The release of FIFA 23 is right around the corner, and anticipation for the final installment of EA Sports’ blockbuster franchise couldn’t be any higher. For the majority of FIFA fans, Ultimate Team is the game mode of choice. But if you’re anything like us – void of any pack luck and not willing to invest our hard-earned money in FIFA points – your new squad will have to be put together thrifty. For many, this is the best time to play the game before opposition squads are stacked full of obscene cards rated 90+ and where god-given gaming talent reigns supreme.
But in the early days, we all need hints and tips on making our coins go further. In years gone by, we would invest in the likes of Seydou Doumbia and Victor Ibarbo – bargain players that give opposition defenders nightmares. But who are those bargain players this year? Which league should you base your squad on?
The Premier League is the only squad to build in the long term. Four of the last five Champions League finals have featured an English team. Online bookmakers such as FanDuel, who provide betting and free offers on European football, have made Manchester City the favorites to win that trophy this year. That tells you how far ahead the English top-flight is compared to the rest of Europe’s finest.
But in the early days of your Ultimate Team, would you be better off seeking out value in Serie A or the Bundesliga? We think both top flights could be the place to locate some hidden gems. With that said, let’s take a look at these three must-have players that cost 1,000 coins or less.
Nicolò Zaniolo – 81 – CF – AS Roma – 950 Coins
One of the key figures in the resurgence of AS Roma under Jose Mourinho has been Nicolò Zaniolo. The attacking midfielder has already racked up 115 appearances for the Giallorossi despite being just 23 years of age. Last season, he made 42 appearances in all competitions, including five goals in ten appearances during his side’s run to glory in the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League.
This season, rather than being a midfielder as he has been in previous editions of the game, Zaniolo has been pushed further forward into the center-forward role. That can provide a few conundrums tactically, but in the early days, a 4-4-1-1 formation should get the best out of him.
You just need to take one look at Zaniolo’s stats to see that he will be a menace for opposing defenders. He has 87 pace, 82 dribbling, and 83 physicality. He’s going to cause havoc for the opposition and could lead you through the divisions in your early days on FIFA 23.
Jonathan Ikoné – 79 – RW – Fiorentina – 500 coins
Regular players of FIFA will already know all about Jonathan Ikone. His link-up with Canadian striker Jonathan David at Lille – who pipped Paris Saint-Germain to the Ligue 1 crown in 2021 – was one to be feared. The pair of them regularly made mince meat of opposition defenders right the way from Division 10 to FUT Champs’ weekend league. This year, however, the Frenchman is on the move, securing a €14m transfer to Italian side Fiorentina.
In real life, its thought that Ikoné’s link up with fellow Frenchman Frank Ribery could see the Florence-based club build on their seventh place finish in Serie A last season and perhaps take them into the latter stages of the UEFA Europa Conference League, just as domestic rivals Roma did last season.
On FIFA, though, it’s clear to see why the 23-year-old winger is a must-have. His 89 pace and 83 dribbling will prove hard to stop down the right-hand touchline. And with the former Lille man being left-footed, cutting inside and causing chaos in the opposition penalty area is a given.
Take on these two players for a combined cost of 1,450 coins to boost your Ultimate Team early and get ahead of the competition.