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Ian

Ian’s Young Gems


· Posted (edited)

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Welcome to my first ever article. I’ve put in a lot of hours playing this years game and have completed multiple challenges which has seen me manage in a good few countries and manage a wide variety of players.

I thought I’d share a few of the younger players I’ve used that have exceeded my expectations and turned into decent players. Whilst these boys are not wonderkids or superstars they have all done a good job for me and a few I wouldn’t hesitate to place in a top team right from the off.

Obviously this would appear to be solely about the players in question but I have a slightly different motive as with the game now being old in its yearly cycle sometimes we the user can lose motivation to play and I’m trying to get you thinking and hopefully give you a few ideas for potential saves you could do.

I thought I’d present the players in a team line up and then go through each player individually so here goes.

Please note that to get all these players to appear in your game you will need to select the top two leagues in England, Germany, Portugal and South Korea and depending on which club you choose to manage you may encounter work permit issues on a few of them.

Ian’s Young Gems

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Aaron Ramsdale - Goalkeeper

Team - Bournemouth

Cost - £3-6m

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This lad is the least tested of my boys as I’ve only actually used him in one short save which was actually a challenge where I had to try and get him to score goals. Although I had the option of using him outfield I mixed it up and he was impressive when I had him in goal and he actually scored five goals in half a season with Portsmouth in League One. Three of those five goals were from free kicks so he may make a good choice of goalie for the Rogério Ceni challenge. You can see he’s got decent attribute numbers in Aerial, Handling, Kicking and Reflexes but his Throwing at only 3 is poor so might be a good idea to focus your training there if you take a punt on him.

In the real world he’s currently employed by Bournemouth but hasn’t played a competitive game for them as he’s had a couple of loan spells away from the club. Firstly he went to Chesterfield in January 2018 where he scored a horrible own goal on his debut but he followed that up with a clean sheet in his next game which shows he can bounce back after calamity.

Fast forward to January 2019 where he was loaned out to Wimbledon for the remainder of the season and performed really well for them in winning the clubs Young Player of the Year award. It’ll be interesting how he develops over the next few years and whether he can go on to being a decent Premiership level keeper.

Lewis Travis - Right Full Back

Team - Blackburn Rovers

Cost -  £3-6m

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Lewis actually played for Liverpool in his younger days but left the club in 2014 and joined Blackburn Rovers where he’s so far made 31 first team appearances. He’s a versatile player who can play in midfield or at full back. I signed him on my Queen’s Park career where I took the club from amateur status all the way to Champions League winners and he was an important first team player in that side.

Here he is in 2025.

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So we can see he’s a decent player and it looks as if he’s still improving. He has a lot of attribute numbers in the 13-14 range which could quite easily rise to 15 green level with better facilities and then he’d be rather good.

Josh Earl - Left Full Back

Team - Preston North End

Cost - £3-6m

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He currently plays for Preston North End having spent his entire youth career at the club where he actually played in defence, midfield and as a striker.

On FMM 19 his starting attributes aren’t anything special but you can see he has some promise with his Pace already at 14. I used him at Queen’s Park and on my first save of FMM 2019 whilst managing Sunderland and he turned into a great left wing back with all green for the key attributes needed for the role in Crossing, Dribbling, Positioning, Pace and Stamina.

Scott McKenna - Central Defender

Team - Aberdeen

Cost - £3-13m

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I wasn’t sure whether to include this lad as I’m sure a few of you will have used him but I felt I had to because he’s an absolute steal as he usually only costs a few million at the beginning of the game.

He has great attributes to play centre back with 14+ in all the main attributes needed for the role in Aerial, Tackling, Decisions, Positioning and Strength. He also has green level for pace which is great if you are planning on playing a high defensive line and with his Passing, Dribbling and Technique all being decent he can play the Ball Playing Defender role pretty well right from the off.

In real life he’s currently playing for Aberdeen where he’s made 70 first team appearances and scored 5 goals. Celtic came calling in August 2018 with a bid of £3.5m which was rejected and later in the same month Aston Villa had a larger bid rejected so it looks like Aberdeen are going to have trouble keeping hold of him in the next few years.

