The next generation of superstars is imperative to a club’s continued success in the top ranks of world football. Wonderkids hold the key to this, bringing new life to the game year after year.
When it comes to Football Manager 2021, this is more true than ever, and even more satisfying knowing that you’ve moulded the next Lionel Messi in your save game.
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best young strikers in FM21, with all of the wonderkid strikers in the game listed below.
Choosing the best wonderkid strikers (ST) in FM 21
The players in this list were chosen based on their age and potential ability (PA). To ensure that we only had the best wonderkid strikers, we also filtered players on their ability as a striker, with the minimum positional rating being 18.
To make it onto this page, the player had to be 21-years-old or younger. Deciphering the bar for a player’s potential ability, however, can be tricky in FM as the game is designed to be as realistic as possible.
Due to this, the potential ratings in-game feature a variety of ways to determine the quality that a player will reach. Potential ability classifies how good a player will become by utilising the many methods of development, such as game time, form, and coaching. It’s shown as a number ranging from zero to 200, with 200 being the best.
Some players, however, have been deemed more difficult to hand a PA rating. As such, they’ve been given a negative PA which equates to a potential range. In each game save, the potential that a player with a negative PA reaches will change at random, keeping within their respective range.
The negative PAs follow this pattern with PA ranges: -10 (170-200), -95 (160-190), -9 (150-180), -85 (140-170), all the way down to zero.
So, to find the best young strikers of FM 21, we only included players with at least 150 PA and the PA ranges of 150-180, 160-190, and 170-200.
Below, in the body of the article, you’ll find the top five wonderkid strikers in FM 21, selected as a result of their PA, PA range, and peak potential. You can also find a table at the foot of the page with all of the other wonderkids that meet our criteria.
Kylian Mbappé (181 CA / 196 PA)
Team: Paris Saint-Germain
Best Positions: ST/AMR (20), AML (18)
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 181 CA / 196 PA
Value: £83 million
Wage: £403,088 per week
Best Attributes: 20 Pace, 20 Acceleration, 18 Composure
Poised to become the next face of world football, Kylian Mbappé has gone from strength to strength since his debut for AS Monaco. He then moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 on-loan, before making the move permanent for a massive £130.5 million.
Mbappé has an incredible record for the Parisians, scoring 99 and assisting 58 by his 133rd appearance for the club. Footballs latest poster boy will be taking the world by storm in the coming years.
His meteoric rise continues in Football Manager 21 with an incredible CA of 181, nearly hitting the 200-ability ceiling with his 196 PA. Unfortunately, it will take a fortune to prise PSG’s main man from the club.
Mbappé’s potent mix of 20 pace, 18 composure, and 17 finishing make him lethal in front of goal. He’s an incredibly direct player, preferring to run at opponents, cutting in from the wings, and using his trickery to punish teams to great effect. The biggest downside to his game is his seven heading ability, but with the ball at his feet, there aren’t many who can match him.
Erling Haaland (164 CA / -95 PA)
Team: Borussia Dortmund
Best Positions: ST (20)
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 164 CA / -95 PA
PA Range: 160-190
Value: £63 million
Wage: £140,589 per week
Best Attributes: 18 Pace, 18 Off the Ball, 18 Finishing
The latest winner of the Golden Boy award, Erling Haaland’s talent is clear to see. This young Norwegian has an eye for goal that many top strikers will envy, scoring almost every time that touches the ball. Recently, he became the quickest player to score 15 Champions League goals, achieving the feat in just 12 games.
Haaland rose to fame with his performances with Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, scoring 29 goals in 27 appearances. Eyes from around the world fell on him, but the young striker opted to join Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund in January 2020. His prolific run didn’t end there, though, as at the time of writing, he has amassed 33 goals in 31 games – a truly record-breaking pace.
Timing will be everything when looking to sign this wonderkid, with him having recently joined Dortmund, he isn’t looking for another move. Still, if you can bide your time, he could well be yours for a hefty sum.
The uncertainty of his -95 PA shouldn’t be of concern. Given his 164 CA, he already sits comfortably in the given PA range. Easily a starting player for any club, he enjoys breaking the offside trap, utilising that 18 pace and 18 finishing to devastating effect.
João Félix (159 CA / 175 PA)
Team: Atlético Madrid
Best Position(s): ST (19), AMC (20), AML (18)
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 159 CA / 175 PA
Value: £50 million
Wage: £164,753 per week
Best Attributes: 20 Flair, 18 Technique, 18 Off the Ball
The biggest Portuguese talent since Cristiano Ronaldo, 2019 Golden Boy winner João Félix sought a new challenge after a stunning breakthrough season with Benfica. Signing for Atlético Madrid for a huge £114.48 million in July 2019, his 20 goals and 11 assists in the previous season proved to be more than enough for the Spanish club to spend big on him.
Embracing the step-up to the Spanish league, Félix has 16 goals and six assists in the capital: not quite reaching the figures of his Benfica days. Some could argue that the hefty price tag is weighing on him, or that he’s still adapting to the change of pace. Still, one thing is for sure, at 21-years-old, the numbers he’s producing are impressive for a young talent at a top club.
A 20-year-old at the start of a new save in FM 21, Félix is a natural across the front-three or in AMC, providing great versatility to an attacking line. His 20 flair, 18 technique, and 17 dribbling provide excellent opportunities to beat defenders or even round the goalkeeper.
