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liverpool8 Comments
Strikers


Michy Batshuayi

https://i.ibb.co/4wkCDfV/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-18-26-AM.png

Current Ability: 144
Potential Ability: 155

Michy Batshuayi began his career with Standard Liege in Belgium, making his professional debut in 2011 at just 17 years old. Batshuayi soon became a regular for the club and scored an impressive 23 goals in 49 appearances in all competitions in his final season for the club before moving to Marseille for £4.5m at just 20 years old. Batshuayi made a name for himself at Marseille, earning a FIFA potential of 86 (160-169 in FM) before moving to Chelsea for £33.2m in 2016. A lack of consistent game-time and a series of unsuccessful loans has stalled Batshuayi's development since, and as third-choice striker under Frank Lampard it seems his development won't go much further until he finds a way out of the club. With a solid current ability and still some time to improve, Batshuayi could make a could first-choice striker for FCG Wunderkinder.

Luciano Vietto

https://i.ibb.co/0ZTFg9C/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-19-31-AM.png

Current Ability: 133
Potential Ability: 142

Luciano Vietto is a product of the Racing Club academy in Argentina, but he really made a name for himself when he scored 20 goals in 48 competitions in his first and only season with Villarreal at just 22 years old. Vietto then moved to Atletico Madrid where his progress began to stall and even go backwards, and he now plays for Sporting CP after being sold by Atletico Madrid for less than half of what they paid for him. With a current ability of 133, Vietto could provide backup to my first-choice striker so there's a decent chance he could make the final cut.

Kelechi Iheanacho

https://i.ibb.co/N7kgNf7/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-22-57-AM.png

Current Ability: 128
Potential Ability: 149

When Iheanacho signed for Leicester back in 2017 for £25m I thought it was a great deal for all parties, with the player's impressive performances for Manchester City contributing to his massive 89 FIFA potential (167-174 in FM). However, Iheanacho has struggled to produce more at Leicester, only managing 1 goal in 30 league appearances for the club last season and it now seems very unlikely that he'll reach that 167-174 range in the future. However, with a potential ability of 149 Iheanacho would be a good option for my backup striker as he could still grow to a very useful level.

Antonio Sanabria

https://i.ibb.co/6WYWCM1/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-24-40-AM.png

Current Ability: 131
Potential Ability: 157

Antonio Sanabria actually began his playing career in futsal before moving to football when he joined Cerro Porteno's youth academy in Paraguay at just 8 years old. He later joined Barcelona's La Masia academy at 13 years old and stayed until he was 17, when he moved to Roma. Sanabria really attracted attention when he scored 11 goals in 30 La Liga matches while on loan at Sporting Gijon from Roma at just 19 years old, causing Real Betis to purchase the player for €7.5m. His progress has since stalled, and it doesn't seem like he'll ever reach the 88 potential (164-174 in FM) he was once given. Clearly FM still rates him, with a potential ability of 157 and at 23 years old he could still get pretty close if not all the way to that rating, though he would likely need to be a regular starter for that to happen. With a current ability of 131, Sanabria would be my backup striker, but I think he could still develop to at least a 140 so he's a very strong contender for a spot in the final team.

Andre Silva

https://i.ibb.co/7XgWXzJ/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-26-46-AM.png

Current Ability: 141
Potential Ability: 156

Andre Silva is an academy graduate from FC Porto, making his first team debut in 2015 at 20 years old. He started out as fourth-choice striker in the 2015-16 striker but worked his way up to become a first team regular before moving to A.C. Milan for €38m in 2017. Since joining Milan, Silva has struggled to regain his prolific form that he enjoyed under then-manager Julen Lopetegui at Porto and seems likely to fall short of the 87 potential he was once given in FIFA (161-168 in FM). And yet at 23 years old Silva could still push closer to his 156 potential and become a very good striker in spite of the past couple of years, so there's a very good chance I'll choose him for the final squad.

Patrik Schick

https://i.ibb.co/nj3S5vB/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-30-37-AM.png

Current Ability: 136
Potential Ability: 158

Schick made his professional debut for Sparta Prague just before turning 18, and his performances while on loan at Bohemians 1905 attracted the attention of Sampdoria who then decided to buy the player for €4m. He scored 13 goals in 35 appearances for the club in all competitions before Juventus attempted to trigger Schick's release clause resulting in 2 failed medicals and Juventus backing out of the deal before his eventual move to Roma. He struggled to regain his form while at Roma, and is now on loan at RB Leipzig with an option to buy. At 23 years old, Schick could still get much closer to that 158 potential ability so he presents a very interesting option, though I'm not sure he's the type of striker I'm looking for.

Luis Muriel

https://i.ibb.co/7tkNbZr/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-32-26-AM.png

Current Ability: 149
Potential Ability: 158

Muriel started his professional career in Colombia with Deportivo Cali before moving to Udinese at 19 years old. During his second season with the club, Muriel scored 11 goals in 22 league appearances, earning himself a potential of 88 on FIFA (164-174 in FM) as he was just 20 years old at the time. However, Muriel has been unable to consistently produce at a high level for his clubs in the years since, and though he's proven to have enormous quality he doesn't seem to have what it takes to become a consistent, world-class player as some had hoped for in the past. However, with a current ability of 149, Muriel is technically our strongest option yet so I'll certainly consider him for the final starting role.

Daniel Sturridge

https://i.ibb.co/P49z7jJ/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-35-06-AM.png

Current Ability: 141
Potential Ability: 168

Daniel Sturridge spent his academy years moving between Aston Villa, Coventry, and Manchester City before joining Chelsea at 20 years old for a tribunal fee of £3.5m. Sturridge impressed heavily while on loan at Bolton during the 2010-11 season, pushing himself into the squad rotation at Chelsea the following season where he managed 11 goals in 30 league appearances at 22 years old. However, he struggled to find the same level of game time the following season and decided to join Liverpool for around £12m where he really made a name for himself. His prolific partnership with Luiz Suarez climaxed with a runner-up finish in which Sturridge scored 21 goals in 29 league matches during the 2013-14 season. As a Liverpool fan, I thought this was the beginning of a whole new chapter in our story with Suarez and Sturridge leading the line until Suarez was sold to Barcelona and Sturridge's injuries began. Sturridge hasn't looked like the same player since apart from brief glimpses of his skill such as the outside-of-the-box shot against Chelsea early last season, but with a current ability of 141 and still a few good years left in his prime he presents another strong choice for FCG Wunderkinder.

Alexandre Pato

https://i.ibb.co/PYGtM04/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-39-57-AM.png

Current Ability: 143
Potential Ability: 162

Pato made his professional debut at just 16 years old for Internacional in Brazil, and actually scored 12 goals in 27 appearances for the club before the age of 18, helping them win the 2006 FIFA Club World Cup. This was quite an impressive start to the boy's career, so it was understandable when A.C. Milan came calling and bought the 18 year old for €24m, which would equate to €63.84m in today's market! That's insane for an 18 year old from Brazil! Still, the hype was real and at one point Pato even had a potential of 93 in FIFA (190-194 in FM). Pato quickly became a regular for Milan, scoring 15 goals in 36 league matches during his second season with the club. He continued at this level for 2 more years until he ended up pulling his hamstring 3 times within the same year and his development began to falter. After making only 15 league appearances in his final 2 years with the club, he was sold to Corinthians back in Brazil and his career since has been rather forgettable. Pato is in the same league as many of the other options in terms of skill and relative age, so my final decision will undoubtedly be a difficult one.

Bafetimbi Gomis

https://i.ibb.co/tp0cjbz/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-41-45-AM.png

Current Ability: 145
Potential Ability: 150

Gomis played youth football with Saint-Étienne before making his professional debut for the club in 2004, later being bought by Lyon for €13m where he scored 91 goals in 239 official matches for the club, earning himself a potential of 89 in FIFA (167-174 in FM) at one point due to his young age an high skill level. Gomis failed to reach that mark as he joined Swansea City from Lyon in somewhat of an odd transfer deal, only scoring 13 goals in 64 league appearances for the club over 3 years. Gomis has had considerably better scoring records with his last 3 clubs in the time since then, and now plays for Saudi Arabian champions Al-Hilal. At 33 years old, Gomis is still going strong but it's unlikely that I'll choose him because of his age.

Mario Balotelli

https://i.ibb.co/5srqWPf/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-43-00-AM.png

Current Ability: 146
Potential Ability: 156

Balotelli started his professional football career at F.C. Lumezzane and played for the first team twice before having an unsuccessful trial at Barcelona, and instead joined Inter Milan in 2007. At this point he was already 17 years old, so he had spent the majority of his childhood being trained in the academy of a Serie D club. After several successful campaigns with Inter Milan, Balotelli was bought by new-money Manchester City for €21.8m where he continued his development well, at one point being given a potential of 90 in FIFA (171-179 in FM). However, in his final season with the club Balotelli was only able to score 1 goal in 14 league appearances and with his disciplinary issues stunting his development under then-manager Roberto Mancini, he was then sold to A.C. Milan where he was able to find his form once again. Then he made the ill-informed decision of moving back to England to play under Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool, where he scored just 1 goal in 16 league appearances for the club as agent Balotelli (for City I'm assuming). Balotelli now plays for Brescia back in Italy, where I imagine he'll go back to being a prolific striker once again. Clearly, though, England was not the best career choice for Balotelli either time, and he's been doing just fine in France and Italy in the years since Liverpool (except for his return to A.C. Milan on loan when he scored just 1 goal in 20 apps). At 29, Balotelli is still in his prime and with a current ability of 146 I think he'd made a solid option for first-choice striker, but we'll see.

Stevan Jovetic

https://i.ibb.co/Q9Kx2fS/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-44-20-AM.png

Current Ability: 141
Potential Ability: 152

Jovetic began his career with FK Partizan, and actually managed to win the double with the club at just 18 years old, scoring 19 goals in 33 appearances in all competitions during the season which led to his transfer to Fiorentina for €10.8m the following summer. Jovetic struggled to find the same goalscoring form in his first 3 years with the club, but managed to get back into the double digits with 14 goals in 27 league appearances in his 4th season with the club, and after a similarly productive season the following year he was bought by Manchester City for €26.7m joining former teammate, close friend, and fellow wonderkid Matija Nastasic at the club. Jovetic wasn't given regular game time while at Manchester City, which likely stunted his development and he now plays for Monaco where he has similarly struggled for consistent form and regular game time. I could potentially reunited Nastasic and Jovetic at FCG Wunderkinder, but Jovetic is more of a second striker than an actual striker or my preferred pressing forward role so I'm not sure he's exactly the type of player I'm looking for.

Christian Benteke

https://i.ibb.co/NCts3MY/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-46-50-AM.png

Current Ability: 132
Potential Ability: 160

Benteke is the final name on this list, despite there being numerous other options and names I wanted to mention, there's just too many strikers who scored 10+ goals in their debut season and then for one reason another fail to live up to the hype that's placed on their shoulders. Benteke started his career with Standard Liege before joining Aston Villa for £7m, where he proved to be a prolific goalscorer for the club and attracted interest from all of the top 6 in the Premier League. After 3 years in a row of scoring in the double digits for Villa, Benteke signed for Liverpool for £32.5m where it quickly became apparent that like Andy Carroll, Robbie Keane, and Mario Balotelli before him, Benteke was not anything like the sort of striker to fit in our system. He managed to score 10 goals in 42 appearances for the club in all competitions, which wasn't enough to convince Klopp to keep him before joining Crystal Palace for £27m (still don't know how we managed that, thank God for Michael Edwards) and he has since failed to return to his scoring ways after an impressive first season with Palace. At 28 years old, Benteke now looks like a shadow of his former self, and it's pretty unlikely that he'll make the final cut for FCG Wunderkinder as there are many better options ahead of him.

Review


https://i.ibb.co/7XgWXzJ/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-26-46-AM.png

https://i.ibb.co/6WYWCM1/Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-9-24-40-AM.png


At the moment I think Andre Silva and Antonio Sanabria are my 2 best striker options. I considered their attributes a little more closely than some of the other positions as I'm looking for more of a lively pressing forward than a target man or a second striker like many of the options above, so with that in mind added to the fact that both players still have very good potential abilities, Silva and Sanabria will be my two strikers for FCG Wunderkinder. If you guys can think of anyone else who might do an even better job let me know!
Left Wingers


Marko Marin

https://i.ibb.co/rtPLfRr/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-18-03-PM.png

Current Ability: 130
Potential Ability: 147

Nicknamed "the German Messi," which inevitably seems to set young players up for failure, Marko Marin attracted global attention when he broke into the Borussia Monchengladbach side during the 2007-08 season and managed to hold down a starting role at just 18 years old. After being given a potential of 89 in FIFA (167-174 in FM), Marin moved to Werder Bremen for €8.2m and formed a fantastic partnership with Mesut Ozil which no doubt had an effect on the hype around him considering Ozil's 2010 World Cup performance and subsequent transfer to Real Madrid. Following Ozil's departure, Marin's form dropped significantly and he struggled to regain that same level before moving to Chelsea in 2012 for £8m. A series of unsuccessful loan spells soon followed, and Marin's potential as the "German Messi" has become a distant memory for most football fans. Marin currently plays for Red Star Belgrade, and possesses enough ability to play a backup role on the left wing, though I'll see if I can find any better options.

Viktor Fischer

https://i.ibb.co/MPKJYRx/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-21-20-PM.png

Current Ability: 138
Potential Ability: 155

Nicknamed "the Danish Messi" (yes, I know this is getting out of hand), Viktor Fischer attracted interest from clubs such as Chelsea, Inter Milan, Manchester City, and Manchester United due to his performances in the U17 World Cup for Denmark, but decided to sign for Ajax from FC Midtjylland in 2011. He was then given a potential of 87 in FIFA (161-168 in FM) upon being added, and the top European clubs continued to monitor his progress in Holland but he struggled to progress as much as some had hoped, and he then shockingly joined newly-promoted English club Middlesbrough for €5m in 2016. Fischer now plays for FC Kobenhavn back in his native Denmark, but he could revive his career and try and push towards his still high 155 potential if I were to include him in the FCG Wunderkinder squad.

Ryan Babel

https://i.ibb.co/r2jkgrd/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-23-13-PM.png

Current Ability: 140
Potential Ability: 155

Babel was a product of the Ajax academy, featuring quite regularly for the club from the age of 18 before signing for Liverpool in 2007 for £14m, which would equate to a whopping £37.24m in today's market. He then failed to secure a regular first team position before leaving in 2011 with his stock having fallen quite considerably as he was sold for just £8m, nearly half what he was originally bought for. Babel now plays for Galatasaray and though he still possesses a solid current ability of 140, his relatively high age in comparison to the other players on this list means he'll likely be left out of the final squad.

Jese

https://i.ibb.co/dpcfCpv/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-26-57-PM.png

Current Ability: 130
Potential Ability: 148

Jese came through the Real Madrid academy as a very hot prospect, being given his first professional chance by then-manager Jose Mourinho, who later explained that Jese's lack of game-time over the subsequent seasons was due to the fact that his position for Real Madrid Castilla didn't exist in the first team. This hurt Jese's development considerably, and a similarly unsuccessful spell with PSG has seen him go on loan to Sporting this season, where he will hopefully revamp his career and development. At 26, Jese's a bit of a gamble considering his low current ability and the low probability that he'll improve much more, so it's unlikely that he'll make the final cut for the team.

Andre Schurrle

https://i.ibb.co/0DpYtGc/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-31-59-PM.png

Current Ability: 132
Potential Ability: 140

Schurrle began his career at Mainz before joining Bayer Leverkusen for £6.5m following a highly impressive season in which he scored 15 goals in 33 Bundesliga appearances at just 20 years old. He continued to progress well with Bayer Leverkusen before making the classic blunder of moving to Chelsea as a U23 player. Schurrle struggled for consistent game time at Chelsea and his career has been a series of backwards steps since. However, Schurrle is still in the prime of his career (though maybe not his peak) at 28 years old and with a current ability of 132 added to the fact that he's a German national, he'd made a perfect backup on the left wing.

Stephan El Shaarawy

https://i.ibb.co/6XrfhRx/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-33-27-PM.png

Current Ability: 149
Potential Ability: 156

El Shaarawy is a product of the Genoa academy, but joined AC Milan at the young age of 19 and instantly made an impact in the first team. The following season he amassed 16 goals in 37 appearances for the club at just 20 years old, and the hype soon followed. I remember back in FIFA 12 when the finesse shots were still OP, El Shaarawy was an absolute beast. In fact, his potential rose to an 89 in the following FIFA game (167-174 in FM) but a devastating injury followed by several setbacks ultimately hampered his development. El Shaarawy now plays in China despite having made a return to his old form with Roma in the past couple of years, and though he still possesses great ability I can't be the only that had hoped for more from him than playing for Shenhua at 26 years old. Still, with a current ability of 149 El Shaarawy is a top contender for my starting left winger place.

Bernard

https://i.ibb.co/YThNWfy/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-36-00-PM.png

Current Ability: 144
Potential Ability: 150

Bernard came through the Athletico Mineiro academy before moving to Shakhtar Donetsk for a massive €25m at just 21 years old. As somewhat of a European hub for promising Brazilian players, Shakhtar Donetsk seemed like a great place for Bernard to develop before taking his next step up to a top European club, but no moves materialized and I believe he overstayed his welcome. Bernard now plays for Everton and though he's undoubtedly a good player, he certainly isn't the top player that many FIFA and FM players imagined he would be over the years. Still, with a current ability of 144, Bernard makes my decision more difficult.

Samu Castillejo

https://i.ibb.co/JdfWJ3P/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-38-36-PM.png

Current Ability: 142
Potential Ability: 151

Castillejo graduated from Malaga's youth system, and was given the nickname El Fideo or "the noodle" because of his ability to slip through tight spaces. Castillejo made a name for himself at Villarreal, gaining a potential rating of 88 in FIFA 17 (164-174 in FM) but his progress has since stalled as he currently plays for AC Milan. With a Champions League ban having been placed on the club recently, it seems Castillejo will fall short of the 88 potential that he was given just a couple of years ago, but with a current ability of 142 and still time to improve I think he provides a solid option on the left wing.

Bruma

https://i.ibb.co/MRdHYsG/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-40-35-PM.png

Current Ability: 142
Potential Ability: 152

Bruma is at the same level as Castillejo, having come through the esteemed Sporting CP academy before making his professional debut at 18 years old. His impressive performances for the club in 2013 boosted his FIFA potential to 88 just like Castillejo, but he then signed for Galatasary for €10m where I imagine the Turkish league hampered his development. Bruma now plays for PSV in Holland, and it's clear that he won't reach the 88 potential he was once given, but with similar ratings to Castillejo he certainly provides an interesting option for the final squad.

