty budget.
A Career Mode darling in the making, Vranckx already has decent ratings in all of the right attributes, including his 72 aggression, 71 short passing, 66 long passing, 71 ball control, 71 acceleration, 71 sprint speed, 71 agility, 73 strength, and 72 stamina.
All of the best lower league gems on FIFA 21
In the table below, you can find all of the highest potential players that you can sign as lower league gems on Career Mode.
|Thiago Almada||19||73||89||CM, CAM, LW||£7,200||£15.3 million||Vélez Sarsfield|
|Augustín Urzi||20||73||88||CM, LM, RM||£8,600||£14.3 million||CA Banfield|
|Ismaïla Sarr||22||78||87||RM, ST||£17,000||£56.7 million||Watford|
|Maarten Vandevoordt||18||68||87||GK||£500||£5.2 million||KRC Genk|
|Aster Vranckx||17||66||86||CDM, CM||£500||£5.2 million||KV Mechelen|
|Nicolás de la Cruz||23||77||86||CM, CAM, LW||£14,000||£33.8 million||River Plate|
|Deiber Caicedo||20||68||86||RM||£900||£5.7 million||Deportivo Cali|
|Bright Arrey-Mbi||17||60||86||CB, LB||£450||£2.1 million||Bayern Munich II|
|Sebastian Esposito||17||66||86||ST||£2,000||£5.8 million||SPAL|
|Gustavo Assunção||20||74||86||CDM||£6,000||£19.2 million||Famalicão|
|Josha Vagnoman||19||69||85||RB, LB, LM||£4,000||£7 million||Hamburger SV|
|Yari Verschaeren||18||72||85||CAM, RW, LW||£5,000||£10.5 million||RSC Anderlecht|
|Adrià Pedrosa||22||75||85||LB, LWB||£7,000||£18.4 million||RCD Espanyol|
|Mohammed Daramy||18||67||85||RM, LM, ST||£2,000||£4.5 million||FC København|
|Gonzalo Montiel||23||78||85||RB, RWB||£14,000||£38.9 million||River Plate|
|Bryan Mbeumo||20||74||85||RW, ST||£28,000||£18 million||Brentford|
|Leonardo Fernández||21||76||85||CAM||£28,000||£27.5 million||Tigres UANL|
|Alan Velasco||17||65||85||LM||£550||£4.3 million||Independiente|
|Pedro de la Vega||19||71||85||RW, LW||£7,000||£8.4 million||Club Atlético Lanús|
|Santiago Rodríguez||20||72||85||CAM, RW, LW||£650||£14 million||Nacional de Montevideo|
|Anderson Talisca||26||82||85||CAM, RW||£32,000||£60.3 million||Guangzhou Evergrande|
|Ezequiel Barco||21||74||85||LM, CF||£5,000||£14.5 million||Atlanta United|
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