Given Manchester City’s start to life under Pep Guardiola, you’d almost be a fool not to manage them on FIFA 17 Career Mode. Six of their starting lineup players are rated over 85, and with Sergio Aguero up front, you have the ability to steamroll half of the side. The difficulty for City will be juggling all the competitions, as their overall strength allows them to fight on all fronts. You might think it will be easy to manage the Citizens, but prolonged success trumps a flash in the pan. RealSport gives a complete guide on a Career Mode with Manchester City.
How you should line up
The 4-3-3 formation has worked wonders for Pep Guardiola, especially with his spin on it, and you shouldn’t be straying too far from that system. Given City’s overwhelming quality, you are going to have some selection headaches, but given the number of matches they will have, all of your top players will get plenty of minutes.
The 85-rated Claudio Bravo takes the number one spot, but it will be interesting when Geronimo Rulli (82) returns from loan in January as well as Joe Hart (84) at the end of the season.
Right back brings your first tough decision. Both Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta are rated 82, but with the 32-year-old Sagna having that little extra pace (sprint speed 75 against 68) he should get the nod. Your centre-halves pick themselves in the form of Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi but be sure to give John Stones game time when you can, even at right back, with his potential at 88. Gael Clichy just edges out Aleksandar Kolarov at left back.
Fernandinho is the protector of the back four, sitting just in front of them. But with his rating at 81, you may be tempted to play Ilkay Gundogan at defensive midfield, but playing the German could leave you exposed on the counter-attack. It’s hard to leave the 85-rated Gundogan out, so he should play in midfield along with David Silva. You may choose to play a 4-2-3-1 and play Silva in the number ten position, but Gundogan can have more of an influence in a 4-3-3.
The hotly contested midfield means that Kevin De Bruyne moves out to the left wing, he can cut in a la Cristiano Ronaldo. It’s Raheem Sterling or Nolito on the other flank, but with Sterling having a high potential of 88, you may as well give him the nod. It’s Sergio Aguero up front, of course.
Your subs bench should include Willy Caballero, John Stones, Aleksandar Kolarov, Fernando, Yaya Toure, Nolito and Leroy Sane. Make sure you give Kelechi Iheanacho plenty of opportunities as the 19-year-old has the potential to take his 74 overall rating to 88.
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £100 million
Starting wage budget: £290,000
Who should go
Manchester City have a very tight squad, and before purchasing any players, no first teamer should leave, meaning Yaya Toure should stay. Only three players should go, and they are all outside of the fringes. Aaron Nemane, Tosin Adarabioyo and Ian Lawlor are not of the Manchester City standard, with none of them holding a potential above 75. Given their low overalls, you may only receive around £500,000 for all three of them.
What the team needs
The City side is brilliant, but there are still some areas which need improvement. As you won’t be selling any noticeable talent your transfer budget will remain at £100 million, but with no limitations. An impressive showing in a pre-season tournament could take you to over £110 million, so you have the ability to bring in two or three players of the highest order.
Top of your shopping list will be a left back with Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov both 30-years-old and neither rated beyond 80 overall. Given Pep Guardiola’s history and his system that you will be using, it makes perfect sense to sign David Alaba from Guardiola’s former club Bayern Munich. The Austrian will set you back just over £50 million but given the riches of Manchester City, he is 100 percent worth the money. The 24-year-old is rated at 87 with a potential of 90, which includes 86 interceptions, 86 acceleration and 86 sprint speed. For £110,000 a week wages you will get a player who is comfortable on the ball (84 ball control & short passing) who can also play in the centre of defence or midfield. It’s a no-brainer.
- 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 Rodriguez – Wolfsburg, Age 23, OVR 83, POT 86, Cost: £27 million, Wage: £65,000
- Filipe Luis – Atletico Madrid, Age 30, OVR 85, POT 85, Cost: £23 million, Wage: £72,000
If you do decide to take the big hit and sign Alaba, you will be left between £45-60 million in the transfer budget. Still enough to sign another big name. You must decide whether it will be a defensive midfielder or a right back. Fernandinho has played well for City in front of the defence this season, but his level of 81 is not good enough to perform on a regular basis. Instead, there are two contenders to perform that role. There is another Guardiola connection with Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets, with the pair winning two Champions League titles and the rest with each other. Busquets is still only 27, and with an overall rating of 87 and a potential of 88, he will be in your side for five or more years. With 89 short passing, 88 stamina and 87 interceptions he is the perfect man to sit back whilst the rest of the team attack. Busquets will set you back around £40 million as he has a long contract until 2021, with his wage demands of £115,000 a week.
