Wonderkids are the lifeblood of Football Manager and avid fans of the series have been busy scouring their saves for the very best young talent since the game’s release.
From obvious names on the fringes of elite clubs, to unearthed gems from humble beginnings, there’s no shortage of starlets on FM23 that can lead your side to glory.
Some of the very best have made real-life moves in the January transfer window, which will make them immediately unattainable once the winter update is released.
Here are six Football Manager wonderkids who moved clubs in January.
Endrick is perhaps the wonderkid of the latest game, following the teenager’s exciting emergence at Palmeiras.
With the right guidance the forward can evolve into world football’s very finest talent, though managers must wait until two seasons into the game before the 16-year-old is eligible to leave Brazil for his next club.
Endrick is going to be incredible for Real Madrid 🔥pic.twitter.com/k70Rw9UzvU
— Football Transfers (@Transfersdotcom) February 5, 2023
Those considering a new save using the winter update will have to wait even longer to sign Endrick, after Real Madrid won the race to sign the Brazilian.
Endrick will move to the Spanish giants in 2024, where he will join a stellar cast of Selecao names that includes Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Eder Militao.
The European champions have agreed an initial fee of €35m for Endrick, who became the second-youngest scorer in the history of the Brazilian top flight when netting a brace against Athletico Paranaense in October 2022.
Andreas Schjelderup has been a must-sign talent on Football Manager 2023, a wonderkid who could be picked up for less than £7m from FC Nordsjælland at the start of your save. With just a little guidance and regular minutes, Schjelderup develops into one of the best wide-men in world football.
The 18-year-old begins the game with scores of 16 for dribbling, first touch, passing, technique, vision, off the ball and anticipation, while his physicals for acceleration (14), agility (14) and pace (14) will grow as he matures.
Andreas Schjelderup to Benfica, here we go and confirmed. Big move for the Norwegian top talent on €10m fee plus add-ons. 🚨🔴🇳🇴 #transfers
Contract until June 2028 as expected, medical this week. Benfica anticipated English clubs on this gem born in 2004. pic.twitter.com/GNFQtX0kyG
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 11, 2023
Those heading for Denmark at the start of a save on the winter update will no longer find Schjelderup lurking in the Danish Superliga however, after the winger completed a January switch to Benfica.
Benfica are understood to have beaten Liverpool in the race to sign Schjelderup, who joins fellow wonderkids Goncalo Ramos and Antonio Silva in Lisbon. His move to Portugal makes Benfica an attractive option for FM23 saves after the winter update, with the foundations already in place to turn 37-time Portuguese champions into contenders in Europe.
Dion Drena Beljo
Dion Drena Beljo might not be a household name in the wider world of football just yet, but for avid fans of Football Manager the Croatian centre-forward is already a firm favourite.
Drena Bejlo is perhaps the perfect FM wonderkid. Cheap, attainable for a wide range of clubs, and almost a guarantee of goals. The 6ft 5in forward begins current saves in the humble surroundings of Osijek, with an asking price of under £3m.
Dion Drena Beljo so far, scored me 44 in 38 with 17 assists at Cardiff to get me promoted, got taken over as we went up by billionaires so built around him, is beautiful
— Kieran Steers ⭐️ (@SteersKieran) February 1, 2023
That fee proves a snip as Drena Beljo develops into a forward capable of scoring goals in Europe’s top leagues, with some of the game’s wealthiest sides often pouncing to snap up the striker. The 20-year-old starts with strong base attributes for finishing (15), jumping reach (15), flair (15), off the ball (14), strength (14) and anticipation (14), talents which can be harnessed into a top centre-forward.
In real life, Drena Beljo has been backed to break into the Croatia side and has taken his first step towards that target after leaving his homeland during the January transfer window. Augsburg have provided the starlet with a chance in the Bundesliga after agreeing a €3m deal with Osijek last month.
Illya Zabarnyi has been a name on the radar of Football Manager fans for some time, following several seasons of in-game wonderkid potential.
The centre-back has already racked up 85 appearances for Dynamo Kyiv and 24 caps for Ukraine at senior level, following an exciting emergence in his homeland.
On FM23, he begins with an impressive core of stats with scores of 15 for tackling, jumping reach and natural fitness, and 14 for positioning, anticipation, composure, concentration, decisions, determination, strength and pace.
Fast forward into your save and Zabarnyi can develop into an elite option at centre-back, with those foundations improving to make a well-rounded defensive rock.
Following the winter update, he will begin at Bournemouth after the Cherries completed a £20m deal for the defender in January. His arrival was announced in brilliant fashion.
Signed, sealed, delivered 🍒 pic.twitter.com/KffmWhKONg
— AFC Bournemouth 🍒 (@afcbournemouth) January 31, 2023
Someone hand that admin a bonus.
Chelsea splashed the cash in an extraordinary window of recruitment, as Todd Boehly’s bonanza continued with more than £300m of new talent arriving at Stamford Bridge.
Mykhaylo Mudryk and Enzo Fernandez were the headline arrivals as Chelsea hoovered up some of Europe’s best young talents, with the arrival of Noni Madueke at Stamford Bridge having gone somewhat under the radar.
The England u21 international has impressed since leaving Tottenham’s academy set-up to sign for PSV, where he scored 20 goals in 80 appearances before returning to English football.
Extremely proud to make my debut for this club.
We’ll keep working & figure it out, @ChelseaFC 💙 pic.twitter.com/hO1v9y6JUo
— Noni Madueke (@NoniMadueke_) February 4, 2023
The 20-year-old has a high ceiling on FM23, beginning with dribbling (17), flair (16), pace (16), acceleration (15), agility (15), technique (15), first touch (15) and composure (15).
Those ingredients make a formidable cocktail for a winger with room still to grow, but prising him from Chelsea on the winter update will be a much more difficult task.
Another cut-price Football Manager gem who made a real-life move in January is Oscar Gloukh, who decided to join the ranks of the wonderkid factory at Red Bull Salzburg.
Gloukh has been a favourite of FM23 players, beginning at Maccabi Tel-Aviv with a starting valuation of just £2m. Just 18 at the start of the game, the midfielder has scores of 15 of technique and composure, alongside a wide-ranging list of fundamentals that can help the teenager develop into a star.
Oscar gloukh is the best wonderkid in this year's fm and I don't think there's really much competition in that
— El Cid (@sidiyer2650) January 28, 2023
After an impressive start to the season that saw Gloukh score four goals and provide eight assists in 17 league appearances for Maccabi Tel-Aviv, he completed a €7m move to Salzburg last month.
The Austrian champions beat off competition from Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund to land the teenager, who scored his first international goal for Israel in November.
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This kid Oscar Gloukh is the next Messi. Potential. Remember my words🔥🔥🔥