Royston Drenthe

https://i.ibb.co/KxjycR8/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-3-12-58-PM.png

Current Ability: 99
Potential Ability: 142

Royston Drenthe is more of an honorary mention at this point, following his 2 year hiatus from playing football. Drenthe graduated from the Feyenoord academy in 2005 and later won the 2007 UEFA European U21 Championship with Holland which led to his transfer to Real Madrid for €14m when he was just 20 years old, the same amount and year as Ryan Babel's move to Liverpool. Drenthe was given a FIFA potential of 86 (160-169) upon joining Real Madrid, and though he was given adequate game time to prove his worth he struggled to progress much due to his party-lifestyle and lack of commitment. Drenthe's career slipped downhill, with unsuccessful spells with Reading and Russian side FC Alania before his decision to step away from professional football at the age of 29 to pursue other interests. Drenthe has since started playing again, and now plays for Dutch third-tier side Kozakken Boys. With a current ability of just 99, Drenthe wouldn't get near the FCG Wunderkinder first team but I thought his story was worth mentioning.

Review


https://i.ibb.co/6XrfhRx/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-33-27-PM.png

https://i.ibb.co/0DpYtGc/Screen-Shot-2019-09-15-at-1-31-59-PM.png


I've chosen El Shaarawy and Schurrle as my two left wingers, with the former starting and the latter operating as backup due to their relative current abilities. Though there were stronger options than Schurrle for the backup spot, I decided his German nationality was enough for me to pick him. What do you guys think?

«This comment has been edited»
Right Wingers


Alen Halilovic

https://i.ibb.co/0fhCwF0/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-3-57-45-PM.png

Current Ability: 125
Potential Ability: 146

Alen Halilovic is a fairly recent wonderkid flop, having made his professional debut for Dinamo Zagreb during the 2012-13 season at just 16 years old and impressing so much that Barcelona decided to buy him for €2.2m in 2014. Halilovic looked to be on track to become the "Croatian Messi" when he first joined Barca, at one point being awarded a potential of 91 in FIFA (176-182 in FM) before his controlling father and a "crippling injury" severely stunted his development. Halilovic currently plays for Dutch Eredivisie side SC Heerenveen, on loan from A.C. Milan following a brief spell on loan at Standard Liege in Belgium during the second half of last season. At 23 years old, he could still improve and potentially reach a decent level of 146 so Halilovic is certainly a decent option for my backup right winger.

Erik Lamela

https://i.ibb.co/GH8fBFZ/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-00-45-PM.png

Current Ability: 142
Potential Ability: 150

Erik Lamela became a regular starter for his boyhood club River Plate at just 18 years old before being signed by AS Roma for €12m in 2011. After a solid first season and a spectacular second season in which he scored 15 league goals in 33 appearances (more than he's scored in 129 league appearances for Spurs), Lamela was signed by Tottenham for a club record £25.8m plus £4.2m in bonuses. Out of curiosity I calculated what that value would equate to in today's market and in total this transfer would cost ~£60.3m. So while Lamela has held down a playing role for Spurs for years and contributed many great moments, I think it's safe to say he hasn't quite fulfilled the potential that was expected of him when he moved to the club. However, Lamela's high current ability and versatility make him a strong option for a spot in the final FCG Wunderkinder squad.

Levin Oztunali

https://i.ibb.co/265f5rT/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-02-01-PM.png

Current Ability: 133
Potential Ability: 143

Oztunali came through the Hamburger SV academy, but was signed by rivals Bayer Leverkusen before making his senior debut for the latter club in 2013 at just 17 years old, making him the youngest player to make a Bundesliga appearance in the club's history. After making 9 league appearances that season, Oztunali was voted 2nd best U18 player in the league behind Julian Brandt, so it's understandable that he was later given a potential of 86 in FIFA 15 (160-169 in FM). Despite this promising start to his career, Oztunali failed to progress enough to earn a place in the Leverkusen first team, and now plays for Mainz with his future appearing slightly dimmer. At 23, I believe Oztunali still has time to grow and as a German national there's a very good chance he'll be my backup right winger.

Juan Iturbe

https://i.ibb.co/JmzdL36/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-07-05-PM.png

Current Ability: 124
Potential Ability: 150

Iturbe stood out as a young player in Paraguay, and was awarded a FIFA potential of 88 (164-174 in FM) when he joined FC Porto following his 18th birthday. After failing to break into the Porto team, Iturbe moved to Hellas Verona on loan where he featured regularly and was subsequently bought by AS Roma just weeks after permanently signing for Hellas Verona. At this time his potential hadn't fallen but irregular playtime and a series of unsuccessful loan stints have since stunted his development and he now appears to have gone backwards somewhat, now playing for Pumas in Mexico on loan from Roma. With a current ability of just 124, Iturbe is more of an honorable mention than a serious candidate for a spot in the final squad at this point.

Xherdan Shaqiri

https://i.ibb.co/BCtQ3pX/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-09-04-PM.png

Current Ability: 149
Potential Ability: 155

In the spirit of transparency, I'm slightly biased toward picking Shaqiri as my starting right winger as a Liverpool fan. I'd also love to see Shaqiri and Gotze back in the same side, tearing up the Bundesliga. Shaqiri broke into the FC Basel first team at just 17, attracting interest from several European clubs before signing for Bayern Munich for €11.6m. He struggled to hold down a regular role for the club and after 3 years moved to Inter Milan for €15m. At this time his stock hadn't fallen much, but this was certainly a step down for him before he took yet another step down to join Stoke City the following season for £12m. He spent arguably the most important developmental years of his career fighting relegation battles, which I believe stunted his progress and had he played for Jurgen Klopp rather than Mark Hughes, perhaps things would be different. As it stands, Shaqiri plays backup to Mohamed Salah and understandably struggles for game-time as a result, but I think Shaqiri deserves a starting spot for a Champions League club and hopefully I can give him that at FCG Wunderkinder.

Adnan Januzaj

https://i.ibb.co/Fnv93wn/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-11-48-PM.png

Current Ability: 144
Potential Ability: 155

Januzaj complicates things a bit, as I want to choose Shaqiri as my starting right winger but I believe Januzaj would be the better theoretical choice if he were to fulfill his potential completely. Januzaj broke into the first team at Manchester United under David Moyes, and spent several years seeing his minutes reduced during the turbulent early phase of Manchester United's downfall. Januzaj has since found a home in Real Sociedad, where he's developed into a solid right winger. At 24, he still has time to improve but I'm not sure if it's enough to convince me to choose him over Shaqiri.

Lazar Markovic

https://i.ibb.co/hCZhZgR/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-14-34-PM.png

Current Ability: 131
Potential Ability: 138

Like Shaqiri, Markovic is one that hits close to home. Unlike Shaqiri, I don't really like Markovic. Perhaps you can understand my frustration with him when you remember that he was signed for £20m back in 2014, which translates to roughly £32.2m in today's market. Markovic struggled to break into the Liverpool first team despite his hefty price tag and massive potential, and after 4 unsuccessful loan stints in various countries he now finds himself back at his boyhood club, Partizan Belgrade. With a current ability of 131, Markovic could play a backup role if I wanted him, but I don't lol.

Domenico Berardi

https://i.ibb.co/wg3VMmh/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-17-39-PM.png

Current Ability: 140
Potential Ability: 152

Berardi made his professional debut for Sassuolo back in 2012 at 18 years old, and became a regular thereafter, having featured in a total of 215 league appearances for the club over the past 7 seasons. His "prolific" performances in the Serie A during his first 2 seasons in the league made him one of the hottest prospects in the country, with 16 goals in 29 appearances in his first season at just 19 years old followed by another 15 goals in 32 appearances the next season. These contributions set his FIFA potential at 87 (161-168), but Berardi has since struggled to reach those same heights and he seems to have peaked early. Despite this, Berardi still possesses great ability and goalscoring ability, and at 24 he could still reach that 152 potential. Like Januzaj, Berardi certainly makes this decision more difficult and I'll have to seriously weigh my options before choosing.

Theo Walcott

https://i.ibb.co/Gnxf43R/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-19-54-PM.png

Current Ability: 134
Potential Ability: 160

Walcott's story is one I'm sure most of you are familiar with, but I'll briefly go over it as I have with everyone else. Walcott was produced by the esteemed Southampton academy, with his blistering pace attracting attention from Arsenal, whom he later signed for in 2006 for £5m. At one point, Walcott had a FIFA potential of 93 (190-194 in FM) which is just ridiculous if you really think about it, though I think the potentials were exaggerated back then. A series of never-ending injuries somewhat hampered Walcott's development, but having made almost 300 league appearances for the club over the years it's hard to argue that this was the sole reason for his failure to reach his potential. Regardless, Walcott now finds himself playing quite regularly for Everton, though he hasn't appeared so far this season. With a current ability of 134 and no time to improve, it's unlikely Walcott will make the final squad but he deserved a mention nonetheless.

Aaron Lennon

https://i.ibb.co/B2RkhGk/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-22-00-PM.png

Current Ability: 126
Potential Ability: 155

Somewhat mirroring Walcott's career path, Lennon came through a respectable academy at Leeds United and attracted attention from some bigger clubs due to his impressive pace. Rather than joining Arsenal, though, Lennon signed for their local rivals Tottenham and actually made only 4 less league appearances during his time with the club (266) than Walcott did at Arsenal (270). Lennon now plays for Burnley as a backup player and with a current ability of just 126 and the fact that he's approaching the end of his career, Lennon won't make the final cut for FCG Wunderkinder.

Review


https://i.ibb.co/BCtQ3pX/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-09-04-PM.png

https://i.ibb.co/265f5rT/Screen-Shot-2019-09-14-at-4-02-01-PM.png


At the moment I'm leaning towards Shaqiri and Oztunali as my 2 right wing options, with Shaqiri playing the starting role and Oztunali continuing his development as my backup. Januzaj, Berardi and Lamela were strong contenders for the starting spot but I think Shaqiri would fit into the system better than the 3 of them, and Oztunali's young age and German nationality cemented his spot as backup.
Attacking Midfielders


Ryad Boudebouz

https://i.ibb.co/v4G3rNh/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-3-06-52-PM.png

Current Ability: 135
Potential Ability: 140

Ryad Boudebouz broke into the Sochaux first team in Ligue 1 at just 18 years old, and became a regular starter afterwards due to his impressive talent at such a young age. Naturally the hype followed, with EA setting his potential at 86 (160-169 in FM) which lasted for 2 years until his progress slowed. Like many of the failed wonderkids on this list, Boudebouz peaked at a young age and his career since has been respectable but somewhat forgettable when compared with what could've been. Boudebouz now plays for AS Saint-Etienne after an unsuccessful spell with Real Betis, but with a current ability of 135 Boudebouz could still play a backup role for me in the CAM spot.

Javier Pastore

https://i.ibb.co/PgsZh2c/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-3-21-45-PM.png

Current Ability: 145
Potential Ability: 159

Pastore attracted attention from a number of big clubs such as Manchester United, Porto, Milan, and Chelsea before moving to Palermo from Argentine club Huracan. He then established himself very quickly as one of their best players despite his young age, and was given a potential of 90 (171-179 in FM) back in FIFA 11, roughly 4 months before he signed for PSG for €39.8m. This is where he somewhat plateaued and failed to become the world-class player that PSG had expected when they signed him. Pastore now plays for AS Roma but has struggled to assert himself in the squad despite his relatively high ability. Pastore could be a top contender for the starting CAM role in my lineup, but I'll keep looking to see if I kind find any slightly better options.

Renato Augusto

https://i.ibb.co/QpvZ8cK/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-3-30-33-PM.png

Current Ability: 146
Potential Ability: 159

Augusto was (and may still be) regarded as one of the best products of Brazilian club Flamengo's youth academy in recent years, but I'm certainly not alone in thinking Augusto could've achieved much more if he had fulfilled the potential that was expected of him when he joined Bayer Leverkusen back in 2008. When I first started playing FM on the FM mobile versions, Augusto was always one of my first transfer targets as one of the brightest young prospects in the world at that time. Back in FIFA 10, Augusto was given a potential of 88 (164-174 in FM) and though I don't know exactly what his potential was in FM at the time, he always became a world-class player in each of my saves. Augusto's story is unique from the other wonderkids, though, as he seemed on track to have quite an illustrious career until he decided to leave Bayer Leverkusen to return to Brazil at the age of 24 due to homesickness, right when he should've been taking the next step up to take his game to the next level. Clearly this had an effect on his development and after 3 years he signed for Beijing Guoan, which is odd considering his homesickness but I suppose the money must've been enough to convince him. Regardless, Augusto still possesses great ability and could make a triumphant return to Germany by helping FCG Wunderkinder achieve Champions League qualification.

Manuel Lanzini

https://i.ibb.co/FJwwYBR/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-3-41-41-PM.png

Current Ability: 140
Potential Ability: 160

Lanzini came through the highly respected River Plate academy in his native Argentina before making an odd career move to join Al Jazira Club in the UAE at just 21, despite interest from numerous European clubs. He then joined West Ham on loan before making the deal permanent the following summer, and has since had an impressive spell in the Prem, attracting further interest from top clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United over the past few years. However, Lanzini spent most of last season on the sidelines and though he's featuring once again for the West Ham first team, it's hard to imagine that at 26 Lanzini will improve much more to reach the 87 potential (161-168 in FM) that was once given to him. Lanzini is around the same level as Renato Augusto and Javier Pastore, and due to his younger age he could potentially beat out both of them to make the final squad, we'll see.

Ganso

https://i.ibb.co/9pb1nZw/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-3-50-46-PM.png

Current Ability: 138
Potential Ability: 158

Like Renato Augusto, Ganso broke out as a "wonderkid" around the time when I first started playing FM and I distinctly remember recruiting him for my legendary FM 2011 Liverpool team. Ganso really broke through in 2009, making 33 appearances for Santos at just 20 years old and subsequently being nominated for the Brazilian Football Confederation award for "Breakthrough Player" of the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, given to the best rookie of the competition. His development somewhat stagnated after that, failing to feature as much for Santos before moving to Sao Paulo in 2012 where he stayed until 2016 before finally taking the leap to Europe to sign for Sevilla. He struggled to get into the team at Sevilla and has since returned to Brazil, potentially for the same reasons as Renato Augusto. If Ganso moved to Europe after that impressive 2009 season, I think he'd have gotten much closer to the 89 (167-174 in FM) potential he was once given in FIFA. He now plays for Fluminense but with a current ability of 138 he could provide a solid backup option for me in the CAM position.

Mario Gotze

https://i.ibb.co/MDZ8g2z/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-4-00-27-PM.png

Current Ability: 151
Potential Ability: 173

Gotze is first player on this list to hold a current ability rating of over 150 in FM, and therefore has already made the team by default! His German nationality will also help with the squad registration quota, so I think I'll go with a 4-2-3-1 formation rather than my preferred 4-1-4-1 due to the better options in the CAM position than the CDM role. Gotze was expected to be one of the best players in the world after breaking into the impressive Borussia Dortmund first team under Jurgen Klopp in 2009 when he was only 17 years old. His progress continued after he signed for Bayern for €37 million, making him the second most expensive German player to date at just 21 years old, and his development seemingly climaxed with his late winner in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final, cementing his name in German history at just 22 years old. At this time, the hype around him was still huge, with a potential of 92 (189 in FM) looming over his head. The 2014-15 season then began without giving him much of a breather, and he seemingly struggled to regain his form and make any improvement in his game which led to heavy criticism from Franz Beckenbauer over his "lack of determination". After falling down the pecking order at Bayern under Pep Guardiola, Gotze moved back to Borussia Dortmund where he has since plateaued as a solid first team player for the club, far from the world-class star that Dortmund fans had hoped for when he broke into the team at 17. Though many of you probably already know this story, I just thought it was interesting how quickly Gotze's world was turned upside-down.

Maximilian Meyer

https://i.ibb.co/xXxVnDd/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-4-21-01-PM.png

Current Ability: 139
Potential Ability: 151

Meyer was touted as a future star when he became a regular first team player for Schalke at just 18 years old, and was handed a potential of 87 (161-168 in FM) back in FIFA 14 as a result. However, Meyer's development since joining Crystal Palace has stalled, and questions about his attitude and professionalism seem to have cemented his status as a failed wonderkid despite his young age. Still, at 23 (almost 24), Meyer still has time to improve and with a decent current ability and potential as well as the fact that he's German, he would make a great backup for Gotze for my final squad.

Giovani dos Santos

https://i.ibb.co/sK31nS5/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-4-30-15-PM.png

Current Ability: 132
Potential Ability: 150

Giovani dos Santos came through Barcelona's academy, La Masia, and featured heavily in his debut season for the club in the 2007-08 season when he was only 18 years old, so expectations were high when he joined Tottenham Hotspur for €6 million in 2008. However, dos Santos only managed to make 17 league appearances over 4 years with the club, and despite several loan spells dos Santos failed to improve much during his time with Spurs before moving to Mallorca in 2012. dos Santos has since had several successful years in Spain and the U.S., and now plays for America in Mexico. With a current ability of 132, dos Santos is good enough to play a backup role for me but due to the better options in the squad it's unlikely that he'll make the cut.

Bojan

https://i.ibb.co/Gd3TvVB/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-5-21-42-PM.png

Current Ability: 128
Potential Ability: 146

Like dos Santos, Bojan came through the La Masia academy but was undoubtedly more hyped than dos Santos when he broke into the Barcelona first team at just 17 years old, beating Messi's record to become the youngest Barcelona player to feature in a La Liga match (actually coming on for dos Santos as a 78' substitution). This was quite an achievement, and Bojan was deservedly given a potential of 92 (189 in FM) back in FIFA 09 which began to decline in FIFA 10 as he failed to work his way up the Barcelona pecking order. He then joined Roma and has struggled to find a home since, now playing for Montreal Impact in the MLS following a mixed spell with Stoke City. With a current ability of 128, Bojan isn't quite good enough for FCG Wunderkinder but I couldn't leave Bojan out of this list as he's one of the first names that comes to mind in the "failed wonderkids" discussion.

