Turkish Wonderkids in FM 2018

Football Managers from all around the world have so many reasons to get excited. Since it has been revealed that the game will come out on October 10th, FM 2018 hits the headlines every day for a lot of reasons: new features, price, licences, FM Touch,… And of course, the wonderkids.

If you are a fan of FM or any other football management game, you already know how important these young and promising players are. Indeed, wonderkids are probably the most valuable assets in FM games, as well as other football management games. Once you have a wonderkid in your squad, you’d be pretty sure that you’ve made a long-term investment and he’ll live up to his potential in coming years. You should keep him happy.

What is a “wonderkid” by the way? For those who are new to football management games, let’s try to come up with an easy and understandable definition: A “wonderkid” is a player with high potential ability who are not older than 20 years. When talking about “high potential ability”, we mean the player should have at least 150 PA (Personal Ability).

Since Turkey is undergoing the painful (and rather long) process of building its next generation after the one that helped them to succeed in 2002 FIFA World Cup (bronze medal) and Euro 2008 (played SFs), the nation comes up with young and talented players during the last couple of years. These players are also on the spotlights for FM players who are hunting for young talents as well as the real-life clubs.

There is likely to be two Turkish wonderkids in FM 2018. To provide you with additional depth before the game comes out in October 10th, let’s zoom in on each of them:

Cengiz Ünder (Roma)

Born in 14 July 1997, Cengiz Ünder plays in forward/winger position. What differentiates Ünder from many other young talents in his generation is that he is neither born in Germany or raised up there. That’s one of the many reasons why all Turkish football players have high expectancies for him.

He was raised by Bucaspor and played there during 2007-2013 until he was transferred to Altınordu, a club famous for its youth setup and raising future stars. He turned professional in Altınordu and scored 11 games in 51 matches. Başakşehir FK, who emerged as a super team recently, signed him to a one-year contract worth 700K Euros. Ünver had the opportunity to have his first experience in top-flight football with Başakşehir and played 32 matches with his club, including three UEFA Europa League appearances. It’s safe to say that he performed well for a rookie having scored 9 goals along with 7 assists in a total of 43 appearances in 2016-17 season. Ünver also called up to Turkish national team and scored 2 goals in 4 caps.

Young Ünver attracted the attention of many clubs in Turkey as well as abroad especially for his dribbling skills and his self-esteem. In the end, Roma signed him on a 5-year contract for €13.4 million fee. So far he had three appearances with his new club and he hasn’t score yet. It’s a long-term investment on Roma’s part and it will be very exciting to see if it will pay off in the long run. Meanwhile, do not miss the opportunity to have Ünver in your squat if you can, you won’t regret it!

By the way, since Roma appears in many of them, do not be surprised if you hear his name in Virtual Football Leagues on online betting sites in Turkish. If you like to take a short break from FM but cannot do it without football, Virtual Football is a great alternative: go for an online betting website, sign up and bet on virtual football matches that you can actually watch the game video (just like in FM 18). And there’s an additional incentive – you make real money!

Berke Özer (Altınordu)

If you know how to use them, goalkeepers can make a real difference in FM or any other football games. You can get a youngster for a cheap price and put him behind a solid defensive line to polish him and at a later stage in the game you can sell him to make a good profit. Or you can opt to pay millions to a first-class goalkeeper to be safe.

17-year-old Turkish goalkeeper Berke Özer will be one of the wonderkids under the spotlights this season. He plays for Altınordu (same club for which Cengiz Ünver played for) at the moment and the reason why he suddenly attracted the attention of biggest football clubs from Europe (e.g. Manchster City) and football fans is simply because he played an amazing tournament with Turkish U-17 National Football Team that reached SFs in U-17 European Championships. He also received a call-up to the Turkish National Team recently. We are most likely to see that Özer will make his name known in national and international level.

…and others

Here’s a shortlist of the other wonderkids in Football Manager 2018:

Moise Kean (Juventus)
Jadon Sancho (Borissia Dortmund)
Dan-Axel Zagadou (Bourssia Dortmund)
Alexander Isak (Bourssia Dortmund)
Kasper Dolberg (Ajax)
Justin Kluivert (Ajax)
Jesus Vallejo (Real Madrid)
Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)
Jan-Fiete Arp (Hamburger SV)
Jose Gomes (Benfica)
Christian Fruchtl (Bayern Munchen)
Amine Gouiri (Olympique Lyonnais)
Billy Gilmour (Glasgow Rangers)
Abel Ruiz (Barcelona)
Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham)
Phil Foden (Manchester City)