As it’s World Cup year the annual scouting for wonderkids and best young players for 2019 can begin in earnest. Because of the trials of PES master League and needing young players to stay with the club throughout your Master League journey, the FIFA World Cup in Russia is the perfect opportunity to get in some early real-world scouting.
Firstly this applies best when playing the traditional PES Master League. This means default players and a brilliant option file. I always recommend www.pesworld.co.uk for the attention to detail that rivals FIFA and in many cases surpasses it. But now, onto the wonderkids and best young players to look out for in PES 2019.
In PES 2018 the star buys could be found in South America, Felipe Vizeu of Flamengo was purchased in one of the early transfer windows and he didn’t disappoint. His pace, finishing ability and knack for finding space in the box, meant he led the line for many seasons with my team. He only got better and better and at 21 years old he should still be on anyone’s radar this year. Other talents like Hirving Lozano of Mexico and Ismaila Sarr of Senegal should be carefully scouted at the World Cup. Players like Kylian Mbappé or previous years favourites Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial may seem like pipe dreams but depending on what way the A.I. of their clubs make decisions you could end up having a star player to build your team around. Last time out I checked the transfer market and Marco Asensio from Real Madrid was available. I put in a bid, somehow afforded the wages and then had a gem of a player to evolve and build around. Young players at big clubs in PES tend to be available early in the game. Closer to home players like Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Ben Woodburn have the combination of pace and finishing that you need in the second division of the Master League.
Midfield in PES is where the game is won and lost. You need to balance your different types more so than in any other football game. In PES I like to play with five in midfield. Two, goal scoring wingers, a creative to pick a pass, a destroyer to do the dirty work and a defensive midfielder who can control the game in the popular pivot position. As you can imagine it takes a few seasons to get the balance right. The most important thing is to identify any default players who can fit the bill until you can get a few wonderkids or experienced choices in there. For more central positions I usually look to South America but having watched Ryan Sessegnon, Jack Grealish and James Maddison at length in the Championship, they should be on everybody’s list to fill the scoring winger positions. For the ball playing defensive midfielder the number one choice should be Rodrigo Bentancur of Juventus. I used him as the pivot last year and he almost has every natural trait built in. All he needs is game time to develop into one of the very best midfielders in the game. To fill out the midfield, I went for Reuben Loftus-Cheek on a free transfer and Jeff Reine- Adelaide from Arsenal. Adelaide especially turned into a £30 million player. He hasn’t progressed as quickly in real life so will definitely be another player I purchase this year and for the foreseeable future. Loftus-Cheek, on the other hand, has a place in the England squad and could see his stock go through the roof with a good showing at the World Cup. A good rule of thumb in Midfield is checking the youth teams of Arsenal and Chelsea as they are known for snapping up young talent. Julian Brandt was identified by my scout in PES 2018 as a star player and he should be the same this year especially as he was picked over Leroy Sané of Manchester City.
Defenders in PES are vitally important. A good defender’s positional sense will turn your whole season around and at least mitigate the frightening ability of the A.I. when you are just starting out. You should look for tall, ball playing centre-backs from European countries. Last time out Reece Oxford of West Ham at 19 was as good a centre-back as was needed. His pace, height and positioning turned defeats and draws into wins. Premier League teams have a massive squad of talented youngsters and with AI controlling them they may put some up for sale. Tottenham Hotspur’s Cameron Carter Vickers, Issa Diop, who has just moved to West Ham, Emanuel Mammana of Zenit, and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander Arnold are all players who could captain your Master League team from cradle to grave. Looking further afield Italian, Eastern Europe and South America may give you what you are looking for. A ball playing centreback is rare, but a quick look through the licensed South American teams usually yields great results.
Of course, the target is AC Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma. The best goalkeeper in the world at his age group and the natural successor to Buffon. Unfortunately, he is hard to get so shorter-term options like Udinese’s Simone Scuffet Sam Johnstone of Manchester United or the Belgian Mile Svilar have the potential to be just as good depending on minutes played. The thing about keepers in PES is no matter what they are like they are always an improvement over the default keepers and a solid one will keep you in the games and rack up the points in your push for promotion.
Remember there are no right or wrong answers in the Master League as your style of play dictates which kind of young players you go for. Just have fun take a few real-world notes and enjoy seeing a young player you discover hit the big time in the real world as you are controlling him in game.
That is the first part of our usual PES 2019 coverage. Join us around the release date for review and the annual FIFA comparison.