Where are they now? Every Premier League club’s wonderkid from FIFA 14
It’s now been over 10 years since FIFA 14 was released and we thought we’d check up on where each Premier League club’s wonderkid from that game is in 2023.
The 2013-14 Premier League season was certainly an eventual one as Manchester City were crowned champions after a thrilling title race with Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool side. Around this time, plenty of top youngsters were also rising through the ranks of their clubs.
We’ve gone back through the FIFA 14 database and have picked out each Premier League club’s wonderkid from that game and we’ve checked up on where they are today.
Arsenal – Serge Gnabry
Not many of the wonderkids from FIFA 14 ended up making it at the very top level, but that certainly can’t be said about Gnabry. While his Arsenal career never quite took off, he’s had tonnes of success with Bayern Munich.
Since making the switch to the Allianz Arena in 2017, Gnabry has managed to get his hands on 13 trophies, making him the most successful player in this entire list.
Aston Villa – Jack Grealish
Local lad Grealish made his senior debut for the club in 2014 and five years later he then went on to claim the captain’s armband. Undoubtedly one of the best players Aston Villa have ever produced, Grealish left Villa Park in 2021 with plenty of treasured memories.
Upon signing for Man City in 2021, Grealish became the most expensive English player ever at £100million.
Following a fairly slow start to life in Manchester, Grealish really came into his own during his second season as he played an instrumental role in a treble-winning campaign.
Bournemouth – Ryan Fraser
The diminutive Scottish winger went on to make over 200 appearances for the Cherries and played a role in their promotions from League One and the Championship.
After spending the last few years with Newcastle, you can now catch Fraser playing for Southampton in the Championship where he is currently on loan.
Brentford – Jake Reeves
Back when FIFA 14 was released, Brentford were still kicking around in League One which further highlights their immense progress over the last decade.
Around this time, Reeves was one of their hotly-tipped prospects, but he didn’t quite make the grade at Brentford in the end. He departed the club after making 46 appearances and nowadays plays for League Two outfit AFC Wimbledon.
Brighton – Jake Forster-Caskey
The former Brighton prospect racked up 82 appearances for the Seagulls between 2009 and 2016. He’s perhaps most known for his spell with Charlton Athletic and nowadays you can catch him at Stevenage, although he still keeps an eye out for the Brighton results.
“I definitely have plenty of love for the club,” Forster-Caskey told reporters when discussing Brighton. “It’s one of the first results I look for and I would love to go back after I’ve finished playing and coach inside the academy.”
Burnley – Cameron Howieson
The New Zealand midfielder was let go by Burnley in 2015 and he soon returned to his native country. Since 2017, Howieson has played semi-professional football for Auckland City in New Zealand.
Chelsea – Nathan Ake
Ake never really managed to establish himself at Stamford Bridge, despite some early signs of promise. His career eventually took off with Bournemouth though and he soon found himself back at the top level with Man City.
He’s one of many players who failed to impress at Stamford Bridge but still went on to shine elsewhere.
Crystal Palace – Jonny Williams
Had it not been for injuries, who knows what the Welsh playmaker could have been capable of. Williams played a key role in Crystal Palace’s promotion from the Championship as a teenager, but injuries soon hindered his progress.
He then enjoyed spells with Charlton, Cardiff and Swindon before joining Gillingham in the summer. Now aged 30, he’ll no doubt be eyeing up another promotion on his CV this season.
Everton – Ross Barkley
Prime Barkley in an Everton shirt really was a sight to behold. From a footballing perspective, the move to Chelsea in 2017–18 didn’t really do him many favours as he quickly faded into the background at Stamford Bridge and became a squad player.
He’s still kicking in the Premier League today though and is now looking to get back on track with newly promoted Luton Town.
Fulham – Kerim Frei
The Turkish winger made his debut for Fulham as a fresh-faced 17-year-old and former Fulham boss Martin Jol even tipped the youngster to go on and become as good as Gareth Bale.
“Bale is a bit more experienced but Bale is a great player and I think Frei could be one,” Jol told reporters in 2014. “Bale is left-footed and Frei is right-footed. But he has confidence and he is not like other young players who play well then bad, he is always the same. That is great to watch.”
Fast forward 10 years and Frei’s career can’t light a candle to Bale’s. Frei has spent most of his playing career playing in Turkey and aged 29 he now turns out for Manisa in the Turkish second division.
Liverpool – Raheem Sterling
Just the 118 Premier League goals, 82 England caps and 11 senior trophies to his name. Not too shabby.