Ravel Morrison

https://i.ibb.co/WW0xNq1/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-4-21-28-PM.png

Current Ability: 125
Potential Ability: 138

When Morrison came through the Manchester United academy back in 2009, Sir Alex Ferguson reportedly "thought he was the best player he had seen at that age" according to Rio Ferdinand, and his high natural ability led EA to give him a potential of 84 (149-159) which isn't exactly world-class but is still a very high level compared to where Morrison is at now. Multiple assault charges and various disciplinary issues have stunted Morrison's career, but he's been given a chance to resurrect his career by Chris Wilder after joining Sheffield United from Swedish club Ostersunds FK over the summer. With a current ability of just 125, Morrison won't make the FCG Wunderkinder squad but I felt he deserved an honorable mention.

Ryan Gauld

https://i.ibb.co/C7Ls24M/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-4-52-19-PM.png

Current Ability: 112
Potential Ability: 140

Another honorable mention, Ryan Gauld made waves in the FM community following his breakout season with Dundee United in the Scottish Premiership in the 2013-14 season at just 17 years old. Despite interest from Manchester United, Everton, Liverpool, and even Real Madrid, Gauld joined Sporting CP in 2014 and his development has gone somewhat backwards since then. Gauld now plays for Portuguese club Farense in the second division of Portugal, likely far from where he thought he'd be at this stage. With a current ability of just 112, Gauld wouldn't get anywhere near the first team for FCG Wunderkinder, but I thought he was worth mentioning due to his huge popularity among FM players back when he was first touted as "the Scottish Messi" (yes that was actually a thing).

Review


https://i.ibb.co/MDZ8g2z/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-4-00-27-PM.png

https://i.ibb.co/xXxVnDd/Screen-Shot-2019-09-13-at-4-21-01-PM.png


Despite the extensive options in the CAM position, Gotze and Meyer were relatively easy choices due to their relative abilities, ages, and nationality. Gotze will play the starting CAM role for FCG Wunderkinder and Meyer will play backup while also rotating into the midfield behind Gotze to continue his development. Barring any late mix-ups, Gotze and Meyer will be my 2 options ahead of the others listed above and the defensive midfielders I wrote about before (Nuri Sahin and Johannes Geis).

«This comment has been edited»
Maybe Michael Johnson of Man City?


Lol damn is Michael Johnson still around?? Seems like ages ago I've heard anything about him
Center Midfielders


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

https://i.ibb.co/qMct5w3/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-12-06-46-PM.png

Current Ability: 147
Potential Ability: 154

Oxlade-Chamberlain is one that rings close to home, as Ox now plays for my favorite club Liverpool. Like several other names on this list, Ox came through the Southampton academy as a lightning-fast right midfielder with great technique, attributes which ensured interest from the top 6 of England and ultimately led to his signing for Arsenal. Ox made a total of 132 Prem appearances for Arsenal over 7 seasons but failed to make the progress that he had hoped to achieve under Arsene Wenger, and decided to join the great Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool where he has since experienced somewhat of a rollercoaster ride with a great debut season capped with a horrid Champions League final loss to Real Madrid, a nightmare second season spent on the sidelines and capped with a Champions League trophy/medal, and a slow start to his third so far. Ox would provide some pace and flair in the midfield if I recruited him for FCG Wunderkinder, and there's a good chance he'll make the final squad.

Riechedly Bazoer

https://i.ibb.co/gtgPQ20/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-11-58-33-AM.png

Current Ability: 134
Potential Ability: 154

A Dutch wonderkid, Riechedly Bazoer attracted Ajax's attention from a very young age, joining from PSV in 2012 when he was just 15 years old and gaining massive attention as Holland's "next star". Bazoer's development. I'm not sure exactly what went wrong with his development, and at one point Bazoer boasted a FIFA potential of 88 (164-174 in FM) but it's becoming clear that Bazoer won't reach that mark. While on loan at FC Porto, Bazoer was reportedly forced to play for the B team due to repeated injuries and lack of discipline, so these issues may have caused his original decline. Regardless, Bazoer is still only 22 years old and has time to reach his respectable 154 potential so there's a good chance he'll make the final cut.

Andre Gomes

https://i.ibb.co/9yTmg1S/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-12-25-34-PM.png

Current Ability: 144
Potential Ability: 151

There seems to be an abundance of failed wonderkids in the center midfield department, which is great news for FCG Wunderkinder. Andre Gomes joined and graduated from the Benfica academy at 18, and worked his way into the fringes of the first team before being sold to Valencia where he became a starter at just 21 years old. He impressed so much that Barcelona bought him for €35 million plus €20 million in add-ons, and he did so well in his first season that he was given an overall rating of 84 in FIFA (149-159) and a potential of 90 (171-179). He seemed to have struggled for confidence during his second season and was subsequently loaned to Everton, to whom he was later sold for about half the price Barca paid. Clearly he won't become the Barcelona legend that was briefly expected of him, but Gomes could slot right into the box-to-box midfield role or really whatever role I decide as he has very well-rounded attributes. We'll have to see if he's still good enough to make the final cut.

Renato Sanches

https://i.ibb.co/6sZpRMD/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-12-33-43-PM.png

Current Ability: 137
Potential Ability: 162

There have been a few players that I've left out of this list due to their young ages and potential to turn things around, but Renato Sanches is a very high-profile flop and despite still only being 21 years old (just turned 22 in real life), his future doesn't appear as bright as it once did. Sanches came through the esteemed Benfica academy, playing there from the ages of 9-18 before breaking into the first team as a 19 year old starlet with bags of potential, so much so that Bayern decided to buy the kid for a whopping total of €80 million (including all add-ons). He was then awarded the European Golden Boy award in October of 2016, launching his FIFA potential up to 90 (171-179 in FM), but his development has declined since then and he recently signed for Lille for just €25 million. I think Lille is a great project at the moment and he's made a good career move by joining them, but I doubt Sanches will reach the heights that the football world had originally hoped for and therefore he qualifies for (and will likely make) the FCG Wunderkinder squad.

Andre Horta

https://i.ibb.co/Wpcnss4/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-12-42-47-PM.png

Current Ability: 129
Potential Ability: 152

I'm noticing a trend here with Portuguese center midfielders failing to reach their potentials, and Andre Horta seems like another one. Horta's career has taken some strange turns, such as a one year spell with LAFC which started off with a back pass resulting in the opposite team scoring the final equalizing goal. His career seems to have gone downhill from that moment, seeing his previously high FIFA potential and overall rating fall significantly before being sold to Braga only a year later for just $2.5m (half the price of the fee LAFC spent on him). Like Renato Sanches, Horta is still young and has plenty of time to reach his respectable potential of 152, so there's a fair chance Horta could make the final squad.

Emre Can

https://i.ibb.co/WDQmMYd/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-12-52-39-PM.png

Current Ability: 150
Potential Ability: 159

I'm sure when Emre Can left Liverpool to join Juventus it seemed like the next logical step in his career to finally break through and reach his full potential, but it seems he may have already done that at Liverpool. Can now finds himself on the fringes of the Juventus squad, behind Pjanic, Khedira, Ramsey, Matuidi, Bentancur, and Rabiot in the pecking order. He was actually left out of Juventus's Champions League squad this season after they failed to sell him during the summer transfer window, and will now spend most of the season on the bench which definitely won't help his development. As a German national, Can would make a great addition to the FCG Wunderkinder squad and could even be an option for my captain. We'll see, but I can say with full confidence that Emre Can will make the final squad.

Jack Wilshere

https://i.ibb.co/9NCG6r6/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-1-02-34-PM.png

Current Ability: 139
Potential Ability: 157

Because what would a failed wonderkids list be without Jack Wilshere? Lol, though Wilshere doesn't appear to be good enough to beat out the other former wonderkids for a starting spot on FCG Wunderkinder, I think Wilshere could potentially play a backup or rotation role for us, though his injury-proneness could cause problems for us as it has for his development as a player. Wilshere seemed like the next great England player when he broke into the Arsenal first team in the 2008-09 season. He was given a FIFA potential of 90 (171-179 in FM) which stuck for quite a while, but injuries hampered his progress and he now plays for West Ham United, where his extensive injury problems have continued. Is he worth another chance?

Alan Dzagoev

https://i.ibb.co/HKbP3xP/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-1-07-48-PM.png

Current Ability: 134
Potential Ability: 140

Dzagoev was awarded "Best Young Player" in the Russian Premier League in his debut season at just 16 years old. Obviously the "wonderkid" talk soon followed after such an achievement, and Dzagoev was later awarded a potential of 90 in FIFA 10. Despite being regarded as a "star" in his native North Ossetia, Dzagoev has failed to become a world-beater and has instead become somewhat of a CSKA Moscow legend, with over 300 total appearances for the club since joining back in 2008. With a current ability of 134, Dzagoev could play a backup or rotation role for FCG Wunderkinder, so I'll certainly consider him.

Fabian Delph

https://i.ibb.co/C8GMz4Y/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-1-15-31-PM.png

Current Ability: 140
Potential Ability: 149

There seems to be an abundance of English center midfielders on this list, and Delph adds to that group as somewhat of a sell-out. Delph was once regarded as a potential future star, maintaining a potential of 86 on FIFA for over 2 years while at Aston Villa, but his slow development saw him fail to reach this target and instead joined Manchester City to fill their squad registration requirements as an English player back in 2015. God knows how much this man was paid to warm the bench for them but now he has a chance to redeem himself for FCG Wunderkinder!

Ross Barkley

https://i.ibb.co/ZJXqZFh/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-1-21-41-PM.png

Current Ability: 145
Potential Ability: 155

Barkley is yet another English option for my center midfield pool, as his progress has stalled since joining Chelsea in January of last year (2018). Back in FIFA 17, Barkley actually had 89 potential (167-174 in FM) and looked to be on track with his development at Everton, but he's now a squad player at Chelsea and it seems he won't ever quite be "world-class" as many Everton fans probably hoped back in the day. I think playing under Frank Lampard could be really good for Barkley IRL, but playing under me for FCG Wunderkinder would be a life-changing privilege for him so hopefully for his sake I choose him lol.

Anderson

https://i.ibb.co/yfKSBvL/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-1-30-02-PM.png

Current Ability: 105
Potential Ability: 155

This is more of an honorable mention than anything else, but I figured I'd include Anderson on this list as he was a very high-profile flop during his time at Sir Alex Ferguson's dominant Manchester United. Anderson joined Manchester United back in 2007, and though his work permit application was originally rejected, it was later approved on appeal because of the “exceptional talent he will bring to the Premier League”. Born in the same city as the legendary (yet also notably an underachiever) Ronaldinho, Anderson's journey to the top was followed by a rapid decline caused by injury problems, lack of commitment, personal issues, you name it. At 31 years old, Anderson now plays for Adana Demirspor in the second tier of Turkey. Probably not quite where he thought he'd end up.

Review


https://i.ibb.co/WDQmMYd/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-12-52-39-PM.png

https://i.ibb.co/qMct5w3/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-12-06-46-PM.png

https://i.ibb.co/6sZpRMD/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-12-33-43-PM.png

https://i.ibb.co/gtgPQ20/Screen-Shot-2019-09-09-at-11-58-33-AM.png


My current top 4 choices for the final squad are Can, Ox, Sanches, and Bazoer. Can and Ox would be my primary starting partnership, with Sanches and Bazoer rotating in behind them in the pecking order to continue their development. This was a very difficult choice as there are many solid options in this position, but I figured I'd go with the 2 strongest and the 2 youngest options. I still haven't decided if I'll go with defensive midfielders or attacking midfielders for my final formation, so I'll be going over the attacking midfielders available to me in the next post.

«This comment has been edited»
Defensive Midfielders


Johannes Geis

https://i.ibb.co/4WdsxL5/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-4-01-15-PM.png

Current Ability: 132
Potential Ability: 147

Johannes Geis will join Serdar Tasci in fulfilling the minimum German player quota for the squad registration, which is 12. I don't believe I'll reach this mark but the maximum number of players that can be registered is 99 so I don't think it'll be a big deal if we have to forfeit some spaces lol. Geis entered the spotlight after impressing for Mainz in the Bundesliga from 2013-2015 and was given a FIFA potential of 86 (160-169 in FM) before being sold to Schalke for €12 million. His progress has suffered since and he now plays for FC Nurnberg following a brief 6-month stint in the second half of the season with FC Koln. With a current ability of 132 and still some time to improve further, in addition to his German nationality, Geis is a fine candidate for FCG Wunderkinder.

Nuri Sahin

https://i.ibb.co/rbzv8N6/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-4-03-35-PM.png

Current Ability: 139
Potential Ability: 148

Nuri Sahin may also contribute to the minimum German player requirement as he was born in Germany, though he has declared for Turkey so I'm not sure how that will affect his registration. Nuri Sahin came through the ranks at Borussia Dortmund, being hailed as a "wunderkind" since he was a teenager, and he came very close to fulfilling his potential until joining Real Madrid where his career began to slide downhill. At one point he had an overall rating of 85 on FIFA (151-161 on FM) with a potential of 88 (164-174 on FM), and now he sits far from those figures with a current ability of 139 in FM. As Sahin may contribute to the German player quota, I think I may include him in the final squad but I'm still looking for someone better who could start ahead of him.

Yann M'Vila

https://i.ibb.co/TRkRySh/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-4-04-04-PM.png

Current Ability: 136
Potential Ability: 140

Yann M'Vila showed real promise when he came through the Stade Rennais academy, securing a starting role in the first team in Ligue 1 at just 19 years old. He held that spot for 3 and a half years before being sold to Rubin Kazan in Russia. Due to a dispute with the Rubin Kazan coach caused by M'Vila returning to France and skipping the club's training camp, probably along with several other factors, M'Vila's development suffered and he failed to reach the 86 potential he was once given by FIFA. He's still a solid player in his prime, however, and our lack of options makes him a candidate for sure.

Review


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I struggled to find many defensive midfielders that fit the criteria so as it stands Nuri Sahin and Johannes Geis are the two likely choices for the defensive midfield role. I considered Douglas Luiz but decided he's more of a box to box midfielder and still has time to get his development back on track. I also considered Lars Bender who would've been perfect to put in the heart of the FCG Wunderkinder midfield but I think it'd be harsh to classify Bender as a "failed wonderkid" as he's made over 224 league appearances for Bayer Leverkusen and is now their captain so I decided against including him in the pool. Can any of you guys think of any better options than Nuri Sahin? I'm trying lol

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Left Backs


Fabio

https://i.ibb.co/mN4cych/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-10-52-22-AM.png

Current Ability: 123
Potential Ability: 132

Like his twin brother Rafael, Fabio was signed and developed by Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United; but unlike Rafael, Fabio failed to break through into the first team and was subsequently sold to Cardiff. He now plays for FC Nantes and hasn't come close to reaching the 87 potential he was given back in FIFA 11. He could potentially operate as a backup for my FCG Wunderkinder squad, but it's unlikely as there will probably be better options.

Fabio Coentrao

https://i.ibb.co/x1bRGrq/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-10-54-57-AM.png

Current Ability: 138
Potential Ability: 150

Fabio Coentrao broke into the Benfica first team at 21 years old and impressed enough to be signed by Real Madrid for €30m in 2011. He was then given a potential of 86 from FIFA 11 to FIFA 13 before his development stalled and his career declined. He returned to his boyhood club Rio Ave once his contract was finally terminated by Real Madrid in 2018, but he has since left the club and is now a free agent at 31 years old. Makes me wonder why Liverpool didn't sign him as backup! With a current ability of 138 I believe Coentrao could still do a job so he's certainly a stronger candidate than Fabio.

Luke Shaw

https://i.ibb.co/D4vtw16/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-10-57-39-AM.png

Current Ability: 146
Potential Ability: 152

Luke Shaw adds to the growing number of Manchester United players featured on this list (Sergio Romero, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, who's next?). Shaw came through the esteemed Southampton academy where he greatly impressed as one of the most promising left backs in not just the league but the entire world. At one point Shaw even possessed a potential of 89 on FIFA 16, but his progress has been marred by injury problems, weight issues, and internal club struggles that you're probably all very aware of. At 24 years old, Shaw still has time to push his development further but it's clear he'll never be the 89-rated monster that Manchester United and England fans had hoped for. Despite this, he'd fit in perfectly at FCG Wunderkinder with his former teammates Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling, and Sergio Romero.

Theo Hernandez

https://i.ibb.co/wgVcPBd/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-10-59-04-AM.png

Current Ability: 138
Potential Ability: 152

Just 2 years ago, Theo Hernandez was seen as one of the brightest left back prospects in the world along with his brother Lucas Hernandez, but his poor attitude and work ethic saw him fall out with Real Madrid and his development has suffered since he signed for the club in 2017 for €24m. In those two years when he could've been taking his game to the next level, Hernandez has seemingly taken a step back in his development and has now signed for A.C. Milan (for €4m less than he joined Real) where he will try to fix his damaged career. At just 21 years old, I think Hernandez will reach that 152 potential ability at FCG Wunderkinder so I will more than likely choose him as one of my final 2 left backs.

Jetro Willems

https://i.ibb.co/j6NVfSD/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-11-02-48-AM.png

Current Ability: 136
Potential Ability: 149

I remember Jetro Willems from my FIFA career mode days. He was a powerful wing back who could do it all really, and he was a guaranteed future beast every time I'd start a new career. Nowadays Willems plays for Steve Bruce's Newcastle United on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt, and isn't anywhere near the 86 potential he had as recently as FIFA 17. He could operate as a reliable backup option for FCG Wunderkinder, but at the moment Shaw and Hernandez are the two front-runners.

Layvin Kurzawa

https://i.ibb.co/MPtt83L/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-11-03-59-AM.png

Current Ability: 141
Potential Ability: 145

Perhaps Liverpool's extensive left back woes during their dark ages were what put me so in tune with the up-and-coming left backs in the football world. Every year I'd start up my FIFA career mode or FM save using Liverpool and the first signing I'd make was a promising left back. Luke Shaw, Theo Hernandez, Jetro Willems, and Layvin Kurzawa have all featured for my past Liverpools and have all failed to excel in the same way they did for my various Liverpool teams (clearly they picked the wrong clubs!). Layvin Kurzawa seems to have fallen out of favor at PSG, despite having boasted a potential of 88 in FIFA 16, a rating that would've made him the best left back in the world. I believe he's still a solid player, but Luke Shaw appears to be the better option to be a starter and Theo Hernandez's age puts him ahead of Kurzawa in my book.

