FIFA

5 Players Who Have Been Upgraded Or Downgraded In FIFA 18

 • by Tom Bodell
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The release of FIFA 18 means only one thing: professional footballers tweeting their disappointment at their new rating to game creators EA Sports.

Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi was one of the first and was promptly told by EA Sports to ‘keep scoring goals and we’ll talk’.

The striker responded with a hat-trick in the Blues’ Carabao Cup demolition of Nottingham Forest. Whether the number crunchers paid attention or not remains to be seen.

So with that in mind we picked out five of the players who will be most pleased after receiving upgrades this season…and five who’ll surely be in touch with EA Sports to complain about their downgrade.

These aren’t necessarily the biggest upgrades or downgrades but they are some of the most significant – and surprising.

Upgrades –

Kai Havertz: 73 (+16)

The one-time Liverpool transfer target, as revealed exclusively by Football Whispers, Havertz enjoyed a fine 2016/17 campaign with Bayer Leverkusen after making his debut in October.

A German Under-17 international, the midfielder became Bayer’s youngest ever league debutant against Werder Bremen, aged 17 and 126 days. He later assisted team-mate Karim Bellarabi for the Bundesliga’s 50,000th goal.

Havertz got his first goal in a 3-3 draw with Wolfsburg in April, becoming the club’s youngest league goalscorer, and finished the season with 28 appearances and four strikes in all competitions.

Tom Davies: 73 (+15)

The homegrown midfielder burst onto the scene at Everton last season and established himself as a regular in Ronald Koeman’s starting XI despite a number of senior players ahead of him.

Davies, understandably, drew comparisons with Liverpool’s own homegrown hero Steven Gerrard with his all-action, committed displays reminiscent of the former England captain.

With the Toffees spending around £140million on new recruits this summer, much of it on midfield players, Davies might have expected to find his action limited. But the teenage terror has remained a big part of Koeman’s plans.

Joel Pereira: 71 (+14)

When José Mourinho is a fan you must be good. Manchester United’s third-choice keeper only has a handful of senior appearances under his belt but has been earmarked as one for the future.

Pereira, 21, was born in Switzerland but is a Portuguese Under-21 international who is highly rated at Old Trafford. He made his Premier League debut on the final day of last season and came off the bench in United’s recent Carabao Cup triumph over Burton Albion.

“We have a third goalkeeper that I think will be the best Portuguese goalkeeper of the next generation so anyone in goal I trust completely,” said Mourinho. High praise indeed.

Kylian Mbappé: 83 (+12)

Perhaps the most notable inclusion on this list, Mbappé’s rise to an overall rating of 83 reflects the teenager’s incredible 2016/17 campaign. The French international had scored just once the previous season but showed enough promised to suggest he would be a special player.

And the 18-year-old made good on that promise, bagging 26 goals in all competitions as Monaco won Ligue 1 and reached the Champions League semi-finals against all odds.

The Manchester City transfer target was the most sought-after player on the planet this summer and, after a lengthy saga, opted to join boyhood club Paris Saint-Germain on loan with €180million fee agreed for next year. Don’t bet against another big upgrade in 12 months’ time.

Davinson Sánchez: 81 (+10)

Good things come to those who wait, the saying goes. In the case of Tottenham Hotspur that is quickly being proven true as the club’s summer signings impress, not least Sánchez.

The Colombian became the North Londoners’ record signing when he joined in a £42million deal from Ajax after just a single season in Europe, and he has slotted in seamlessly at Wembley.

The strapping defender joined the Amsterdam club from Atlético Nacional last summer and took just one appearance for second string Jong Ajax to prove his mettle. He was pivotal in reaching the Europa League final and, at one stage, a Chelsea transfer target.

Downgrades –

John Terry: 78 (-6)

The former Chelsea skipper’s fall from grace was complete with confirmation he will be rated at just 78 overall in FIFA 18 after moving to Championship side Aston Villa.

Terry, 36, featured sparingly for the Blues last season as Antonio Conte’s side lifted the Premier League and it was clear long before the season was up that the former England captain was surplus to requirements.

A move to the Championship looked a smart one for Terry whose lack of pace and mobility seriously hindered him last term. But already the defender, who has been installed as Villa captain, looks to be struggling in the second tier. Another downgrade is on the cards.

Loïc Remy: 77 (-4)

The forgotten man of Chelsea, France international Remy was allowed to leave Stamford Bridge via the back door this summer after three seasons of inactivity with the West Londoners, totalling just nine Premier League starts.

Granted a loan move to Crystal Palace last summer, Remy managed just five league outings and 131 minutes for the Eagles before being sent back to Chelsea. He looked set for more quiet Saturday afternoons until the Blues cancelled his contract, freeing him to join La Liga side Las Palmas in September.

Since then the former Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers and Marseille forward has scored twice in two outings. Perhaps his form, and rating, are about to pick up?

Ashley Young: 75 (-4)

The last few seasons have been hard on Young. The Watford academy graduate was one of the Premier League’s most exciting wingers when he moved to Old Trafford in 2011 but injuries have been his undoing.

Used more and more sparingly, the 32-year-old is now pitched in at full-back when he does play, though United boss Mourinho clearly feels he has some use and made him captain on a handful of occasions last season.

In total, though, the 30-cap England international has mustered just 21 top-flight starts in the last three seasons and has not scored for the Red Devils since the 2015/16 campaign.

Nolito: 75 (-4)

This time a year ago things were going about as well as they could for the Spanish winger. Having joined Pep Guardiola’s revolution at Manchester City, Nolito scored three times in his first four outings for the Citizens.

But as City’s form nosedived so did the winger’s. Nolito ended his solitary campaign at the Etihad Stadium out of the picture and it was evident long before the end of the season he would be one of those to make way following a miserable year.

After complaining about the weather and the fact his daughter looked as though she’d been living in a cave, Nolito re-joined Sevilla this summer for £7.9million – a significant loss on the £13.8million Manchester City paid originally.

Gabby Agbonlahor: 69 (-4)

At one stage the Aston Villa striker looked set for a fine career. A regular scorer under Martin O’Neill, the Brummie forward was a hero at Villa Park and captain of his local side for a period too.

But then the goals dried up and he has never quite recovered. Since recording a career-best 13 Premier League strikes in 2008/09, the Agbonlahor has failed to hit double figures in the league and has two in the last two seasons.

Numerous managers have tried and failed to get rid of the forward, including current incumbent Steve Bruce. In the end Bruce came around to giving Agbonlahor, who has three England caps, another chance and he remains at Villa Park.

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