The key to conquering Career Mode on FIFA 17 is to identify and then sign young players with immense potential before their promising performances attract the attentions of your rivals.
When it comes to developing footballers, few countries do it better than Germany who have received plenty of acclaim over the past decade for revitalising their previously ailing academy system.
A 5-1 hammering at home to England in 2001 led to a thoroughly introspective look into German football’s failings. Money was pumped into football academies across the country in an attempt to instigate a new wave of world-class talent. Suffice to say, it worked.
Since the 2006 World Cup on home soil, Germany have remarkably reached the semi-final stage, at least, in every major competition, even managing to win football’s showpiece event in Brazil in 2014.
Throughout that time, there has been a gradual drip-feeding into the national team of technically adept players in every position on the pitch and so far, there are no signs of the production line drying up.
Currently, there are loads of up-and-coming talents playing regularly in the Bundesliga but Squawka has selected six of the very best for you to sign on FIFA 17.
Current ability: 74
Potential ability: 86
The Bayer Leverkusen full-back truly made his breakthrough this season despite making his debut back in 2015. Still aged just 19, Henrichs is a regular for Bayer’s first team and put in an outstanding performance as the German side beat Tottenham at Wembley.
Having already earned a cap for Germany, Henrichs value is rapidly increasing and he just recently earned an upgrade on FIFA 17.
Able to play as either an LB or RB and with a four-star weak foot, the adaptable defender is rated well across the board possessing 70s in speed, agility, tackling, passing, dribbling and crossing.
A true gem worth developing into a world class full back.
Current ability: 68
Potential ability: 84
Clearly, Phillip Lahm’s lasting legacy was to service the development of the new era of versatile German full-backs. Plying his trade at Borussia Dortmund, Passlack isn’t playing 90 minutes regularly but is still predicted to be a real asset for his club in coming years.
The 18-year-old Passlack is still a utility player in Tuchel’s plans and is most known for his goal in the miracle that was Dortmund 8-4 Legia Warsaw.
Rated at just 68, Passlack can grow into a powerful, agile and balanced RB. Like Henrichs, Passlack has a 4-star weak foot and can switch to both RM and LB.
Once again, a quintessentially resourceful German.
Current ability: 77
Potential ability: 87
Remember him? Ousted by Arsenal and labelled a disappointment, Gnabry sought pastures new at Werder Bremen and is finding life much easier at home.
With seven goals already this season, Gnabry is used by Bremen as a central or left attacking midfielder. When his form earned him a senior call-up, the ex-Arsenal winger notched a hat-trick against the lowly San Marino. He also scored six in six as Germany won silver at the Olympic Games in Brazil.
Since coming of age back in Germany, Gnabry has been both linked with a return to Arsenal and with a move to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, highlighting just how exciting his displays for Werder have been.
Able to play as LM or RM, the 21-year-old is exceptionally quick with added bonuses of balance, show power and particularly excellent dribbling.
Current ability: 76
Potential ability: 85
As a teenager, Werner was frequently linked with Premier League sides but as the striker struggled to reach 10 goals in a season, rumours died down.
Werner reached a deal to sign for RB Leipzig in the summer and has almost equalled his three-year tally of goals for Stuttgart in just half a season with his high-flying new club. Already on 10 goals with Bundesliga’s second-placed side, Werner is regularly playing, scoring and increasing his worth.
The 20-year-old is rated in the 90s for both sprint speed and acceleration and scores 78 with his finishing. Able to develop as a finisher, dribbler and passer, Werner is a particularly handy striking option with the potential to grow into a mid-to-high 80s.
Current ability: 75
Potential ability: 85
The Mainz 05 midfielder is the grandson of German legend Uwe Seeler who was an integral member of the West Germany side that ‘controversially’ lost 4-2 to England in the 1966 World Cup Final.
Born to a Turkish father, Oztunali has represented Germany from Under-15 level up to U21s. Having spent his youth career in Hamburg, Oztunali bounced from Leverkusen to Bremen before finally settling at Mainz.
Now an important first teamer, the winger is rated well on FIFA. With a sprint speed of 85 and dribbling of 80, Oztunali possesses the ball control all wingers need.
Competent and efficient in all areas of the attacking game, Oztunali is a wise investment at just €6.5m.
Current ability: 63
Potential ability: 84
The 17-year-old has just this season broken into Leverkusen’s first-team plans. At a club renowned for their development of young players, Havertz is in the good company of Julian Brandt, Benjamin Henrichs and Jonathan Tah.
Still used as a utility player in a variety of positions, Havertz is yet to have matured into a position and he has received little mainstream attention. His potential has been realised by FIFA, however, but his original stats are ordinary if we are being honest.
Either a CM or RM, Havertz can reach the heights of the mid-80s and is available at less than €1m, making him a perfect option for a low-budget club.
Work is needed particularly on his stamina, passing, crossing and especially finishing if you want to mould Havertz into a sincere threat. A very raw prospect but a potential world-beater.