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I've decided to take on Burnley, who in real life have just been relegated to the Championship and their future doesn't look great. Fortunately I start the season with £30mil, so that could help, along with some wheeling and dealing of their fairly aged squad. I've already played some games in the league so this will be catching up to that then what happens moving forward. I'm currently at the 16th October 2021, so below will update to where I'm at.
I like to take on teams where I overhaul the squad, and build a younger squad than they currently have.
Burnley have so many expendable players who i've deemed surplus to requirement and mostly been able to ship out and replace.
Starting with the outs - Phil Bardsley and his fairly big wage was the first man out of the door, leaving for his home country, Aberdeen, for 145k. He was soon followed by Erik Pieters, to Verona for £1.6mil, and Matty Lowton, to Wolves for £3.2mil. Ex-England international Aaron Lennon was next to be shipped out, probably on paper the player with the least ability in the first team squad, heading to Denmark to play for Brondby, for £150k. Following him were Matej Vydra to Shakhtar for £4mil and Dale Stephens to Bournemouth for £1.6mil. Most of these players were sold for their high wages compared to their not-great ability, plus age factored into this as I look to build a younger squad.
Also agreed is for Ben Mee to head to China for £5.75mil, possibly rising to £7mil. As much as I like him and he's solid, his contract is up and he's on a fairly big wage, plus he'll be 32 by the time the transfer goes through, so that move in January made sense to me.
I also loaned out many youth players to see how they develop playing first team football elsewhere.
The Ins started with Stephy Mavididi, who is registered as homegrown and cost £5.5mil. A pacy and relatively young striker, he will provide competition to Wout Weghorst aswell as having the ability to cover the left sided winger. Then we snapped up someone I was surprised would join, in Ibrahim Sangare from PSV, costing just £12mil, rising to £14.5mil after addons. I plan to have him filling the defensive midfield gap between the defence and midfield as a ball winning midfielder with excellent tackling, aggression, bravery, work rate and teamwork, alongside great physicals with balance, stamina and strength all being above 15. My next signing was Brazillian right back, Calegari, from Fluminense, who cost £10.75mil, but is only on 16k a week. Unfortunately in the brief time i've had him, hes had a 3 week long injury and has just picked up a 4 week long injury. My fourth signing was possibly the biggest, given he's a first choice defender for his national side, and that is Duja Caleta-Car from Marseille for just £9mil, rising to £12.5mil after addons. He's upto 20 caps now for Croatia, and a player I've liked for a while on FM. My second from last signing was a player highly recommended by my scouts, so I thought i'd take a chance on Brian Oddei from Sassuolo, for £1.9mil. I figured it could work out well for me, and if it doesn't, im confident i'll make a profit on him. He has been loaned out for the season to see if he sinks or swims.
And finally, this was a bit of a weird transfer, but I thought I'd give Phil Jones a go, as he was available for £2.1mil, and as i entered contract discussions, he wanted significantly less than the crazy Man Utd wages, altho still fairly high at £65k, but I've always wondered what he could do if given a good run in a side so took him on, out of part interest/part banter.
I have also added Joe Rothwell on a free, to add depth, plus his stats weren't bad and hes been a consistent player for Blackburn it seems, according to his FM stats.
On loan I brought in Hannibal from Man Utd, for a £1.5mil fee but only £7.25k wages a week, which has turned out to be a very good move so far, and Alex Iwobi from Everton, mainly to offer cover to McNeil, Cornet and Gudmundsson, but maybe pushing for starts, i am paying him less than half of his £100k Everton contract per week and have an optional clause to buy him for £9mil if he does well.
My first XI will be a 4-1-2-2-1 with a back four sitting behind a defensive midfielder, two centre mids in front of him and two inverted wingers supporting a lone striker.
Nick Pope is obviously my no.1, with Wayne Hennessey his backup.
Right back i signed Calegari to compete with Connor Roberts, but Roberts started the season injured, came back and Calegari got injured, so its more of a competition between who can get injured more it seems. Kevin Long can cover here aswell as centre back.
Onto centre backs, James Tarkowski just signed a new contract for £100k a week *shakes head* but will have Caleta-Car as his likely partner. Nathan Collins is another pretty solid option, aswell as Ben Mee (until January), Kevin Long, and hopefully Phil Jones.
Left back is Charlie Taylor's position, while i will have Maxwell Cornet to cover for him if needed and Ben Mee.
Defensive midfield will be Ibrahim Sangare's position to lose, with Jack Cork being a decent backup, just a shame he's 32. Westwood and Brownhill could do a job here if needed.
Central midfield I have Hannibal currently playing as a advanced playmaker, while next to him we have Josh Brownhill as first choice, and Ashley Westwood and Joe Rothwell as back up, alternating between box to box midfielders or ball winning midfielders. Jack Cork or Sangare can also cover here.
Inverted wingers on each side will be contested between Dwight McNeil, who's our best player probably, and Alex Iwobi, Maxwel Cornet and Johann Berg Gudmundsson.
We also have Ashley Barnes and Jay Rodriguez as bit-part backups for both the wing positions and the striker role.
That striker role is the big Dutchman, Wout Wieghorst's role. He can play as target forward, poacher or pretty much anything asked of him. New signing, Stephy Mavididi is his deputy for the position.
Biggest Transfers of the 2022 Summer Transfer Window (Not Including Real World Transfers)
In a not very exciting window, to no surprise, Newcastle were the biggest spenders, signing Brazillian centre back, Diego Carlos from Sevilla.
Diego Carlos - Sevilla to Newcastle for £42 Million
Guido Rodriguez - Betis to Liverpool for £22 Million
Henrikh Mkhitaryan - Roma to Newcastle for £15.75 Million
Nahuel Molina - Udinese to Monchegladbach for £11.5 Million
Alberto Moreno - Villarreal to Juventus for £11 Million
Munir - Sevilla to Monchengladbach for £11 Million
Jesse Lingard - Man Utd to Lyon for £8 Million
Divock Origi - Liverpool to West Ham for £7 Million
Current League Positions
Currently Liverpool are smashing the league, while their bitter rivals, Man Utd are really struggling. Man Utd actually were bottom after 6 games, but have won their last 2 matches to climb slightly up the table. Liverpool have conceded just once in their first 8 games, and that was the winner for West Ham in a 1-0 victory for the Hammers. Strangely both second placed Everton and fourth placed Aston Villa have a goal difference of 0.
We went undefeated in pre-season, albeit against very underwhelming opposition, but started the season poorly, losing 3 games in a row, scoring only once, through a penalty, and being knocked out of the EFL Cup at the first time of asking.
Bouncing back, we're now 6 games unbeaten, with 3 wins and 3 draws, with Wout Weghorst scoring 7 goals in that run, including a hat-trick against Crystal Palace. Our backline also looked more solid throughout these 6 games, conceding just 3 goals.
Hannibal has been a standout alongside Weghorst in this run, scoring twice, one a solo run and one a curling effort from outside the box, aswell as an assist and 2 man of the match performances.