In the last 12 months we have lost two of our star players to release clauses, with Antonio Marin moving to Barcelona for €20 million followed by the recent sale of Brenner to PSG for €60 million. In both cases, the release fees were limited by agents and as soon as their new clubs showed an interest, both players were unwilling to negotiate new contracts and as such moved on. As is the case in real life, Player/Agent power unfortunately has prevailed and if you are ever managing in Spain my only advice is: Pay a few extra quid a week and bump up that Minimum Fee Release Clause 💰.
Let’s do a very brief recap on our progress in this save so far to date:
If you haven’t already read my last post (which was an absolute tragedy), I recommend hopping back quickly as there is a spoiler alert imminent! After finishing second in La Liga and losing not one but two finals in the Europa League and Copa Del Rey respectively, our top scorer Brenner (42 goals!) left for the bright lights of PSG after having his €60m Minimum Fee Release clause activated. This means that we are on the lookout for our new #RoyDeLosRovers and while we were devastated to lose Brenner, it’s always 🔥🔥 going shopping with a deep transfer budget. Let the scouting begin!!
Scouting a Striker in football manager
In real life, give me Alan Shearer any day – partially because I am a Newcastle fan and partially because as all round goalscoring class and thunderblasts go, there weren’t many better than the man who still to this day has scored the most Premier League goals in history – a league that has since seen the likes of Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry and Sergio Aguero. Shearer was the very definition of an out-and-out goalscorer, with arguably the best Finishing and Shooting ability ever to grace the Premier League; it’s almost a crime that he never won a major trophy in his outstanding career and as heroes go, Alan Shearer has long been one of mine.
In today’s game however and more importantly in FM19, I believe that attributes such as Pace, Off the Ball,Technique and First Touch are even more important for the modern day Striker particularly when we look at the level of Defenders playing currently, whereby Pace and Movement have become equally important for Centre Backs which we have seen through the likes of Raphael Varane and Virgil Van Dijk, therefore our search for our new #RoyDeLosRovers shithouse goal machine will be based on this type of Striker more so than a powerhouse forward.
Despite the fact that we finished second last season, we are still a relatively small club that struggle to attract the top top talent in the game and cannot compete with the likes of Barcelona and the Madrids in terms of transfer fees and wage budget etc. Granted our transfer budget is around €64m however the reality is that Barcelona and Real Madrid spent €172m and €110m respectively on new players this season alone. Based on our current budget and on the players that appear interested in joining the club, below are our Top 5 candidates to replace Brenner and potentially become our new Roy De Los Rovers:
1. Divock Origi
With 13 goals in 35 games for Wolves last season following a €40m move last year, Origi would bring the Pace, Movement and Work Rate needed to replace Brenner in the same role. Admittedly he has won me over following his and Liverpool’s recent Champions League heroics in real life, however he is quality in the game and while he appears very interested in joining, his asking price may be a potential stumbling block if we are to have any budget remaining to bolster our squad depth.
2. Jean-Kevin Augustin
As speed and movement go this guy certainly fits the bill; he hasn’t yet proven to be as strong a goalscorer and in fact hasn’t even broken double-digits for RBL in the past 4 seasons, however with 9 goals in 22 appearances he is both a cheap and potentially explosive option to bring to La Liga.
3. Ryan Cassidy
I really like the look of this lad, and it’s an absolute belter of a bonus that he is Irish as well and scored 12 league goals in 35 appearances for Watford last season. He is arguably the best Irish player I’ve seen in FM for years, and his Dribbling, First Touch and Technique attributes are outrageous for a wee lad from the Emerald Isle. Gonna be hard not to sign this lad even though we already have his compatriot Adam Idah in our ranks ☘️.
4. Fabio Silva
I’ve previously reported on this kid in my “Dubbed the Next” article which I wrote for WeStreamFM.com, as he is touted as the “next Eusebio” at the start of FM19. Praise indeed for any 16 year old however in real life he is already being recongnised as having huge talent and potential, so much so that even the guys at Football Manager/Sports Interactive were tweeting about him signing a new 3 year deal for FC Porto after scoring 33 goals in 39 appearances for their U19 side. In-game and in the year 2022, he has just turned 20 years old after completing his first full season for Porto, scoring 14 goals in 27 appearances – his potential is off the charts, not to mention his Pace (16), Off the Ball (16), Technique (17), Agility (17) and Finishing (15). He will command a much larger fee but f*ck me if we were to get this one over the line.