Félix’s 11 work-rate could be improved upon with some specific training in that department, making him more potent throughout games. The same could be said for his nine strength rating, but getting him in the gym could improve that while making him even harder to dispossess.
Ansu Fati (148 CA / -95 PA)
Team: FC Barcelona
Best Position(s): ST/AMR (19), AML (20)
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 148 CA / -95 PA
PA Range: 160-190
Value: £54 million
Wage: £70,294 per week
Best Attributes: 19 Flair, 17 Agility, 16 Acceleration
Our youngest wonderkid featuring in the top-five, Ansu Fati rose to prominence last season after earning a call-up to Barcelona’s first-team from their famed La Masia academy. He also won his first cap for Spain in September 2020: shortly after, he became Spain’s youngest goalscorer.
During his 43 appearances for the Catalan side to date, Fati scored 13 goals and set-up five more. Along with these goals comes several records that the teenager now holds, including Barcelona’s youngest La Liga scorer, the youngest starter at the Camp Nou, the youngest goalscorer at Camp Nou, and Barcelona’s youngest Champions League debutant and goalscorer. Already an impressive list of records to hold, it’s clear to see the talent that he possesses.
Blessed with flair, agility, and pace, Fati is exceptional with the ball at his feet, driving the team towards the goal. Working on his 14 finishing and nine left foot can only add to his game, bringing more goals to any team.
This bright young talent will set you back a fair sum in transfer funds, with Barcelona wanting in the region of £80 to £91 million for his services. With some vigorous negotiating, you may be able to bring them down a touch, but this will be very circumstantial for each game save.
Mason Greenwood (140 CA / 175 PA)
Team: Manchester United
Best Position(s): ST (20)
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 140 CA / 175 PA
Value: £30 million
Wage: £25,000 per week
Best Attributes: 17 Determination, 17 Pace, 16 Acceleration
Promoted from Manchester United’s youth system, Mason Greenwood didn’t take long to show his skill as a striker. At just 18-years-old, he’s provided 19 goals and seven assists in 62 senior appearances – not bad at all for a teenager in one of Europe’s toughest leagues.
Mainly used as a substitute so far in his career, Greenwood’s deadly finishing will soon make him a key part of the club’s front-line. Preferring to play as a striker, he’s had to adjust and show his skill from the right wing, supporting the more senior members in the attack. The fact that he’s managed to be just as potent out of position attests to the teenager’s raw talent.
Understandably, Manchester United are less than keen to part ways with the wonderkid in FM 21, and it will take some doing to bring him to a different club. Possessing brilliant ability with either foot – a 20 left foot rating and 19 on his “weaker” right – paired with 16 finishing make him a very promising prospect.
Add his 17 pace, 16 flair, and 15 natural fitness to the equation, and it’s easy to see that this teen will be taking the world by storm in the coming years. Greenwood does, however, have room for improvement, primarily his nine vision and ten decision-making attributes; developing these will surely help round out his game and make him even deadlier on the pitch.
All the best wonderkid strikers (ST) in FM 21
Here, you’ll find all of the best young strikers in Football Manager 2021, sorted by their current ability.
|Name||Age||Team||CA||PA (Range)||Wages (p/w)|
|Kylian Mbappé||21||Paris Saint-Germain||181||196||£403,088|
|Erling Haaland||20||Borussia Dortmund||164||-95 (160-190)||£140,589|
|João Félix||20||Atlético Madrid||159||175||£164,753|
|Alexander Isak||20||Real Sociedad||149||166||£16,000|
|Ansu Fati||17||FC Barcelona||148||-95 (160-190)||£70,294|
|Rafael Leão||21||AC Milan||144||163||£37,396|
|Mason Greenwood||18||Manchester United||140||175||£25,000|
|Donyell Malen||21||PSV Eindhoven||140||165||£11,000|
|Matheus Cunha||21||Hertha Berlin||140||165||£52,541|
|Jonathan David||20||LOSC Lille||138||-9 (150-180)||£31,984|
|Myron Boadu||19||AZ Alkmaar||137||-9 (150-180)||£9,250|
|Antony||20||AFC Ajax||137||-9 (150-180)||£13,707|
|Patson Daka||21||Red Bull Salzburg||137||160||£7,029|
|Dušan Vlahovic||20||ACF Fiorentina||134||160||£26,009|
|Karim Adeyemi||18||Red Bull Salzburg||127||-9 (150-180)||£7,029|
|Andrea Pinamonti||21||Inter Milan||126||155||£65,022|
|Jamal Musiala||17||Bayern Munich||126||-9 (150-180)||£788|
|João Pedro||18||Watford||125||-9 (150-180)||£20,000|
|Joshua Zirkzee||19||Bayern Munich||124||-9 (150-180)||£14,010|
|Troy Parrot||18||Tottenham Hotspur (on-loan to Millwall)||123||-9 (150-180)||£10,000|
|Terem Moffi||21||FC Lorient||122||150||£7,250|
|Jérémy Doku||18||Stade Rennais FC||120||-9 (150-180)||£13,707|
|Fábio Silva||18||Wolverhampton Wanderers||115||-9 (150-180)||£35,000|
|Sebastiano Esposito||18||FC Inter Milan (on-loan to SPAL)||114||-9 (150-180)||£3,251|
|Nico Serrano||17||Athletic Bilbao C||95||-9 (150-180)||£1,500|
There you have it: you now know Football Manager 21’s top wonderkid strikers. Sign the best young forwards above to develop, improve, and then rule the virtual game one goal after another.