FIFA Wonderkids, Reality v Consoles

Going to try do a few of these. Picking out those wonderkids we’ve all looked to sign and how they shape up in reality. Games don’t always get it right, as the players will tell you.

Simone Scuffet

Goalkeepers are a right pain to get in FIFA. Finding the right one can be hard. Saying that I actually turned Loris Karius into a superstar and sold him to Bayern for £35 million. No idea how like. I recall from FIFA 16 that this young Italian lad was a superstar and according to all the pundits in real life, he was the next Gigi Buffon, turns out that wasn’t so accurate.

On the game Scuffet has everything you need for a keeper. He’s tall, rangy, good at shot stopping. Great, sign him up. But in reality, its not working. Instead of becoming the next Italian number one, he became a benchwarmer at Udinese. After doing nothing, he went to Como on loan and is now back doing little at Udinese. Shame, this kid was top spot on many pundits ‘keepers to watch’ list over the years, however when I spoke to one football journalist and asked him about Scuffet, he replied with “who?”

Renato Sanches

Remember going crazy for this guy and his barnet at the Euros? He’s still got the dreadlocks and the plaudits, but his career has taken a really interesting turn. After stunning everyone with some amazing performances in Euro 2016 – even taking a record off Ronaldo – Sanches made the move to German giants Bayern Munich from Benfica. Being known for flashy skills, long range thunderbolt goals and a good worker off the ball, Bayern agreed a deal worth a reported €80 million (after additions). Yet Renato struggled to get into the team, facing competition from Xabi Alonso in his last year amongst others and only featured 18 times. Now he’s randomly at Swansea on loan for the year and made his debut in a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle with a performance many compare to Ali Dia’s debut for Southampton. On FIFA, this lad is an essential buy. Pace, power, skills, shooting accuracy, the lot. Just buy him! I managed to get him on a free transfer. What a signing. Will he live up to this in real life? Time will tell.

Maxwell Cornet

I remember watching this lad for France U21’s and was wowed. Pacey as hell and a great winger. FIFA bods thought so too, he’s another one who’s worth picking up for a good fee and training hard to develop. Having started his career at Metz, he made the move to Lyon in 2015 and never looked back. He’s another one of those tricky, fast players who isn’t too scared to cut in or cross if there’s a better option on. Rumour had it that Watford came in for him this summer for £10.5 million. He was also linked with Liverpool as a understudy for Sadio Mane. Maxwell’s versatility added to the attraction as he seemingly can adapt to any position on the front line. He’s still striving for consistency and a weekly starting berth, but making strides. Another highly recommended FIFA buy, but for me, he didn’t develop as much as I thought.

Tin Jedvaz

The 21 year old Croatian right back is the perfect partner to Jose Gaya to balance your full back set up. A bright future, a rapid development and a powerful in game presence, with a cracking cross on him makes Tin another good youth buy. After starting his career with NK Zagreb, before moving yo Dinamo, Tin made a move to Italy with Roma. This only lasted a year though with two appearances for the side before making the move to Bayer Leverkusen where he’s appeared consistently over the years. Clearly highly rated, he was tipped to join Tottenham Hotspur before moving to Roma along with another FIFA wonderkid, Alen Halilovic. In fact, Dinamo president, Mirko Barisic actually said the deal was done at one point. It fell through as Daniel Levy was worried that £17 million for the pair was too much. Roma sold Tin for about £7 million. He’s proved to be a great attacking full back, but a bit of defensive nightmare since. Very much unlike the game.

Jose Gaya

The Valencia left back is one of those who has everything a modern full back should have. Pace, power, accuracy – a really solid buy, who you can get for a reasonable fee. In the real world he made his debut for Valencia in the Copa Del Rey in a 2-0 win over UC Llagostera after being promoted from the B team in 2012. His progress in the side continued and despite some seriously turbulent times in the club’s on and off field situations, he’s racked up 83 appearances as of writing. Now a starter under new manager Nuno Espirito Santo, Gaya recently signed a contract extension until 2020 with a €50 million release clause. He’s been linked with Arsenal and obviously Manchester City, because they seemingly enjoy buying fullbacks.

About the author: John Isherwood
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