Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal’s 2011 wonderkids and where they are now

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Football Manager players will know that searching for a 'Wonderkid' is the first for anyone loading up the game for a first time.

The tag is given to any player who is expected – in the game and in real life – to go on and become a world-class player in their position.

Not all of the hidden gems within the game will go on to do great things, but most will if given the right training.

The same goes for real life, as very few from 2011 went on to perform at the level they were predicted to.

Daily Star Sport has taken a look at the Premier League's top talents from 2011 and what they went on to do in their careers.

Manchester United

Chris Smalling – Bought from Fulham for £12.5million, Smalling spent ten years at Old Trafford playing more than 200 Premier League games for the club. Moved to AS Roma in 2020 after an impressive loan spell.

Rafael – Developed at United after joining from Fluminense as a youngster and played 170 times across all competitions as a right-back. Left for Lyon in 2015 and now plays for Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir.

Fabio – Rafael's brother, Fabio, signed at the same time but was less successful than his twin. Played just 22 times in the Premier League before moving to Cardiff City in 2014, and now plays for Nantes in France.

Paul Pogba – Dynamic midfielder Paul Pogba was allowed to leave for nothing by Sir Alex Ferguson, only to go on and excel at Juventus and earn a world-record move back to Old Trafford. Is out of contract in a year and could be in for another record-breaking move before long.

Bebe – Portuguese winger Bebe was one of the many players signed by United in the hopes of replacing Cristiano Ronaldo, but he was unfortunately one of the biggest flops in the club's history. Bebe made seven appearances across all competitions in his four years before moving to Benfica. Currently plays for Rayo Vallecano in the Spanish second division.

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RavelMorrison – The subject of much hyperbole, Ravel Morrison is somewhat of an urban legend these days. Rio Ferdinand once explained how a 15-year-old Morrison ran rings around the European champions in training, but he never lived up to the hype. Currently without a club after failing a medical at Huddersfield Town.

DavidePetrucci – United paid a reported £200,000 to sign Italian midfielder Davide Petrucci from AS Roma, but never played him. 46 under-23 appearances later he was sold to CFR Cluj, and after bouncing around the leagues he signed for Serie B side Cosenza last year.

FedericoMacheda – Italian forward Federico Macheda shot to stardom after scoring on his debut in 2009 against Aston Villa, but things went downhill from there. Six loan spells later he signed for Cardiff City, before going to Nottingham Forest on loan. He currently plays in Greece for Panathanaikos.


Matej Delac – Danish goalkeeper Matej Delac was one of the many players to fall into Chelsea's loan farm system. Despite joining in 2010, he never played for the club and had nine loan spells before signing for AC Horsens in 2018, the club he still plays for.

Tomas Kalas – Another player to fall victim to the loan system was Tomas Kalas, the Czech Republic international who managed four appearances for the Blues.

Josh McEachran – Once heralded as Chelsea's answer to Jack Wilshere, Josh McEachran was viewed as an explosive talent after being given some game time in the 2010-11 season, but never lived up to the hype. Spells at Brentford and Birmingham City followed, and he now plays for Milton Keynes Dons.

Gael Kakuta – French winger Gael Kakuta looked promising but soon fell short of expectations and had six loan spells before moving to Sevilla in 2015. Currently plays for Lens on loan from Amiens.

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Philipp Prosenik – At the time of Football Manager 2011 coming out, centre-forward Philipp Prosenik was in the Chelsea youth team. He didn't make the grade, however, and signed for AC Milan. He was unable to find his feet there either, however, and now plays for Austrian second-tier side ASV Siegendorf.

Daniel Sturridge – Former Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge was the most successful of Chelsea's 2011 wonderkids, having won the Champions League twice. He played nearly 100 times for the Blues across all competitions prior to his move to Liverpool, but is now without a club after leaving Trabzonspor last year.

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  • Liverpool

    Martin Kelly – Defender Martin Kelly came through the academy at Liverpool prior to breaking into the side, and played 62 times across all competitions. He subsequently moved to Crystal Palace and has played 146 times for the Eagles, though he's been limited to just one appearance this season.

    Danny Wilson – Danny Wilson currently plays for Major League Soccer side Colorado Rapids, having left Rangers in 2018. Having come through the Rangers academy, he joined Liverpool in 2010 but only made two appearances before leaving again.

    Jack Robinson – Liverpool's second-youngest player in their history, Jack Robinson is now at Sheffield United after failing to make the grade at Anfield.

    Jonjo Shelvey – Jonjo Shelvey was signed by Liverpool from Charlton Athletic after he impressed in for the Addicks, and enjoyed a fairly successful spell at Anfield. He left for Swansea City in 2013, and is now Newcastle United's key midfielder.

    Suso – Spanish winger Suso had a lot of potential and looked impressive when coming through the youth sides. However, he struggled to adapt to life with the senior side and left for AC Milan in 2015. He left Milan in 2020 for Sevilla.


    Wojciech Szczesny – Perhaps Arsenal's finest academy talent in recent memory, though unfortunately his best football has been played elsewhere. Despite 181 appearances for the Gunners, he left for Juventus in 2017 and became the heir to Gianluigi Buffon.

    Aaron Ramsey – Another impressive talent to come through the ranks, Aaron Ramsey became a staple of Arsenal's side before a bizarre turn of events allowed him to leave in 2019 on a free transfer to Juventus. He's recently been linked with a return to the Premier League

    Perdo Botelho – Bought from Figueirense as a teenager, Pedro Botelho never played for Arsenal. Work permit reasons were partly to blame, but a series of disappointing loan spells didn't help his cause.

    Kieran Gibbs – Left-back Kieran Gibbs was expected to be the long-term successor to Ashley Cole, and he held down a space in the side for quite a while before leaving for West Brom in 2017. This week he signed a pre-contract agreement to sign Inter Miami in the summer.

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    Jack Wilshere – Expected to be England's long-term central midfield star, Jack Wilshere should be considered in the same class as Ramsey and Szczesny due to his talent. However, injuries derailed his time at the club, and he now plays for Championship side AFC Bournemouth.

    Wellington Silva – Brazil forward Wellington Silva was an exciting prospect when he joined the club in Fluminense, but work permit issues prevented him from ever playing for the club. Despite attempting to obtain a 'Special Talent Visa' from the FA, he was unable to gain the necessary paperwork until 2015, though an unsuccessful loan spell with Bolton Wanderers saw him return to Fluminense in 2016.

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