Luka Racic - Central Defender

Team - Brentford

Cost - £1-3m

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A young Danish defender who came through the Copenhagen Academy and played for the club at youth level until he signed for Brentford in 2018 where he’s made 2 appearances so far.

He doesn’t look fantastic on FMM 19 but I think he’s one of those players that plays better than you’d expect when looking at his attributes. His Strength attribute at just 9 stands out as a weakness so that’s an area to maybe focus your training on if you do decide to try him.

Here he is in 2025.

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You can see he’s improved a great deal and even though he still doesn’t look fantastic his season average rating of 7.29 in a Champions League winning side shows he usually performs well on the pitch.

Matheus Jesus - Deep Lying Playmaker

Team - Estoril

Cost - £5-10m

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I really like this player and he always shows up in my searches. I used him in my Sunderland save where he became a top player. At 21 you can see the potential as he’s already got good numbers in most of the key attributes to be a decent midfielder. Good numbers in all the Physical attributes, Passing, Decisions, Creativity, Movement, Positioning and Tackling. Even his Technique and Teamwork are high which is great as it’s difficult to get those to rise on this years game. The only annoying thing for me is his Leadership at only 5 as I generally like the players at the base of midfield to have a good number there but it’s an attribute that should rise as he gets older.

He’s currently contracted to Estoril of Portugal but hasn’t played a game for them as he’s been loaned out a few times over the last couple of years. In May 2019 he joined Corinthians on loan until December with a buy out clause added into the deal so I’ll be watching with interest as to what happens with him over the next few years.

Lewis Ferguson - Box to Box Midfielder

Team - Aberdeen

Cost - £1-4m

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Lewis Ferguson currently plys his trade at Aberdeen and has played in 33 competitive games and scored 6 goals. He actually began his youth career at Rangers before transferring to Hamilton Academical in 2013 and eventually graduating from their academy in 2018. After impressing in his first few games in the first team Aberdeen showed interest and with him being out of contract in the summer of 2018 they offered him a deal and snapped him up.

His first goal for Aberdeen was a fantastic overhead kick against Burnley in the second leg of a Europa League tie which they unfortunately went on to lose. In May 2019 he was nominated for PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year award which was eventually won by Ryan Kent but it shows he’s certainly one for the future.

On FMM 19 he looks like a decent prospect with some good starting attribute numbers in Stamina, Aggression, Passing, Decisions, Movement, Technique and Teamwork and you can easily see him developing into a fantastic player.

I used him in one of my earlier saves where I took Fleetwood Town to the top and he was an important squad player in that side.

Bruno Costa - Advanced Playmaker

Team - Porto B

Cost - £2-6m

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This lad was the main playmaker in my successful Queen’s Park side a few years into the game but looking at his starting attributes at 21 years old and you just wouldn’t be able to predict what kind of player he would go on to become.

Here he is in 2025.

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He’s now a nice player with some good attribute numbers in Pace, Passing, Decisions, Crossing, Movement and Technique and he’d make a great first team player in a weaker league or squad player at a big club in a stronger league. I played him mostly as an Advanced Playmaker in the CM strata which is why his average rating is nothing special as that role can be funny in my opinion but trust me he did his job. He can play on either wing and may be even better in those positions.

In real life he plays for Porto B but you’d expect him to break into the A team over the next few years.

Che Adams - Right Inside Forward

Team - Birmingham City

Cost: £8-15m

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This lad currently plays for Birmingham City having started his senior career in non league football at Oadby Town. He’s a pacey player and can play anywhere in the final third. For City he’s scored 34 goals in 116 games at Championship level.

On FMM 19 he’s usually available for a reasonable fee and I wouldn’t hesitate in bringing him straight to a decent English Premier League club to ease into the first team over a few seasons.

Here he is in 2025.

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Some rather nice attribute numbers there with great Physicals, Dribbling, Movement and Shooting. I used him as an Inside Forward on the right and he was the main man in my Champions League winning Queen’s Park team.

