World-class talents from Africa have been making their way to elite clubs for decades, with nations like Cameroon, Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Ghana among the hotbeds for footballing talent.
While a nation from Africa is yet to surpass the quarter-finals in the World Cup, Senegal and Nigeria are currently stacked with superb players and should be eyeing Qatar 2022 as a history-making tournament.
Here, we’re looking to the best young African players in Football Manager 2021, ranking the top wonderkids from across the 54 nations of the continent.
Choosing the best African wonderkids of FM 21
To be classed as an African wonderkid, each player’s designated nation in FM 21 has to be listed as an African country, they have to have a high potential ability (PA) rating, and they need to be 21-years-old or younger.
In the FM 21 wonderkid rankings here, some players have solid PA ratings while others are given negative PA ratings. Solid PA ratings show the potential ability that the player can reach in each save.
Negative PA ratings, on the other hand, translate to a potential ability range, from within which each player will have their PA set differently per save. The negative PA ranges present among the best African wonderkids here are -85 (140-170) and -8 (130-160).
Achraf Hakimi (154 CA / 169 PA)
Team: Inter Milan
Best Positions: DR, WBR, MR
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 154 CA / 169 PA
Value: £26 million
Best Attributes: 19 Pace, 17 Acceleration, 17 Crossing
Born in Madrid, nationalised for Morocco through his parents, Achraf Hakimi’s rise to prominence has been rapid. He made his debut for Real Madrid at 18-years-old, but to get more first-team football, he switched to Borussia Dortmund for a two-year loan.
With 12 goals and 17 assists in 73 games for the German side, the Los Blancos product established himself as one of the most promising right-sided players in the world. So, Inter Milan swept in with £36 million to pry Hakimi away from the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, with the Moroccan instantly being given a starting XI role.
Not only is the owner of 31 caps for Morocco one of the best right wing back wonderkids of FM 21, but Hakimi also stands as the best African wonderkid in the game. His 169 PA stands the Inter right midfielder above all other young players from the continent, as does his 154 CA.
Hakimi can play to the best of his ability as a right back, right wing back, or a right midfielder, with his physical and technical ratings allowing him to be potent all the way up the line. The Madrid-native’s 17 acceleration, 19 pace, 16 stamina, 17 natural fitness, 17 crossing, 14 dribbling, and 15 work rate enable him to command the right side singlehandedly.
Victor Osimhen (150 CA / 168 PA)
Team: SSC Napoli
Best Positions: ST
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 150 CA / 168 PA
Value: £29.5 million
Best Attributes: 19 Pace, 18 Off the Ball, 17 Acceleration
Still only 21-years-old, Victor Osimhen has already seen clubs spend a combined £89.46 million to acquire his services. It started with VfL Wolfsburg paying £3.15 million to bring him to Europe from Nigeria’s Ultimate Strikers Academy. Just 30 months later, after impressing on-loan, RSC Charleroi compensated Wolfsburg with the same fee to land Osimhen.
A mere month after the supposed permanent switch to Belgium, LOSC Lille went all-in with £20.16 million to bring him to France. Following 18 goals in 38 games, SSC Napoli signed the striker for a massive £63 million. He’s also accumulated five goals and four assists in just nine games for Nigeria, now standing as the country’s first-choice striker.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that such a coveted young striker manages to rank among the best African wonderkids to sign in FM 21. Osimhen’s 168 PA is only just short of Achraf Hakimi’s 169 PA, which also helps him to stand among the game’s top young strikers.
Already boasting a 150 CA, Osimhen is quickly closing in on his lofty ceiling, despite being so young. The Nigerian can be deployed as a top team’s starting XI striker from the get-go; while his 14 finishing is a bit underwhelming, his 17 acceleration, 19 pace, 14 dribbling, and 18 off the ball enable him to score plenty of goals if fed the ball.
Samuel Chukwueze (138 CA / 165 PA)
Best Positions: AMR
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 138 CA / 165 PA
Value: £11 million
Best Attributes: 17 Dribbling, 17 Technique, 16 Pace
Since arriving in Spain from Nigeria’s Diamond Academy in 2017, Samu Chukwueze has worked his way through the Villarreal youth ranks, the B team, and is now a first-team regular. Playing predominantly as a right winger, he’ll almost certainly clock-in his 100th game for the La Liga club this season.
