It was a strange season for Arsenal last year. They were finally knocked off their top 4 perch, but an FA Cup victory over Chelsea showed they are still a quality side. With uncertainty over the future of players Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil it could be a transitional 12 months for the Gunners, so it may just be the perfect time for you to step in for Arsene Wenger and get the club back on track.
Arsenal hold on to a 5 star rating in FIFA 18, with an average score of 83. This is made up by an 86 attack, 82 midfield and 81 defence.
There are plenty of options at Arsenal in personnel, system and tactics so they are an exciting team to take charge of on FIFA 18. There is a point to prove at The Emirates, and we give you all there is to know to manage The Gunners in Career Mode.
With fluid attacking players, there are so many systems you can play with Arsenal. We suggest that you scrap the 5-2-3 formation however, as you want to get as much quality on the pitch as possible. We have gone for the reliable 4-3-3 holding formation, this is less taxing on your midfielders and allows Arsenal to showcase their passing game.
If you want to get more out of Mesut Ozil, go for a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 attack formation, and you also have the option of a 4-4-2 and play Sanchez up front or just off the main striker.
In goal, Petr Cech picks himself. In front of him you should go for Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny and new man Sead Kolasinac.
The uncertainty arises in midfield. Granit Xhaka comes in at defensive midfield, and he has Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey either side of him. Jack Wilshere could force himself into contention if he gets close to his 84 potential, and Francis Coquelin provides a more protective option with his high defensive work rate.
Your front three should be Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and the scintillating Alexis Sanchez. Olivier Giroud provides a great option off the bench with his aerial ability (90 heading accuracy), as does Theo Walcott with his pace (91 sprint speed).
On the bench, you will want David Ospina (OVR 79), Nacho Monreal (80), Mathieu Debuchy (77), Jack Wilshere (81), Theo Walcott (80), Danny Welbeck (80) and Olivier Giroud (82).
It may sound too simple, but just get the ball to Alexis Sanchez. The 89-rated Chilean can dribble, pass, cross and score all kinds of goals, so make sure you give him as much of the ball as possible.
Mesut Ozil could get a bit lost out on the wing so look to drift inside with the 88-rated man, and if you get any time on the ball, look for the killer pass.
With your wingers likely to cut inside, you will want your full backs to be pushing forward to create the overlap, and this shouldn’t be a problem with Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac.
Your options off the bench give you different ways of playing, with Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck offering the pace and movement, whilst Olivier Giroud can provide the direct approach.
The transfer market
Starting transfer budget: £79.8 million
Starting wage budget: £317,000 a week
Who should go
With Arsenal having a deep, well-balanced squad, it’s almost a case of ‘one-in, one-out’ during the transfer window. You may be surprised that we are willing to let the reliable Nacho Monreal leave the club, but as we are adopting a system with four at the back, he is neither good enough to start at either centre or left back. You should target a price tag of around £13million for the 31-year-old, which will free up £97,000 a week in your wage budget.
We are also showing the door to club captain Per Mertesacker. The big German is in the final year of his contract, so you will want to cash in now for the centre back. His 81 rating means he cannot compete for a starting spot, so look to sell him for around £12 million. The 32-year-old has weekly wages of £97,000.
As we are looking to bring in a new defensive midfielder, Francis Coquelin can be shown the door. The Frenchman’s 79 rating does put him in the first team picture, but his 80 potential means he would never be a regular starter. With a transfer value of around £17 million, it makes more sense to sell him and reinvest his £97,000 a week wages.
Chuba Akpom, Tolaji Bola and Tafari Moore will never make the grade in North London. You should look to recoup around £2.25 million for all three of them, with their combined wages coming to £32,000 a week.
With a large squad, you should look to be loaning out a handful of the young, talented players to give them the experience they need. Jeff Reine-Adelaide has a 63 overall rating with a 81 potential, so you should look to loan him out to a League One or Two club for the campaign. Send Gedion Zelalem out on a short loan as he may be needed when the fixtures pile up in the second half of the season. Both Edward Nketiah and Reiss Nelson have potentials of 80 or higher, but to get their 59 starting ratings up they should be sent on loan to a League Two club for two seasons.
Who to sign
Transfer budget after suggested sales: £124 million
Wage budget after suggested sales: £640,000 a week
If you get rid of Nacho Monreal, you will need a new left back with Sead Kolasinac the only man left to play in the position. With the new signing’s potential at 83, you may decide to go big and bring in a left back of the highest order. We suggest Barcelona’s Jordi Alba. The Spanish international is rated at 85, and at the age of 28 he will be in your side for four or five seasons. His £55 million release clause is a pretty good price in today’s market, with his wages a bit steep of £189,000 a week. Alba’s best stats are his 93 sprint speed, 93 acceleration and 90 stamina.
