FIFA 21 hidden gems deliver conclusive, inarguable proof that you never need to spend real money on FIFA Points. While meta teams remain a tedious ever-present in weekend league, it’s possible to be highly competitive in FIFA 21without joining the pay-to-win contingent – simply by shopping for players who cost 3,000 coins, as opposed to 30,000. Below we showcase an entire first team of individuals guaranteed to deliver rock solid performances, without you having to break the 5K coin barrier. Put your wallet away for good. This is your FIFA 21 hidden gems guide.
GK: Nick Pope (Burnley, 82)
Eight Premier League keepers – Alisson, Ederson, Hugo Lloris, David de Gea, Bernd Leno, Rui Patricio, Kasper Schmeichel and Martin Dubrakva – enjoy a higher overall rating than the Burnley netminder in FIFA 21. Yet he nonetheless enjoys a following that borders on the religious, thanks to a ginormous 6’ 7” frame, 84-rated reflexes, and the all-important Saves With Feet trait. At 2,400 coins Pope is well worth worshipping.
RB: Capa (Sevilla, 81)
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (83 rated, around 3,400 coins) would be the obvious choice here, but he’s often found in meta teams so we’ll go with someone a little less predictable. Sevilla’s guardian of the right flank boasts impressive stats across the board: 83 pace, 86 balance, 81 crossing, 93 stamina, 86 aggression, and 86 strength. 83 shot power means he chips in with the odd crucial goal too. All for an absurdly cheap 1,000 coins.
CB: Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester City, 80)
A bit of a puzzling card, here: the Turk was one of the top five central defenders in England last season, and is rated the Premier League’s fastest CB by Opta, making his 80 OVR and 69 pace both feel a touch harsh. Thankfully he’s as robust in game as real life, consistently outperforming numbers such as 80 slide tackling and 78 defensive awareness. 89 aggression helps; his doggedness is a constant nuisance against even elite forwards. Well worth a punt at 1,200 coins.
CB: Pascal Kimpembe (Paris SG, 81)
73 pace is plenty for a central defender. Marry it to 80 defending and 84 physicality and you have the bedrock of any Ligue 1 squad for just 2,400 coins. Especially as Kimpembe’s lower-lying stats are just as good as those top-line ones: 80 composure, 82 interceptions, 84 strength and 88 aggression. I line him up alongside TOTW Jose Fonte, with Steve Mandanda (also a bargain at 2,700 gold ones) between the sticks.
LB: Theo Hernandez (Milan, 80)
Want to make an all-French squad rather than a Ligue 1 one? Then here’s the guy you need outside of Kimpembe. At 6’0” and with stats of 79 strength and 78 standing tackle he’s sound defensively, while ratings of 93 sprint speed, 90 acceleration and 80 crossing make him a surprisingly effective chance-creator on the overlap. All for 3,000 coins. Mais oui.
RM: Daniel James (Manchester United, 77)
It’s not often GR recommends getting your full sweat pants on where FIFA 21 is concerned; there’s nothing more deflating than meeting a team of pace merchants deep into FUT Champions. But here’s the exception. With 95 pace, United’s Welsh wonder is an exceptional option from the subs bench, whose crossing regularly feels stronger than the 73 on his card. He costs 1,000 coins as a Buy Now purchase, but those with patience can nab him for a discard price on open bid. That is crackerjack value.
CDM: Denis Zakaria (Borussia Moenchengladbach, 83)
I bought Switzerland’s midfield colossus in order to form an impenetrable Bundesliga midfield wall alongside Axel Witsel, yet he constantly pops up with key goals and assists too. With a short passing score of 83 perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised; either way, he’s more impressive going forward than the numbers suggest. As for those defensive attributes? 89 aggression, 87 strength, 84 awareness, 84 standing tackle… At 2,700 coins, you simply have to grab him.
CDM: Fernando (Sevilla, 83)
A similar tale here to that of Zakaria, although in a different league. If you’re looking for a Brazilian central midfielder to rule your La Liga squad, Casemiro is the choice – but with an OVR of 89, you need to shell out 37,000 coins to nab him. With ratings of 82 physicality, 82 defending, 85 interceptions and 83 short passing, Fernando does a similar job to his countryman – one part creative to two parts destructive – at a much more palatable 3,000 coins.
LW: Daniel Podence (Wolves, 78)
A Premier League wideman with 92 pace should immediately sound the ‘meta team’ klaxon, yet many seem scared away from Podence owing to his 78 overall rating. More fool them. At just 5’ 5” he’s difficult to get a handle on defensively, and his key stats are more than tidy: 94 acceleration, 90 sprint speed, 92 agility, 94 balance 86 dribbling, 82 ball control. Bung him in your EPL squad now for a beautifully cheap 1,200 coins.
ST: Moussa Marega (FC Porto, 79)
Mali’s talismanic frontman owns the only gold striker card in the game with a physicality rating of 90 or above – and insanely, he has 89 pace too. Poor chemistry links mean you’re unlikely to start him unless rocking a Liga NOS squad, but like James he’s a spectacular option off the bench. And again, you can often nab him for discard on open bid. Otherwise he’s just 950 coins.
ST: Lautaro Martinez (Inter, 84)
You might have to wait a day or two on this one: as I write this piece a new FIFA 21 SBC has edged the Argentine’s price just over the 5K mark. But go shopping for him on a Monday or Thursday morning, after Squad Battles or Division Rivals are released, and 5K cards should be waiting. In return you get 83 pace, 82 shooting, 82 physicality, 86 aggression, and a guaranteed goal machine at a very friendly price.