Raheem Sterling’s opening goal in our Euro2020 R16 match against Germany 🏆
Still gives me goosebumps now 😭 pic.twitter.com/9rtslO7ANQ
— England Football Fans (@EnglidsAway) September 26, 2022
Luton Town – N/A
Awkwardly, Luton weren’t actually on FIFA 14 as they were still playing in the Conference Premier at the time. That really puts their meteoric rise into perspective.
Man City – Rony Lopes
Lopes was part of the small army of youngsters that City recruited in the early 2010s.
Signed from Benfica originally, Lopes scored on his professional debut – off the bench in a 3-0 FA Cup victory over Watford in January 2013. But only four cup appearances followed before he left in search of first-team opportunities elsewhere.
An eclectic career has seen Lopes finish runner-up in four French cups with Lille and Monaco, win a Europa League with Sevilla and the Greek Super League with Olympiacos.
Nowadays he’s back in Portugal with Braga.
Man Utd – Wilfried Zaha
Zaha was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson in January 2013, but the great man’s departure later that year scuppered the forward’s chances of making it at Old Trafford.
David Moyes didn’t fancy him much, restricting Zaha to limited cameos before farming him out Cardiff, and the Ivory Coast international was soon back at Crystal Palace.
He went on to become one of the best attackers in the Premier League, becoming Palace’s talisman, before moving to Galatasaray over the summer.
“I’ll be honest, when you look at my face, do you think I’m bothered at all? No,” Zaha said before returning to Old Trafford for a Champions League match in October 2023.
“Realistically, I think I went through a phase where you either build from it or you die out from it. And me personally I was never going to die out from it.
“It built my character for me to just continue my career because I was determined to not let my career die out because I went somewhere and it didn’t work out. I was just determined to reach where I wanted to reach and yes, I’m here today.”
Judging by his reaction when he scored, we suggest he was a little bit bothered after all.
Newcastle – Kevin Mbabu
Mbabu has become a fine player, playing for clubs across the Bundesliga and the Switzerland national team.
But it never really happened for him at Newcastle. The defender played five times in their ill-fated 2015-16 season before being flogged to Young Boys following relegation to the Championship.
In short, EA were right about Mbabu, but Newcastle weren’t the beneficiary of his talent.
Nottingham Forest – Jamaal Lascelles
Lascelles was highly sought after 10 years ago as he was regarded as one of the Championship’s best defenders.
Newcastle won the race for his signature in 2014 and Lascelles was named captain for the club’s 2016-17 promotion-winning campaign.
He remains at St James’ Park and has made 229 appearances for Newcastle – including shutting down Kylian Mbappe during the famous 4-1 win over PSG.
Sheffield United – Harry Maguire
Forget his current meme status; Maguire has risen from League One to the upper echelons of club and international football over the past decade.
While his time at Manchester United should’ve probably come to an end this summer, the centre-back retains Gareth Southgate’s trust for England and it’d be a surprise if he didn’t start the first game of Euro 2024.
Tottenham – Harry Kane
Tottenham’s record goalscorer, England’s record goalscorer… Safe to say that FIFA got this call spot on.
— Channel 4 Sport (@C4Sport) October 17, 2023
West Ham – Ravel Morrison
Morrison scored a jaw-dropping solo goal against Tottenham around the time FIFA 14 was released, dancing through the Spurs defence before dinking his shot over Hugo Lloris.
Yet nobody was surprised; despite his difficulties at Manchester United, the midfielder was regarded as one of English football’s most promising talents.
Sadly, it never worked out that way. Morrison has enjoyed a nomadic career and currently plays for D.C. United in the MLS. But he had the talent for so much more…
On this day West Ham beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 at White Hart Lane in front of 35,997.
Winston Reid opened the scoring with Ricardo Vaz Te adding a 2nd.
Ravel Morrison wrapped things up with his finest moment in a West Ham shirt: pic.twitter.com/V81kFfvaAn
— VINNYWHUFC (@vinnywhufc) October 6, 2019
Wolves – Kortney Hause
Hause remains in the Premier League and the West Midlands, but the defender wears the colours of Aston Villa rather than Wolves’ famous old gold.
The club were at a modern low in 2013-14, having suffered back-to-back relegations, but Hause became a fixture as Wolves stabilised themselves in the Championship before winning promotion in 2018.
He then helped Villa achieve the same feat one year later, earning himself a permanent move to Villa Park. Hause has played 43 times for Villa and spent last season back in the Championship on loan at Watford.