5. Alfredo Morelos
This guy seems to keep popping up every now and again both IRL for his disciplinary issues as well as in the FM world where I have seen a number of Content Creators speak very highly of him as a goalscorer and all round Striker option. His attributes are exactly what we are looking for in terms of Pace, Off the Ball, Finishing, Work Rate etc and again offers a very reasonably priced option for Brenner’s replacement having scored 14 goals in 22 games for Rangers last season.
Roy De Los Rovers V2.0
After much deliberation, we decide to smash our transfer record and bring in Fabio Silva for a fee of €55 million (€35m up front). It’s a gamble in that we are blowing most of our budget on a 20 year old with one season under his belt, however looking at his attributes and potential I am certain he will become an absolute superstar and I am confident that this guy will be our Roy De Los Rovers for years to come. We are literally breaking the bank to get him, however it’s worth it knowing that he also comes in with a €151m Minimum Fee Release clause which I don’t expect any club to meet in the near future (or at least I f*cking hope not).
That deal leaves us with around €35m in the bank, which we spend extremely well IMHO as we bring in not one but three world class players from the Bundesliga to add a new dimension of quality to our squad. Mickael Cuisance arrives from Borussia Monchengladbach for a fee of €40m (€20m up front), followed by Lukas Klostermann who arrives on a €30m deal from Bayern (€15m up front), and finally the man who should be Irish Thomas Delaney, who we manage to bring in on a free transfer from Wolfsburg after his contract expired.
These three are joined by a couple of hot prospects both permanently and on loan – we bring in a couple of Newgens in the form of Screve Kitoko and Predrag Blazic, as well as a few traditional loan signings including Carles Alena for his 5th season on loan at the club, Rodrygoon loan from Real Madrid, and Frederik Norrestrand returns on loan from Liverpool for his third spell on the island. All in all we’ve done some serious business bringing in 9 players, and the fans are already starting to forget Brenner’s name as they watch these high quality youngsters arrive on the island to begin training for the 2022/2023 season.
Finally after an extremely busy transfer window, our squad is now taking shape as follows:
Goalkeepers: Sondre Rossbach (Denmark), David Babalola (Spain)
As you can probably tell – our squad is extremely young, and I am conscious that Thomas Delaney is our only player over 30 which means we might have a task on our hands here due to lack of leadership and experience. Sir Alex has already proven that you can win with kids, however time will tell if we can repeat that considering the average age of our squad is just 22 years old versus a league average of 27.
Last season we got so excited about nearly getting a son in Football Manager (see here for more info) that I completely missed the fact that we had a couple of absolute wonderkids come through the ranks. I had spotted potential in a couple of players but didn’t once think to act on it or do anything outside of the ordinary when it comes to our youth players…….I was wrong.
As if we hadn’t endured enough hardship in losing Marin and Brenner to Release Clauses, out of nowhere we received double bids from Barcelona for not one but two of our newest youth prospects on the last day of the transfer window – Central Defender Mustapha Hermach and Attacking Midfielder Airam Medina, both of whom have the potential to graduate towards the first team within a couple of years particularly Hermach who looks a beast at just 16 years old.
Despite my best efforts to warn off Barcelona, they were persistent as f*ck and I knew we were in trouble looking at both these kids’ release fees (€2.1m for Hermach and €5.25m for Medina). Hermach’s fee was met straight away and we were powerless to stop him leaving, however Barcelona’s offer for Medina was €1m short of his release fee therefore, knowing they would end up meeting his value, I went back with a counter-offer of €5m which included a Buy Back Price of €10m – not much consolation however at least if he turns out to be the GOAT we have an option to bring him home on the cheap!! Suddenly we were saying goodbye to two of our hottest prospects, and if I hadn’t already learned my lesson before it’s learned now – 🚨 RELEASE FEE 🚨 RELEASE FEE 🚨 RELEASE FEE 🚨.
Thanks for reading as always, hopefully you’re still enjoying FM19 now that we are gone past the half-way point – if not, I recommend to keep reading a few blogs and consuming FM content for some inspiration! My next post will give an update on how life after Brenner is going as well as capturing our 200th game as Tenerife Manager and the first half of Season 5 – really enjoying this save and hopefully you have been too, if you haven’t already please feel free to read back from the start of this journey to find out more about the inspiration behind this save as well as lots of trivia and FM nostalgia throughout 🤓. Feedback, subscriptions and retweets are always appreciated – you can find me on Twitter here.