- Filipe Luis – Atletico Madrid, Age 31, OVR 85, POT 85, Cost: £45.1 million, Wage: £71,000
- Leighton Baines – Everton, Age 32, OVR 82, POT 82, Cost: £20.9 million, Wage: £101,000
- Raphael Guerreiro – Borussia Dortmund, Age 23, OVR 81, POT 86, Cost: £37.5 million, Wage: £51,000
- Layvin Kurzawa - PSG, Age 24, OVR 80, POT 85, Cost: £28 million, Wage: £61,000
- Grimaldo - Benfica, Age 21, OVR 80, POT 87, Cost: £33.9 million, Wage: £11,000
Similarly, with our decision to get rid of Francis Coquelin, a new out-and-out defensive midfielder needs to come in, one who can be a certain starter. We’ve gone for the bullish Arturo Vidal. The Chilean international holds no prisoners in midfield, and with an 87 overall rating he can be the main man in the engine room. His £54.5 million release clause is reasonable with his wages of £141,000 a week not overly expensive. For his 93 aggression, 91 stamina and 89 standing tackle, the 30-year-old is worth the money.
- Claudio Marchisio – Juventus, Age 31, OVR 85, POT 85, Cost: £47.9 million, Wage: £141,000
- Casemiro – Real Madrid, Age 25, OVR 85, POT 89, Cost: £78.5 million, Wage: £172,000
- Kevin Strootman – Roma, Age 27, OVR 84, POT 85, Cost: £54.7 million, Wage: £92,000
- Bruno – Villarreal, Age 33, OVR 84, POT 84, Cost: £34.2 million, Wage: £52,000
- Sami Khedira – Juventus, Age 30, OVR 84, POT 84, Cost: £42.1 million, Wage: £141,000
With Arsenal not finishing in the top four last season, a lot of high-profile players have been hesitant to sign new contracts. Six first team players have deals expiring at the end of this season, and five of those you need to renew. Alexis Sanchez needs to be slapped with a new contract, you simply cannot afford to let him go for free at the end of the season or be without a man of his talents. It’s a similar case for Mesut Ozil, however you could choose to cash in on the German and replace him with an out-and-out winger. Midfielders Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere need to be given new deals, otherwise you will have a substantial hole in your midfield come next season.
As for the fringe players, Jeff Reine-Adelaide (POT 81) and Edward Nketiah (POT 80) have superb potentials so you will want to see how they develop over the next few seasons.
After six years at The Emirates, it looks to be Per Mertesacker’s final season, and to avoid losing him on a free you should sell the centre back.
Gedion Zelalem’s future is in the balance, and if you see little development, you could sell him in January. As for Tafari Moore, you will want to be selling him straightaway with the right back’s potential only 71.
At Arsenal, your domestic, continental and brand exposure objectives have critical importance. For your domestic goal, you will be asked to win both the league title and the FA Cup. A tough ask, but with no Champions League football to contend with and a big squad, this is possible. However, your domestic goal is to win the Euro League (Europa League). Arsenal have talent but to lift three trophies is an incredibly unlikely task. You will need to start the league season like a train, forget about the league cup and rotate your squad well.
As for brand exposure, you will need to earn £176 million from shirt sales over the season. This can be done by signing big names, scoring plenty of goals, maintaining good form and lifting trophies.
Both your financial and youth development goals have low importance. Financially you will need to record a profit margin of £66 million, so you may not want to spend so freely. However, you will receive considerable income for each round of the Euro League that you get through as well as for your Premier League finish.
For youth development, you will need to sign a youth player and play them five times over the course of the season. You will also need to sign two players under the age of 20. They must have a higher potential than the average rating of the current players in the same position.
A step back to go forward
After last season’s league disappointment, there is a strange silence coming from The Emirates. The FA Cup success has papered over the cracks, and another finish outside the top four could cause mayhem. With Sanchez and Ozil set to leave for free at the end of the season, Arsenal need to keep things together. On FIFA 18’s Career Mode, you have the opportunity to rebuild the club before it falls apart. Can you take them back to the glory days of competing for, and lifting Premier League trophies? It’s a tough ask, but nothing worth having comes easy.
Full Arsenal squad player ratings
|Petr Cech||35||GK||Czech Rep.||86||86||£17.1m||£81k|
|Sead Kolasinac||24||LB LM||Bosnia||80||83||£26.3m||£80k|
|Nacho Monreal||31||CB LB||Spain||80||80||£16.3m||£97k|
|Calum Chambers||22||CB RB||England||75||84||£16.2m||£56k|
|Krystian Bielik||19||CB CDM||Poland||62||77||£1.3m||£7k|
|Alexis Sanchez||28||LM ST LW RM||Chile||89||89||£80m||£233k|
|Mesut Ozil||28||CAM RW||Germany||88||88||£70m||£233k|
|Santi Cazorla||32||CM CDM||Spain||83||83||£25m||£114k|
|Granit Xhaka||24||CM CDM||Switzerland||82||85||£46.6m||£97k|
|Aaron Ramsey||26||CM CDM RM||Wales||82||83||£32m||£114k|
|Jack Wilshere||25||CM CAM CDM||England||81||84||£27m||£101k|
|Theo Walcott||28||RM LM ST||England||80||80||£24.4m||£110k|
|Francis Coquelin||26||CDM CM||France||79||80||£20.3m||£97k|
|Mohamed Elneny||24||CDM CM||Egypt||77||81||£16.9m||£67k|
|Ainsley Maitland-Niles||19||RM CM||England||66||79||£2.6m||£12k|
|Gedion Zelalem||20||CM CAM CDM||USA||65||75||£1.1m||£16k|
|Jeff Reine-Adelaide||19||RM CAM||France||63||81||£1.1m||£8k|
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Who are you going to sign for Arsenal? How is your Career Mode going? Let us know in the comments section below.