Starting several of his 41 games in the Yellow Submarine’s romp up the standings last season, the winger from Umahaia notched four goals and six assists. This season, under new boss Unai Emery, Chukwueze isn’t getting quite as much game time, but he’s on pace to emulate last season’s stats, with two goals and three assists through 18 matches.
In FM21, Chukwueze stands as one of the best young African players to sign, starting each save with a 138 CA and 165 PA. Suited to playing in an MR or AMR role, the Nigerian wonderkid can impress early on thanks to his speed and skill with the ball at his feet.
His initial current ability rating would put some users off of deploying Chukwueze regularly, but he has high attribute ratings in the right places to make him a solid right wing option. The Nigerian’s 17 dribbling, 17 technique, 15 first touch, 16 determination, 16 flair, 16 acceleration, and 16 pace allow the left-footer to be a menace down the flank.
Patson Daka (137 CA / 160 PA)
Team: RB Salzburg
Best Positions: ST
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 137 CA / 160 PA
Value: £6.25 million
Best Attributes: 17 Pace, 16 Off the Ball, 16 Acceleration
As a teenager, Patson Daka made a name for himself by playing for several clubs across his native Zambia. For Nchanga Rangers, Green Buffaloes, Kafue Celtic, and Power Dynamos, the young forward’s performances caught the eye of Austria’s FC Liefering in 2017, who loaned him in from Kafue Celtic.
Through 18 months on-loan, Daka nailed six goals and seven assists for the Red Bull Salzburg feeder club, also being called up to the first-team on several occasions. So, the 14-time Austrian champions snapped up the Zambian striker on a permanent deal. He enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2019/20, scoring 27 goals in 45 games, continuing to go strong this season with15 goals and five assists through his opening 17 appearances.
The 2017 CAF Young Player of the Year is scoring for fun in the Austrian Bundesliga, with his efforts so far earning him a 160 PA and a place among the best African wonderkids in FM 21. Daka’s low wages and non-elite club identification mean that he’s one of the more affordable young players featured on this page.
The arrangement of his attribute ratings on FM 21 lines Daka up as a pure striker. His 14 finishing, 13 first touch, 13 composure, 15 determination, 16 off the ball, 16 acceleration, 15 agility, and 17 pace mean that you just need to feed the Zambian the ball around the box for him to work tap into his sharpshooter instincts.
Musa Barrow (137 CA / 159 PA)
Team: Bologna FC 1909
Best Positions: AML, ST
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 137 CA / 159 PA
Value: £8 million
Best Attributes: 15 Determination, 15 First Touch, 15 Dribbling
After joining the Atalanta youth set-up from The Gambia’s Hawks Banjul FC in 2017, Musa Barrow managed to put up 39 goals in 37 games for the Primavera team and then eight goals and five assists for Atalanta BC. In January 2020, he set off on-loan to Bologna FC 1909, with the club having an obligation to buy the African wonderkid at the end of this season.
Predominantly featuring as a left winger, but sometimes upfront, Barrow amassed 13 goals and six assists by his 33rd game for the Serie A club – making his obligatory £11.7 million fee look like a bargain. The Banjul-native also looks to have established himself for the national team, scoring twice in his nine caps to date.
In FM 21, Barrow is still listed as an Atalanta player, while out on-loan to Bologna. So, it may be easier than expected to sign the top young African player towards the end of the first season. The Gambian is capable of playing as a team’s striker or left winger, adding versatility to his impressive 169 PA.
While positional versatility is always useful, players need to have the right attribute ratings to make it count. Luckily, Barrow’s 15 dribbling, 14 finishing, 15 first touch, 14 technique, 14 flair, 15 acceleration, 15 agility, and 15 pace allow him to be useful in either position, and a constant goal threat.
