Well, it was a sensational season for Leicester City last year, and no Leicester fan will expect anything similar this time around. But their success has made them become one of FIFA 17’s most loved sides, and a very tempting choice in career mode. Can you repeat Leicester’s success, or will you go one better and add a European trophy to their Premier League crown? RealSport gives you a complete guide on how to set up with The Foxes.
How you should line up
Leicester are masters of the 4-4-2 formation, and you shouldn’t be straying too far from the old-fashioned system. You could very easily go with Leicester’s current set up, but for added pace, play new signing Ahmed Musa on the left side. Fellow new man Islam Slimani should partner Jamie Vardy in attack, with Nampalys Mendy joining Danny Drinkwater in midfield.
On FIFA 17 the 4-4-2 formation has had a strategical tweak with the wide players offering more help to the central midfielders. So you can choose to stick with this or opt for the ‘4-4-2 holding’ system which will give your wingers more of a licence to get forward. It’s worth experimenting with both to see which ones work best for you, or you could choose to use the slightly more defensive formation against the bigger sides.
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £44 million
Starting wage budget: £153,000
Who should go?
Leicester heavily relied on their starting 11 last season, so outside of that, there are a lot of players you can be shown the exit door. Central midfielders Andy King and Matty James rarely impress when they fill in for the likes of Danny Drinkwater, and with starting ratings of 72 and 69 respectively, they cannot be trusted to do a job when called upon. Both of their potentials are just 73, so there is no point keeping them at the club hoping that one day they will be first teamers. Don’t expect to get any substantial money for them, as you’d be looking at receiving £4 million for the pair.
With Wes Morgan and Robert Huth both over 30, you may want a more promising understudy than the likes of Yohan Benalouane and Marcin Wasilewski. Wasilewski is in the last year of his contract, and likely to retire at the age of 36, so you should be looking to sell 29-year-old Benalouane and bring in a youngster with high potential. The Tunisian has already peaked with a rating of 75 so you will be lucky to sell him for £3 million.
Leicester doesn't have a lot of exciting young talent coming through, so you can have no fear in selling Admiral Muskwe, Raul Uche, Harvey Barnes, Elliott Moore and Layton Ndukwu, none of whom have a potential of more than 73. Those relatively low potentials mean you won’t get much more than £500,000 for all of them combined.
Who to sign?
A budget of £44 million will only get you so far, but if you combine with potential sales, you should be around the £50 million mark. If you are then successful in a pre-season tournament, you will be closing in on £60 million. However, one of your financial targets as Leicester boss may be to have some money left over at the end of the season, so you have to tweak your transfer targets.
Despite bringing in Nampalys Mendy, Ahmed Musa and Islam Slimani during the summer, Leicester are still a long way off from realistically competing for the title again. Improvement has been made to the midfield and attack but not to the defence, and right back Danny Simpson is the clear weak link in the side with a rating of 74. There are plenty of options out there on the right side of defence, and if you want to spend the money, Paris-Saint Germain man Serge Aurier should be your first choice. The Ivorian is rated at 83 with a potential of 88, and aged only 23, he can play a big part of your setup for the best part of a decade. Aurier offers you 93 jumping, 87 stamina as well as 85 sprint speed, as well as the ability to play at centre-back; however, he will set you back £25 million and £65,000 in wages.
A cheaper option would be to go for Atletico Madrid’s Juanfran, who you can snap up for around £14 million. The Spaniard is also rated 83, but at the age of 31, he isn’t going to improve. His wages match up to Aurier’s at £65,000 but is only a one or two season stop-gap. He still offers you 92-rated stamina, 89 sprint speed and 84 standing tackles.
- Dani Carvajal, Real Madrid, Age 24, OVR 83, POT 86, Cost: £25 million, Wage: £65,000.
- Stephan Lichtsteiner, Juventus, Age 32, OVR 83, POT 83, Cost: £6.5 million, Wage £65,000.
- Alessandro Florenzi, Roma, Age 25, OVR 82, POT 85, Cost: £20 million, Wage: £65,000.
- Seamus Coleman, Everton, Age 27, OVR 82, POT 83, Cost: £19 million, Wage: £72,000.
- Lukasz Piszczek, Borussia Dortmund, Age 31, OVR 82, POT 82, Cost: £9 million, Wage: £65,000.