Here he is scoring a brace in the Champions League final against Milan.

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Tim Handwerker - Left Winger

Team - FC Köln

Cost - £5-10m

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Tim is just one of the many decent wide players available from the German leagues. I bought him in my Double Trouble challenge attempt whilst managing Ajax and he was great for me. He can play in any position on the left flank and could probably be retrained to play any position on the right without much trouble. He doesn’t look amazing at the start of the game by any stretch of the imagination but with attribute number 14 for both Pace and Crossing there’s plenty of promise there.

In the real word he’s currently playing for FC Koln but hasn’t properly broken into the first team yet and has just had a loan spell in Holland at FC Groningen.

Jun Se-Jin - Poacher

Team - Suwon

Cost - £1-2m

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I just couldn’t create this team without including this boy. He was one half of my successful Double Trouble duo that combined to score 1200 goals at Ajax in the Dutch league. Not content with that he also went on to score over 1000 club goals himself in a fantastic career that’s still ongoing.

I was looking for a player I hadn’t heard of or seen anybody else use for the challenge when my searches put this lad up. The main selling point for me was his Pace at 15 and decent numbers in Shooting and Movement for a youngster.

Here he is in 2028.

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He’s now got big numbers in Pace, Strength, Shooting, Movement and Aerial which basically means he’s a beast. He’d scored 575 club career goals at this stage and wasn’t showing any signs of letting up as you can see below with him knocking in seven goals in one game in 2031.

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Well that’s the team and I hope you enjoyed reading through my choices. As I said at the beginning my motive for creating this wasn’t solely about showcasing the players it was more about hopefully getting you thinking. Maybe this will give you an idea of a save you might want to try and get you to play the game slightly differently which can often reinvigorate the game.

Anyway, if any of you have used any of the boys I’d love to hear how they performed for you or maybe you’d like to share some of the gems you’ve found so feel free to do so in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading and thanks you to @Foxy for creating the tidy header graphic.

Edited by 1759

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Brilliant article Ian and I loved how you told us how they’re getting on in real life. Racic doesn’t look like my sort of player but big fan of Che Jesus and bruno

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I'm only here for the Brentford, so pleasantly surprised to see us get a mention! Luka came in for a couple of games towards the end of the season and looked decent, will be interesting to see if he can push on next year.

I've got a feeling I don't like Earl but can't really remember him - but Che Adams is definitely one of those that baffle us bees as he looks a total crybaby donkey against us, regularly, often falling over and looking for free-kicks etc. Not a fan (in real life).

Great piece in any case!

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Great writeup mate📝✏️

McKenna is a beast always delivers for me👌👌

Never used Jun Se-Jin but has seen  him in your DT save and the progress he has made is amazing. 

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1 hour ago, Gunners Rishi said:

Brilliant article Ian and I loved how you told us how they’re getting on in real life. Racic doesn’t look like my sort of player but big fan of Che Jesus and bruno

Yeah Racic was a surprise package for me too. Even after we got to the top of Scotland and into latter stages of Champions League most years I was still shopping in the bargain basement and he came cheap. Anyway he played really well but I was always trying to replace him but the replacements just never played as well as him for some reason and even players with better attributes.

Jesus is one that can be hard to get a work permit for, well if you’re an English team anyway as I managed to get him in my Sunderland save but failed to on a few other occasions with other clubs.

1 hour ago, Mr Tree said:

I'm only here for the Brentford, so pleasantly surprised to see us get a mention! Luka came in for a couple of games towards the end of the season and looked decent, will be interesting to see if he can push on next year.

I've got a feeling I don't like Earl but can't really remember him - but Che Adams is definitely one of those that baffle us bees as he looks a total crybaby donkey against us, regularly, often falling over and looking for free-kicks etc. Not a fan (in real life).

Great piece in any case!

What about your other Dane in Henrik Dalsgaard, what do you think of him? I ask as I used him as my wing back for Southampton in my Shane Long challenge attempt and he was very good at Premiership level for me.