All the best African wonderkids in FM 21
In the table below, you can find all of the best African wonderkids of Football Manager 21 ranked by their PA rating. Those who are given a negative PA are listed by their lowest potential ability rating in any given save.
|Name||Age||CA||PA (Range)||Pos. (20)||Team||Nat.||Wage (p/w)|
|Achraf Hakimi||21||154||169||WBR, MR||Internazionale Milano||Morocco||£133,560|
|Patson Daka||21||137||160||ST||RB Salzburg||Zambia||£7,029|
|Musa Barrow||21||137||159||AML||Atalanta (on-loan to Bologna)||The Gambia||£8,894|
|Edmond Tapsoba||21||135||157||DC||Bayer 04 Leverkusen||Burkina Faso||£34,725|
|Hamed Junior Traoré||20||132||156||AMC||Empoli (on-loan to Sassuolo)||Côte d’Ivoire||£17,788|
|Moussa Wagué||21||125||155||DR||Barcelona (on-loan to Salonika)||Senegal||£9,726|
|Krépin Diatta||21||134||150||AML||Club Brugge KV||Senegal||£12,793|
|Terem Moffi||21||122||150||ST||FC Lorient||Nigeria||£7,250|
|Achraf Dari||21||120||145||DC||Wydad Athletic Club||Morocco||£2,200|
|Cheick Doucouré||20||114||145||DM||RC Lens||Mali||£2,400|
|Bongokuhle Hlongwane||20||101||145||ST||Maritzburg United||South Africa||£675|
|Ebrima Colley||20||116||144||AML||Atalanta (on-loan to Hellas Verona)||The Gambia||£9,000|
|Elimane Franck Kanouté||21||114||144||MC||Cercle Brugge||Senegal||£5,026|
|Ignatius Ganago||21||121||141||ST||RC Lens||Cameroon||£9,500|
|Mohammed Kudus||19||126||-85 (140-170)||AMC||AFC Ajax||Ghana||£5,250|
|Youssouph Badji||18||116||-85 (140-170)||ST||Club Burgge||Senegal||£2,741|
|Amad Diallo||18||110||-85 (140-170)||AMR||Atalanta (joining Manchester United)||Côte d’Ivoire||£4,600|
|Samson Tijani||18||110||-85 (140-170)||DM||RB Salzburg (on-loan to Hartberg)||Nigeria||£2,284|
|Brian Oddei||17||101||-85 (140-170)||AMR||US Sassuolo||Ghana||£230|
|Luke Fleurs||20||101||140||DC||SuperSport United||South Africa||£475|
|Anderson Niangbo||20||118||140||ST||KAA Gent||Côte d’Ivoire||£11,422|
|Josh Maja||21||121||139||ST||FC Girondins de Bordeaux||Nigeria||£13,570|
|Eric Boakye||20||106||139||DR||NK Olumpija Ljubljana||Ghana||£913|
|Osman Bukari||21||115||138||AMR||KAA Gent||Ghana||£5,026|
|Jonah Osabutey||21||115||138||AMR||SV Werder Bremen II (on-loan to Leuven)||Ghana||£2,010|
|Kingsley Michael||20||114||138||MC||Bologna FC 1909||Nigeria||£4,877|
|Lyle Foster||19||112||138||ST||Vitória Guimarães||South Africa||£2,304|
|Edward Chilufya||20||117||137||AMR||Djurgårdens IF||Zambia||£1,221|
|Gift Links||21||113||136||AML||Aarhus GF||South Africa||£1,838|
|Yassine Benrahou||21||116||135||AMC||Nîmes Olympique||Morocco||£4,700|
|El Bilal Touré||18||115||135||ST||Stade de Reims||Mali||£4,500|
|Stéphane Diarra||21||112||135||AMR||FC Lorient||Côte d’Ivoire||£3,500|
|Nunoo Sarpei||21||112||135||DM, MC||Greuther Fürth||Ghana||£3,066|
|Kalidou Sidibé||21||110||135||DM||Toulouse FC||Mali||£3,500|
|Edo Kayembe||21||109||135||MC||KAS Eupen||DR Congo||£3,655|
