FIFA 17: The 13 biggest rating climbers in the winter upgrade

The FIFA 17 winter upgrade is in full flow and some of the season’s best players have been rewarded handsomely. With every upgrade, there are winners and losers.

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Every season, we look forward to the upgrade to see exactly who is on the up (and down). With some surprises already looking to play out over the rest of the season, we look at the individuals behind the success.

Here are some of the players who have played an essential role in their side’s form this season.

Andrea Belotti (Torino)

Former rating: 77

Upgraded rating: 80

The Italian has been on the receiving end of richly deserved media attention over the past few months. His form has seen him linked with all the European powerhouses and it is difficult to find reasons to believe he will still be at Torino next season.

His goalscoring is a key in understanding why Torino have outscored 4th placed Lazio, the impressive Atalanta, both Milan giants and Fiorentina. Only Juventus, Roma and Napoli have scored more than them, in fact. Belotti has singlehandedly forced that.

His 24 goals in 29 appearances this season have warranted him a bump up into the 80s with significant increases in his pace, finishing and attacking positioning. One to watch over the next few years.

Federico Fazio (AS Roma)

Former Rating: 77

Upgraded rating: 80

Tottenham fans won’t have expected this. In fact, anybody who watched Fazio ply his ungainly trade in the Premier League won’t have seen this one coming.

Suddenly an integral part of a prestigious European side, Fazio has excelled in the heart of Roma’s central defence. Still contracted to Tottenham, the Argentinian is finally finding form similar to that of his time at Sevilla and will most probably be looking to make his move to Rome permanent.

Slight bolsters in all of his defensive attributes have seen him climb into the 80s.

Idrissa Gueye (Everton)

Former rating: 76

Upgraded rating: 82

The 27-year-old Senegalese midfielder’s move to Everton was a blessing. With Aston Villa in complete disarray last year, it was difficult for Gueye to prove his ability. Now at Goodison Park, Gueye has been a fundamental part of a new-look Everton midfield.

Not just limited to his defensive capabilities, Idrissa Gueye has found himself central to Everton’s midfield and scored his first Toffees goal in a win against Sunderland just a couple of weeks ago.

The majority of his upgrades have come in attributes tied in with his defensive proficiency and physicality, with his stamina most notably reaching the soaring heights of 90. I don’t think anyone would disagree with this one.

Florian Thauvin (Marseille)

Former rating: 77

Upgraded rating: 81

It’s strange enough to say that a contracted Championship footballer is on loan in the top tier of French football, but even odder when you consider that he is flourishing.

Thauvin, who was less than impressive at Newcastle, has scored eight and assisted five in 33 appearances for Marseille this season. The nimble right winger is still negligent to his defensive duties, but at least his services at the other end are finally coming to fruition.

Underachieving in 6th place, Marseille have been overly reliant on individual performances. Thauvin has seen his successes reward, rising four to 81, with prominent increases in his shooting attributes.

Wylan Cyprien (OGC Nice)

Former Rating: 71

Upgraded rating: 78

If you have seen Nice play this season, you would be really, really impressed. Arguably, the 22-year-old Cyprien has been the star as Nice continue to compete with Monaco and PSG for the Ligue 1 title.

Playing mostly as a central midfielder, the Frenchman has managed to help himself to eight goals and three assists in Ligue 1. If Nice are to keep up their fight, they will be relying on Cyprien to maintain his high energy levels and ability to get forward.

As a result of his goalscoring record, Cyprien has received significant boosts in his shooting, but also in other aspects of his game including his dribbling and physicality. Fittingly, he is now a gold card player.

Lorenzo Pellegrini (Sassuolo)

Former rating: 71

Upgraded rating: 77

Another to have warranted themselves a gold card is 20-year-old Lorenzo Pellegrini. Shunned by Roma in 2015, the Italian centre midfielder has gone on to force a career with Sassuolo. In doing so, he has probably done enough to earn himself a move to one of the Italian elites next season.

With five goals and five assists to his name already, Pellegrini is mostly deployed as a central midfielder. There are trivial concerns regarding his discipline given his red card and five yellows, but the excitement surrounding the young midfielder is unavoidable.

FIFA’s winter upgrade saw him rewarded with an increase of six, with minor increases in almost every aspect of his game.

