A new year is upon us and, as such, EA Sports are looking to refresh FIFA 19 for the second half of the season.
On top of the expected winter upgrades and updated transfers, EA Sports have announced a new batch of cards for Ultimate Team: ‘Future Stars’.
FUT Future Stars is a collection of 21 players under the age of 23 to have shown high potential and on the cusp of breaking into mainstream football this season, without yet becoming established global stars.
The cards are then given a rating based on the level EA Sports predict they will reach if they fulfil their potential.
Top of the pile, with a rating of 92, is Real Madrid’s young forward Vinicius Jr. The 18-year-old Brazilian is currently 77-rated but boasts five-star skill moves and his Future Stars card could be the most sought-after of the bunch.
Vinicius is joined on 92 by Matthijs De Ligt, the Dutch teenager everyone wants in the summer with Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich just three names among a huge list of potential suitors.
Borussia Dortmund teenager Jadon Sancho is one of four English Future Stars included, boasting the highest rating of 90, ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Phil Foden and Dominic Calvert Lewin.
Matteo Guenduozi, who has enjoyed a good debut season with Arsenal, completes the Premier League’s four-man line-up with a rating of 87.
But just how good are these cards going to be? And who are we looking forward to playing with? Read on to find out.
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) January 18, 2019
1. Vinicius Junior (92)
Club: Real Madrid
Strongest attribute: 99 agility
The 18-year-old Brazilian boasts an already impressive normal card with 93 pace and five-star skill moves. That has been boosted to 96 pace on his Future Stars which, when accompanied by 95 dribbling, makes Vinicius a must have on the left wing.
2. Matthijs de Ligt (92)
Strongest attribute: 99 shot power
Both in-game and real life, De Ligt is an all-round solid defender and his Future Stars card makes for good viewing. Let down slightly in-game by his league, De Ligt can still be a stunning partner for Van Dijk at the heart of a strong defence with good chemistry. And that shot power!
3. Jadon Sancho (90)
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Strongest attribute: 99 agility
Jadon Sancho has completed more take-ons (41) than any other player in the Bundesliga so far this season.
Teenage talent tearing up the top tier. 💨 pic.twitter.com/inrdnd0Ttq
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 21, 2018
England’s darling is another man to seriously overpower the wings with five-star skill moves, 95 pace and 94 dribbling.
Sancho is just as deadly when it comes to forcing goals with 91 finishing and 93 passing – EA Sports have clearly been paying close attention to the Bundesliga this season.
4. Arthur (90)
Strongest attribute: 97 short passing
Not everything in FIFA 19 is about pace, as wonderful as it is. Barcelona’s Arthur has everything to be the key man in midfield with 97 short passing and 94 vision.
Put this card at the heart of your midfield and nothing can possibly go wrong.
5. Trent Alexander-Arnold (89)
Strongest attribute: 99 crossing (David Beckham, who?)
The inaugural Trophée Kopa top 10.
Do not sleep on these names. 🔮 pic.twitter.com/eXXDTVCV3B
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) December 5, 2018
Having finished second only to the aforementioned De Ligt in the 2018 Golden Boy, it’s no surprise to see Alexander-Arnold make the list.
The 20-year-old’s Future Stars card may have 91 pace, but it is by no means his best stat. That comes in his 99-rated crossing – in addition to 90 long passing – which makes the right-back a must have in defence.
Combine him with team-mate Van Dijk and the Golden Boy winner and your unbeatable defence is almost complete.
6. Rodrigo Bentancur (89)
Strongest attribute: 99 short passing
Sometimes, all you need from a midfielder to be perfect is exquisite passing, and that’s exactly what comes with Bentancur’s Future Stars card.
The Uruguayan is a master passer with 99 short passing and 98 stamina, ensuring the Juve CM will be just as good in minute 90 as he is at kick-off.
7. Alejandro Grimaldo (88)
Strongest attribute: 96 curve
Is there nothing this Grimaldo card can’t do? The left-back has good pace, dribbling, defending and passing with 96 curve ready to cause serious problems in attack.
The Portuguese league may be a slight put off, but his nationality gives Grimaldo the perfect opportunity to link with some of La Liga’s best defenders.
8. Dayot Upamecano (88)
Club: RB Leipzig
Strongest attribute: 99 strength
Adebayo Akinfenwa, who? With 99 strength at 6’1″, to add to 88 pace, the up-and-coming Upamecano may just be unbeatable in defence with his Future Star card.
Links to some of the biggest French and Bundesliga clubs could see Upamecano be one of the favourite cards of the bunch.
9. Luka Jovic (88)
Club: Eintracht Frankfurt
Strongest attribute: 99 heading
Of the Future Stars striking options, Jovic is the best. An all-round beast, the 21-year-old boasts 95 shot power and 91 finishing but with 99 heading, The Serb will give even the best Icon centre-back a run for his money.
10. Ferland Mendy (87)
Strongest attribute: 95 acceleration
Back to a pacy full-back, Ferland Mendy has caused problems for Ligue 1 wingers this season and can do the same in FUT with his Future Stars card. Despite being let down slightly by his passing and finishing, Mendy can be at the heart of quick counter-attacks when put in the right position.
Fans give their honourable mentions
Despite the hype surrounding the cards, and the excitement in playing with the Future Stars, not everyone was happy.
The absence of Chelsea’s U17 World Cup winner, Callum Hudson-Odoi, caused particular outrage.
My man. pic.twitter.com/Tth2tv6H0B
— Abrar_Łampard (@AbrarLampard) January 18, 2019
— Jay (@jayhawkins97) January 18, 2019
Not a single United player smh. Gomes > Guendouzi.
— Dunny 👹 (@DunnyTWD) January 18, 2019
— Outrageous Ox 👀 (@OxOutrageous) January 18, 2019
No Tahith? Pathetic
— 𝔸𝔻𝔸𝕄 🔱 (@MagicMxrtial11) January 18, 2019
— Inter de Milão Depre (@InterDyLimao) January 18, 2019
No de Jong?!!!!!!!
— AFCA (@AFCACBS2410) January 18, 2019
You’re missing the David Brooks 203 overall card, please explain.
— Official TNS hatred account (@Ben_Dudley010) January 18, 2019
— T H I C C (@BigGingerBoy1) January 18, 2019
— Harry🦅🔴💙 (@ObiWanBissakaa) January 18, 2019
Guendouzi is a funny way of spelling Wan Bissaka.
— Matt (@Matt_Woody13) January 18, 2019
Though fear not Crystal Palace fans, you can still vote for Aaron Wan-Bissaka to be the Fan’s Future Stars card by logging into FUT this weekend. The full-back is up against Allan Saint-Maximin, Reiss Nelson, Krzysztof Piatek and Brahim Diaz for the slot.