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In honor of FIFA 18, here’s 5 young talents to build your squad around

With FIFA 18 dropping today, it’s time to cancel those Friday plans, grab a pack of Backwoods, and plenty of hydration for the hours (and days) to come.

You already know it’s basically going to be the same game that EA Sports have put out for years, but obviously there will be some changes to the various game modes to keep you coming back for more.

My personal favorite FIFA mode is the Manager Mode in which you take complete control over a club and lead them to world domination through clever transfer dealings and revamping their youth system. As a soccer nerd, there’s endless intrigue to finding the perfect young players to plug into your FIFA squad and take you to the promised land.

Whether you want to take over Real Madrid, PSG, or Bayern Munich and lead these legendary clubs into a new era, or hoist up the UD Las Palmas and Swanseas of the world to become new superpowers, the options for FIFA glory are endless. But you gotta know who to cop, it’s the most important damn decision you’ll make in your otherwise meaningless life.

With this in mind, I’ve gathered a list of the best and most intriguing young players in the world. While I’ve made this list in honor of the FIFA release, they are also very good in real life too, not that that matters here.

Kylian Mbappe

18-year-old Kylian Mbappe just keeps on doing ridiculous shit. He’s officially “loaned” to PSG this year, but they’ll pick up his €180 million option after next year. While it’ll be hard to actually buy him in FIFA, he’s the best young player in the world BY FAR.

He might even be in the top 10 players overall in the world. What he did on Wednesday in PSG’s 3-0 demolition of German champions Bayern Munich in the Champions League was downright ludicrous.

Starting alongside Neymar and Edinson Cavani in one of the most dangerous attacking tridents ever seen, Mbappe tore Bayern Munich apart.

He made Austrian international David Alaba (one of the best left backs in the world) look like a damn amateur.

Paris Saint-Germain are suddenly must watch TV. Even if they’re playing fuckin’ EA Guingamp or whatever, they have such a mouthwatering collection of talent. PSG are really the Warriors of European soccer.

It’s Kylian Mbappe’s world now, we’re all just living in it.

Marco Asensio

Spain didn’t have to wait long for their new generation of word class players. Just as Iniesta, Xavi, Xabi Alonso, David Villa, Pique et al. entered into various stages of retirement or the twilight of their careers, Spain has produced another round of showstoppers in Isco, Koke, Alvaro Morata, Dani Ceballos, and plenty more.

But the crown jewel of this new generation is Marco Asensio. He just signed a new contract with Real Madrid with a €500 million release clause, so he’ll be pretty expensive in the new FIFA, but a fee may be negotiable as there’s already so much world class talent at Real Madrid.

The 21-year-old attacking midfielder has a magical left foot, launching in goals from wild distances and using his quickness to easily shift past defenders. He’s kind of a more direct version of Mesut Ozil.

Zinedine Zidane must get a headache trying to pick his team for every game, and while the real life version of Real Madrid are intent on holding on to Asensio for the foreseeable future, FIFA Zidane and Real Madrid may be more forgiving.

Christian Pulisic

Oh it’s lit. We finally have THE talent that American soccer fans have been yearning for and it’s in the form of Borussia Dortmund’s 19-year-old Christian Pulisic.

This kid only turned 19 earlier in September and he’s already been given the USA’s number 10 shirt. Not that there was all that much competition for it, but still.

Playing for the high-octane attack of Borussia Dortmund, Pulisic combines his quickness and skill with intensity and a never-ending motor that has become the staple of the German side.

He’s a regular starter for Dortmund and is attracting interest from teams across Europe with the likes of Real Madrid, Liverpool, and Arsenal reportedly interested in the young American.

For now, he’s staying at Dortmund, where he’s been since he was 15, to develop under Peter Bosz. But of course in FIFA you may be able to pry Pulisic away from the Westfalenstadion. You won’t regret it.

American soccer is in safe hands with Pulisic representing the future. Now we just need a couple more Pulisics to really compete at the international level.

Ousmane Dembele

Pulisic’s former partner in crime at Dortmund, 20-year-old Ousmane Dembele was Barcelona’s replacement for Neymar and although the move was met with some skepticism, Dembele is one of the most entertaining players in the world.

He’s completely two-footed, like so two-footed that even he doesn’t know which foot is the strongest. Dembele is probably one of the best dribblers in the world already, despite his age.

He makes defenders look hilariously stupid as his sprints at them and quickly flicks it into space past them.

Dembele is still pretty raw, but his speed and dribbling skills make him a very intriguing option for prospective FIFA buyers. Maybe you’ll want to take over Barcelona and usher them into this new Neymar-less era.

Regardless, Ousmane Dembele is one to watch. Unfortunately in real life, he’s sidelined for a couple months with a hamstring injury. But he’ll be at the top of the soccer world for years. The French national team is going to be an absolute force.

Gabriel Jesus

No list of fire, fun, young soccer players is complete without a Brazilian, so taking that necessary spot here is Manchester City’s 20-year-old Gabriel Jesus.

The striker is a mix of power, speed, and skill that makes him one of the most dangerous young goalscorers in the world.

Man City have a glut of talent in the attacking positions, but manager Pep Guardiola has shown he’s willing to lean on Jesus to provide goals against opponents in the Premier League and Champions League.

Other teams in FIFA career mode always undervalue young talent, especially if they’re lower in the pecking order than an established star.

So Sergio Aguero’s presence at Man City might mean you can pluck Gabriel Jesus away from FIFA Pep’s clutches for a reasonable fee. So if you choose a lower-level team in FIFA, building your attack around Gabriel Jesus could be the ticket to the promised land.

In real life, Aguero’s recent rib injury will mean we’ll be seeing plenty of Gabriel Jesus.

Happy FIFAing, people.