Ricardo Rodriguez

https://i.ibb.co/09Q6FyN/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-11-07-30-AM.png

Current Ability: 145
Potential Ability: 156

Ricardo Rodriguez has actually had a very respectable career so far, but I can't help think about what would've been if he had reached his given 87 potential and became the world-beater that FM and FIFA communities around the Internet had expected for so many years. At 26 years old, Rodriguez's development seems to have hit a ceiling of 145, which is certainly short of the mark I expected him to reach at this point in his career. Nevertheless, Rodriguez is a strong contender for my left back spot as he seems less injury-prone than Luke Shaw and my next option.

Benjamin Mendy

https://i.ibb.co/mzQ6wsM/Screen-Shot-2019-09-08-at-11-08-55-AM.png

Current Ability: 148
Potential Ability: 160

Yes, the most injury-prone of them all. And yet Benjamin Mendy is the best choice available to me for the starting left-back spot. This will be a difficult decision. Benjamin Mendy joined Manchester City in July 2017 and was given a potential of 86 due to his impressive spell with AS Monaco. He has since featured in just 17 Premier League matches of a possible 80 and it's clear that injuries have hampered his progress. With the introduction of Angelino to the Manchester City squad and some very impressive form by Zinchenko, Mendy is definitely not where he thought he'd be when he joined the club for a massive £52m. It'd be a gamble to choose him as my starting left back as his injuries could make him an unreliable choice, but his high current ability and potential make him a very strong contender.

Review


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With an abundance of options this has been my most difficult decision yet, but I've decided on Benjamin Mendy and Theo Hernandez for now. Mendy will be my starting left back, though his injury-proneness will provide many opportunities for Theo Hernandez to step in and continue his development for us. Who would you guys choose?

«This comment has been edited»
Freddy Guarin, Colombian central midfielder who was one of the best on the game a few years back. Never reached his 'virtual' potential in real life and may well be playing in China at the moment.


Ah good call, I hadn't thought of him. There's a few players in China that I'll be looking at for this squad like El Shaarawy, it's so interesting seeing where all these wonderkids ended up
interesting concept this

Ravel Morrison even SAF said he was the best prospect he had seen at the academy ...hasnt reeached anywhere near his potential


Yeah Fergie said that about Jones too! Crazy, I think Morrison will get an honorable mention when I get to the center midfielders but I don't think he'll be good enough for the final cut
Center Backs


Serdar Tasci

https://i.ibb.co/8YX52fv/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-02-39-PM.png

Current Ability: 129
Potential Ability: 146

Tasci will walk into the FCG Wunderkinder squad due to his German nationality (and our lack of German options) as well as his past status as a wunderkind in Germany as he broke into the VfB Stuttgart first team in 2006 at just 19 years old. His impressive form during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons launched his FIFA potential to 89 (167-174 in FM) and he was seen as one of the best young German center backs to come through the Bundesliga at the time but his development has since stalled and declined. He's now a free agent following a brief spell with Istanbul Basaksehir, so he'll fit right into my squad.

Jeffrey Bruma

https://i.ibb.co/nj2mDHX/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-10-53-PM.png

Current Ability: 133
Potential Ability: 151

A Chelsea academy graduate, Jeffrey Bruma has struggled to fulfill his high potential in the Bundesliga, with unsuccessful spells at VfL Wolfsburg and Schalke 04 after a very successful spell with PSV in the Dutch Eredivisie from 2013-2016. Back in FIFA 11, Bruma had a potential rating of 87 (161-168 in FM) but his current ability now sits at 133. However, he speaks German and has experience playing in the Bundesliga so I believe he could be a reliable backup option along with Serdar Tasci.

Phil Jones

https://i.ibb.co/WDVq2R4/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-15-54-PM.png

Current Ability: 142
Potential Ability: 152

Back in 2013, the great Sir Alex Ferguson made an alarming declaration, stating "Jones, arguably the way he is looking, could be our best ever player. I think Jones may be one of the best players we have ever had, not matter where we play him. At 21 years of age, he is going to be a phenomenal player. I think he can play anywhere on the pitch." As you all know, Jones hasn't quite become the legend that Ferguson predicted and is now on the fringes as more of a meme than a player at this point. Despite this, with a current ability of 142 I think Jones could do a very good job in the Bundesliga and will likely be one of my starting center backs if chosen.

Chris Smalling

https://i.ibb.co/N7czZ9B/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-21-28-PM.png

Current Ability: 145
Potential Ability: 152

Along with Jones, Smalling was thought to be destined for great things under Sir Alex Ferguson, but the internal struggles that Manchester United has suffered in the years since Ferguson's retirement may have stalled both players' progress. Smalling is one of the players being pushed out of the club in the recent attempt at an overhaul, and is now on loan at Roma in similar fashion to the way Joe Hart was ousted from Manchester City. I think his strong current ability and partnership with Phil Jones could be great in the Bundesliga (it is a video game after all) so at the moment a Smalling-Jones partnership is definitely a strong contender for our final line up.

Mamadou Sakho

https://i.ibb.co/qJrPSHG/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-28-07-PM.png

Current Ability: 142
Potential Ability: 154

Coming through the ranks at PSG, Sakho broke into the first team in 2007 at just 17 years old. Naturally, he was given a massive 88 potential just a few years later, and he maintained that potential for 2 whole years before his progress began to stall. He was then sold to Liverpool (my club) in somewhat of a rollercoaster spell, before moving to Crystal Palace where he currently plays. It's safe to say he failed to reach the heights that were expected of him as a 17 year old first team player for PSG, but he could certainly do a job for FCG Wunderkind though I think I'd still prefer a Smalling-Jones partnership for better cohesion.

Matija Nastasic

https://i.ibb.co/0BjLZLX/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-34-19-PM.png

Current Ability: 146
Potential Ability: 162

I can already tell this is going to be a difficult decision when it comes down to the final cut. Matija Nastasic is a strong contender for a starting role due to his relatively high current ability and his 5 years of experience playing in the Bundesliga. Despite his solid current ability, Nastasic was touted a future star when he joined Manchester City and impressed in his first season. He's struggled to really take his game to the next level and at 26 it's unlikely that he'll reach the 88 potential he was given in FIFA 13 (164-174 in FM), but I think he'd be a great option in the left center back spot (yes, he's left-footed!).

Eliaquim Mangala

https://i.ibb.co/bsF4fQN/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-41-01-PM.png

Current Ability: 135
Potential Ability: 141

Another failed Manchester City wonderkid, Eliaquim Mangala once boasted an overall rating of 81 and a potential of 86 on FIFA. Let that sink in. He's now a rotation option at Valencia and could fill the same role at FCG Wunderkinder if I decide to choose him, though it's unlikely.

Reece Oxford

https://i.ibb.co/0QD8m8R/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-44-35-PM.png

Current Ability: 122
Potential Ability: 144

Reece Oxford is a unique candidate, as he's still only 20 years old while most of the other failed wonderkids are in their primes (or should be in their primes at their age) or older. However, it's clear that he's struggled since becoming the Premier League's youngest ever player at just 16 years old (later beaten by Harvey Elliott). Once boasting a FIFA potential of 86 (160-169 in FM) as a promising West Ham starlet, he now plays for FC Augsburg in the Bundesliga where he's trying to kickstart his development. As he wouldn't need to be registered in the first season, Oxford has already officially made the FCG Wunderkinder squad!

Jairo Riedewald

https://i.ibb.co/qRpmHQf/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-50-45-PM.png

Current Ability: 126
Potential Ability: 149

With the addition of Riedewald to this list, I'm noticing a trend in Crystal Palace's recruitment. Some of you may have noticed this before but Crystal Palace seems to be emulating what I'm trying to do with FCG Wunderkinder, by recruiting failed wonderkids excessively. They've got Sakho, Riedewald, Meyer, and Benteke to name a few (they will all be featured on this list) so it seems Palace may be down to bare bones once we're done with them! Riedewald made a name for himself at Ajax at a very young age and at one point he possessed a potential rating of 86 on FIFA, but his development has stalled since joining Crystal Palace and his future doesn't appear as bright as before. However, at 22 years old he's a very strong contender for FCG Wunderkinder as he could still reach a solid ability level and he'd provide much-needed depth in several positions.

Mauricio Lemos

https://i.ibb.co/s2DSTd4/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-5-58-29-PM.png

Current Ability: 126
Potential Ability: 145

Lemos is another relatively young option who could provide backup while he continues his development. If it comes down to it I'll probably choose Riedewald over Lemos but I thought Lemos was worth mentioning because of his ridiculously high recent potential in FIFA. In FIFA 17 Lemos was given 88 potential (164-174 in FM) after impressing for Las Palmas, and in just 2 years that potential has fallen to 79 (135-145 in FM), a figure that FM seems to agree with. As I said before, Lemos likely won't make the final cut but was worth mentioning nonetheless.

Eric Bailly

https://i.ibb.co/vdqGs4T/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-6-03-24-PM.png

Current Ability: 145
Potential Ability: 161

It seems Manchester United and Crystal Palace could be major contributors to the final FCG Wunderkinder squad, which I suppose could be good for the dressing room and overall team cohesion. It's sort of a frightening prospect though, isn't it? Anyway, Eric Bailly's spell at Manchester United has exactly panned out the way he must've expected when he joined in 2016. At that time he boasted a FIFA potential of 87 (161-168 in FM) and looked destined to solve Manchester United's defensive woes once and for all. Obviously that didn't happen and Bailly seems to be somewhat mirroring Sakho's spell with Liverpool during their difficult time. Bailly certainly makes my final decision difficult, with Nastasic, Jones, Smalling, and Sakho all providing strong options to be my starting center backs.

Review


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My current 6 choices for center back in my pre-determined pecking order are Nastasic, Bailly, Smalling, Tasci, Riedewald, and Oxford. Nastasic and Bailly will start as I believe they could both still improve marginally, while Smalling will play a rotation role along with Tasci. I'll try to develop Riedewald and Oxford to reach their full potentials though it may be difficult with that much competition in the center of the park. Let me know what you think or who you'd choose!
Right Backs


Antonio Barragan

https://i.ibb.co/fpNyWBC/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-3-52-40-PM.png

Current Ability: 126
Potential Ability: 144

Barragan was touted as a potential star back when he moved from Sevilla to Liverpool in 2005 at just 18 years old despite having never played a first team game for Sevilla. He failed to impress at Liverpool and left after just a year, joining Deportivo in La Liga where he was then given a potential of 86 in FIFA (160-169) which quickly declined as he went on to have an average, though respectable career with various clubs in La Liga. At 32, Barragan now plays for Real Betis and would provide a decent backup option for FCG Wunderkinder if I were to pick him.

Davide Santon

https://i.ibb.co/z66hyrH/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-3-58-15-PM.png

Current Ability: 137
Potential Ability: 147

Santon was a relatively high-profile wonderkid earlier in his career, and I remember he'd be my first-choice signing whenever I needed a right back in my old FIFA/FM careers. At one point he boasted a potential of 87 on FIFA (161-168 in FM) and despite spending much of his career at Inter where he was given extensive time to develop, he failed to achieve his potential and now plays for Roma as a backup right back. Perhaps Santon can find his place at FCG Wunderkinder!

Mattia De Sciglio

https://i.ibb.co/Gs4pTP3/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-4-04-02-PM.png

Current Ability: 142
Potential Ability: 151

Like Santon, De Sciglio excelled in the Serie A at a young age and was given high expectations as a result, but has since failed to reach those targets despite currently playing for Juventus. It seems like a disproportionate amount of the past wonderkids so far have been from Serie A, which may have something to do with the quality of EA's scouts covering Italy though I'm not sure. Regardless, De Sciglio has developed into a solid player but the past hype has undoubtedly stained his successful career, and he's therefore eligible for FCG Wunderkinder in my opinion!

Rafael

https://i.ibb.co/DG2Tc15/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-4-09-35-PM.png

Current Ability: 138
Potential Ability: 140

Rafael was a squad player for Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United for years and along with his brother, Fabio, was tipped as a future world-class right back. In FIFA 09 Rafael even possessed a potential of 89 (167-174) but he's clearly failed to reach that mark despite having a relatively successful spell with Lyon. With a current ability of 138 he's slightly better than Davide Santon though he's a year older, so at the moment De Sciglio and Santon will likely be my 2 right back choices.


Danilo

https://i.ibb.co/P5FZZmX/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-4-14-52-PM.png

Current Ability: 147
Potential Ability: 152

Danilo is a questionable candidate for FCG Wunderkinder, as he's played for FC Porto, Real Madrid, Manchester City, and Juventus to date. Looking at this fact alone most people would say that player has done pretty well for themself, but it's also true that Danilo seemed destined for greater things when he joined Real Madrid from Porto in 2015. He was given 87 potential in FIFA 16 but that potential has steadily declined as Danilo's development has stalled. While Danilo is undeniably a great player, he certainly isn't an 87-rated right back and can therefore be classified as a "failed wonderkid" in my opinion.

Review


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As it stands Danilo and Mattia De Sciglio are the 2 strongest right back options in the failed wonderkid pool, but as I said before feel free to mention any players I may have missed as I'm trying to get the most out of this save! Choosing these two will leave Juventus without a first-team right back but I think I'll leave the first transfer window open for the clubs from whom I've stolen players. So far I haven't found any failed German wonderkids to help with the registration rules, but hopefully I can find enough to fill the whole 25-man squad rather than forfeiting spaces. Schurrle, Meyer, Marin, and potentially Gotze come to mind but we're not there yet!

«This comment has been edited»
What an interesting challenge you've taken on! Freddy Adu (USA) comes to mind very first. Back in the day, in his teens, he was touted as a future star player and the older FM games pretty much reflected that expectation as well, giving him high attributes, although, I never tested how well he would fair along his simulated FM career. He's still plying his trade in some part of the world in real life. Not sure where.


Yeah Freddy Adu was one of the first names I thought of as well, and I'm not sure if he'll be included in the next FM as the last club he played for was the Las Vegas Lights in 2018 but he's still in the FM 19 database so maybe I'll throw him in the squad for shits and giggles lol. His current ability's only 95 so I don't think he'd make the lineup but he'd definitely be a good mascot!
Goalkeepers


Joe Hart

https://i.ibb.co/FDdngkK/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-12-48-20-PM.png

Current Ability: 130
Potential Ability: 163

Joe Hart is a man who needs no introduction, and you are all probably familiar with his quick decline from England and Man City mainstay to Burnley backup. At one point Hart had a FIFA potential of 88, which would roughly translate to 164-174 on the Football Manager scale. Despite this, he failed to really push himself to the heights necessary to reach that level, and fell out of favor with Pep Guardiola due to his lack of footwork. He's now sitting at a 130 current ability and at 32 he won't improve further. Nevertheless Hart could certainly play backup if we can find a better flop to be our starting keeper.

Guillermo Ochoa

https://i.ibb.co/WFcjVsm/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-12-58-49-PM.png

Current Ability: 130
Potential Ability: 148

Guillermo Ochoa is another keeper who failed to reach the heights he promised at a younger age. Back in FIFA 07 his potential was amazingly 91 (176-182 in FM) and he was subsequently featured on the cover of FIFA 09. Despite all the hype, Ochoa never really played at a high level and failed to fulfill this potential and is now back in Mexico with his boyhood club America. He's currently operating at the same level as Joe Hart but is 2 years older so if it comes down to it I'll probably go with Hart as my backup keeper over Ochoa.

Simone Scuffet

https://i.ibb.co/fqXYSnN/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-1-07-20-PM.png

Current Ability: 123
Potential Ability: 147

At 23 years old, Scuffet still has time to turn his fortunes around, though it's clear he won't reach the levels that were expected of him when he first broke into the Udinese first team and impressed in 2014. As a result of his good first impression, he was awarded a potential of 88 (164-174 in FM) in FIFA but has since faltered and failed to make much more progress. He still has time to reach that 147 potential if I put him in the FCG Wunderkinder
squad so he's a very strong candidate.


Scott Carson

https://i.ibb.co/xSPyRMC/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-1-34-36-PM.png

Current Ability: 134
Potential Ability: 148

Scott Carson has become somewhat of a meme since joining Manchester City on loan from Derby to help fill City's squad registration requirements, but he was once tipped as a future star back in the mid-2000s and even boasted a 90 potential rating in FIFA 07. Clearly he failed to reach that mark and is now third-string keeper at Man City at 33 years old, which isn't a bad gig all things considered! Nevertheless, Carson's 134 current ability is higher than both Ochoa and Hart's and he's right in between them in terms of age so he's ahead of them in my book.

Emiliano Viviano

https://i.ibb.co/FznDkCY/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-1-40-28-PM.png

Current Ability: 136
Potential Ability: 144

Viviano is somewhat of a journeyman, having played for a total of 11 clubs (including Arsenal) in a respectable career. Given a potential of 88 in FIFA 09, Viviano impressed greatly early in his career as Brescia's starting goalkeeper for 3 years in Serie B in his early 20s. He then took a step up to the Serie A to become Bologna's starting keeper for 2 years and impressed enough to be signed by Inter in 2011 which is where his career began to plateau and subsequently decline. Despite this, he still has a current ability of 136 which is higher than any of the previous candidates, so he's a strong candidate to make the final squad!

Sergio Romero

https://i.ibb.co/zGr3zyj/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-1-47-17-PM.png

Current Ability: 140
Potential Ability: 146

I missed Sergio Romero in my initial search for previous wonderkid keepers but it turns out due to impressive performances with AZ Alkmaar in 2010 he was given a potential rating of 87 in FIFA (161-168 in FM) before moving to Sampdoria where his potential declined steadily. As you all likely know, Romero is now backup to David De Gea at Manchester United and has done a good job in that role which has contributed to his impressive 140 current ability. As it stands Romero will be my first choice keeper for FCG Wunderkinder.

Andrea Consigli

https://i.ibb.co/fqZ3xX9/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-1-53-15-PM.png

Current Ability: 134
Potential Ability: 145

Consigli's status as a "failed wonderkid" is questionable, as he's had a very respectable career as Atalanta's first-choice keeper from 2009-2014 and Sassuolo's since then. However, he was tipped with 86 potential (160-169) from 2008-2010 in FIFA which he certainly failed to reach. With a current ability of 134 at 32 Consigli would be ahead of Joe Hart, Guillermo Ochoa, and Scott Carson to make the final squad.

