Japan and the Korea Republic are often the nations that headline as producers of footballing talent from Asia, but China, Iran, and even DPR Korea have also been able to develop tricky teams to beat on the world stage.
As the joint hosts of 2002 World Cup, the Korea Republic overcame Italy and Spain in the knockout stages to eventually finish fourth, which stands as the furthest an Asian nation has gone in the tournament.
Here, we’re looking to the next generation of potential stars, with these being the best Asian wonderkids to sign in Football Manager 2021.
Choosing the best Asian wonderkids of FM 21
Every player featured on this page of the best young Asian players in FM 21 is 21-years-old or younger, has one of the best potential ability (PA) ratings among Asian wonderkids, and has their nation listed as a country in Asia.
Across the Asian wonderkids here, there are two types of PA listed: solid PA and negative PA. The solid PA ratings indicate that the player will load in each FM 21 with that PA rating.
Negative PA translates to a range of possible PA ratings that a player can have. For example, a -9 PA gives them a range of 150 to 180, and -85 PA translates to a range of 140 to 170.
Below, you’ll find all of the best young Asian players of FM 21 sorted by their PA, with negative PA wonderkids listed by their lowest possible PA rating.
Takehiro Tomiyasu (133 CA / 162 PA)
Team: Bologna 1909
Best Positions: DC, DR
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 133 CA / 162 PA
Value: £5.25 million
Best Attributes: 16 Natural Fitness, 15 Tackling, 15 Work Rate
At just 11-years-old, Takehiro Tomiyasu was offered a place in Barcelona’s academy, but instead, he decided to stay in Japan. The midfielder-turned-defender worked his way through the Avispa Fukuoka ranks before being given a shot in the first-team as a teenager. Following 56 games, a goal, and an assist for the J1 League side, Belgian outfit Sint-Truidense put down £720,000 to sign the Japanese wonderkid.
While this was his first move abroad, it wouldn’t take long for Tomiyasu to convince another top-tier club to make a move, with Serie A’s Bologna 1909 being that team. Since his £8.1 million switch to Italy in the summer of 2019, he’s played across the backline, scoring twice and setting up three more in his first 46 matches for the Veltri.
Already a regular in the Japan national team, Tomiyasu’s solid 162 PA stand him as the best young Asian player to sign in FM 21. Others could have a higher PA than the now 22-year-old, but in every load of the game with the initial database, you know that the right development plan can make this defender a 162 CA star.
While the right-footer has featured at left back in his career, in FM 21, Tomiyasu is best-suited to playing as a centre back or right back. Thanks to his 16 natural fitness, 15 stamina, 14 pace, 13 passing, 12 jumping reach, 15 tackling, 15 teamwork, and 15 work rate, the Japanese workhorse will go all-out for 90 minutes to reclaim and keep possession.
Takuhiro ‘Pipi’ Nakai (84 CA / 150-180 PA)
Team: Real Madrid B
Best Positions: MC
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 84 CA / -9 (150-180) PA
Best Attributes: 16 Flair, 15 Determination, 15 Dribbling
Yet to make a first-team appearance for club or country, as is to be expected from a player who’s still only 17-years-old, Takuhiro Nakai is still one of the most highly-rated prospects in world football. Having switched from Azul Shiga to Real Madrid in 2014, it was always going to take time the teenage midfielder known as ‘Pipi’ to crack into the Los Blancos ranks.
Prior to his move, Pipi shot to fame following videos of his skill as a youth going viral, with his talent on the ball and distribution having only improved since. Nakai’s nickname, ‘Pipi,’ derives from his struggles to adapt to life in Spain in his earlier years, but in the years since, he’s established himself as one of the most promising young players in the world.
In FM 21, Pipi has a chance to stand as the best Asian wonderkid to sign. However, due to his precarious -9 PA, he could load into a game with a potential ability rating below that of Takehiro Tomiyasu (162 PA). What’s unique about the Japanese midfielder is that he ranks among the very best despite being only 16-years-old at the start of the 2020/21 season.
As you’d expect from a player still valued at £115,000 while contracted to Real Madrid, Pipi doesn’t have a first-team-worthy set of attribute ratings just yet. That said, his 15 dribbling, 14 first touch, 14 passing, 15 technique, 16 flair, 15 determination, and 13 vision show that this FM 21 wonderkid is a future star.