- Nathaniel Clyne, Liverpool, Age 25, OVR 81, POT 85, Cost: £17 million, Wage: £43,000.
Next, you should be looking to the future, and with some ageing bodies in the heart of the Leicester defence, you need someone coming through to take over the mantle. Wes Morgan and Robert Huth are now the wrong side of 30, so you should consider Sporting Gijon man Jorge Mere. The 19-year-old Spaniard has a very acceptable rating of 76 at his age, with a whopping potential of 84. He has incredibly low wages of £720, and he could be yours for around £12 million. For that price, you'll get a young player with 81-rated sliding tackles, 80 jumping and 78 marking.
- Jorrit Hendrix, PSV Eindhoven, Age 21, OVR 76, POT 83, Cost: £4.5 million, Wage: £11,000.
- Sven van Beek, Feyenoord, Age 21, OVR 76, POT 81, Cost: £7 million, Wage: £11,000.
If you do decide to sell Andy King and Matty James, you will be looking to bring in another central midfielder, with Daniel Amartey the only man providing backup to Danny Drinkwater and Nampalys Mendy. With the 21-year-old Amartey showing great promise with a starting overall of 75 and a potential of 85, you will be looking for someone with similar talent, but perhaps offers something different. For that reason, you should look at Shakhtar Donetsk attacking midfielder Viktor Kovalenko. The 20-year-old can also play centrally, and with a starting rating of 75 and a potential of 87, he is the ideal youngster to join The Foxes. The Ukrainian offers 83 stamina, 79 acceleration and 77 ball control. He has three years remaining on his contract, so you should be able to sign him for around £13 million, with wages of £25,000.
- Dani Ceballos, Real Betis, Ag 19, OVR 77, POT 85, Cost: £6 million, Wage: £720
- Ruben Neves, FC Porto, Age 19, OVR 75, POT 85, Cost: £8 million, Wage: £25,000
- Marko Rog, Napoli, Age 20, OVR 75, POT 85, Cost £4.5 million, Wage: £25,000
- Will Hughes, Derby County, Age 21, OVR 74, POT 83, Cost £7 million, Wage £720
Very few sides fighting for Europe would consider loaning in any players, but if you do sell two central midfielders, they will need replacing. You should have replaced one already, but with not a huge amount left in the bank after three signings, bringing in someone on loan or claiming a free agent has to be in your thinking. It will be tough to find a loan signing who would be a worthy man to fill in when needed, but there are two Liverpool players who you can consider in the form of Kevin Stewart and Marko Grujic. 22-year-old Stewart has the edge with a 72 rating, as opposed to Grujic’s 71. However, the 20-year-old Serbian holds a higher potential with 85 compared Stewart’s 81. Either would be a shrewd loan signing, with Grujic the more powerful (stamina 79, strength 77, shot power 75) and Stewart the more agile (75 acceleration, sprint speed 73, balance 73). Both have wages of £14,000.
As for loans out of the club, goalkeeper Daniel Iversen should be loaned out for a couple of seasons to get his 56 overall rating closer to his potential of 75, as should right back Darnell Johnson, who starts at 55 but has a potential of 77.
Marcin Wasilewski is the only senior player whose contract is up at the end of the season, but given his age of 36, he is likely to retire. But, you should renew the contract of Darnell Johnson, and give him a long deal to see if the 17-year-old can grow to his potential of 77.
Deciding which players to train is a difficult conundrum, and there really isn’t a wrong option. But you should be focussing your attentions to those who don’t regularly get first team minutes but have great potential. So Daniel Amartey, Demarai Gray, Bartosz Kapustka, Jeffrey Schlupp and Ben Chilwell should regularly be receiving your time on the training ground.
It would be unrealistic for the Leicester board to ask for the club to challenge for the title again, but you will be asked to qualify for Europe and to get out of your ‘Champions Cup’ group.
Brand exposure is a new feature on the game, but for Leicester, it is not that important, so you may be asked to slightly raise the value of the club. Something that can only be achieved by performances on the pitch.
Financially, you may be told to leave something in your transfer budget, so make sure you check this before you go on a spending spree. Finally, youth development is more important at Leicester than some of the other big clubs, so you will need to bring on or sign a couple of young players as the board keep an eye on the future.
Can you do it all over again?
It was simply extraordinary what Leicester did last season, something we will not see again in English football for a generation. But with European football now on the table, it’s up to you whether the Leicester party carries on.