Liverpool have had a great start to the season, and under Jürgen Klopp, they look to be fully-fledged title contenders. Their rejuvenation under the German makes them a great side to manage in FIFA 17 Career Mode, and with no European football this season, you have a clear calendar to go for the Premier League crown. RealSport gives you the lowdown on taking over at Liverpool.
How you should line up
Jürgen Klopp’s 4-3-3 formation at Liverpool works an absolute treat, and it is a formation you should use, although you may want to tinker with that attack-minded central midfield.
Loris Karius takes the goalkeeping spot, and in the defence, you will have Nathaniel Clyne, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren. At left back comes your first selection headache, as James Milner has performed well in his adopted position this season, but Alberto Moreno is a seasoned, albeit unreliable, left back. To make things easier for you, James Milner’s left back rating would be 75, so you should go with the 77-rated Spaniard, Moreno.
It’s pretty much up to you in midfield. In the holding role, you could have Jordan Henderson, Emre Can or Lucas Leiva. Captain Henderson has the highest rating at 81, Emre Can has the highest potential with 86, and Lucas offers a low attacking but high defensive work rate, making him an ideal protector in front of the defence. You may want to test the best option for you, rotate them, or pick the best suited player against your next opponent.
It doesn’t get much easier when deciding who else will make up the midfield, and it could depend on who you’ve got in the more defensive role. Jürgen Klopp has gone for Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum alongside Jordan Henderson, which is very attacking. You should think about bringing James Milner into midfield for his work rate, and if you play him, you can also play Philippe Coutinho. By taking the Brazilian off the wing he can have a greater influence on the match, and Liverpool’s front five are fairly fluid anyway so he will stop cropping up out wide.
On the wings, you need the pace of Sadio Mane. He may only be rated at 79, but his 93 acceleration and 91 sprint speed make him a necessity, plus he has a potential of 85. On the other flank, take Roberto Firmino out of the striking role, and play him on the left so he can cut inside and cause havoc.
Up top, you have Daniel Sturridge. You can’t leave an 84-rated striker on the bench.
Speaking of benches, yours will be pretty strong. Simon Mignolet, Mamadou Sakho, Adam Lallana, Georginio Wijnaldum, Divock Origi and the two midfielders you left out are all more than capable substitutes, and they all offer something different. With a shortage of high class full-backs at the club, you may need to put 69-rated Joe Gomez on the bench.
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £61 million
Starting wage budget: £255,000
Who should go
Credit to Jürgen Klopp, he has kept a pretty tight squad at Liverpool, and you could easily keep the squad you are given from the off. But with new signing Ragnar Klavan rated at 79 and 30-years-old, you don’t really need him. Klopp has obviously got an issue with Mamadou Sakho, but with a rating of 82, you should keep him. Tiago Ilori is still at the club, and you should decide which of the centre backs you want to get rid of. Klavan could get you as much as £8 million, whereas the 75-rated Ilori will collect somewhere in the region of £6 million.
Other than that, no recognised first teamers need leave the club. However, reserve men Connor Randall, Jordan Williams, Conor Masterson, Joe Maguire and Pedro Chirivella can all be let go. None of them have a potential above 78, which is not of the Liverpool standard. You should be able to receive around £1 million for all five of them.
What the team needs
So with £60 million in the bank, after sales, you could be looking at £70 million, and a pre-season tournament win could take you near £80 million. This gives you a licence to go out and sign one big name player, so choose wisely.
Looking at the starting lineup, it's no secret that The Red need a left back. Jurgen Klopp was looking for one in the summer but had no luck. Top of your shopping list should be Bayern Munich’s David Alaba, although he comes with a heavy price-tag. The Austrian will set you back more than £50 million, with wages around £110,000. But in return, you would receive the best left back in the world, and one who is a complete player and has sky-high potential. The 24-year-old is rated at 87 with a potential of 90, and provides 86 interceptions, 86 acceleration, 86 sprint speed and 86 interceptions. You may think it's a big purchase, but Liverpool do not need much work elsewhere, and the fact that he can play in central defence or midfield must tempt you to make the move.