Eden Kartsev (105 CA / 150 PA)
Team: Maccabi Tel Aviv
Best Positions: MC, AMC
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 105 CA / 150 PA
Best Attributes: 14 Long Throws, 14 Determination, 14 Strength
Still only 20-years-old, it’s been three years since Eden Karzev (“Kartsev” in FM 21) was given his initial run of first-team action on-loan to Beitar Tel Aviv Bat Yam. For the Israeli second-tier club, the teenage midfielder scored four times in 12 matches.
Going out on-loan to two first division sides – Hapoel Hadera and Ironi Kiryat Shmona of Ligat ha’Al – in the next couple of campaigns, Karzev is now being eased into the first-team of his parent club. For Maccabi Tel Aviv this season, playing predominantly as a defensive midfielder, the Israeli had already scored by his tenth appearance – which came against Red Bull Salzburg in Champions League Qualifying.
Perfectly suited to playing in centre midfield or attacking midfield, Eden Kartsev stands as one of FM 21’s best young Asian players thanks to his solid 150 PA. In every load of the game, provided that you give him game time and the right development programme, the Israeli can become a decent player at 150 CA.
Best of all, due to his age, current ability rating of 105, and contract to Maccabi Tel Aviv, Kartsev is one of the cheaper wonderkids to target. Estimated to cost between £2.4 million and £4.5 million, the promise offered by the 20-year-old’s 14 stamina, 14 strength, 12 passing, 14 long throws, and 13 work rate makes him a sound transfer target.
Eylon Almog (113 CA / 145 PA)
Team: Maccabi Tel Aviv
Best Positions: AML, AMR
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 113 CA / 145 PA
Best Attributes: 14 Natural Fitness, 13 Dribbling, 13 Off the Ball
Much like his teammate and compatriot Eden Karzev, Eylon Almog enjoyed spells on-loan to Beitar Tel Aviv Bat Yam and Hapoel Hadera before getting an extended run in his parent club’s first-team. Last season, he broke into the Maccabi Tel Aviv ranks by playing across the front line, finishing 2019/20 with five goals and four assists in 22 matches.
This season, Almog has continued to work his way towards becoming a first-team regular for the Bloomfield Stadium residents. Yet to be given minutes in Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Europa League campaign, he’s been a regular feature in Ligat ha’Al, stacking up two goals and two assists predominantly as a left winger to date.
Coming into the game with a 145 PA, 113 CA, and a value of £350,000, Almog stands among the best Asian wonderkids to sign in FM 21. Like his teammate, Kartsev, still being at Maccabi Tel Aviv enables other managers to swoop in with a relatively small fee of between £1.8 million and £3.9 million to acquire the 21-year-old.
Also capable of playing as the striker, Almog’s more well-rounded attribute ratings have him better suited as an inverted winger. The Israeli already boasts 13 dribbling, 12 finishing, 12 passing, 13 technique, 13 strength, 14 work rate, and 13 agility to set the stage for a decent winger in the making.
Han Kwang-Song (115 CA / 141 PA)
Team: Al-Duhail SC
Best Positions: ST
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 115 CA / 141 PA
Value: £1.5 million
Best Attributes: 16 Natural Fitness, 15 Anticipation, 14 Work Rate
Easily the nation’s most promising player since Jong Tae-Se, DPR Korea could have a star striker on their hands should Han Kwang-Song be allowed to cultivate his raw talent. Leaving North Korean outfit Chobyong SC for the Centro Europeo de Tecnofutbol in 2013, it only took 18 months for the youngster to be signed to a top team’s academy. That team would be Cagliari, who signed Kwang-Song to their youth team in 2015.
By 2017, he was putting his name in the history books, becoming the first North Korean player to both play and score in Serie A. To get game time, he was loaned to Perugia for two seasons, scoring 11 in 39 games, and then joined the Juventus under-23s for a season before making a £3.15 million switch in January 2020. However, his stay in Turin was short-lived, with Al-Duhail SC paying £6.3 million to bring him to Qatar one week later.
