German football has been out of sorts since the national side lost in the semi-final to France at the 2016 European Championships, with the men’s national side failing to break into the top 10 in the FIFA World Rankings in the last three years. Their current ranking of 14th places them below nations historically much less recognised for their footballing prowess, including the USA.
But the up-and-coming footballing stars featured in this list, including Jamal Musiala, Florian Wirtz, and Luca Netz, are aiming to right this wrong and emulate the World Cup winning performances of Lahm, Klose, and Schweinsteiger by bringing football’s ultimate prize back to Germany.
Choosing FIFA 21 Career Mode’s best German wonderkids
The wonderkids chosen here possess the highest potential in FIFA 22 of all German footballers under the age of 21.
1. Florian Wirtz (78 OVR – 89 POT)
Team: Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Wage: £15,000 p/w
Value: £25.4 million
Best Attributes: 85 Dribbling, 85 Agility, 83 Vision
Bayer Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz is expected to develop into one of Germany’s all-time greats, and the attacking midfielder’s 78 overall rating and extraordinary 89 potential suggest that he could be just that.
The 18-year-old boasts some brilliant in-game ratings including 85 agility and 85 dribbling, numbers which always make for a dangerous player in FIFA. Pair these attributes with 4-star skill moves and weak foot, and you’ve got a supremely threatening attacking-minded player at your disposal.
Wirtz has recently stated that he wants to continue playing at Bayer Leverkusen for at least a couple more seasons, which will be music to the German side’s ears after five goals and six assists last campaign earned him three thoroughly deserved caps for the illustrious German national team. Wirtz’s rare and remarkable talent has triggered some imperious form to start the 21/22 season, a season in which he looks set to become one of the world’s most highly touted youngsters.
2. Jamal Musiala (75 OVR – 88 POT)
Team: Bayern München
Wage: £16,000 p/w
Value: £11.2 million
Best Attributes: 90 Balance, 87 Agility, 86 Dribbling
Jamal Musiala recently made himself eligible to play for Germany, which will be pleasing news for fans of German football as he is one of Europe’s most precocious talents – something which is outlined by FIFA’s decision to give him 88 potential and a 75 overall rating at just 18 years of age.
Musiala is a technically gifted midfielder who likes to take on his man with the ball at his feet. Even though he’s not blessed with extreme pace, if you can give Musiala opportunity to dribble in-game you’re in for a treat: 5-star skill moves, 90 balance, 87 agility, and 86 dribbling is the perfect skill set for taunting and teasing opposition defenders.
The former England under-21 international used to ply his trade for Chelsea’s youth sides before making the jump to Bayern where he has gone from strength to strength. His 11 goals from only 46 midfield appearances for the German juggernauts highlights the increasingly impactful performances he’s put in – performances that led to his inclusion in Germany’s Euro 2020 squad last summer.
3. Luca Netz (68 OVR – 85 POT)
Team: Borussia Mönchengladbach
Wage: £3,000 p/w
Value: £2.5 million
Best Attributes: 79 Sprint Speed, 75 Acceleration, 72 Standing Tackle
He may only be a 68 overall at the beginning of your Career Mode save, but Luca Netz’s 85 potential makes him a lesser-known name that is definitely worth familiarising yourself with.
79 sprint speed and 75 acceleration stands Netz in good stead, and he will only get faster as the save progresses. 72 standing tackle and 68 sliding tackle ensures that the 18-year-old is defensively capable, but his evolution as a player will see other more attacking attributes skyrocket season after season.
Luca Netz only arrived at Mönchengladbach in August this year for a measly £3.6 million from rival Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin, who made him the second-youngest Bundesliga player in the club’s history when he debuted last season. Netz has settled well for his new side and could prove to be steal with an in-game release clause of £5.8 million given his breakout star status in real life.
4. Armel Bella Kotchap (71 OVR – 85 POT)
Team: VfL Bochum 1848
Wage: £7,000 p/w
Value: £3.6 million
Best Attributes: 85 Strength, 79 Sprint Speed, 76 Jumping
A name that most non-German football fans probably won’t recognise, the 71 overall rated Bella Kotchap has been making waves domestically after his performances for Bochum in their promotion-winning campaign in 2020/21, a season which has resulted in him earning a very respectable 85 potential in this edition of FIFA.
Bella Kotchap is a big, imposing centre half at 6’3” and with 85 strength to his name. Importantly, Bochum’s burly bruiser is no slouch despite his large frame – 79 sprint speed means that he can use his pace to sweep in behind the back four and won’t be easily beaten by any attacker in-game.
Born in Paris, Bella Kotchap made his name in Germany’s second tier last season as a key figure in the league’s second-best defence. After helping Bochum become 2. Bundesliga champions, it appears that many of Europe’s biggest clubs have come sniffing for Bella Kotchap, and it may just be a matter of time before we see the young German don the jersey of a Champions League-calibre club.
5. Karim Adeyemi (71 OVR – 85 POT)
Team: Red Bull Salzburg
Wage: £9,000 p/w
Value: £3.9 million
Best Attributes: 93 Acceleration, 92 Sprint Speed, 88 Jumping
Salzburg’s speedster Karim Adeyemi is the archetypal powerful striker in-game on FIFA 22, but with a 71 overall and 85 potential rating, he has the ability to become even better in Career Mode if you sign him in your save.
92 sprint speed and 93 acceleration is a dream physical profile for a striker, and when combined with 88 jumping you have a forward who can outjump and outrun any defender who dares to mark him. With a release clause of only £8.2 million in Career Mode, this could be the bargain of your save.
Away from FIFA, Adeyemi joined Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg from the German third tier during the 2018/19 season and has since gone on to score 18 goals and assist 17 more in only 64 outings in Austrian football. After scoring on his senior international debut versus Armenia in September of 2021, many Germans hope and expect Adeyemi to lead the line for Germany for years to come.
