Most improved players in the FM23 Main Data Update
The arrival of the Main Data Update gives you the perfect opportunity to jump straight into a new career.
The update doesn’t just include all the recent big money transfers though, with thousands of players across the world having their Current Ability levels adjusted to reflect their recent performances.
We’ve taken a detailed look through the data to pick out 15 of the most notable names that you should either be managing or sending your scouts out to study.
Kaoru Mitoma, Brighton & Hove Albion
Kaoru Mitoma has been nothing short of a revelation this season for Brighton & Hove Albion.
In his first season in English football, the 25-year-old winger has recorded seven goals in 21 appearances and become an integral part of Roberto De Zerbi’s men’s push for a maiden European berth.
To reflect his impressive breakthrough campaign, Mitoma has seen a notable increase to his Current Ability. Among the number of key Attributes to have risen are Dribbling, which now sits at 18, Finishing, Long Shots, Concentration and Decisions.
Randal Kolo Muani, Eintracht Frankfurt
With 20 direct goal involvements in 21 Bundesliga games at the time of writing, Randal Kolo Muani is proving to be one of last summer’s top transfers.
The Frenchman, who featured on the biggest international stage in the winter, has grown into the role of an out and out number nine, capable of beating defenders for pace and with his dribbling skills before slotting home or setting up his teammates.
His early showings for Eintracht Frankfurt have been met with a Current Ability upgrade, as have those of his teammate Daichi Kamada, who has developed into a real set-piece dynamo.
Rico Lewis, Manchester City
Rico Lewis only turned 18 last November and made his first-team debut as recently as August 2022 but watching him play, you’d never know.
The talented teenager has shouldered big responsibilities for Pep Guardiola’s team this season and has thrived, scoring on his first UEFA Champions League start and vying with established internationals for the starting right-back position.
Lewis is agile and seems ready-made for Guardiola’s system, getting forward at every opportunity to offer another passing and attacking outlet in the final third. He’s shown tremendous maturity too, which sets him up well to be a star of your teams for many years to come.
Joško Gvardiol, RB Leipzig
With every starring performance, RB Leipzig’s decision to sign Joško Gvardiol from Dinamo Zagreb in 2021 looks more and more prudent.
Capable in the centre of defence and also at left-back, the Croat is now regarded as one of the world’s best defenders.
Strong, brave in the tackle and capable with the ball at his feet, Gvardiol can essentially do it all - and he’s only 21. He’s under contract with RB Leipzig until 2027, giving you the perfect base to build a team capable of enjoying Bundesliga and continental glory from in FM23.
Evan Ferguson, Brighton & Hove Albion
The aforementioned Mitoma isn’t the only Brighton star to have been upgraded in this update. In fact, the club’s biggest jump in Current Ability is seen in Evan Ferguson.
Having made his debut for the club last season, the teenager became the youngest Irish and Brighton goalscorer in top-flight history in December and at the time of writing has recorded three goals and two assists in seven appearances.
Blessed with good size and mobility, Ferguson has shown the mental maturity required to play at the highest level and that’s reflected in notable rises in his Off the Ball, Concentration, Composure and Anticipation Attributes.
Ferguson looks set to be the dynamic frontman Brighton have needed to convert more of the quality chances created by their other attackers. How many goals will he score for you in FM23?
Rayan Cherki, Lyon
One of your most popular FM signings this season, Rayan Cherki’s performances for OL this campaign have shown him to be the real deal.
The 19-year-old has always been a deft dribbler but in recording three goals and four assists in 20 Ligue 1 Uber Eats games this season, he’s shown real improvements to his Acceleration, Agility and Crossing. Unsurprisingly, all of those have been adjusted upwards in the Main Data Update.
Coming into his own as the creative heartbeat of Laurent Blanc’s side, we’re sure he’s going to be finding his way into more and more of your teams in the months to come.
Ademola Lookman, Atalanta
Having moved around various clubs in England and Germany in recent years, Ademola Lookman has found a home at Atalanta this season and is fulfilling the promise he originally showed at Charlton Athletic in a big way.
He’s always been blessed with electric pace but Lookman has now shown himself to be an elite, clinical finisher, notching 14 goals in all competitions for the Bergamo side.
With upgrades to his Finishing, Anticipation, Composure, Pace, Vision and several other Attributes, Lookman looks primed to star for both Atalanta and many of your teams for seasons to come.
Roony Bardghji, FC Copenhagen
This time last year, Roony Bardghji took a spot on this list as a rather impressive debutant in the FM database. Now he’s here again because he’s starring for the Danish capital side.
Sweden’s Bardghji is a dynamic wide player who loves to cut in off the right, playing one-twos to pick up the speed of the game but also taking shots from distance when opportunities arise.
With three goals and an assist in nine league appearances already this season, as well as UEFA Champions League experience under his belt, it’s no surprise that Europe’s elite, as well as countless FM23 players, are showing interest in his services.
