It’s that time of year again. FIFA 18 is scheduled to be released on September 29 and player ratings are already causing all kinds of controversy.
Southampton had a rocky 2016/17 season filled with all kinds of highs and lows, but what should we expect in the way of FIFA 18 ratings? Here are our predictions:
Fraser Forster: GK – 80
Starting off with the big man in net, Fraser kept 14 clean sheets in the league last season. As many Saints fans will tell you though, he wasn’t without error. Arguably underrated in FIFA 17, an 80 rating this year would probably be fair.
Alex McCarthy: GK – 76
Sadly only recently returning from injury, it’s difficult to pin a rating down on McCarthy. A 76 rating with minor stat changes would be expected of EA Sports as there’s been very little to go off otherwise.
Stuart Taylor: GK – 68
The man, the myth, the legend. Following Gazzaniga’s departure to Spurs, it’s actually very likely that Stu will feature in FIFA 18. He even had an Ultimate Team card in the closed beta. Stats are a rough estimate as he’s still a capable player, though rarely actually plays.
Ryan Bertrand: LB – 82
Bertrand’s performances last season have seen him cement a position in the England senior team ahead of competition in Danny Rose and Luke Shaw. Minor stat upgrades and a solid rating boost caused by an increase in his international reputation is to be expected.
Matt Targett: LB – 70
Recently signing a new deal with the club, Targett’s only recently recovered from surgery that kept him out of the majority of last season. A more natural fullback than McQueen, expect him to remain higher rated than his English teammate.
Sam McQueen: LB – 69
Since converting from an attacking-minded player to fullback cover for Targett last season, McQueen’s looked very comfortable in this new position. A hefty defending upgrade is to be expected as his overall should lie around the high 60s this FIFA.
Wesley Hoedt: CB – 78
The most recent of our new signings, the £15m man netted 4 times in 26 games in all competitions for Lazio last season and remained consistent throughout the year and hopes to form a solid partnership with Dutch teammate Virgil Van Dijk this season.
Virgil Van Dijk: CB – 84
Love him or hate him, there’s no denying Van Dijk’s immense importance to the team. Ratings Refresh saw him rise from 79 to 82, but expect a further upgrade to his card come FIFA 18 to put VVD among the Premier League’s elite defenders.
Maya Yoshida: CB – 77
A loyal servant to the club, Yoshida arguably had his best ever season in a Saints shirt last year. Fonté’s departure gave Yoshida the green light to prove his worth and boy did he deliver. Maya should comfortably be a gold player in FIFA 18.
Jack Stephens: CB – 71
Stephens was a surprise package last season after Van Dijk’s unfortunate injury back in February. His best performances undoubtedly came in the EFL Cup where his relentless defending saw Southampton into the final, only to be narrowly defeated by Manchester United. A decent upgrade is warranted.
Jan Bednarek: CB – 72
Bednarek’s experience in the Champion’s League with Lech Poznan early last season caught the eye of Pellegrino as he became our first summer signing. While he won’t start for us next season, a very decent upgrade is imminent for the young Pole as he settles into the Premier League.
Florin Gardoș: CB – 70
In another season blighted by injury, it’s difficult to justify Florin remaining higher rated than the competition he now has for the CB position in Bednarek and Stephens. It sadly wouldn’t be surprising to see EA butcher his rating, pace and physicality this time around.
Cédric Soares: RB – 80
Portugese internation Cédric has quietly developed into one of the Premier League’s better right-backs, especially following his EURO 2016 win with Portugal. Expect a decent pace upgrade and a healthy overall upgrade too going into FIFA 18.
Jérémy Pied: RB – 74
Pied’s season was cut short almost immediately as he suffered a serious knee injury less than a month after signing. Though there’s been very little to go off, a slight downgrade in physical stats may be enough to see him become a very well-rounded PL silver.
Oriol Romeu: CDM – 80
Beating Van Dijk to win the club’s Player of the Year award last season, there’s no doubt that Romeu has been vital for us. An upgrade from silver to gold in Ratings Refresh last FIFA should precede a healthy upgrade to an 80 rated holding mid in FIFA 18.
Steven Davis: CM – 78
Club captain Steven Davis is still proving his worth at 32 years of age. Despite potential upgrades to his technical stats, it’s unlikely that he’ll be a desirable card in FIFA 18, unfortunately. We still love you Davo.
Mario Lemina: CM – 79
Since arriving from Juventus, the Gabonese international is proving to be the energetic box-to-box midfielder that we’ve been after. He’s already proving his worth and forming a useful partnership with Romeu. Despite being starved of games in Italy, the Premier League may just be where Lemina will find his feet.
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg: CM – 77
Like Romeu, Højbjerg received an upgrade to a gold player in Ratings Refresh. However, being in and out of the team under Claude Puel and now Mauricio Pellegrino, the young Dane is still settling into the Premier League. The best is yet to come from this lad.
James Ward-Prowse: CM – 80
Another player whose overall should shoot up due to international reputation is dead ball specialist James Ward-Prowse. His contributions to last season’s performances saw the former England U21 captain gain a senior call-up and substitute appearance under Gareth Southgate.
Dušan Tadić: CAM – 80
Despite having a lacklustre season under Puel, Tadić remained a vital part of Serbia’s World Cup qualification hopes, contributing directly to ten consecutive goals. Though his club return wasn’t so fruitful, a welcome position change to CAM should suit his stats more and thus, a controversial upgrade may be on the cards.
Nathan Redmond: RM – 78
Another player called up to the senior England squad by Southgate was Redmond, who was substituted on for former Saints player Adam Lallana against Germany back in March. While utilised as a forward early on last season, Redmond began to find some form out on the wing, scoring 7 league goals. A slight upgrade is probably warranted for a decent season.
Sofiane Boufal: LW – 80
The Moroccan international managed 20 appearances for us last season with fans crying out for him to be starting more games. While he still has a fair amount to learn regarding the Premier League, expect EA Sports not to be too harsh on him as his debut was interrupted by injury. Like with Højbjerg, the best is yet to come from Boufal.
Charlie Austin: ST – 80
Prior to an unfortunate injury, Austin netted twice against Sparta Prague (3-0) in what was overall a frustrating Europa League campaign for Southampton. On his day, Austin is among the most clinical strikers in the league. Saints fans are crying out to see a carbon copy of that 14/15 season where he netted 18 times for a relegated QPR side.
Shane Long: ST – 75
It’s difficult to really explain what’s happened to Shane Long. To many Saints fans, he’s the ultimate confidence player. Puel evidently could not install confidence within Long last season, despite scoring the goal to send Southampton to Wembley in that heroic EFL Cup run. While he hasn’t lost any pace or physicality, his lack of goals will no doubt result in a downgrade in FIFA 18.
Manolo Gabbiadini: ST – 82
Following a barren run for Napoli, Gabbiadini was downgraded from his 81 rating in FIFA 17 in head-to-head, however he quickly found his feet in red and white, netting successive braces in the league against Sunderland and in the EFL Cup final against Manchester United. His efforts to resurrect our season hopefully won’t go unnoticed and his previous downgrade should be reversed for FIFA 18.