Sergio Rico

https://i.ibb.co/9ZL0Ndz/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-2-13-53-PM.png

Current Ability: 140
Potential Ability: 157

Sergio Rico is a strong option to be my first-choice keeper following his disastrous spell with Fulham in the 2018-19 Premier League season. Rico was previously expected to be a top goalkeeper, becoming Sevilla's #1 at just 21 years old and achieving a potential rating of 87 in FIFA 17 (161-168 in FM) but his development has stalled and he's now on loan at PSG where he'll play backup to Keylor Navas. Clearly this won't help his development either, so hopefully playing for FCG Wunderkinder will give Rico a new lease of life!

Jack Butland

https://i.ibb.co/hXg81xT/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-3-41-04-PM.png

Current Ability: 141
Potential Ability: 161

I'm amazed that Butland is the last keeper I could think of who failed to reach his potential, as I'd totally forgotten about him. At one point Butland possessed 89 potential on FIFA (167-174 in FM) and was largely thought to be the future England keeper, and a damn good one at that. However, due to the decline of his club Stoke City, Butland is now playing in the Championship for the second year in a row and at 26 years old it would take something special for him to hit that 89 mark. Hopefully he can revamp his career with FCG Wunderkinder!

Review


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https://i.ibb.co/zGr3zyj/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-1-47-17-PM.png

https://i.ibb.co/fqXYSnN/Screen-Shot-2019-09-07-at-1-07-20-PM.png


At the moment it looks like Butland, Romero, and Scuffet will be my 3 goalkeeper choices for FCG Wunderkinder. Butland and Romero will fight for the starting spot while I try to develop Scuffet to eventually overtake them as first-choice. I welcome any suggestions about other keepers who failed to live up to their expectations or any opinions at all. Let me know!

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Introduction


https://i.ibb.co/7GD4yym/fcg-wunderkind.png


Fußballverein für Gescheiterte Wunderkinder (FCG Wunderkinder) will start in the German Bundesliga in the 2018/19 season with a yet-to-be-named squad of 25 (plus any players still 21 or younger) players who were previously identified as potential "wonderkids" before failing to reach their expectations in both spectacular or unspectacular fashion (from Freddy Adu to Matija Nastasic). I threw together the crude club emblem above with the Champions League ball logo to represent the final goal of the save, and I may tweak it a bit before booting up the save. For now I need your help narrowing the talent (or lack thereof) pool so I'll go from position to position with the options and y'all can feel free to contribute with the names of any flops I may have missed or anyone you'd like to see in the squad! Let's do this.

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2026/27 Season Review

Season Preview
https://i.ibb.co/fC7wJZz/Screen-Shot-2019-08-22-at-11-24-09-PM.png
Despite finishing 6th the previous season, the press gave us title odds of 400-1 which placed us in 16th in the Season Preview. This was still an improvement from last year, though, as our title odds were previously 650-1.

Table
https://i.ibb.co/vm4V57Z/Screen-Shot-2019-08-31-at-6-41-50-PM.png
The introduction of the Europa League to our fixture list added a significant challenge later in the season, as we went on respectable cup runs in the FA Cup, League Cup, and Europa League which caused the squad to burn out in the last 3 months of the season. As a result we finished 10th in the league and will miss out on continental football next season.

Europa League
https://i.ibb.co/t2RBV6F/Screen-Shot-2019-08-31-at-6-39-48-PM.png
In our debut season in continental football we actually made it all the way to the Europa League Final against Liverpool, where we were then battered 4-0. The entire run to the final added 15 matches to our schedule, and we managed to go further in both the League Cup and the FA Cup than we did during the previous season when we finished 6th in the league. As a result of all 3 cup runs, we played a total of 21 more matches this season than we did last season. This fixture congestion and our lack of depth (partly my fault for not strengthening, but also injuries) caused our late season form to trail off and we ended up with 13 less points than we had last season. Hopefully with the right additions we can push the top 6 again this season, and with the lack of Europa League fixture congestion I think we'll have a good chance.

Transfers

https://i.ibb.co/RQsRtBS/Screen-Shot-2019-08-31-at-11-51-24-PM.png

This was actually the first season in which I didn't make any summer signings, which I quickly regretted. My starting right winger suffered damaged cruciate ligaments which sidelined him for most of the season and further injuries highlighted our weaknesses in depth. As a result I spent £70m on 2 first team players and 7 academy players, with further business planned for the summer window. To balance the books slightly, several players departed for a total of £13.5m.

Out

Timothy Weah
https://i.ibb.co/SPWKJqJ/Screen-Shot-2019-08-31-at-11-55-59-PM.png
Weah's ACL injury in the 2025/26 season disrupted his form and development severely, so I decided to sell him in the January window when interest from several Mexican sides was shown. He then joined Pachuca for £10.5m after 5 and a half mixed seasons at Nine Elms, during which he made 113 league appearances, scoring 27 goals. Weah started pretty well for Pachuca, scoring 5 goals and getting 2 assists in 10 appearances before getting injured, hopefully he can kick on and cement his place in the U.S.A. squad!

Cameron Carter-Vickers
https://i.ibb.co/QfYRg2k/Screen-Shot-2019-08-31-at-11-56-09-PM.png
After a mixed spell with us since signing 3 years ago, I decided to recoup some of the £7m we spent on him rather than letting him go on a free. As such, I sold him to Norwich for £2.7m where he played a bigger role but was ultimately relegated to the Championship.

In

Francisco Jose Ruiz
https://i.ibb.co/n7TzJBb/Screen-Shot-2019-09-01-at-12-25-15-AM.png
Following the departure of Timothy Weah, I signed 22-year-old right-footed left winger Francisco Jose Ruiz from Hertha Berlin for £66m as part of my plan to take this club to the next level. Ruiz is operating at a "Leading Premier League level" and could still improve, which is exactly the type of player I need to be looking for in the transfer market from now on. Ruiz did okay in his first 6 months, making 22(1) appearances in all competitions, scoring 6 goals and getting 2 assists with an average rating of 6.97. These certainly aren't world-class stats, but we were in the midst of some of the worst form in the club's history as well as being ravaged by injuries so I believe with the right support next season Ruiz will prove his worth.

Jonathan Amon
https://i.ibb.co/BsgrRPz/Screen-Shot-2019-09-01-at-12-30-07-AM.png
Due to lack of depth on the wings, our relatively small budget, and Amon's versatility, I signed Jonathan Amon for £3.5m on the last day of the January window and he subsequently made 6(7) appearances in all competitions, scoring 3 goals and grabbing an assist. I will likely sell him at the end of the season to bring in younger options for depth.

Standout Performers

Sergio Beccacece
https://i.ibb.co/PQk80xy/Screen-Shot-2019-08-31-at-6-42-10-PM.png
Beccacece has finally demonstrated the potential he had shown when we bought him and was by far our best player this season. He scored 14 goals and racked up 6 assists in 48(4) appearances in all competitions, maintaining a 7.21 average rating amongst a team who largely struggled with consistency. No doubt there will be interest in the summer window but hopefully we can hang on to him.

Other News

Luke Clark is Already a Legend
https://i.ibb.co/jWKS4ZN/Screen-Shot-2019-08-29-at-9-03-09-PM.png
https://i.ibb.co/173Wxg8/Screen-Shot-2019-08-30-at-9-06-35-AM.png
https://i.ibb.co/6BcSfZ1/Screen-Shot-2019-08-30-at-9-24-42-AM.png
https://i.ibb.co/1GJgkRq/Screen-Shot-2019-08-30-at-9-25-00-AM.png
At just 23 years old, Luke Clark has already won League One Player of the Year, the League One Golden Boot, the Championship Young Player of the Year, USA Young Player of the Year (3 times), USA Player of the Year (2 times), North American Player of the Year, and the English Premier League Players' Young Player of the Year. He's also our highest appearance maker of all time, with 190 league appearances and an impressive 85 league goals to show for it. He's also racked up 44 international caps already, with 11 goals. Though he wasn't quite as prolific this last season, Clark has proven to be a true American legend at the young age of 23 and hopefully his career will become even more decorated in the future.

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2026 World Cup Review

Results
https://i.ibb.co/SJrnbcL/Screen-Shot-2019-08-25-at-8-15-21-PM.png
We went into the World Cup with cautious optimism after beating Germany 3-0 in a friendly, but we went on to have a rather mediocre campaign. We started off strongly with a 4-0 win against Turkey, before being upset by Ivory Coast which served as a reality check for us. After being drawn to face Spain in the 2nd Round I thought all was lost but due to an early sending off of one of Spain's players, we managed to secure a 2-0 win to move onto the 3rd Round. We were then eliminated by Italy who went through all the way to the Semi Final where they were eliminated by subsequent runners-up, Portugal.

Winner
https://i.ibb.co/Fn2gFt5/Screen-Shot-2019-08-20-at-12-04-34-PM.png
France narrowly defeated Portugal in extra time in the Final, cementing their status as #1 in the world.

National Rankings
https://i.ibb.co/w73LXwc/Screen-Shot-2019-08-26-at-9-38-15-AM.png
We're now ranked 18th in the National Rankings, having moved up a total of 6 places since I took over about a year and a half ago. This is good progress but there's a long road ahead.

Standout Performers

Christian Pulisic
https://i.ibb.co/2yjx7ps/Screen-Shot-2019-08-25-at-9-29-44-PM.png
Pulisic was by far the best player on my team, scoring 4 goals in 4 appearances in the World Cup which made him joint-top-scorer for the whole competition. I attempted once again to sign Pulisic to add some depth to my attack but he requested £190,000 per week in wages which is £80,000 more than my current highest-paid player, Andreas Skov-Olsen (and even that is higher than I would've liked to spend). It seems less and less likely Pulisic will ever be a Nine Elms player as each summer comes and goes, but I'll keep trying.

Morgan Nicholls
https://i.ibb.co/k0Wg9g6/Screen-Shot-2019-08-26-at-9-33-25-AM.png
In an attempt to bring through the next generation of American National Team players, I've shaken up the traditional squad quite dramatically, replacing veteran right back Deandre Yedlin (124 caps!) with PSV player Morgan Nicholls. This turned out to be a great decision, as Nicholls was my second best player throughout the World Cup, putting in consistent and dominant performances in all but the last match of the competition. He's definitely on my shortlist for Nine Elms!

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2025/26 Season Review

Season Preview
https://i.ibb.co/vv5THZx/Screen-Shot-2019-08-17-at-8-37-35-AM.png
I've decided to scrap the season preview as well as the mid-season review posts to streamline this save even further so from now on I'll only be posting season reviews and high-profile international competition reviews (such as the 2026 World Cup). Prior to the 2025/26 season, the bookies gave us title odds of 650-1, an improvement on the 1000-1 odds we had in our first 2 Premier League seasons. This put us in 17th in the Season Preview, and yet again we massively overachieved and finished in our highest position yet.

Table
https://i.ibb.co/8zrFJvD/Screen-Shot-2019-08-19-at-9-14-45-PM.png
Amazingly, we managed to secure Europa League qualification by finishing 6th ahead of Liverpool after they suffered a dismal season under Jorge Jesus and only slightly improved under Eddie Howe. I honestly thought it would take a year or two more to break the top 6, but Liverpool only managed to get 63 points which opened the door for Burnley enter the top 6 race until we pushed them out of contention. Notably, Everton were relegated for the first time in 72 years after finishing with just 31 points despite being tipped to finish 7th with an outside chance of breaking the top 6 in the Season Preview. It seems we've nearly swapped places! Our total of 65 points was a massive 20 points higher than our tally last season, and we managed to improve that much with only a net spend of £500,000!

Transfers

https://i.ibb.co/vXTMPng/Screen-Shot-2019-08-19-at-10-48-31-PM.png
As I said before, we only had a net spend of £500k due to some shrewd business over the summer, with no January transfer activity despite having an extra £45m to spend. After making some key summer signings, I just didn't see any further areas of the squad that needed strengthening or any players worth buying at the time.

Out

Ethan Horvath
https://i.ibb.co/b2nCKcr/Screen-Shot-2019-08-19-at-10-53-46-PM.png
After failing to secure a top 10 finish in the 2024/25 season, Horvath put in a transfer request and was subsequently sold to Watford (who then finished 3 places below us) for £20m. This was a very good price for his age and relative ability, and the £4.25m profit nearly fully covered the expense for his replacement who turned out to be a significant improvement.

Bukayo Saka
https://i.ibb.co/p4cvpkJ/Screen-Shot-2019-08-19-at-10-53-59-PM.png
Saka failed to develop much after joining us ahead of our debut season in the Prem, only scoring 7 goals and gaining 7 assists in 36(12) appearances which wasn't quite the level I was looking for in my inside forwards. I then sold him to Portsmouth where he replaced former Nine Elms legend Harry Chapman and joined up with former Nine Elms fan-favorite Josh Bowler for £10.5m, a £6.2m profit. He went on to have another average season with them in the Premier League but helped them survive relatively comfortably despite their expected relegation.

Callum Hudson-Odoi
https://i.ibb.co/jZv3Dd9/Screen-Shot-2019-08-19-at-10-54-13-PM.png
Like Saka, Hudson-Odoi lacked the qualities I hoped he would display as an inside forward playing on the wing and after just one season with us I sold him to Wolves for £14m, a £5.5m profit. He struggled to get into the Wolves team, and only made 1(5) appearances in the Premier League. It seems he won't reach the promising potential he has shown in real life and will likely end up with a rather disappointing career as Wolves are his 4th club in 4 years and it seems he will likely move on yet again.

In

Weston McKennie
https://i.ibb.co/3rTBCf8/Screen-Shot-2019-08-19-at-10-52-58-PM.png
McKennie has been the first name on my shortlist since the beginning of the save, so I was delighted when he finally became interested in joining the club last season and I was willing to spend nearly anything to secure his signature so he could become Sergio Beccacece's partner in the midfield. I managed to sign him for a very reasonable £20m and he then made 30(2) Premier League appearances primarily as my carrilero alongside Beccacece and Oliver Skipp in the midfield, with an average rating of 7.00 as well as 5 goals and 4 assists. He clearly had a positive effect as we secured our highest-ever finish in the top flight.

Alessandro Plizzari
https://i.ibb.co/MMD78CL/Screen-Shot-2019-08-19-at-9-15-09-PM.png
Plizzari has finally solved the goalkeeping issues that have plagued us for years now, finishing with an impressive 13 clean sheets and only conceding 42 goals in 37 appearances. This was a huge improvement from last season when Ethan Horvath conceded 66 goals in the same amount of matches. Horvath originally cost me £15.75m and was sold the next summer for £20m which netted a profit of £4.25m. I then bought Plizzari from AC Milan for just £4.5m, so Horvath's deal pretty much funded Plizzari's transfer and thank God for that! Plizzari has never been capped for the Italian National Team at the age of 26 and if he still hasn't been capped in a few years he could potentially declare for the U.S. National Team once he gains citizenship (if he stays that long). Though he would be around 30 at that time he could still have several good years as the U.S.A. #1 if a better American hasn't come along by then. Only time will tell!

Gerard van Gool
https://i.ibb.co/r7H2Dv4/Screen-Shot-2019-08-19-at-9-15-22-PM.png
Amid growing concerns among the players about a lack of depth in defense, I signed the young Dutch newgen Gerard van Gool for £9m to operate as a backup option who could potentially break through in the next year or two. Instead, van Gool quickly became my most reliable center back ahead of even Davide Bettella who was our undisputed strongest center back since our promotion to the Prem. van Gool made 30(1) league appearances as my right central defender with David Bettella operating as a ball-playing defender to his left. It's no coincidence that this was our highest-ever finish in the league and our highest points tally by far, and van Gool will hopefully continue to improve rapidly and potentially become a Nine Elms legend for years to come.

Tiago Dias
https://i.ibb.co/0mPyYv2/Screen-Shot-2019-08-19-at-10-53-22-PM.png
Despite selling both Saka and Hudson-Odoi, I decided to only sign one replacement winger to give some of my younger academy players a chance to come through as backup players (more on that later). Dias fit the profile of an inside forward more than Saka and Hudson-Odoi, so I signed him for £11.5m to operate as a rotation option behind Andreas Skov-Olsen and Timothy Weah. He made 9(20) Premier League appearances and scored 4 goals while getting 2 assists and maintaining an average rating of 7.00. This is roughly the same output that Saka and Hudson-Odoi had, but I felt he contributed more overall by having a better average rating and being more consistent and reliable in general. I'll likely keep him on for another year or two before opting to sell and replace him for a profit.

Standout Performers

Shawn Dufty
https://i.ibb.co/T2P1s6x/Screen-Shot-2019-08-19-at-9-16-49-PM.png
Mere days after the summer transfer window slammed shut and I had made the bold decision of only signing one replacement winger for the departing Saka and Hudson-Odoi, Timothy Weah suffered "damaged cruciate ligaments" and was sidelined for about 7 months. As Tiago Dias functioned better on the right wing with a strong left foot to cut inside on, I decided to hand the starting role to the young Shawn Dufty, who was operating at a League One level at the time. Despite his inexperience (he had only made 14 total appearances in his career with North Carolina in the NCAA in 2023) and relatively low attributes, Dufty excelled and actually managed to defend his spot when Weah returned. Dufty is now operating at a "decent" Premier League level after a very impressive breakout season in which he made 28(4) league appearances with 7 goals, 8 assists, and an average rating of 7.06. I'm very excited to see how much he will improve in the future as he could improve "significantly" according to my coaches.

Luke Clark
https://i.ibb.co/VWyb0wK/Screen-Shot-2019-08-19-at-9-16-12-PM.png
After struggling with injuries last season, Clark came into his own and scored 18 goals in 31(2) league appearances which saw rotation strikers Shane O'Brien and Nate Stover struggle to get much game time. Clark was runner-up for the Golden Boot, finishing only behind Kylian Mbappe who now plays for Manchester United. Mbappe finished with 22 goals in 36 appearances so Luke Clark's ratio was very near the 2-time Ballon D'or winner's (though Mbappe's average rating of 7.62 and 17 assists definitely set him apart from Clark and the other strikers in the league). Clark's record also saw him finish far ahead of U.S.A. first-choice striker Josh Sargent, who only managed to score 5 goals in 13(15) appearances for Chelsea. It seems Clark may win U.S.A. Player of the Year again at the end of 2026!

