For me, this is when the game starts to get interesting as I start to stamp my vision onto the team. The first season is all about seeing who is good, who you can rely on and who really needs to leave as soon as possible. Some players you inherit will fit your system perfectly, others will fail. You’ve got to be brutal, even if you think a player is good. If he doesn’t fit your style, he doesn’t fit. Sell him for good money and move on with things. I know it’s really easy to get attached to players, but if the new guy is better suited, you’ll soon forget about the player(s) you sold.
I’ll go through all of my transfers for the entire season as I am a little bit ahead of where the updates are.
I’ll start with these as it’ll explain how I ended up being able to buy players, especially if you recall how small my budget was.
Some of these are self explanatory, but I’ll do a few notes about each.
Samuel just wasn’t going to play, he asked to leave towards the end of the season. Played 11(2) games last year, but was barely even a backup unless someone was injured. £2m was a decent fee.
Denis Suárez was valued around £10m. When Bayern came in for him, I put my negotiating hat on and went to work. I left with a deal worth £21m plus add-ons, which activated his release clause. Good work. He didn’t perform that well last season, so I’d already been looking for competition in his role.
Tomás Pina wasn’t getting game time. £1.3m was probably slightly below his value, but for a backup, I was happy enough to see him move on.
Bojan Jokic had been on loan last season and I already have two left backs ahead of him. For a player who I would’ve let run out of contract, £800k made me happy.
Cédric Bakambu is not like the real life Bakambu that did well in La Liga last season. He’s quick, but mentally, he’s pretty weak. About six teams bid for him at the time and he chose Hull. £3m.
Pablo Íñiguez was below the level of player I wanted in the team, so was moved on for the good of his career. £550k.
Aleksander Pantic was out on loan last season and although he could turn out to be a good player, I rated the other centre backs I had in the squad higher. Off to Italy with you! £2.3m.
Samu Castillejo, I didn’t want to lose him. He didn’t play particularly well, but he didn’t do horrendously either. Mentally, he could’ve done with being a bit better. Dortmund wanted him. At the time he was worth £8.25m and they activated his £19.5m release clause.
Moi Gómez is another player who was out on loan last year. I was ready to use him as a rotation player as he’s not actually that bad, but maybe a little bit slow for a wide player. Sassuolo made an offer that was worth five times his value. Great business for me. Off to Italy he went for £8.75m plus add ons.
The next two are January departures.
Sergio Asenjo wasn’t getting any games this season due to my new goalkeeper that I’ll mention in a bit. Asenjo is pretty good, but I couldn’t offer him what he wanted. I could’ve maybe pushed for more than the £3.3m fee, but I took that money and let him move on.
Roberto Soldado was never going to fit my new style. He worked well in the old one as it was played at a lower tempo. I didn’t have cash for a new striker in the summer so I held onto him. In December, West Brom showed interest and followed it up with a bid. I couldn’t stand in his way as it didn’t make sense to. Off to West Brom he went for £1.6m.
Over the season, we made £64.1m in transfer fees. Really happy with that considering I didn’t think we had enough assets to sell. I can’t remember the exact percentage we were getting of that, but I’m certain it was 75% of income could be reinvested in the first team.
What I didn’t want to do on this save was sign players that I’d signed in previous saves. No point in doing save updates if it’s just the same players in different teams. I already have a list of transfer rules to abide by, so that one isn’t on the list, it’s more of a mental guideline.
To remind yourselves of the rules for transfers, check here.
Geronimo Rulli was signed in January on a Bosman free. It seems like an obvious transfer, but I’ve never signed him since FM14 I don’t think. Asenjo is a good keeper, but I couldn’t pass up Rulli on a free.
Lucas Alario was scouted extensively throughout the season. He had all of the attributes I wanted in a striker. I looked at some stats and he scored well with his shooting and passing accuracy. He had a good number of dribbles per game as well, which is good to see considering his dribbling attribute isn’t that high. I signed him for £4.6m, which I think is an excellent fee. A signing Villarreal would be proud of. Hopefully he’ll get us firing up top.
Marc Stendera came to my attention towards the back end of the season as I thought we needed someone to give Suárez a challenge. It transpired that Stendera was a replacement. I feel I’ve got a bargain at £9.5m. A key signing.
Iver Fossum was signed to add a bit of energy in the middle of the park. At 19, he has a lot of development ahead. I’d been trying to pick between him and Lasse Vigen Christensen. Fossum seemed like the right man for the job. £6m was a good price too.
Dorin Rotariu was one of two deadline day signings. Two left wingers, Castillejo and Gomez, both left on deadline day. My scouting came into play and I snapped up Rotariu for a bargain £4.5m.
Nuno Santos also joined on deadline day, signing from Benfica B for £5.5m. He looks so sad in his profile picture. Has good acceleration and can develop with game time. Will rotate with Rotariu on the left of my midfield.
In January, two more purchases were made.
Julian Weigl had been transfer listed by Dortmund. I’d just gone to look for a new controlling midfielder. I didn’t even have to think about it. £9.25m was just too good to pass up, it made sense to acquire him.
Maxi Romero replaced the outgoing Roberto Soldado. He lacks in pace, but he is 18, so that has time to change. I had signed him at Liverpool in the past(breaking the rule I mentioned about previously signed players straight away), but I never really used him, so I’m giving him a real chance this time. He will get game time, but Alario is still the main man. £3.5m was a good deal. Hopefully he’ll develop into the star we know he can be.
That pretty much rounds up my transfers this year and brings total spend to £42.8m.
I’m going to implement another rule actually. I’ve decided that I don’t want to go crazy on transfer spend. The idea is buy low, sell high. I’ll be limited to one transfer up to £15m and every other transfer has to be below £10m. My business so far has all been below £10m, but I might want to sign someone for £12m, but that should be a one off deal.