|Sibusiso Mabiliso||21||105||135||DL||AmaZulu FC||South Africa||£1,400|
|Issah Abass||21||116||134||ML, AML||FSV Mainz 05||Ghana||£7,767|
|Hassane Bandé||21||111||134||AML||AFC Ajax||Burkina Faso||£12,793|
|Abou Ouattara||20||108||134||AML||LOSC Lille (on-loan to Vitória Guimarães)||Burkina Faso||£1,827|
|Afeez Aremu||20||101||133||MC||FC St. Pauli||Nigeria||£2,190|
|Funsho Bamgboye||21||103||132||AML, AMR||Fehérvár FC||Nigeria||£1,000|
|Silas Wamangituka||20||126||-8 (130-160)||ST||VfB Stuttgart||DR Congo||£10,543|
|Hicham Boudaoui||20||124||-8 (130-160)||MC||OGC Nice||Algeria||£9,750|
|Lassina Traoré||19||120||-8 (130-160)||ST||AFC Ajax||Burkina Faso||£4,112|
|Sékou Koïta||20||120||-8 (130-160)||ST||RB Salzburg||Mali||£4,392|
|Kamaldeen Sulemana||18||118||-8 (130-160)||AML||Nordsjælland||Ghana||£1,164|
|Mohamed Camara||20||118||-8 (130-160)||MC||RB Salzburg||Mali||£2,741|
|Ousmane Diakité||20||117||-8 (130-160)||DM||RB Salzburg||Mali||£702|
|Odilon Kossounou||19||116||-8 (130-160)||DC||Club Brugge KV||Côte d’Ivoire||£4,569|
|Musa Juwara||18||105||-8 (130-160)||AML||Bologna FC 1909 (on-loan to Boavista)||The Gambia||£8,127|
|Brahima Ouattara||17||104||-8 (130-160)||AMC||Racing Club d’Abidjan||Côte d’Ivoire||£114|
|Jean N’Guessan||17||101||-8 (130-160)||MC||Racing Club d’Abidjan||Côte d’Ivoire||£105|
|Parfait Guiagon||19||95||-8 (130-160)||AMC||Maccabi Tel-Aviv (on-loan to TLV Bat Yam)||Côte d’Ivoire||£3,000|
|Mamin Sanyang||17||91||-8 (130-160)||AMR||Bayern Munich II||The Gambia||£55|
|Asanele Velebhayi (Asanele Velebayi)||17||91||-8 (130-160)||AMC||Cape Town Spurs||South Africa||£500|
|Abdoul Karim Camara||16||86||-8 (130-160)||ST||TSG Hoffenheim||Senegal||£1,096|
|Mory Bamba||18||84||-8 (130-160)||AMR||AS Roma||Côte d’Ivoire||£230|
|Salim El Jebari||16||70||-8 (130-160)||MC||A. Madrid B||Morocco||£325|
|Nassim Boujellab||21||113||130||MC||FC Schalke 04||Morocco||£8,756|
|Malek Baayou||21||110||130||MC||ES Sahel||Tunisia||£950|
|Nkosingiphile Ngcobo||20||101||130||AMC||Kaizer Chiefs||South Africa||£1,700|
|Abdul Musa||21||100||130||MC||AS Trencin||Nigeria||£575|
|Mohamed Doumbia||21||99||130||DM||Dukla Prague||Côte d’Ivoire||£844|
|Abdoul Karim Danté||21||95||130||DC||RWD Molenbeek||Mali||£1,644|
|Younn Zahary||21||94||130||DC||SM Caen (on-loan to Pau FC)||Comoros||£750|
|João Ricciulli||20||93||130||DC||Sporting B||Guinea-Bissau||£1,862|
|Ulrich Méléké||21||93||130||DC||Kokkolan PV||Côte d’Ivoire||£475|
|Timothy Fayulu||21||93||130||GK||FC Sion||DR Congo||£1,000|
|Ally Msengi||18||91||130||DL||Stellenbosch FC||Tanzania||£1,100|
|Rowan Human||19||91||130||MC||Maccabi Tel-Aviv (on-loan to TLV Bat Yam)||South Africa||£2,000|
|Anthony Uzodimma||21||90||130||MC||Kayserispor (on-loan to Giresunspor)||Nigeria||£319|
If you fancy developing one of the best young African players in FM 21, sign one of the wonderkids from the table above.