Many see Wolverhampton Wanderers as the surprise package in the Premier League this season, with the promoted side sitting the highest in the top-flight outside of the top six. Now, there has been eyebrows raised at the transfer business of Wolves even when they were in the Championship, with the club going through super agent Jorge Mendes to sign a lot of quality Portuguese talent, with Rui Patricio, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho, Diogo Jota, Ivan Cavaleiro, Helder Costa and Ruben Vinagre all hailing from the European Champions.
With rich Chinese owners, if Wolves continue this trend, we may not far away from seeing the midlands club back in Europe for the first time since the start of the 80s. That has to be your target on FIFA 19’s Career Mode, with just so much potential in this Wolves squad.
RealSport gives you all you need to know as you take charge at Molineux on FIFA 19.
Wolves have a four star rating on FIFA 19, which consists of a 75 attack, 78 midfield and 76 defence.
Wolves have had success with a five at the back formation this season, but with a shortage of quality centre backs, you should change this to a 4-3-3 holding. If you prefer the protection, go for a 5-3-2 or 5-2-3.
Rui Patricio (85 GK diving) is a top quality goalkeeper, with the back four made up by Matt Doherty, Conor Coady, Willy Boly and superb new signing Jonny (83 stamina).
Quality loanee Leander Dendoncker (89 stamina) is the backbone to a class midfield, and is his joined by orchestrator Joao Moutinho (86 composure) and distributor Ruben Neves (86 long passing).
In attack, Ivan Cavaleiro and Diogo Jota flank another loan signing in Raul Jimenez.
On the bench go for John Ruddy, Ryan Bennett, Ruben Vinagre, Romain Saiss, Morgan Gibbs-White, Adama Traore and Helder Costa.
Tactics and instructions
Usually set up with a back five, Wolves are set up to counter attack, and you can still implement this with the 4-3-3. It does also allow you to take more control of the ball when you play against teams in the bottom half of the division, and of course, gives you the opportunity to rotate your squad as the season wears on.
The midfield trio is well-balanced, and it explains why current manager Nuno Espirito Santo flipped the system from a 5-2-3 to a 5-3-2 this season. Leander Dendoncker (87 strength) can play in midfield or defence, making him the perfect man in defensive midfield, which allows Joao Moutinho (84 balance) and Ruben Neves (84 vision) to strut their stuff higher up the pitch. Use the trio to set the front three away, or to control the ball when play slows down.
In switching from a back five to a traditional four-man defence, you will lose your wing-backs. Matt Doherty (90 stamina) and Jonny (82 aggression) like to get forward and then can still afford to do this with the protection in midfield and the wingers linking up with the striker.
Speaking of the forward, Raul Jimenez (90 penalties) is a traditional number 9, standing at 6’3”, so look to swing balls into him with your players in wide areas.
Your instructions can help you implement these tactics, with your first port of call needing to be Leander Dendoncker’s attacking support changed to ‘stay back’ to provide defensive cover.
Ruben Neves (83 long shots) is lethal from range, so on his crossing support he should be set to ‘stay on edge of box for cross’.
Diogo Jota (83 composure) has played up front alongside Raul Jimenez this season, so to allow Jonny to bomb on from left back, the winger should ‘get into box for cross’ on crossing support.
On the other flank, Ivan Cavaleiro (87 sprint speed) is blessed with pace so his support runs should be on ‘get in behind’. Speedster Adama Traore (97 acceleration) is likely to come on off the bench for Cavaleiro, making this instruction suit him even more.
To make the most of your training sessions, use players with high development. At Wolves, this includes Jonny, Leander Dendoncker, Ruben Neves, Diogo Jota, Adama Traore, Morgan Gibbs-White and Ruben Vinagre.
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £57 million
Starting wage budget: £106,000 a week
Who should go
The only players you should consider selling at Wolves are the youngsters who won’t have the ability to represent the first team in the future. These are Oskar Buur Rasmussen, Cameron John and Harry Beasley, who you should all sell for a combined fee of £240,000, freeing up £8,000 a week in your transfer budget.
With there a big gulf between the first team and the rest of the squad with Wolves, there are plenty of contenders to send out on loan. Don’t loan out more than five, with squad numbers likely to come an issue, so Ryan Giles, Elliott Watt, Austin Samuels, Niall Ennis and Andreas Sondergaard should your men to send away, with all of them holding a potential of 75 or higher.
Who to sign
New transfer budget: £57 million
New wage budget: £116,000 a week
Starting centre half
Centre backs are the clear weak link in the Wolves squad, let alone starting lineup, with just three first team options – all of which start week-in, week-out for Wolves. Add to this that it’s the weakest position in the starting lineup, this needs to be addressed.