The other option is to go for Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho, who costs slightly less at around £35 million, with £79,000 weekly wages. The Portuguese is rated at 84 with a potential of 88, and crucially he has a high defensive work rate. To go with this, the 24-year-old has 88 strength, 87 composure and 87 stamina, and at 6'2'' he will be a challenge for opponents to get past.
- 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
- Granit Xhaka – Arsenal, Age 23, OVR 84, POT 87, Cost: £37 million, Wage: £79,000
- Blaise Matuidi – Paris Saint-Germain, Age 29, OVR 86, POT 86, £29 million, Wage: £86,000
If would rather go for a right back, another former Guardiola player is your easiest option. With Philipp Lahm having two years left on his contract, he can be signed for around the £20 million mark, giving you the chance to make three big signings, if you make a sale after every purchase. Former Germany captain Lahm holds 95 slide tackles, 94 composure, 83 balance and 91 balance making him the best right back on FIFA 17. His pace (sprint speed 68) may not be what it once was, but he defends like a demon. He can also play as a defensive or central midfielder, and he was very successful for Germany and Bayern Munich playing as a left back. His weekly wages of £101,000 may slightly turn you off.
- Serge Aurier – Paris Saint-Germain, Age 23, OVR 83, POT 88, Cost: £25 million, Wage: £65,000
- Dani Carvajal – Real Madrid, Age 24, OVR 83, POT 86, Cost: £25 million, Wage: £65,000
- Cesar Azpilicueta – Chelsea, Age 26, OVR 84, POT 84, Cost: £26 million, Wage: £86,000
- Stephan Lichtsteiner – Juventus, Age 32, OVR 83, POT 83, Cost: £6.5 million, Wage: £65,000
- Juanfran, Atletico Madrid, Age 31, OVR 83, POT 83, Cost: £14 million, Wage: £65,000
Manchester City have a big squad, and you may remember at Stamford Bridge last season, then-manager Manuel Pellegrini threw on several youngsters in the FA Cup tie, many of whom we hadn’t even heard of. They do hold top talent, and a loan spell could be what they need to bring them into first team contention.
Although City have a lack of recognised strikers, they have enough players who can play up top. 19-year-old Thierry Ambrose is unlikely to come into your thinking all season, so you can let him go on a season-long loan. The same can be said of right back Pablo Maffeo and left back Angelino, but an injury to left backs Gael Clichy or Aleksandar Kolarov could encourage you to recall the 19-year-old.
England U21 goalkeeper Angus Gunn is showing great promise, but he still needs a loan spell under his belt to come into contention, and with a lot of keepers at the club, you may even consider sending him out for two years.
Brahim Diaz and Aleix Garcia need to go up a few levels before they are ready to have first team minutes, so they would benefit from a loan spell in a lower division. Cameron Humphreys-Grant and Will Patching still have a lot of development to do, so they should be sent out for a couple of years to gain some experience.
There are a lot of players who are in their final year of their contracts at Manchester City. A tip would be to renew all of them, even if you plan to sell them, a new contract will raise their transfer price.
Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy and Fernandinho may be in their 30s, but until their level starts to dramatically drop, it is definitely worth keeping them at the club. As for Yaya Toure, it is a different matter, and although he has a low defensive work rate, he still has the ability to change a game, but perhaps wait until Christmas to see if he deserves a new deal.
With Joe Hart and Geronimo Rulli out on loan, you can probably let Willy Caballero go on a free, knowing that one of your other keepers will be sold in the summer. Jesus Navas is a tricky one, but his pace can be useful off the bench, even though he is very inconsistent. Give him a new contract, but you could look to sell him as early as January.
You should renew the contracts of all of your young players, so at the very least you can sell them for more money. Angelino, Tosin Adarabioyo and Ian Lawlor are all in the final year of their contracts.
Brand exposure is also key, and you will be able to fulfil this by selling a certain amount of shirts. Bringing in star signings as well as a strong campaign will achieve this. Financial restrictions are at a minimum as you would expect at Manchester City, but as for youth development, you may be asked to sign some young players or bring some through the academy.
Can you take City to the next level?
City are a fully fledged force in the Premier League, but it is in Europe where they are yet to be taken seriously. They did get to the Champions League semi-finals last year but didn’t cause Real Madrid too much trouble over the two legs. Your task as new Manchester City manager has to be winning the league, but you need to be getting into the last four of the Champions Cup in season one, with a view of winning it the following year. Not easy. But with a fantastic squad and a huge bank account, this is achievable. Go and make history.