Wonderkids in Football Manager are akin to gold dust. Often cheaper than established superstars, they combine talent and potential in a satisfying, youthful package. Watching your cheap signing develop into a genuine superstar is one of the most rewarding aspects of Football Manager and 2016 is no exception, with a wealth of talented youngsters to cast your eye over.
Please keep in mind that Football Manager has randomised elements, including the potential of young players. Though everyone in this list should end up as pretty special, sometimes they won't quite reach greatness. Some players won't appear if you have a small database or if you have omitted certain leagues (always enable Brazil!). For the purposes of this list players valued over £10 million will be ignored because they are usually already established at big clubs and consequently very expensive to buy (for example, Anthony Martial, Kurt Zouma). Many of these players won't be ready to drop straight into your first team, but they are all worth the initial outlay if you have some patience.
Age: 16 Team: Real Madrid
Value: £2.2million Position: AMC
Martin Odegaard is perhaps the most obvious player on this list. The 16-year-old is already a well-known name on account of being the youngest player to represent Real Madrid. While he's still early in his development, it's clear there's real talent and even at the age of 16 he's excellent on the ball. He combines dribbling skills with flair and technique. He can be developed into a deadly playmaker on a par with the likes of Andres Iniesta in his prime, if you can prise him away from Los Blancos.
Age: 18 Team: Anderlecht
Value: £3.9million Position: MC
This Anderlecht academy prospect is due for greatness on the world stage. Tielemans starts out as a jack of all trades midfielder with good passing and strong mental attributes. He's hampered by his physical presence, meaning he'll get bossed around by stronger players if you drop him into a key role in a physical league. But given time he can develop into a wonderful playmaking midfielder with bags of pace. He is also brilliant at taking set-pieces. Think Cesc Fabregas in his Arsenal days.
Age: 19 Team: Flamenco
Value: £1.3million Position: LB/WBL
Brazil tends to produce some of the best attacking full-backs in the world and Jorge is no exception to that rule. He starts out possessing decent pace and acceleration, with above average passing for the position. Given time he can become a force of nature and is natural as both a left-back or wing-back. He's no slouch defensively and is even comfortable (and excellent) on the left of midfield.
Age: 19 Team: Leverkusen
Value: £4.3million Position: CB/RB
Jedvaj is a rare beast of a player who is equally adept as a centre-back or full-back, although you'll likely want to start him on the flank until his attributes develop. He's strong, fairly quick and can develop into a defensive linchpin given time. He can be somewhat difficult to wrestle away from Leverkusen but persistence pays off. A defensive-minded physical monster is your reward. He also has a huge long throw if you're playing with a tall, physical team.
Age: 19 Team: Aston Villa
Value: £9.25million Position: AML
Jack Grealish is likely known to all Premier League followers. But while there has been some concern over his lacklustre start to the 2015/16 season in reality, in Football Manager doubts over his future can be dispelled. Working best as an inside-forward, Grealish is a tricky, team-minded player, who loves to get assists. His lack of pace means he'll never be a traditional winger, but his excellent mental statistics and dribbling skills can earn him a place in any team. English nationality inflates his value as he has the all-important homegrown status if your team is based in England. He's probably the cheapest top-tier English youngster you'll find in the game, but expect to find other teams willing to snap him up.
Age: 17 Team: Stuttgart
Value £1.1million Position: AMC
Another player who needs some development, Ferati doesn't quite have the physical stats to back up his decent technical and mental attributes. He can, however, develop into one of the best dribblers in the world, with technique, dribbling, first touch, agility, flair and vision all developing into very high numbers. Loan him out for a year or two and you're guaranteed an absolute gem of a player best suited to a play-making role behind the strikers. He'll eventually be able to unlock the best defences in the world, either by running at them or with his brilliant vision and passing.
Age: 19 Team: Boca Juniors
Value: £950k Position: DMC
Andres Cubas is an interesting player in that his stats don't quite fit with his role. He's a defensive midfielder with pace and, eventually, wonderful passing and standout mental strength. He has drawbacks, though, in his woeful heading ability, and lack of physical strength. The facts are that he's incredibly cheap (if you can get past work permit issues) and incredibly good all around. His physical weakness (even when developed) is the only thing stopping him being the next Javier Mascherano.
Age: 17 Team: Benfica
Value: £850k Position: MC/AMC
Renato Sanches ticks a whole lot of 'Yes, please!' boxes. Brutal physical stats? Yes. Cheap as chips? Yes. Potential captain? Yes. He's initially touted as an attacking midfielder, but turns into a perfect box-to-box player, with the strength and stamina to close players down and track back. But he does have the pace and vision to offer plenty going forward. He starts out looking pretty average, but quickly develops into a reliable top-class performer.
Age: 18 Team: Schalke
Value: £575K Position: AMC/ST
Don't hold this guy's unpronounceable name against him, he's a born goalscorer. When a striker has 15 finishing and 16 agility at the age of 18, backed up by decent composure and a solid first touch, you just hope he will turn into a monster and Avdijaj has the potential to do so. He's lightweight, terrible in the air and will never track back but is absolutely wonderful at everything else. He can end up capping agility as well. So, if you're concerned with the spectacular, get him trained to try overhead kicks.
Age: 16 Team: Gremio
Value: £100k Position: AML/C
Do you want a Brazilian passing god with pace, skill, vision and perhaps a touch of genius for around £500k? You should buy Lincoln. He starts out with average-to-good stats across the board, with his determination and flair standing out. Those two attributes accentuate his brilliance as a winger capable of everything, except defending. Mentally resilient and with a bag of tricks, Lincoln is that wizard on the wing every team needs. He will have work permit issues, though, so you may need to request a feeder club if you want to sign him early and on the cheap.