- Layvin Kurzawa – AS Monaco, Age 23, OVR 81, POT 88, Cost: £26 million, Wage: £43,000
- Jordi Alba – Barcelona, Age 27, OVR 86, POT 87, Cost: £38 million, Wage: £108,000
- Alex Sandro – Juventus, Age 25, OVR 84, POT 87, Cost: £30 million, Wage: £79,000
- Marcelo – Real Madrid, Age 28, OVR 86, POT 86, Cost: £28 million, Wage: £115,000
- Ricardo Rodríguez – Wolfsburg, Age 23, OVR 83, POT 86, Cost: £27 million, Wage: £65,000
- Filipe Luís – Atletico Madrid, Age 30, OVR 85, POT 85, Cost: £23m, Wage: £72,000
- Gayà – Valencia, Age 21, OVR 80, POT 85, Cost: £19m, Wage: £36,000
The beauty of managing Liverpool is that once you have sorted out that left back problem, there should be no panic about signing any other players. But if you decided to go for a cheaper option on the left side of defence, there are still areas you can improve. With that dilemma in midfield going on, you could make things easier for yourself by purchasing an out-and-out defensive midfielder. Age is not in issue here, as depending on your financial position you may just be looking for a stop-gap for a season or two. Therefore, you can bring a Liverpool fan favourite back to Anfield. With Xabi Alonso in his final year at Bayern Munich, you could sign him for as little as £3 million, and £65,000 wages. His level of 84 will deteriorate quickly but with 92 long passing, 91 short passing and 87 vision, he still has plenty to offer, and thanks to his low attacking work rate, the 34-year-old will be there to defend against the counter-attack.
If you are thinking long term, and have the money in the bank, William Carvalho should be your prime target. The Portuguese has a starting overall of 84 and potential of 88, with his 6'2'' frame and high defensive work rate making him a midfield wall. The 24-year-old offers 88 strength, 87 composure and 86 interceptions, but you will need to pay upwards of £35 million to sign him, as well as £79,000 per week for wages.
- Saul Niguez – Atletico Madrid, Age 21, OVR 80, POT 88, Cost: £30 million, Wage: £36,000
- Grzegorz Krychowiak – Paris Saint-Germain, Age 26, OVR 84, POT 86, Cost: £35 million, Wage: £94,000
- Nemanja Matic – Chelsea, Age 27, OVR 84 – POT 84, Cost: £26 million, Wage: £94,000
- Daniele De Rossi – AS Roma, Age 32, OVR 83, POT 83, Cost: £5 million, Wage: £65,000
- Luiz Gustavo – Wolfsburg, Age 28, OVR 83, POT 83, Cost: 16 million, Wage: £79,000
After your sales, the squad will be looking tight, so you may only need to loan out a couple of players. Kevin Stewart is showing great promise at the age of 22, with an overall of 72 and a potential of 81. But you are unlikely to be able to give him regular game-time, so send him out on loan as he is entering a phase of his career where he should improve regularly. Trent Alexander-Arnold is in a similar bracket, but he is only 17-years-old. Being rated 68 at his age is impressive, so send him out on loan so he can begin to grow towards his potential of 80. You may be tempted to let the likes of Sheyi Ojo and Marko Grujic go as well, but if you have a couple of injuries, they may be called upon.
Lucas Leiva is out of contract at the end of the season, and although the Brazilian may not be a regular feature in your side, it is worth giving him a new deal. Even if you are looking to sell him in the near future, agreeing a new contract will raise his transfer price.
Veteran goalkeeper Alex Manninger’s contract is also up at the end of the season, and at the age of 39 he is likely to retire, so no need to give him a new deal. But young players Jordan Williams, Joe Maguire and Trent Alexander-Arnold are in their final year, and although Williams and Maguire don’t have the potential, you will be able to sell them for more if they have a longer contract. Tie Alexander-Arnold down to a long contract as he could be something special.
Domestic success is paramount for Liverpool, and with no European football, you will at the very least be asked to qualify for Europe, but you should be having a good stab at the Premier League title itself. That said, the board may also want an FA Cup victory, so remember to rotate your squad so that players can come in and be trustworthy for big games. You may also be asked to win or go deep into the ‘Champions Cup’ within a couple of seasons, so there is an incentive to look at signings who will come to fruition in the next year or two.
A new feature on FIFA 17 Career Mode is the Brand Exposure objective, and this can be achieved by selling a certain number of shirts or raising the value of the club. Performances on the pitch and bringing in big names certainly helps your cause here.
Liverpool have few financial restrictions, so you should be able to spend your entire transfer budget without upsetting the owners. Youth development is not so important either, but you may be asked to sign a couple of young players, or bring some youngsters through the academy.
‘You’ll Never Walk Alone…”
The Premier League awaits. Liverpool have had to wait over 25 years for a league title, having never lifted the Premier League. With a clear calendar and an improved squad, there is a feeling that this could be their year. Your personal target should be to at least come close to the title, and anything less than third position would be a disappointment. If you have a great start to the season, you should look at attacking the FA Cup, and allow your fringe players game-time in the EFL Cup. The best of luck, the Kop is ready.