Andreas Skov-Olsen
https://i.ibb.co/HPpCxjm/Screen-Shot-2019-08-19-at-9-15-58-PM.png
Skov-Olsen has continued to be our most creative winger, with 13 goals and 7 assists in 29(2) league appearances. He tends to go on streaks where he will score constantly and then go on a ridiculously long draught with his average rating dropping for several consecutive matches before picking up his form again. All players have ups and downs but the best way to describe Skov-Olsen's form would be bipolar; "manic highs" where he will absolutely tear up opposition defenses and then "depressive lows" where he will end up with a 6.3-6.5 average rating for 5-6 matches straight. If he could maintain his good form for longer periods there is no doubt in my mind the big clubs would be lining up for his signature. Nevertheless, his contribution was hugely important in our top 6 finish and he will likely continue to be my first-choice on the right wing for several more years.

Other News

FINALLY
https://i.ibb.co/Xsjgw7Y/Screen-Shot-2019-08-17-at-1-17-41-AM.png
I've finally done it. After 7 long, boring, and relatively fruitless years as U.S.A. manager, Gregg Berhalter resigned and I was then appointed as U.S.A. manager in the beginning of the season ahead of the 2026 World Cup which will be hosted in, you guessed it, the United States of America. It's a long shot, and I mean a VERY long shot, but we'll give it our best shot and if we win the World Cup I honestly might call it a day in this save as there won't be much else to achieve. This isn't a realistic goal, however, and I'll likely be looking to win in 2030 or even 2034 (and even that could be a stretch). Still, I'm excited to see how far I can take them and after just one season I've managed to improve our international ranking from 23rd to 19th.

2026 World Cup Preview

https://i.ibb.co/rZ3tncc/Screen-Shot-2019-08-19-at-10-08-41-PM.png

As I said before, we are host nations along with Canada for the 2026 World Cup and this gives us a distinct advantage over the other nations, though I still don't think it'll be enough of an advantage for us to actually win the tournament, but anything can happen!

https://i.ibb.co/Ctw307W/Screen-Shot-2019-08-19-at-10-07-22-PM.png

I selected a relatively young squad for the World Cup, and made a huge gaffe in leaving out Timothy Weah from the squad, though I don't know how because I distinctly remember clicking "Call Up to USA Squad" along with DeAndre Yedlin who was also left out of the squad. I also remember thinking the squad was full because it wouldn't let me add another player, but then I was able to add someone else a day later so perhaps the game bugged and removed them from the squad without me noticing. I'm really not sure what happened to be honest, but I couldn't go back to a previous save as I leave auto-saves off and I would've had to re-play a couple games which I don't do. Nevertheless, I'm happy with my squad and I'm confident of a respectable run after beating Germany 3-0 and tying Sweden away 1-1 in a match we dominated. I'll post a review of the World Cup once it's done and then will continue only posting season reviews from now on until the next major international cup!
2024/25 Season Review

Table
https://i.ibb.co/2Y6tWTG/Screen-Shot-2019-08-16-at-9-02-31-PM.png
Our second year in the Premier League was difficult, but we finished in the same position as last season (13th) despite only managing 45 points with a -15 goal difference rather than the 49 points and -13 goal difference we achieved last term. Considering we were relegation candidates again I suppose it's still a good finish, but I would've preferred to see an improvement from last season and hopefully with the right additions we can push for a top 10 finish next year.

Standout Performers

Max Sanders
https://i.ibb.co/fGv3JCm/Screen-Shot-2019-08-16-at-9-03-10-PM.png
Despite my plans to use Sanders as more of a rotation option due to his displacement from the box-to-box midfielder role by the signing of Sergio Beccacece, he actually became my preferred carrilero alongside Beccacece in the starting XI in the second half of the season. Sanders made 27(5) appearances in all competitions, scoring 9 goals and getting 5 assists from center-mid, which contributed greatly to several of our wins toward the end of the season. Sanders is also our current captain after the departure of Tristan Nydam over the summer, so he will stay on next season though I might consider bolstering my midfield options even further.

Timothy Weah
https://i.ibb.co/41MM4vF/Screen-Shot-2019-08-16-at-9-03-21-PM.png
Weah has finally found the form that I knew was in him after 2 inconsistent seasons with us. He managed to score 12 goals and get 6 assists in 25(9) league appearances, making him our top scorer for the season. He maintained a 7.15 average rating in the league, which is very good considering our relatively poor record this year. Despite this impressive form he has had trouble breaking into the U.S.A. National Team lineup due to the manager's stubborn 4-4-2 formation. Hopefully he can continue this way next season and eventually I'll become U.S.A. manager and find a spot for him.

Andreas Skov Olsen
https://i.ibb.co/qMMzY9C/Screen-Shot-2019-08-16-at-9-03-30-PM.png
Skov Olsen mirrored his debut season with us by having an explosive first half of the season followed by a pretty disappointing and inconsistent second half. Nevertheless, he contributed 10 goals and 7 assists in 25(2) league appearances from the right wing which helped greatly and justified his price tag. If he can have a full, consistent season with us I believe he has the quality to compete with the top scorers in the league. I just need to find a way to keep him focused and motivated later in the season.

Davide Bettella
https://i.ibb.co/gDLvyVh/Screen-Shot-2019-08-16-at-9-03-45-PM.png
In Raheem Sterling-fashion, Bettella has been nominated for the "Young Player of the Year" award at the age of 25. Bettella has proven to be worth every penny of the £10m I spent on him, and he made 28 Premier League starts this year, keeping a solid average rating of 6.97 and being my most consistent defender throughout the year. Consistency is a problem across my entire squad, but Bettella stands out in this department.

Notable Departures

Zach Knowles
https://i.ibb.co/WGsH80p/Screen-Shot-2019-08-16-at-11-26-59-PM.png
Long-standing squad member (perhaps our longest-standing squad member at the time of his departure) Zach Knowles has left the club after 6 years in the Nine Elms academy. During that time he had several chances to break through but never showed any real improvement in his game. He managed to make 14 league appearances over the years, including a run of 4 matches in the Championship when he was called upon because of injuries and actually managed to impress. He has now gone to Denver University in the NCAA, just like many of the other Nine Elms academy graduates.

Josh Dasilva
https://i.ibb.co/PZN2Vxj/Screen-Shot-2019-08-16-at-11-26-23-PM.png
Just a year and a half after signing him, I decided to sell Dasilva in order to continue improving the weaker areas in the squad. He joined for just £975,000 from Sheffield United in the summer of 2023 and sold for £8,750,000 in January 2025, so I think I've done another good piece of business here.

Ethan Horvath
https://i.ibb.co/MS1CbTX/Screen-Shot-2019-08-16-at-11-37-07-PM.png
Our goalkeeper woes have continued, as I apparently promised Horvath that we'd finish top half in order to convince him to sign for us. After failing to achieve that target, the first-choice U.S.A. keeper handed in a transfer request and will likely be leaving over the summer. Though it was nice to have the national team keeper in the squad, he didn't have a very good debut season for us and I think we'll actually be better off with a different keeper, though I doubt he'll be American.

Nine Elms Class of '25 Graduates

https://i.ibb.co/hR3qJZT/Screen-Shot-2019-08-16-at-6-29-36-PM.png
Richie Hewitt was the only member of the Class of '25 that made it through the academy, but still didn't reach the level I had hoped for and was subsequently released on a free to the University of Alabama.

Other News

We Absolutely SMACKED Spurs
https://i.ibb.co/3dZVMSn/Screen-Shot-2019-08-16-at-11-15-51-AM.png
In our record biggest win (and probably Tottenham's biggest loss of all time), we somehow managed to come back from an early 0-1 concession to beat the top 6 giants 9-1 despite using a "Defensive" mentality. Our striker, Nate Stover, had previously gone 13 hours without scoring a goal before netting 4 times against the poor Spurs keeper. It was brutal, but our goal difference would've been much worse if we hadn't won in this fashion and I was delighted.

Clark Wins it Again!
https://i.ibb.co/85tZvXD/Screen-Shot-2019-08-15-at-4-00-51-PM.png
Clark has secured the USA Young Player of the Year award yet again, despite being injured for large parts of the season. This adds to his growing list of honors, and I think he could really become a USA legend in the future.
2024/25 Season Preview

https://i.ibb.co/80Jjs9Y/Screen-Shot-2019-08-14-at-12-33-19-PM.png
Our odds remain unchanged from last season, though we're not at the bottom of the Season Preview this year. Considering how we did last year I'm not too worried as I think I've strengthened the squad in all the right areas! Clearly it's going to take a few years to be able to break the top 6, so I've scrapped the mid-season reviews as they were really just slowing me down. So from here on out it'll just be the season previews and the season reviews for each year.

Board Expectations

https://i.ibb.co/JvnqGR5/Screen-Shot-2019-08-14-at-12-32-39-PM.png
https://i.ibb.co/YLn77Jg/Screen-Shot-2019-08-14-at-12-32-53-PM.png
https://i.ibb.co/bNMMYPR/Screen-Shot-2019-08-14-at-12-33-01-PM.png
The board has raised their expectations somewhat, now expecting me to avoid relegation rather than just fighting bravely against it. That's fair, and I think it's relatively attainable considering we finished with 49 points last year.

Transfers

https://i.ibb.co/mRn5qsC/Screen-Shot-2019-08-15-at-12-38-47-PM.png
It was another busy summer as the board gave us around £50m to spend, and after selling 6 players for a total of £27.5m I had plenty more to invest. I spent £84m on 7 signings, most of which will be starters.

In

Ethan Horvath
https://i.ibb.co/Zf3Q0S4/Screen-Shot-2019-08-15-at-12-41-52-PM.png
After selling both of my first team keepers, I offered nearly £16m to Club Brugge for the first-choice U.S.A. keeper, Ethan Horvath. I'm very happy with this signing as he's operating on a decent Premier League level and I believe he's an improvement on our previous keepers. He also adds to the growing list of Nine Elms players currently playing for the U.S.A. National Team and I think if we can create some cohesion in the national team by having them play together week-in, week-out we can ensure growth.

Cameron Carter-Vickers
https://i.ibb.co/wrC11vf/Screen-Shot-2019-08-15-at-12-41-43-PM.png
Like Horvath, Cameron Carter-Vickers holds a steady starting role in the national team and after joining for just £7m from Basaksehir in Turkey with several good years left in him, I think he'll turn out to be a great signing. We lacked depth in the center back department last season so he will fill that gap perfectly while pushing van den Berg and Bettella to perform to keep their spots.

Sergio Beccacece
https://i.ibb.co/2KS1nqL/Screen-Shot-2019-08-15-at-12-42-05-PM.png
After failed attempts to sign American center-mids Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams, I turned my attention to Beccacece. He became our record signing when he joined from Marseille for £26m. He's currently operating at a "good" Premier League level and he has the potential to be a "leading Premier League center midfielder in the future" according to my scouts and my coaches, so it seems I may have found my first world-class potential regen gem of this save. Though I would've preferred it if he were American, I'll certainly take him!

Callum Hudson-Odoi
https://i.ibb.co/d7yPL0b/Screen-Shot-2019-08-15-at-12-42-22-PM.png
To my surprise, Hudson-Odoi was transfer-listed by Crystal Palace after failing to reach the potential that he promised during his time at Chelsea. I've decided to sign him as a backup/rotation option on the left wing to increase the depth in that position after the sale of Harry Chapman. He only cost me £8.5m which is crazy to imagine considering how much Bayern Munich were willing to invest in him last year in real life.

Andreas Skov Olsen
https://i.ibb.co/jDsDgkr/Screen-Shot-2019-08-15-at-12-42-52-PM.png
After almost re-signing Josh Bowler for half the price we sold him to Brighton for, I pulled out of the deal last-minute and instead opted to buy Skov Olsen due to his impressive performances for us on loan last season. He will be my preferred right winger with Bukayo Saka playing backup, as I don't think Saka will reach his full potential while Skov Olsen has continued to improve already.

Nate Stover
https://i.ibb.co/n8zZghF/Screen-Shot-2019-08-15-at-12-42-32-PM.png
Stover is one of the brightest young American prospects I've seen yet, and he's on a similar level to Luke Clark despite being a year younger. I think he'll add much-needed depth to our attack as we struggled greatly when Clark was injured at the end of last season. My coaches believe he could still improve a lot in the future, so he could even displace Luke Clark at some point!

Ignacio Aguilar
https://i.ibb.co/rMRp7jq/Screen-Shot-2019-08-15-at-12-42-41-PM.png
Last season the right-back spot was probably our biggest weakness, with all three options failing to impress or gain any kind of consistency. As a result I've brought in Aguilar for nearly £9m and he's operating at a "good Premier League level" at only 23, so I believe he could still improve. Hopefully he proves to be a long-term solution!

Out

Tristan Nydam
https://i.ibb.co/bNWH5XN/Screen-Shot-2019-08-15-at-1-03-51-PM.png
Signed for £325,000 in 2020 from Ipswich ahead of our debut season in League One, Nydam has since made 138 league appearances across 4 seasons. I'm really happy with how far he's come as a player and how much he helped us through the divisions, but with the signing of Beccacece and our need to continue improving in order to survive it just made sense to let him go to Norwich with only 1 year left on his contract. Norwich bought him for £10.5m, so not only did he contribute greatly as a captain and an important midfielder for several years, but we made a substantial profit on his sale and he will now get more game time. Overall a great deal, good luck Tristan!

Harry Chapman
https://i.ibb.co/nb6gmch/Screen-Shot-2019-08-15-at-1-09-56-PM.png
This transfer was years in the making, as Chapman attracted Portsmouth's interest just a few games into his Nine Elms career in 2021, when he joined on a free transfer after being released by Blackburn. Chapman absolutely lit up League One and the Championship, while helping as a rotation option in the Premier League last season. In total he made 94 league appearances primarily on the left wing, scoring 29 goals and getting 22 assists. With only a year left on his deal and his relatively low ability in relation to the standard of the Premier League, I decided to sell him to his long-time admirers, Portsmouth, for £7.5m. This fee was more than 10x what they offered about a year and a half ago when we were in the Championship, so I'm very happy with this deal!

Rob Williams
https://i.ibb.co/wzHZCqn/Screen-Shot-2019-08-15-at-1-15-01-PM.png
Williams had a decent season with us last year and is the third-choice U.S.A. keeper, but I felt he wasn't going to improve any more and he wasn't quite at the level I was hoping for so I decided to sell him to Olympiakos for £7m. I signed him on a free only a year prior so this was yet another profitable deal, which I feel I've been doing very well in this save.

Ted Moulden
https://i.ibb.co/zVDKkkt/Screen-Shot-2019-08-15-at-1-17-37-PM.png
Nine Elms legend and longest-standing squad member Ted Moulden has left the club after 6 years of service, in which he made a total of 177 league appearances as the club's highest appearance-maker in its history. His ability to continue performing at each stage shocked me each season, and he actually gained American citizenship and eligibility to play for the U.S.A. National Team just a few months before leaving. He joined us on a free from Bolton at just 17 years old in 2018, and has now left for £1m to Chesterfield in League One, now aged 23. Hopefully he can kick on and earn a spot in the national team. If I ever get the job I'll make sure I give him at least 1 cap!

Joe Walsh
https://i.ibb.co/FYYMhhj/Screen-Shot-2019-08-15-at-1-22-16-PM.png
With just a year left on his deal, I managed to sell Walsh to Preston for £325,000 despite his age. He was incredibly important in solidifying my defense throughout League One and the Championship, but wasn't quite good enough for the Premier League and is now back in the Championship where I believe he'll do well.

Other News

Facilities
https://i.ibb.co/J3jy9M6/Screen-Shot-2019-08-15-at-11-20-52-AM.png
https://i.ibb.co/GcSx8jj/Screen-Shot-2019-08-15-at-11-20-31-AM.png
Uncle Sam has continued his heavy investment in youth development, improving our youth facilities yet again to keep up with the best academies in the world. Due to our secure finances I then asked the board for our training facilities to be improved as they have only been at a "good" level for several years now, and the board accepted! Not only will this encourage the development of all our players, but it will increase the club's reputation, drawing better talent, coaches, and more fans to the club down the line.

U.S.A. Call-Ups
https://i.ibb.co/RNz3C66/Screen-Shot-2019-08-14-at-6-08-17-PM.png
Having played a little bit into the season, the first round of call-ups has occurred and we now have 4 players in the U.S.A. squad. Horvath, Carter-Vickers, and Luke Clark are all starters for the national team, while Weah doesn't seem to fit into the 4-4-2 formation as he's more of an inside forward on the wing rather than a natural striker or left midfielder. Hopefully the manager spot is vacated soon so I can change this and have him play a bigger role. We also had a young striker, Shane O'Brien, called up to the U20s while one of my U23 center midfielders was also called up to the U.S.A. U19s. This is real progress in the purpose of this save!

England Job Offer
https://i.ibb.co/Px0FvkS/Screen-Shot-2019-08-14-at-11-41-56-AM.png
Much to my surprise, I was offered the England job despite not even applying or interviewing for it. I declined the job as I'm only interested in managing Nine Elms and the U.S. National Team in this save so I can focus on the goal of improving U.S. soccer as a whole. However, this offer means that I would likely get the job if I applied for the U.S.A. seat!

New Stadium
https://i.ibb.co/5MvryHD/Screen-Shot-2019-08-13-at-5-34-41-PM.png
In a strange turn of events, the board has begun planning for the construction of a new stadium, potentially in New York City in the United States. This would be a hell of a commute! The high maintenance costs of the Embassy Stadium in Battersea, London, are the reason. We normally don't get more than 30,000 spectators except for the occasional big game, so this makes sense somewhat considering our capacity is 99,000. Still, I would prefer if the stadium was built in London near the embassy and not across the Atlantic.

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2023/24 Season Review

Table
https://i.ibb.co/Vxn1KSb/Screen-Shot-2019-08-13-at-5-00-21-PM.png
In classic Nine Elms fashion, we overachieved massively in our Premier League debut season, finishing 13th with 49 points, nearly double the amount of minimum points we would've needed to survive. Obviously 40 points is normally the safety net, but this season the bottom teams were particularly bad. Stoke, Norwich, and Leeds were all relegated while we were on course to finish 8th before a horrid run in the last 8 games in which we failed to win a single one. Nevertheless, a safe mid-table finish was a great result considering we were relegation favorites!

Standout Performers

Andreas Skov Olsen
https://i.ibb.co/ZBsmnzM/Screen-Shot-2019-08-13-at-5-27-48-PM.png
Olsen practically drove our attack in the first half of the season, scoring 11 goals and getting 2 assists in 22(3) league appearances from the right wing. His form dropped dramatically in the second half of the season, and I'm not sure but I think he scored all 11 of his goals before January which put him at the top of the scoring chart. He was originally supposed to be my backup winger as he came on loan after we permanently signed Bukayo Saka, but he eclipsed Saka as my first-choice and I'm looking at signing him on a permanent deal ahead of the new season.