6. Eric Martel (66 OVR – 84 POT)
Team: FK Austria Wien
Wage: £7,000 p/w
Value: £1.8 million
Best Attributes: 73 Jumping, 72 Aggression, 71 Stamina
Eric Martel is a 66 overall rated screening midfielder whose potential of 84 suggests that he has a huge career ahead of him as he develops his craft.
Despite not having the strongest of in-game attributes, Martel’s size and defensive capabilities make him worth scouting in your Career Mode save. The 6’2” defensive midfielder is great in the air thanks to 73 jumping, and 70 strength and standing tackle characterises Martel as a powerful ball-winner who will only improve as time goes on.
The young holding midfielder is currently on loan in Vienna from RB Leipzig for the second consecutive season after a solid first stint in the top tier of Austrian football. Martel is a name you should keep tabs on: he’s improving game-by-game, he’s becoming more versatile – often playing at centre half to good effect, and he’s primed to break into a very talented RB Leipzig side in the near future.
7. Nico Schlotterbeck (73 OVR – 83 POT)
Team: SC Freiburg
Wage: £12,000 p/w
Value: £5.6 million
Best Attributes: 82 Strength, 77 Standing Tackle, 76 Defensive Awareness
An old-fashioned centre back, the 73 overall rated Nico Schlotterbeck is a defensive prospect with an encouraging 83 potential, who is tipped to carve out a sparkling career both internationally and domestically.
Blessed with a defensive acumen that belies his age, Schlotterbeck operates with 77 standing tackle, 76 defensive awareness, and 75 interceptions to produce consistently dominant centre half performances in-game. He’s surprisingly nippy too, with 75 sprint speed making him difficult to outpace despite his lofty 6’3” stature.
Although he now turns out for Freiburg, Schlotterbeck was loaned to Union Berlin, where he played with his brother Keven and made 16 appearances in the Bundesliga for the club from the German capital. Schlotterbeck’s left-sidedness makes him a great fit at left centre back, allowing teams to play with maximum width – so expect a manager to take advantage of his unique gifts as Nico looks to nail his spot in a top European team in the coming seasons.
All of the best young German players on FIFA 22 Career Mode
In the table below you’ll find all the best under 21-year-old German footballers in FIFA 22, sorted by their potential rating.
|Florian Wirtz||78||89||18||CAM, CM||Bayer 04 Leverkusen||£25.4M||£15K|
|Jamal Musiala||75||88||18||CAM, LM||FC Bayern München||£11.2M||£16K|
|Luca Netz||68||85||18||LB, LM||Borussia Mönchengladbach||£2.5M||£3K|
|Armel Bella Kotchap||71||85||19||CB||VfL Bochum 1848||£3.6M||£7K|
|Karim Adeyemi||71||85||19||ST||FC Red Bull Salzburg||£3.9M||£9K|
|Eric Martel||66||84||19||CDM||FK Austria Wien||£1.8M||£7K|
|Nico Schlotterbeck||73||83||21||CB||SC Freiburg||£5.6M||£12K|
|Márton Dárdai||69||83||19||CB, CDM||Hertha BSC||£2.7M||£8K|
|Paul Nebel||64||83||18||RM, LM, CAM||1. FSV Mainz 05||£1.3M||£2K|
|Felix Agu||70||83||21||LB, RB, LW||SV Werder Bremen||£3.3M||£4K|
|Jamie Leweling||68||82||20||RW, LW, ST||SpVgg Greuther Fürth||£2.5M||£7K|
|Noah Katterbach||70||82||20||LB||1. FC Köln||£3.2M||£9K|
|Josha Vagnoman||71||82||20||RB, LB, RM||Hamburger SV||£3.4M||£6K|
|Jan Thielmann||71||82||19||RM, CF||1. FC Köln||£3.4M||£9K|
|Nnamdi Collins||60||82||17||CB||Borussia Dortmund||£624K||£430|
|Malick Thiaw||68||81||19||CB, RB||FC Schalke 04||£2.3M||£3K|
|Eren Dinkçi||64||81||19||RW, CF||SV Werder Bremen||£1.3M||£2K|
|Jonathan Burkardt||71||81||20||ST, RM||1. FSV Mainz 05||£3.5M||£11K|
|Yann Bisseck||66||81||20||CB||Aarhus GF||£1.6M||£4K|
|Lars Lukas Mai||68||81||21||CB||SV Werder Bremen||£2.4M||£13K|
|Malik Tillman||61||81||19||ST||FC Bayern München||£796K||£6K|
|Lazar Samardžić||64||81||19||CAM, CM||Udinese||£1.3M||£2K|
|Can Bozdoğan||67||81||20||CAM, LM, CM||Beşiktaş JK||£2.2M||£3K|
|Kerim Çalhanoğlu||64||81||18||LB, LM||FC Schalke 04||£1.2M||£688|
|Ansgar Knauff||67||80||19||RM||Borussia Dortmund||£2.1M||£8K|
|Lilian Egloff||60||80||18||CAM, CF||VfB Stuttgart||£581K||£860|
|Oliver Batista Meier||65||80||20||CAM, LW||FC Bayern München||£1.5M||£9K|
|Mateo Klimowicz||69||80||20||CF, CAM, ST||VfB Stuttgart||£2.7M||£9K|
|Ismail Jakobs||71||80||21||LM, LWB||AS Monaco||£3.6M||£18K|
|Jan Olschowsky||63||80||19||GK||Borussia Mönchengladbach||£946K||£2K|
If you want the best young German stars to bolster your FIFA 22 Career Mode save look no further than the table provided above.
Looking for wonderkids?
Look for the best young players?
Looking for bargains?
Looking for the best teams?