Roberto Gagliardini (Inter Milan)

Former rating: 61

Upgraded rating: 75

A momentous rise for yet another Italian centre midfielder. Slightly more defensive than Pellegrini, Gagliardini prides himself mostly on his ability to dictate the game and deconstruct opposition defences with cutting through balls.

His boom is meteoric, having spent last season with Serie B side Vicenza Calcio. This year, he started out with Atalanta but earned himself a loan move to Inter Milan with an option to buy in summer. It is rumoured the fee will come close to £30m.

With the pressure of the price tag comes high expectations, all of which Gagliardini is showing the signs of living up to. His FIFA reward is an increase of 14, with momentous increases in his passing, dribbling and physicality. Bronze to gold, not bad.

Maxime Lopez (Marseille)

Former rating: 60

Upgraded rating: 74

Talking of spectacular climbers, Marseille’s Maxime Lopez is another to have been upgraded by 14. Unfortunately for him, he just misses out on a gold card.

The pint-sized 19-year-old midfielder has impressed alongside Florian Thauvin for Marseille but hasn’t quite conjured up the statistics to show for it. With just one goal and five assists to his name, Lopez has fallen slightly out of favour since the re-emergence of Dimitri Payet, but age is still on his side.

FIFA saw it fit to progress his statistics and he has markedly grown as a passer and dribbler, meaning he sits more appropriately in the mid-70s rather than at a rather bare 60.

Tiemoue Bakayoko (AS Monaco)

Former rating: 74

Upgraded rating: 78

Amidst Monaco’s striking power and prowess, there remains a stable foundation that keeps the house from caving in. Mbappe, Falcao and Bernardo Silva reap the rewards, but the likes of Bakayoko remain understated.

The towering Frenchman remains a vital cog in the machine, regularly making vital tackles, interceptions and generally filling in as Monaco’s brick wall. The midfield general has subsequently been linked with Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea. Of course.

These things don’t go unnoticed and as a result, the defensive midfielder who shone at Wembley against Tottenham this season has grown from a 74 into a gold card 78.

Franck Yannick Kessie (Atalanta)

Former rating: 70

Upgraded rating: 75

Atalanta are enjoying a fine season. Central to that is the Ivorian Franck Kessie, who as usual, has found himself linked with the Premier League as a result of his wonderful performances this season.

Primarily a central midfielder, the 20-year-old has notched seven goals and one assist this season, picking up two red cards on the way. His discipline may prove to be an issue of the course of his career, but there is a heap of excitement banded around Kessie with links to fellow African stars Michael Essien and Yaya Toure.

His growth of +5 is well deserved and significant improvements in his physical attributes and passing means he is now a gold card player.

Kasper Dolberg (Ajax)

Former rating: 68

Upgraded rating: 75

The furore surrounding Dolberg this season is well warranted, if not intense. The Danish striker has lead the line all season for Ajax at just 19 years old, proving once more that if you’re an up and coming Northern European prospect, Amsterdam is a good home for you.

Goals have dried up slightly in 2017, but he can still boast 14 goals and nine assists in all competitions for the season so far.

Naturally, he is now a gold card player with attributes specifically in heading and shooting drastically improved upon. We wonder how much longer he will be at Ajax for.

Benjamin Henrichs (Bayer Leverkusen)

Former rating: 65

Upgraded rating: 74

With Bayer Leverkusen’s sporadic form this season, one light has constantly shined; the form of full-back Benjamin Henrichs. At just 20 years old, the German is demonstrating the maturity and composure of a defender in their prime.

A regular feature for Leverkusen, Henrichs has changed position to RB and laid on three assists for his teammates. Most importantly, his defending has jumped from 62 to 71 with other vast improvements in his physical attributes.

And yes, of course, he has subsequently been linked with Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.

Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)

Former rating: 69

Upgraded rating: 74

The American winger, though not a regular feature in Dortmund’s relentless attack, has still managed to charm himself into a winter upgrade. Able to play in any attacking role, the versatile Pulisic has proved to be a convenient impact substitution for Tuchel.

With four goals and seven assists for Dortmund this season, it’s simple to see why FIFA have granted him a bolster into the mid-70s. His pace, for one, has been elevated into the high 80s and 90s. That and his dribbling are the key reasons he now sits on 74.

For future development, it’s safe to say he is in good hands alongside the likes of Marco Reus, Andre Schurrle, Ousmane Dembele, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and co.

 

 

 

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