Luke Clark
https://i.ibb.co/Lns5pZm/Screen-Shot-2019-08-13-at-5-28-12-PM.png
Clark adapted well to the step up to the Premier League, scoring 9 goals and getting 4 assists in 26(1) league appearances. Though he didn't quite reach the same level of proliferation, his impact became apparent when he sustained a groin strain which sidelined him for the last 6 matches of the game, in which we failed to win a single game and only scored in half of them. Clark's form has earned him a total of 17 caps for the U.S. National Team, but he's only scored twice in that time. I think Josh Sargent is currently the first-choice striker for the national team so it may take a few years for Clark to make the spot his own, but I believe he can do it.

Notable Departures

Arun Basuljevic
https://i.ibb.co/gJ41m8M/Screen-Shot-2019-08-13-at-11-22-55-AM.png
Basuljevic became somewhat of a cult hero throughout our rise from League One to the Premier League, constantly defying expectations to continue performing at each level. He made a total of 103 league appearances for us, scoring 12 goals and getting 14 assists. He simply isn't good enough to make an impact in the Premier League, though, so I let him go to LA Galaxy II on a free in February where he seems to have regained his form. This is a nice change as most of the Americans I send back to the USL end up killing their careers!

Ben Close
https://i.ibb.co/SrxFWdX/Screen-Shot-2019-08-13-at-11-39-21-AM.png
Close only spent a year and a half with us, but was my preferred defensive midfielder when we won the Championship. However, at 27 years old, he wasn't getting any better and I decided to transfer list him in January before selling him to Swansea for a discounted £275,000 (down from the £475,000 I spent on him).

Nine Elms Class of '24 Graduates

https://i.ibb.co/Dwt7trs/Screen-Shot-2019-08-14-at-12-10-27-PM.png
https://i.ibb.co/8bL4qF1/Screen-Shot-2019-08-14-at-12-10-45-PM.png
https://i.ibb.co/VWkdZym/Screen-Shot-2019-08-14-at-5-00-49-PM.png
This year we have 3 academy graduates, 2 of which have been released while Zack Knowles will continue his development with us for the time being. Brendan Seal has followed previous graduates Juan Pablo Nava and Phil Flebbe to the NCAA in America, while Maciel has chosen his Portuguese nationality over America and will likely either retire or end up in the Portuguese lower divisions due to his low potential and low current ability. I'm hoping as we continue to improve our reputation we'll be able to produce higher potential academy players, though the United States' youth rating in the game likely isn't helping this problem. However, I've come up with a solution!

The Chelsea Method
https://i.ibb.co/TmbvScX/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-6-52-01-PM.png
In the last 2 years or so, I've signed upwards of 20 promising young American players on free transfers from the NCAA and the USSDA, and due to the size of both league systems there is an abundance of regens so I've been scouring American universities for diamonds in the rough. Another problem surfaced however, as I have had trouble finding clubs to loan these players to. I then made a board request to find an affiliate club to loan players to and AFC Fylde became our affiliate shortly thereafter. They are currently in League Two, which is the perfect level for many of the youngsters and hopefully getting them promoted will provide valuable experience for whichever U23 players I choose to send!

Other News

USA Player of the Year
https://i.ibb.co/ykqfnZr/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-8-17-46-PM.png
Clark unexpectedly won USA Player of the Year as well as USA Young Player of the Year, while narrowly missing out on the European Golden Boy award in 2023. At 20 years old, this is quite an achievement though my coaches believe he is already operating at close to his full potential. Hopefully they're wrong because I don't think Clark is at the level we need to start pushing for a top 6 finish!
2023/24 Season Preview

https://i.ibb.co/gytbbct/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-4-19-15-PM.png
The press has little faith in us ahead of our debut season in the Premier League, putting our title odds at 1000-1. Considering we've overachieved every single season since the beginning of this save, it's not so farfetched to think we can do it again (though not to the same extent). Surviving the first season in the Prem is vital to long-term success in these saves, so I'll be doing everything I can to ensure we don't go down.

Board Expectations

https://i.ibb.co/DKzs412/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-4-19-34-PM.png
https://i.ibb.co/vBVfM90/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-4-20-24-PM.png
https://i.ibb.co/1r5MW8q/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-4-20-37-PM.png
The board has again set pretty low expectations, requiring us to just "fight bravely against relegation," so my job appears safe for the foreseeable future, despite the fact that my contract is due to expire at the end of the season. The cup expectations are relatively attainable as usual, and I'll be focusing all of my energy on the league this season.

Transfers

https://i.ibb.co/zQMXV2g/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-4-31-02-PM.png
With considerable investment from the club owner, it has been a busy transfer window. I made a total of 10 first team signings, as well as making 6 youth signings while selling/loaning 6 players out. Our net spend was £23.75m, and I'm very happy with the results.

In

Oliver Skipp
https://i.ibb.co/dtzXF7c/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-4-21-46-PM.png
Everyone who plays FM religiously knows that Oliver Skipp is one of the brightest young English talents in the Premier League right now, and I was very surprised that I was actually able to sign him for just £10m from Wolves. He will operate as my primary defensive midfielder, and hopefully he can fulfill that potential that he has shown in real life!

Davide Bettella
https://i.ibb.co/5Fmk5vj/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-4-22-35-PM.png
Another £10m signing, Bettella will partner Sepp van den Berg in the center of my defense, with both showing great current and potential ability at relatively young ages. Hopefully they can provide a solid platform of distribution as ball-playing defenders in my system.

Alex Centelles
https://i.ibb.co/JdP1fjJ/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-4-22-22-PM.png
Centelles was an absolute bargain-buy, signing for just £6m despite his immense potential and impressive current ability. At 23, he still has a couple years to reach his full potential, and hopefully that can be with us in the Premier League. He has a £67m release clause, so this could be my best piece of business so far.

Bukayo Saka
https://i.ibb.co/Q7BN8t1/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-4-21-58-PM.png
Saka was another bargain, joining for only £4.3m from Arsenal even though he is still showing great potential at the age of 22. Saka hasn't been training well and his attitude may be the reason why he came so cheap, but my skill set revolves around motivating and man management so I thing I'll be able to get the most out of him.

Lee Dong-Hyun
https://i.ibb.co/m0x4D0w/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-4-23-15-PM.png
Having spent the entire summer from the moment we were promoted from the Championship looking for a new right back, I finally discovered Lee Dong-Hyun playing for Okayama FC in Japan on deadline day (not even sure if they play in the J-League, or any league for that matter). Despite the obscurity of his origins, he actually came to us already at a Premier League level, with the potential to improve more in the future. Dong-Hyun will hopefully help us commercially in Japan, as big signings from lower-ranked nations often open up revenue streams in those countries (think Mo Salah for Liverpool/Egypt). Soon everyone in Japan will be wearing a Nine Elms jersey with Dong-Hyun's #33 on the back and I'm gonna be raking in the cash!

Josh Dasilva
https://i.ibb.co/MPvBw8g/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-4-49-41-PM.png
While I normally only include the basic info in these screenshots, I just wanted to demonstrate the extent of Josh Dasilva's versatility by including his playable positions in the image. He can quite literally play anywhere on the field lol. Signed for just under £1m, Dasilva still possesses the potential to be a "good Premier League center midfielder" and his versatility will no doubt come in handy.

Rob Williams
https://i.ibb.co/4tHWKDj/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-4-23-41-PM.png
Williams adds to the growing list of players I have that are part of the U.S.A. National Team setup, with Timothy Weah and Luke Clark also featuring more recently in the Gold Cup. The purpose of this save is to improve the U.S.A. National Team, so now that we're in the Premier League I can begin to make some progress on that goal. As such, I will continue looking for relatively young players like Rob Williams in the hopes that I can take them to the next level. Williams replaces Brad Rodriguez, the U20 U.S.A. goalkeeper who operated as my starting keeper throughout League One and the Championship.

Out

Josh Bowler
https://i.ibb.co/q0gctjG/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-2-50-41-PM.png
In an unexpected turn of events, Josh Bowler and I had a bit of a falling out over contract negotiations and he subsequently requested to leave, resulting in his sale to Brighton for £10.5m. Bowler made a total of 139 league appearances throughout his Nine Elms career, scoring 39 goals and getting 34 assists while becoming a fan-favorite as a versatile winger. Though Bowler was an important part of our squad, I don't believe he would've ever been able to take us to the "next level" so to speak, and the fee I received was reasonable so I decided to let him go.

Darnell Fisher
https://i.ibb.co/k0gq2bT/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-4-20-57-PM.png
Due to Fisher's age, I decided to sell him while I could and replace him with a younger option. He attracted interest from several clubs including Huddersfield, who bought him for £625k, nearly double what I signed him for a year ago. Great business in my opinion!

Other News

Nine Elms Class of '23 Graduates
https://i.ibb.co/Tqxfhzt/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-3-34-08-PM.png
https://i.ibb.co/zJ7HVTy/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-3-33-58-PM.png
https://i.ibb.co/pj10qj2/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-5-03-17-PM.png
https://i.ibb.co/NFSJGMk/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-5-03-40-PM.png
The first generation of original Nine Elms academy products have just turned 18, and subsequently been released by the club due to their lack of substantial potential. Nevertheless, they have nearly all found clubs in the NCAA D1 Championship in the U.S., though I don't believe they will ever make an impact at the national level as I had hoped. Good luck boys!

U.S.A. National Team Progress
https://i.ibb.co/txzxzXv/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-5-07-51-PM.png
The U.S. has failed to make any real progress since the beginning of the save, actually dropping 2 places in the world rankings from 22 to 24 despite winning the Gold Cup in 2021 and finishing runners-up in the Nations League and the Confederations Cup Playoffs. Hopefully now that we're in the Premier League this will begin to change. In the last year I've signed 16 young American players with Championship potential or higher (according to the scouts, not definite), with 4 more joining in January. If just a handful of these players can grow to become Premier League-quality, then the U.S. National Team will automatically be improved by depth alone. Our youth facilities are still "state of the art" while our training facilities are "great" so I will continue to focus on recruiting young American talent in the hopes that tangible progress will be made over the next few years. If the U.S.A. manager is sacked at any point, I may consider applying for the job and managing both, but we'll talk about that if/when it actually happens.

«This comment has been edited»
2022/23 Season Review

https://i.ibb.co/vjtqDRP/Screen-Shot-2019-08-11-at-9-45-30-PM.png
We did it boys, 4 promotions in 5 seasons, all without playing a single playoff game. I've never had such a successful run through the lower leagues in any of my past saves but that's likely because of the club infrastructure and financial backing at Nine Elms. Still, a great achievement! We are now heading into our debut season in the English Premier League with a hugely inexperienced squad so we're probably going to struggle for once, but I'm excited!

Table
https://i.ibb.co/9q60snt/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-11-25-38-AM.png
It was an intense title race, and I thought we were going to clinch it before Leeds came flying in at the very end of the season and stole the title away from us with a ruthless run of form. Despite the disappointment on missing out on the title, we managed to avoid the playoffs yet again by finishing 2nd and securing automatic promotion to the Premier League.

Results
https://i.ibb.co/kgK47V9/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-11-26-04-AM.png
Just as I had feared, the winter World Cup had a negative impact on our momentum, and we struggled to find our form throughout January. However, once we finally got that first win we absolutely dominated for 2 whole months, winning 9 matches in a row before losing our form a bit in the last stretch of fixtures. Considering we were in 2nd exactly halfway through the season, I think it's a fair finish.

Standout Performers

Luke Clark
https://i.ibb.co/51X601m/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-10-34-52-AM.png
The young American striker who lit up League One for us before this season struggled to find that same level early on in the year, but during the second half of the season he absolutely wrecked it. He catapulted himself onto the top scoring charts, narrowly missing the Golden Boot by just 1 goal after he scored 22 times in 40 league appearances. He also contributed 5 assists, and at just 19 he's been capped for the U.S. 5 times now. He will be my starting striker next season as I believe he will be able to take the next step up already!

Max Sanders
https://i.ibb.co/mJb9vYB/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-10-34-11-AM.png
Sanders is the box-to-box midfielder I've been looking for since the beginning of this save. He contributed an impressive 11 goals and 12 assists in 36(1) league appearances as a center midfielder, keeping an average rating of 7.42. I think he's more than ready for the Premier League if he can perform at the same level again next season, or even further his development and taking it to the next level.

Josh Bowler
https://i.ibb.co/BwHDYK8/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-10-34-22-AM.png
Bowler was one of my most consistent performers, contributing 12 goals and 11 assists from both wings in 29(7) league appearances. He's currently operating on a leading Championship level, but my coaches seem to think he's reached his ceiling. I still believe he can make an impact for us and he'll likely be playing a backup/rotation role for now.

Timothy Weah
https://i.ibb.co/q7D1CPZ/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-10-35-28-AM.png
Weah had a worrying start to the season, getting injured a total of 6 times between July and January, but just as I had begun to lose faith in him he managed to pick himself up and score 7 goals while getting 5 assists in the tail end of the season. If he can stay fit next season he could fulfill the potential he has shown in real life and hopefully he can become a Nine Elms legend in the future.

Notable Departures

Kyle Howkins
https://i.ibb.co/Df0GyzK/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-12-05-40-PM.png
Nine Elms legend Kyle Howkins will spend the next season on loan at Sunderland in the Championship until he leaves on a free next summer, as I don't think he's good enough to step up to the Premier League. Perhaps if we get relegated I'll extend his contract another year so he can help us bounce back, but past that I don't think he's worth keeping on. Howkins has made a total of 130 league appearances over the past 4 seasons, securing a spot in the all-time "Best Eleven" of the club. Good luck Kyle!

Adam McDonnell
https://i.ibb.co/MBJ4pxs/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-12-04-04-PM.png
McDonnell joined the same year as Howkins, and went on to make 120 league appearances over 4 years as my preferred defensive midfielder. He's not at the level required for the Premier League, though, so he will be released at the end of June.

Brad Rodriguez
https://i.ibb.co/2NpttHd/Screen-Shot-2019-08-11-at-6-06-49-PM.png
The young American keeper was supposed to be my long-term goalkeeper from our first season in League One all the way up to the Premier League. I even chose him as my vice captain this season but when Jurgen Klopp's RB Leipzig came in with a £1.7m offer, Rodriguez had his heart set. I had noticed his development was slowing and he wasn't very motivated like the other players in the squad throughout much of his time here, so I figured I would let him go and find a better option, and I believe I did. Rodriguez made a total of 90 league appearances over the last 2 and a half years, conceding 87 goals while keeping 34 clean sheets. Like Howkins, Rodriguez holds a spot in the "Best Eleven" (for now).

Lee Garza
https://i.ibb.co/5c4fpjh/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-12-04-23-PM.png
I was advised to renew Garza's contract, but I decided not to as I don't believe he will develop past a Championship level and he's not the type of winger I generally go for. Despite this, he was able to fight his way into my team throughout much of our title-winning League One season, and made a total of 66 league appearances over the last 3 years, scoring 19 goals and getting 11 assists. His agent demanded nearly £500,000 for the "Agent Fee" in addition to other relatively inflated demands so I decided to just walk away from negotiations and set him for release.

Carlton Morris
https://i.ibb.co/P6np64K/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-12-05-28-PM.png
Morris played the backup role to Luke Clark very well, scoring 20 goals in 66 appearances, many of which were substitute appearances when he didn't receive much time to make an impact. Despite these impressive numbers, I don't believe he would be very effective in the Premier League so I've decided to let Luton take him on loan to pay his wages while his contract runs out.

Cameron Cole
https://i.ibb.co/850mC24/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-12-04-37-PM.png
Cole has spent the last 2 seasons on loan with us from Chelsea, and he's made a total of 48 league appearances in that time. He has a relatively high ability in relation to the other center midfielders in the squad, but he's just never performed very well or very consistently so I've decided not to make an offer for another year and instead search for some better options in the middle of hte park.

Other News

I GOT A REAL TRANSFER BUDGET
https://i.ibb.co/G9Ht1Kk/Screen-Shot-2019-08-11-at-9-46-50-PM.png
After years of fluctuating budgets between £1-3m, I have finally been given a reasonably substantial transfer budget of nearly £35m.

I USED THE TRANSFER BUDGET
https://i.ibb.co/sj4TStX/Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-11-14-01-AM.png
I wasted no time using the money to continue the heavy youth recruitment I had done throughout much of the season, as well as securing several very, very, good signings. I'll go into more detail about the transfers in the Season Preview, so I'll leave at this for now.


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2022/23 Mid-Season Review

Results
https://i.ibb.co/MDCy99D/Screen-Shot-2019-08-10-at-7-09-06-PM.png
A very strong start to our Championship campaign catapulted us into the promotion battle, and we maintained the strong form throughout the entire first half of the season. This season is unique due to the 2022 winter World Cup in Qatar, which caused the schedule to be started early with a massive 2 month gap between the first 23 and second 23 matches of the season. This could have a huge effect on our form, as our momentum was carrying us throughout most of the season as we have continued to overachieve. Hopefully we can get some early wins in January and find our form early to secure another unexpected promotion.

Table
https://i.ibb.co/yyvx5N4/Screen-Shot-2019-08-09-at-9-45-03-PM.png
Our impressive debut season in the Championship has seen us rise to 2nd place, an automatic promotion spot, despite being predicted to finish in the bottom half. I think our team cohesion has helped significantly as well as maintaining momentum from a strong early run of form. Hopefully we can keep this up and get in the Prem next season!

Standout Performers

Harry Chapman
https://i.ibb.co/RzvDFJb/Screen-Shot-2019-08-09-at-10-01-20-PM.png
Due to repeated injuries with my key signing, Timothy Weah, Chapman has held his starting spot as my left winger this season and has excelled as a result. He has scored 11 goals and contributed 7 assists in 17(2) league appearances, with the highest average rating in the league (7.62) and his goal tally putting him in 1st for the golden boot. If he can keep this up he may be able to take yet another step up if we get promoted to the Premier League!

Ted Moulden
https://i.ibb.co/bR69hTx/Screen-Shot-2019-08-09-at-10-00-48-PM.png
Despite my signing of Darnell Fisher to be the starting right back, Moulden has fought to stay relevant and has reclaimed the spot for his own, making this his 5th season as my preferred right back since making his professional debut with us in the Vanarama National League at the age of 17. At this rate he could keep his spot in our first season in the Premier League, though I doubt his actual potential ability (programmed into the game) is high enough to compete at that level. But with an average rating of 7.36 from 10(1) league appearances, he could theoretically just continue to overachieve as we have done, we'll see!