Hayden Hackney, Middlesbrough
After a sluggish start to the season, Middlesbrough have been transformed under the tutelage of Michael Carrick from potential relegation candidates to automatic promotion contenders.
Crucial to that upturn in form has been the emergence of homegrown central midfielder Hayden Hackney. Having not really had a look in under Carrick’s predecessor, Hackney has proven himself to be a technical, accurate and progressive passer who is comfortable in tight areas.
Still just 20, Hackney looks to have a bright future at the top of the game ahead of him. He’s also not the only EFL young star to get a big jump in Current Ability in this update, with Bristol City’s Sam Bell and Alex Scott, as well as Blackburn Rovers’ promising central defender Ashley Phillips, also rewarded for their mature displays.
Eliesse Ben Seghir, AS Monaco
The youngest player on this list, we’re expecting big things of AS Monaco’s 17-year-old sensation.
Eliesse Ben Seghir showed a glimpse of his superstar potential in December 2022, coming off the bench to score a match-winning brace for his side against AJ Auxerre.
Having only made his senior debut last November, the diminutive Attacking Midfielder still has a lot of room to grow but his Current Ability upgrade reflects his ability to make a first-team impact already. Based on the early signs though, he looks like the next Wonderkid we’re all going to love managing.
Archie Collins, Exeter City
Playing in the third tier of English football for the first time in a decade, the Grecians have acquitted themselves quite well this season.
One of their star performers has been versatile midfielder Archie Collins. An almost ever-present for Gary Caldwell’s side, Collins’ strong passing, movement and long shots make him equally capable as a playmaker or in a more attacking capacity as a Mezzala.
Sam Nombe, who has scored 11 goals and recorded six assists for the club this season, is among the other Exeter stars to have enjoyed a Current Ability upgrade in this update. Combining those increases with a handful of decent January signings leaves them primed for a shot at Papa Johns Trophy glory – if you win it with them in-game before March 17th, a trip to Wembley could be on the cards.
Macaulay Langstaff, Notts County
Notts County and their manager Luke Williams have been getting a lot of plaudits this season as they’ve battled Wrexham for the Vanarama National League title.
Focal to The Magpies’ success have been the goals and performances of Macaulay Langstaff, who has been locked in a battle of his own with a certain Norwegian to be the top scorer across English football’s top five divisions.
Langstaff has, at the time of writing, 31 goals in 34 games this season and that prolific strike rate has yielded a sizeable all-round upgrade in FM23. Attribute scores of 13 Off the Ball and 14 Anticipation mean he’ll make all the right runs, while 15 Finishing reflects his sharpshooting abilities.
Considerable interest has been shown in the former York and Gateshead striker by a number of EFL clubs – we’re sure many of you will be making similar moves for him in your next careers.
Cho Gue-Sung, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Top scorer in the K-League 1 last season, South Korean striker Cho Gue-Sung has had a notable upgrade in the Main Data Update.
The 25-year-old has matured physically and technically in the last 18 months, developing into a clinical finisher and real aerial threat; he’s now got 14 Finishing, 14 Jumping Reach and 15 Heading in FM23.
Having made a splash for his country in international competition last year, it wasn’t much of a surprise for us in January to see him linked with moves to Scotland, Germany and the USA. Although he’s still with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in real life, we suspect he’ll be leading the line for a lot of your careers to come.
Lois Openda, RC Lens
Franck Haise continues to work wonders at RC Lens, who in their third season back in Ligue 1 Uber Eats are currently on course for a spot in the UEFA Champions League.
Their status as legitimate European contenders is reflected in improvements in this update for several of their squad. The standout is Belgian striker Lois Openda, who has racked up nine goals in his first season in French football.
Quick, strong and with youth on his side, Openda is the sort of player you can shape to glory. Likewise, his high Work Rate and Aggression Attributes make him perfect for those of you wanting to operate with a high press.
Among his teammates to have seen their Current Ability climb just like the team’s fortunes are Brice Samba, Kevin Danso, Seko Fofana, Salis Abdul Samed and Facundo Medina.
Yukinari Sugawara, AZ Alkmaar
AZ Alkmaar are currently bidding for a first Eredivisie title in 14 years and that’s in no small part down to the progression and performances of Japanese full-back Yukinari Sugawara.
Sugawara has recorded three goals and six assists in 19 games at the time of writing, proving himself to be a real attacking outlet down the right-hand side whether he’s operating as a traditional full-back or pushed right up into midfield.
His Stamina Attribute has had a big bump after a series of lung-busting displays, while there have been a raft of upticks to his Mental Attributes as he continues to establish himself at an elite level.
Tens of thousands of other players have also received upgrades across the footballing world. We look forward to you finding them and guiding those players, as well as those listed here, to glory in FM23.
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