A big statement needs to be made, and you should move for Liverpool’s Joel Matip in the summer transfer window. The Cameroonian has an 80 overall on FIFA 19, which can grow to a potential of 82, and at the age of 26 it is a perfect time to sign him. You should be able to strike deal for around £19 million with his wages of £87,000 a week likely to come down. The defender’s best stats include 84 standing tackle, 83 interceptions and 82 heading accuracy.
|Mateo Musacchio||27||AC Milan||Argentina||80||80||£15m||£75k|
|Sven Bender||29||Bayer Leverkusen||Germany||81||81||£16m||£61k|
Raul Jimenez is good enough to see you out the season, but for one, he is only on loan, and second, he is the only striker in your first team. Look to bring in someone who can provide competition for Jimenez and possibly take the responsibility of being your first-choice striker next season.
Kasper Dolberg burst onto the scene two seasons ago, netting 22 goals in the 2016-17 season, as Ajax reached the Europa League final. He scored just nine times last season however, but looks to be back on it this year with 10 goals so far. On FIFA 19, his 76 overall rating can improve to a potential of 85, with is best stats 87 shot power, 77 long shots and 77 composure. You can sign him by matching his £16.9 million release clause with wages starting at just £13,000 a week.
|Rafael Santos Borre||22||River Plate||Colombia||77||83||£15m||£20k|
|Davie Selke||23||Hertha Berlin||Germany||77||82||£17m||£24k|
Just two players have contracts expiring at Wolves, youngsters Pedro Goncalves and Harry Beasley. Unless Goncalves shows tremendous development this season, you are likely to sell him, with Beasley someone you should be selling as soon as the season starts.
Wolves just have three objectives you to follow, with league placing having a low importance – so be sure to prioritise your off the pitch duties. Youth development has a medium importance and here you must bring a player through the youth academy and play them in 50% of your matches next season. Be sure to get your scouts sent out straight away as you are looking for a player who at least going to on the bench next year.
For brand exposure you must increase season ticket holders to 10% of the stadium’s capacity within three seasons. If you bring in big names, rack up the goals and victories, and essentially make the side a joy to watch, this should be no problem at all.
Lastly, for domestic success you will be expected to finish mid table in the Premier League and reach the round of 16 in the FA Cup. Barring tough draws in the third and fourth rounds of the FA Cup, you should be fine. This also gives you the opportunity to play your youngsters in the EFL Cup and at the backend of the season, whilst also keeping your star players fresh for the big games.
Wolves on the prowl
This Wolves side has areas of quality, but in spending big on some players, there have been gaps left on the pitch and the overall depth of the squad. It means that in your first season, a mid-table finish is the minimum you should be achieving, but you will face matches in which the ball won’t go in the back of the net or a defensive error will cost you a result.
It won’t get easier next season with two first team starters only in on loan, so you are looking at perhaps a three year project in developing Wolves into a side that can not only qualify for Europe, but also compete in it.
The good news is, that there is potential in the squad already to achieve that, led by Ruben Neves and Diogo Jota, with support coming in from Adama Traore, Morgan Gibbs-White and Ruben Vinagre. That should be enough to see Wolves become a genuine Premier League force.
Full Wolves player ratings
|Matt Doherty||26||RWB||Rep. Ireland||77||78||£8m||£51k|
|John Kitolano||18||LWB LB||Norway||62||77||£500k||£3k|
|Ryan Giles||18||LWB LW||England||58||75||£200k||£3k|
|Ed Francis||18||CB LB||England||58||74||£200k||£3k|
|Oskar Buur Rasmussen||20||RWB RB||Denmark||57||71||£200k||£4k|
|Maximilian Kilman||21||CB LB CM||England||56||70||£200k||£4k|
|Cameron John||18||CB LWB||England||54||72||£100k||£3k|
|Joao Moutinho||31||CM CDM CAM||Portugal||82||82||£17m||£81k|
|Leander Dendoncker||23||CDM CB CM||Belgium||79||85||On Loan||£18k|
|Romain Saiss||28||CM CDM||Morocco||74||74||£5m||£48k|
|Morgan Gibbs-White||18||CM CAM LW||England||67||86||£1m||£8k|
|Paulo Alves||20||CM CAM||Portugal||59||70||£200k||£6k|
|Sadou Diallo||19||CM CDM||England||55||73||£200k||£3k|
|Diogo Jota||21||LW ST||Portugal||78||86||£14m||£49k|
|Raul Jimenez||27||ST||Mexico||78||79||On Loan||£13k|
|Ivan Cavaleiro||24||LW RW||Portugal||75||78||£8m||£48k|