Max Sanders
https://i.ibb.co/BfhkX6g/Screen-Shot-2019-08-09-at-10-01-34-PM.png
Sanders has displaced Basuljevic as my box-to-box midfielder, to devastating effect. He has the joint-most assists in the league with our very own Harry Chapman (7), and has also pitched in with 5 goals and an average rating of 7.41 in 17(1) league appearances. At 23, he still has the potential to become a Premier League center midfielder so he has proven to be a remarkable investment, considering he was signed on a free.

Josh Bowler
https://i.ibb.co/4SqpyND/Screen-Shot-2019-08-09-at-10-01-58-PM.png
Fan-favorite Josh Bowler has fought to stay relevant, as Timothy Weah's absence allowed more game time to the other wingers in the squad. Bowler is now a leading player for most Championship sides, with the potential to be a Premier League winger in the future. He's scored 4 goals and contributed 3 assists in 12(5) league appearances, setting his total league appearance tally for the club at 112. Already a club legend, Bowler could spend the rest of his career with us at this rate!

Joe Walsh
https://i.ibb.co/5jPxfJ1/Screen-Shot-2019-08-09-at-10-02-21-PM.png
Somehow, at the age of 30, Walsh has continued his development and actually increased some of his attributes to make the step up to the Championship with us. He's started 16 of the possible 23 league matches this season, maintaining a 7.35 average rating which has helped us fight for the automatic promotion spot we currently sit in. Walsh is also the only Nine Elms player to be called up for the World Cup this year, so I'm rooting for Wales in Qatar!

Other News

Academy Recruitment
https://i.ibb.co/TqTHJTs/Screen-Shot-2019-08-10-at-7-28-05-PM.png
I noticed as I was retraining some of my young players in different positions that the U18s and U23s were struggling in their respective groups, with a lack of quality and depth at both levels. I decided to scour the NCAA D1 universities in America and scout every promising prospect. The results were actually pretty successful, as I found a right back, 2 center midfielders, and a striker that all signed for frees and will join once they turn 18. I also signed a few American free agents that were given trials, setting the total youth recruitment haul at 7 players, all with Championship potential or higher. Not bad considering we haven't even had our annual youth intake yet!

They Brought it Home!
https://i.ibb.co/9W25fhn/Screen-Shot-2019-08-10-at-7-32-34-PM.png
Place your bets now, Football Manager has predicted England to win the 2022 Qatar World Cup in a 1-0 win over Italy, with Harry Kane scoring the all-important goal. Hopefully the U.S. can win the next one!


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2019/20 Season


https://i.ibb.co/yNH65XR/Screen-Shot-2019-08-08-at-10-24-17-AM.png


Messnaldo's value has fallen by £1m, likely because he now has 3 years left on his contract rather than 4. He's now 20 years old, and has remarkably already made 24 caps for Spain, scoring 19 goals! That's a very impressive scoring record, and helped Spain get pretty far in the Euro 2020.

https://i.ibb.co/fdRRn5n/Screen-Shot-2019-08-08-at-10-27-57-AM.png


Messnaldo helped Spain to the Semi Final of the Euro 2020 competition, but they lost to the dominant France side who went on to win it. Messnaldo has still failed to win a trophy after his first 2 seasons, as Tottenham suffered during the 2019/20 season.

https://i.ibb.co/7QH2zyM/Screen-Shot-2019-08-08-at-10-21-46-AM.png


Spurs failed to secure a Champions League spot, finishing 6th, 14 whole points behind 4th-place Manchester City. Messnaldo doesn't seem affected by this disappointment, but if a Champions League club comes in with an offer he may be tempted to leave.

https://i.ibb.co/HzjkdCK/Screen-Shot-2019-08-08-at-10-23-21-AM.png


Spurs also had a disappointing Champions League campaign, being knocked out in the Round of 16 by Inter Milan on 1-2 aggregate. Messnaldo seems to have failed at contributing the same game-changing numbers that Ronaldo and Messi consistently put up for years, but this could change next year.

https://i.ibb.co/MBbHVRy/Screen-Shot-2019-08-08-at-10-21-20-AM.png


Messnaldo didn't score as many goals this season, as he started only 29 Premier League matches instead of the 37 from last season, which left his goal tally in the league at 15. He finished with 21 goals and 9 assists in 43(2) appearances in all competitions, so he certainly had another solid season, but has failed to bring Spurs to the next level as I would have expected.

https://i.ibb.co/zhSCPcs/Screen-Shot-2019-08-08-at-10-22-30-AM.png


Messnaldo's impressive performances won him the U21 Footballer of the Year and the European Golden Boy awards, as well as being featured in the World Team of the Year as you can see below.

https://i.ibb.co/0hWwVnw/Screen-Shot-2019-08-08-at-10-44-36-AM.png


He appears alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the Team of the Year, and Cristiano Ronaldo actually secured the Ballon d'Or with Suarez and Neymar the runner-up and third-best respectively.

https://i.ibb.co/x50J5fX/Screen-Shot-2019-08-08-at-1-24-51-AM.png


Due to Tottenham's poor results throughout the first half of the season, Pochettino was sacked in mid-December. This shake-up could be good for Messnaldo's development, as they failed to achieve anything significant in the first season as well.

https://i.ibb.co/9NgR0nL/Screen-Shot-2019-08-08-at-1-28-50-AM.png


Spurs hired Nuno Espirito Santo to replace Pochettino, which is very interesting to me. Pochettino's Argentinian background may have enticed Messnaldo to join Spurs in the first place, because he is part Argentinian due to his connection to Messi. Now Pochettino has been replaced by a Portuguese manager, and Messnaldo can relate to him in the same way because of his connection to Ronaldo and his resulting Portuguese nationality. I'm interested to see if they can create a successful bond and finally start winning some trophies!

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Well, this is something different! Can't wait to see how he develops and where his career takes him. Could it be that he stays at Spurs for the rest of his career as he just becomes simply too expensive to buy?


Well he inherited Messi's loyalty attribute which I believe is 18 or 19, so he could potentially stay with Spurs for his entire career, though it seems like they are struggling at the moment so if they fail to secure a Champions League spot at any point I could see him moving on. I've seen players like Dybala go to other clubs for nearly 200m in this game so even though he's the most expensive player in the world right now I think one of the European giants could afford him at some point in the future!
2018/19 Season

https://i.ibb.co/0FPtstt/Screen-Shot-2019-08-08-at-12-50-12-AM.png


Surprisingly, Messnaldo decided to sign for Tottenham Hotspur over one of his favorite clubs, Real Madrid. Maybe it was the lucrative 5-year £275k per week contract he was offered, though I would expect Real Madrid to be able to bid a similar amount. Regardless, Messnaldo had a decent first season with Spurs as you can see below:

https://i.ibb.co/tCfRQYK/Screen-Shot-2019-08-07-at-7-02-32-PM.png

Messnaldo appeared in all 38 matches in the Premier League season, scoring 17 goals and getting 5 assists while maintaining a 7.61 overall rating. These aren't groundbreaking stats but overall I'd say it's a pretty good start to his career!

https://i.ibb.co/tPrXvHM/Screen-Shot-2019-08-08-at-12-59-36-AM.png


His performances earned him a spot in the Players' Team of the Year, which was mostly dominated by the title-winning Liverpool squad. The only other non-Liverpool players to break into the XI were Kyle Walker and Bernardo Silva, so he's in good company.

https://i.ibb.co/bs78nG2/Screen-Shot-2019-08-07-at-6-58-33-PM.png


Spurs still only managed to finish 4th despite having the highest rated player in the world operating in his preferred right wing role. They also signed Wissam Ben Yedder to help with offensive depth and sold Eric Dier to Real Madrid but this transfer activity did little to improve their fortunes.

https://i.ibb.co/ZJQbHt9/Screen-Shot-2019-08-07-at-7-04-03-PM.png


Spurs were rather disappointingly eliminated from the Champions League in the Quarter Final by Atletico Madrid, who were then beaten by the subsequent champions, Real Madrid. Annoyingly, Real beat Liverpool in the final once again (I'm a Liverpool fan). Messnaldo is currently valued at £93,000,000 and with 4 years left on his contract, he doesn't appear to be leaving anytime soon. See you in a year!

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Cristionel Messnaldo

https://i.ibb.co/FJFZZsG/6cf71ea97c72da175277c42a72d6ae85.jpg

Born in Zaragoza (roughly between Barcelona and Madrid) on April 16, 2000, Cristionel Messnaldo has since become the best football player in the world at just 18 years old, despite never having played before. His attributes have set his current ability to 200/200, and his potential ability is the same, so it's unlikely he will improve much more. He is Spanish, Portuguese, and Argentinian, so he still has the chance to declare for whichever he chooses. Having just started his professional career, he is currently unemployed with suitors lining up for his signature.

https://i.ibb.co/j5Bwyj4/Screen-Shot-2019-08-07-at-6-13-33-PM.png


Real Madrid are currently leading the race for his signature, and though Messnaldo has a higher affinity for Barcelona, he is also a massive Real Madrid fan and will likely sign for them despite interest from Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham Hotspur, and even Shanggang.

https://i.ibb.co/dJqsXmY/Screen-Shot-2019-08-07-at-6-13-03-PM.png


It's no surprise that multiple clubs are interested in the player, as his attributes are ridiculously high. I will simulate 1 year in the future and post an update with the results of his debut season! Stay tuned, I'm excited!

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2022/23 Season Preview

https://i.ibb.co/k0b4dZB/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-7-22-17-PM.png
The Season Preview has us in the relegation discussion, but I think we'll be able to continue our tendency to overachieve and we could secure a mid-table finish in our first Championship season. The board is expecting a minimum mid-table finish, and didn't give me the option to lower the expectations at all so I'll have to make sure I get the most out of the team this season. Our title odds have us positioned closer to the lower-mid-table clubs rather than the actual bottom-of-the-table clubs like Millwall and Bristol Rovers, so that's promising especially considering the relatively young average age among my squad.

Board Expectations
https://i.ibb.co/ChZJGQ9/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-7-31-01-PM.png
https://i.ibb.co/V9sQKw0/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-7-31-09-PM.png
https://i.ibb.co/By1y6w5/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-7-31-15-PM.png
As I mentioned above, the board has set relatively high expectations for our first season in the Championship. They also expect me to reach the 4th round of the FA Cup, which could prove difficult depending on who we draw. This looks to be a difficult season in terms of managing expectations, and there's a very real possibility the board could become impatient despite my years of service if results begin to suffer. I'm pretty happy with the balance of my squad and the potential of some of my young American players so hopefully we can achieve the minimum expectations of finishing mid-table.

Transfers

https://i.ibb.co/TtH5pV9/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-7-22-01-PM.png
It was a productive albeit short summer (I'll explain later), and I managed to bring in some high-profile players with loads of potential, particularly in Sepp van den Berg and Timothy Weah who had both failed to impress at the bigger clubs they previously played for. I spent a total of £2.1 million on 8 signings which improved our standing in the Season Preview.

Timothy Weah
https://i.ibb.co/9nz2pvJ/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-7-22-49-PM.png
Timothy Weah is one of the brightest young American prospects in the world at the moment, and he currently plays for LOSC Lille in real life following his departure from PSG. I've had my eye on him since the beginning of the save and I've finally secured his signing for only £700,000 (plus add-ons). This is a big fee for us at the moment, but Weah has the potential to be a good Premier League winger in the future so he could prove to be worth much more than that in just a few years.

Sepp van den Berg
https://i.ibb.co/X79CkLm/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-7-23-32-PM.png
I was quite surprised when van den Berg was placed on the transfer list by Liverpool, and I was even more surprised when his price tag was set at just £525,000, and I was even MORE surprised when he actually decided to join us. There were several significantly bigger clubs offering him contracts but I bumped up the wage offer and he signed the next day. He's currently operating at a good Championship level with the potential to be a Premier League defender in the future. Welcome to Nine Elms Sepp!

Max Sanders
https://i.ibb.co/5KSfYVW/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-7-23-20-PM.png
Another great piece of business, Sanders joined from Brighton on a free transfer at the beginning of July. He's currently operating at a good Championship level with the potential to be a decent Premier League center midfielder in the future. He will likely play as my starting box-to-box midfielder role, with Basuljevic playing backup to him.

Josh Bowler
https://i.ibb.co/nDm9q6T/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-7-23-10-PM.png
Bowler has finally officially signed for the club, after spending 3 whole seasons with us on loan from Everton. He made a total of 97 appearances during that time, scoring 27 goals and playing an important role in our rise from League Two to where we are now. He's got the potential to be a leading Championship winger in the near future, and he will likely compete with Garza for the starting role on the right wing.

Darnell Fisher
https://i.ibb.co/dPh8tkb/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-7-23-01-PM.png
I signed Fisher from Preston for £350,000 despite his age, as I needed someone to compete with Ted Moulden in the right back role, which I believe he will do well. He's operating at a good Championship level, and his experience will surely help us in our debut season in the Championship, having made 133 Championship appearances for Preston between 2017-2022.

Other News

What the hell's going on with the schedule??
https://i.ibb.co/txMn3qz/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-7-22-33-PM.png
The Championship is beginning midway through July this year, likely due to the ridiculous winter World Cup in Qatar (seriously the dumbest thing I've ever heard, FIFA needs to sort out this corruption ASAP). This could have a positive or negative effect on us once we get to December, as some of the better clubs in the league will likely have players representing their countries while I will probably have less as my squad is quite young and doesn't have the same level of quality as some of the bigger sides in the league. There's really no way to know how it'll go because nobody has ever been stupid enough to suggest hosting the World Cup halfway through the fucking season until now. Anyways, I'll let you guys know how that goes, lol.

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2021/22 Season Review

Table
https://i.ibb.co/n7k9GtF/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-5-16-21-PM.png
Just as I had hoped, we secured the title following a strong run of form throughout the second half of the season. Though we struggled between November and December, we managed to get back on track once some of our players returned from injury and never looked like slowing down at any point between January and May. Let the real challenge begin!

Results
https://i.ibb.co/72J9kvG/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-5-20-31-PM.png
https://i.ibb.co/ngKVBS6/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-5-21-23-PM.png
As I said above, we struggled throughout December but once we got our form back we continued to dominate the league for the remainder of the season. The title race was close for quite a while after we dropped down into the playoff spots, but once we reached the top spot we didn't fall off once. I'm afraid next season we won't enjoy the same amount of wins, but hopefully we can avoid the drop and make a promotion push within a couple of years to finally secure promotion to the Premier League!

Standout Performers

Luke Clark
https://i.ibb.co/56kP82C/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-5-25-21-PM.png
Clark has continued to flourish in my fluid attacking system, and hopefully he can maintain his goalscoring form despite some necessary tactical changes ahead of the Championship season. In his debut season, at just 18 years old, Clark scored 26 goals and grabbed 5 assists in 38(5) league appearances. He's now operating at a good Championship level, and has the potential to be a Premier League striker in the future. He could become a star striker for the U.S. national team if he continues his development at this astonishing rate!

Harry Chapman
https://i.ibb.co/4sB3txr/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-5-24-54-PM.png
Chapman wasn't quite as lethal after his injury halfway through the season, but he still managed to finish with some of the best stats of any Nine Elms winger in history, amassing 19 goals and 14 assists in 39(6) appearances in all competitions. He also finished with a 7.34 average rating which was the highest in the squad, and he will likely play a big role next season in the Championship, though I've brought in another left winger who will push him even further (more on that later).

Lee Garza
https://i.ibb.co/rfSRrPr/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-5-25-07-PM.png
Garza was very effective on the right wing this season despite my preference to play left-footed players on the right wing (he's right-footed). He managed to score 13 goals and get 6 assists in 25(9) league appearances, playing a vital role in our title-winning season. He will likely play a rotation role next season in the Championship.

Kyle Howkins
https://i.ibb.co/3NfhWzV/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-5-25-43-PM.png
Howkins looks set to take the next step up in his career as he maintained a 7.23 average rating from 39 league appearances as my starting right center back. He will likely maintain his solid partnership with Walsh, and then I will decide whether one of them needs replacing next season.

Arun Basuljevic
https://i.ibb.co/q5krbRV/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-5-26-00-PM.png
Basuljevic has continued to exceed expectations, only being reported as a "decent player for most League One sides" at best by my coaches, and yet performing as my best center midfielder in the history of the club. He managed to score 6 goals and gain 13 assists from 41(4) appearances in all competitions, with an average rating of 7.1 as my starting box-to-box midfielder. I've extended his contract with the squad role stated as "backup" so he can continue to contribute to our success for the foreseeable future.

Ted Moulden
https://i.ibb.co/Rh7BTXs/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-5-26-16-PM.png
Moulden continued to perform throughout the season, and he has now amassed 135 total league appearances for Nine Elms since signing for us in 2018 before our debut season in the Vanarama National League. He finished the season with an average rating of 7.27 from 31(1) league appearances, in which he contributed 1 goal and 6 assists as well as being named player of the match in 7 of those matches (23% of the matches he started!). These are very impressive stats and I've extended his contract as a result, though I fear he may not develop much further according to my coaches and as such I've brought in a more experienced player to compete for the starting right back spot.

Notable Departures

Gideon Adu-Peprah
https://i.ibb.co/P957qZF/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-12-21-57-PM.png
Sadly, Nine Elms legend Adu-Peprah will be released at the end of June. He's made a total of 129 league appearances across 4 seasons in our rise up the divisions, and has grown along with Moulden as my preferred full-back in this system, until this year when Billy Benally pushed him out of the starting lineup. I'm afraid he's reached his ceiling, and won't be very reliable in the Championship despite his years of service. I'm sad to let him go but I think he'll have a more successful career if I let him go now while he's still relatively young. Good luck Gideon!

Other News

First Premier League Interview Offer
https://i.ibb.co/7KrCdBF/Screen-Shot-2019-08-06-at-3-02-56-PM.png
Southampton narrowly avoided relegation to the Championship and sacked long-serving manager Ralph Hasenhuttl as a result. They offered me an interview which I then declined as I'm going to stay at Nine Elms for the remainder of this save, and then hired former Rangers and Wolves manager Steven Gerrard to steer them to safety during the upcoming campaign. Obviously I wouldn't have gotten the job if I had attended the interview anyway!
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