3 minutes ago, Ran7777 said:

Great writeup mate📝✏️

McKenna is a beast always delivers for me👌👌

Never used Jun Se-Jin but has seen  him in your DT save and the progress he has made is amazing. 

Thanks, Yeah McKenna is great and I’m sure he also was on last years game so I’m really wondering what’s going to happen with him in real life.

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· Posted (edited)

I think McKenna's main role in real life is winding up that loonie who plays for rangers (I've forgotten his name now) and getting him sent off :D

Dalsgaard... Well 1) he's not our "other Dane", half the bloody squad and our manager is. I was gonna say, as well as Racic, we've got Mads Bech at the back who looks a good prospect, plus Marcondes who was desperately unlucky with injuries last year, and we've just signed Norgaard from Fiorentina who could be the midfielder we've been looking for for ages.

But yeah 2) Henrik had a rotten period in the middle of the year, fatigue from the World Cup and new baby catching up with him. But he had a storming second half of the season, with our switch to wing-backs from a flat back 4 suiting him well. Not sure if he'll stick around, he only has one year on his contract, but I'd be happy if he does stay :)

Edited by Mr Tree

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Lovely article Ian, and I swear you only included Handwerker for the laughs! 

Plenty of value out there. I love how you got your DT with two relatively unknowns.

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Some nice finds there mate, I used to love finding these hidden gems but I just don't play enough anymore but thanks for bringing these to my attention! 

Handwerker 

giphy.gif

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Great thread mate. Used a few of these but some i havnt that you managed  to turn into solid players.

 

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12 hours ago, Foxy said:

Great debut article with some great looking players and detail.

Handwerker 🤭

Thank you and I was waiting for the mention of Tim and you haven’t disappointed.😁

12 hours ago, Rob said:

Lovely article Ian, and I swear you only included Handwerker for the laughs! 

Plenty of value out there. I love how you got your DT with two relatively unknowns.

I had a bit of a chuckle when he came up in my searches which might’ve swayed me into buying him but he proved his worth over many great years of service.

I’ve since been reading up on Jun Se-Jin and he seems like he is a bit of a prospect and I’m wondering if he’ll find his way onto to the wonderkid list next year.

8 hours ago, Ashez said:

Some nice finds there mate, I used to love finding these hidden gems but I just don't play enough anymore but thanks for bringing these to my attention! 

Handwerker 

giphy.gif

Thank you, what a boy he is and he won’t let you down.

1 hour ago, Woody said:

Great thread mate. Used a few of these but some i havnt that you managed  to turn into solid players.

 

Cheers, most of them would be great players in a weaker league but a few might make first team level at a big club in a strong league. 

All would make fantastic squad players at any club though for me.

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Just out of interest Ian, in terms of scout reports on these boys, particularly your Korea, how did they fare?

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3 hours ago, Rob said:

Just out of interest Ian, in terms of scout reports on these boys, particularly your Korea, how did they fare?

I never scouted them before I signed them so it’ll interesting to see what comes up if I scout them whilst managing Liverpool.

Here’s the Korean.

Spoiler

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Not thought of very highly. I can vouch for the struggling in important matches as he occasionally would fire blanks in some big Champions League games. Very rarely injured makes sense as he only had the odd little injury in some seasons and think 1 month might’ve been his longest lay off.

I’ll do a few more later and if I notice anything with them I’ll put them up but if the Korean is deemed this poor then can’t think some of the others will be highly thought of but I know these reports can change all the time.

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On 13/08/2019 at 16:51, Ali Gülkaynak said:

I'm going to use Jun Se-Jin hahaha

He’s a nice little player. Not a total world beater but in the right league he’s lethal.

14 minutes ago, Roman.F2P said:

Great piece!! That 7 goals screen shot is sick!! Do you mind to share tactic on it?

Thanks, it was from my double trouble attempt that turned into a 1kc. The rules of those challenges state that you have to come up with your own tactic so I won’t be posting my set up on here as that could limit people who might see it but want to come up with their own. 

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What a post. I love it how you say they are doing in real life. These players are pretty cheap, maybe i could use them in a wonderkid save. 

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