Hopefully avoiding the political persuasions that have continued to govern the direction of Kwang-Song’s career, his 141 PA stands the North Korean as one of the best young Asian players to sign in FM 21. From the outset of the game, the striker’s attributes lend him as a hardworking poacher.
Potentially in need of some time on-loan, given his 115 CA, Kwang-Song has plenty of usable attribute ratings at 21-years-old. His 16 natural fitness, 13 acceleration, 13 pace, 14 work rate, 13 off the ball, 14 flair, and 15 anticipation make him a nuisance for defenders, with 13 finishing and 13 composure enabling him to capitalise on many opportunities.
All the best Asian wonderkids in FM 21
In the table below, you can find all of the best young players from Asian nations in Football Manager 2021. The players are sorted by their PA rating, with negative PA players ranked by their lowest possible potential ability in any given FM 21 save.
|Name||Age||CA||PA (Range)||Pos. (20)||Team||Nat.||Wage (p/w)|
|Takehiro Tomiyasu||21||133||162||DC||Bologna FC 1909||Japan||£16,026|
|Pipi (Takuhiro Nakai)||16||84||-9 (150-180)||MC||R. Madrid B||Japan||£1,300|
|Eden Kartsev (Eden Karzev)||20||105||150||MC||Maccabi Tel-Aviv||Israel||£220|
|Eylon Almog||21||113||145||AML||Maccabi Tel Aviv||Israel||£4,072|
|Kwang-Song Han||21||115||141||ST||Al-Duhail SC||DPR Korea||£4,378|
|Kang-In Lee||19||135||-85 (140-170)||AMC||Valencia||Korea Republic||£19,000|
|Takefusa Kubo||19||132||-85 (140-170)||AMC||R. Madrid (on-loan to Villarreal)||Japan||£38,339|
|Manor Solomon||21||123||-85 (140-170)||AMR||Shakhtar Donetsk||Israel||£6,590|
|Khvicha Kvaratskhelia||19||122||-85 (140-170)||AML||Rubin Kazan||Georgia||£1,141|
|Suphanat Mueanta||17||100||139||ST||Buriram United||Thailand||£857|
|Mehdi Ghaedi||21||116||138||AML||Esteghlal Tehran||Iran||£8,250|
|Hiroki Abe||21||115||138||AML||Barcelona B||Japan||£2,720|
|Kanya Fujimoto||21||102||138||MC||Gil Vicente (on-loan from Tokyo Verdy)||Japan||£757|
|Ekanit Panya||20||103||137||AMC||Chiangrai United||Thailand||£171|
|Mohammad Mohebi||21||113||135||AML||Sepahan Isfahan||Iran||£7,000|
|Yarden Shua||21||112||135||ST||Beitar Jerusalem||Israel||£3,393|
|Nika Ninua||21||110||135||DM, CM||PAOK Salonika||Georgia||£5,082|
|Saud Abdulhamid||21||105||135||DR||Al-Ittihad Club (KSA)||Saudi Arabia||£15,500|
|Assaf Tzur||21||100||135||GK||Hapoel Ra’anana (on-loan to Anorthosis)||Israel||£220|
|Ofri Arad||21||115||133||DC||Maccabi Haifa||Israel||£5,431|
|Dilshod Saitov||21||100||132||MC||Nasaf Qarshi||Uzbekistan||£850|
|Giorgi Chakvetadze||20||117||-8 (130-160)||AMC||KAA Gent||Georgia||£11,422|
|Mohanad Ali||20||110||-8 (130-160)||ST||Al-Duhail SC (on-loan to Al-Sailiya)||Iraq||£0|
|Jasurbek Jaloliddinov||18||107||-8 (130-160)||MC||Lokomotiv Moscow (on-loan to Tambov)||Uzbekistan||£2,000|
|Harib Abdalla (Suhail)||17||90||-8 (130-160)||AMR||Shabab Al-Ahli Dubai FC||UAE||£14,250|
|Koki Hinokio||19||99||130||AML, AMC||Stomil Olsztyn||Japan||£328|
|Mohamad Harb||21||79||130||AMC||Al-Wahda Sports Club (SYR)||Syria||£325|
Sign and develop one of the best young players from Asia by landing any of the FM 21 wonderkids listed above.