Written for Pure Fitbaw by @MozzaPlays
With over 18 million sales in the last twenty-five years PC game Football Manager is a footballing behemoth. You’re unlikely to find many football fans that haven’t come across it in one form or another. The 2019 edition launches this weekend and, with a focus on our fellow Scots, I’ve drawn up a list of potential signings that may be of interest as you start your new games.
There is a distinct Celtic influence throughout the categories as their bloated squad offers some decent value! You’ll also notice that almost all of these players can play either left back or centre mid. Well, at least Scotland are consistent in producing certain types of players! Just need a wonderkid striker to come through…
Best of the Best – Andy Robertson
According to FM, wee Robbo is our best player at the moment, marginally ahead of his fellow left-back Tierney. In fact, he’s rated as one of the best wing backs in the game itself, and in my experimental playthrough ended up going to Barcelona in a few years’ time. He won’t come cheap, they parted with over £40 million for him.
Best of the Best – Kieran Tierney
While Robertson is rated a better player right now, Tierney has the potential to surpass his ability level as a full back. Available for between £20-£30 million, he might represent a really shrewd investment for anyone managing a big club in England, Spain or Germany. You won’t be able to unsettle him, however, due to his loyalty to Celtic.
Transfer Target – Charlie Adam
Stoke have decided to cut their experienced midfielder loose, but he’s by no means over the hill. Adam has never had a burst of pace, and so should continue to be a valuable squad player for longer than most assuming his other stats keep steady. Consider using him to mentor any young midfielders coming through in technical skills.
Transfer Target – Scott Allan
One of Celtic’s forgotten men, Allan could prove to be a very popular pick up for FM players this year. Creative midfielders are having more and more influence in the game, and Allan makes up for a lack of pace with really decent creativity and passing, making him a potential key man for any club outwith the Old Firm (or in the English leagues).
Loan Target – Jack Hendry
The young centre half has been under the spotlight this season, thrown in at the deep end given Celtic’s injury issues, but the FM version of Brendan Rogers is keen to loan out his ex-Dundee prospect. Hendry is still very raw, but his core defensive stats will represent an upgrade for most Scottish sides – just be wary of his tendency to dribble…
Loan Target – Scott McTominay
Unlike in the real world, Mourinho tends to send Scotland’s latest young hope out on loan for some experience. For a developing player, McTominay has very decent physical & mental stats, which will help him make an impact at Scottish Premiership or English Championship level. The other positive? You just might agree a 2 year loan deal!
Loan Target – Michael Johnston
Mikey came to our attention in the summer Toulon tournament, where our young prospects again impressed. While Chelsea’s Billy Gilmour rightly took most of the plaudits, Johnston caught the eye as a tricky winger comfortable taking on defenders. He’ll be a thorn in any lower league defenders’ side, and might even improve a Premiership team.
Bosman Target – Graeme Shinnie
Aberdeen’s resurgence under Derek McInness has been lead from the front by captain Shinnie. A determined and combative force, he is pretty accurately reflected in-game and will make up for the several bookings picked up with consistent performances. Should he not have a new deal by December, he’s an absolute steal on a free.
Bosman Target – Paul Coutts
An unheralded combative midfielder with a decent lower league career down south, Coutts is just coming off a broken leg for Sheffield United and seeking to prove his fitness. If he makes it through the 2018/19 season unscathed, you could do a lot worse than pick up the journeyman who retains a playmaker’s vision and passing ability.
Hopefully this wee taster has given you an idea of who to target when you boot up your first save. Make sure to read a guide or two on the new tactics and training systems, which take a bit of getting used to! Once you’re comfortable with everything, I’m sure that you’ll agree this year’s iteration is a massive step forward from last time.
If you play the game and like content of a distinctly Scottish nature, follow me on Twitter @MozzaPlays. I release the full Scottish lower league database extension every year for the game, as well as running an FM blog on Lowland League side BSC Glasgow’s website.