FIFA 20: Arsenal Career Mode Guide, tactics, formations, transfers & tips

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Life at Arsenal has been no easier under new boss Unai Emery.

The Gunners failed to qualify for the Champions League for the fourth consecutive season, slipping up in the last few weeks of the Premier League season and suffering a humiliating loss to Chelsea in the Europa League final.

Arsenal have made a rocky start to the 2019/20 season, with some fans less than impressed with Emery, claiming he is not the man to take the club back to their former glory of regular Champions League football and trophies.

Now it’s your turn, can you do better than Unai Emery on your Arsenal Career Mode? RealSport is here to give you a helping hand as you set up your game on FIFA 20.

Team Rating

Arsenal have a four and a half star rating, with a strong 86 attack, 82 midfield and 80 defence.


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Arsenal’s default formation on FIFA 20 is a 4-2-3-1 Wide.

You should stick with this, but other options you may wish to try are the 4-3-3 Attack, 4-2-2-2, 4-4-2 and a 4-1-2-1-2. 

The difficulty you face is getting both strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (OVR 88) and Alexandre Lacazette (OVR 86) as well as new record signing Nicolas Pepe (OVR 83) in to an attacking front 3 line up.

READ MORE: Ultimate Team gamers claim 4-2-2-2 is the way to line up

An effective way to set up is with Arsenal’s default formation, but with Aubameyang pushed up to a left wing or left forward position (as seen above). Play around with the systems to see which formation works best for you.

In a 4-2-3-1, you should have Bernd Leno in goal with a back four of the speedster Hector Bellerin (94 acceleration), the experienced centre back partnership of Sokratis and David Luiz, with new signing Kieran Teirney on the left.

Kolasinac does have a higher original rating than Tierney, but the Scotsman wins the starting spot with his 89 sprint speed and an overall potential of 86.

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Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka will hold your midfield, whilst Mesut Ozil (90 vision) covers the number 10 role to provide service to a deadly front three of Aubameyang (95 sprint speed), Lacazette (87 finishing) and Pepe (86 dribbling).

A well-balanced bench would consist of Emiliano Martinez (OVR 75), Rob Holding (OVR 76), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (OVR 75), Calum Chambers (OVR 75), Mateo Guendouzi (OVR 76), Dani Ceballos (OVR 81) and Reiss Nelson (OVR 72). 

Tactics and instructions

For your offensive tactics, you can use either possession to play the traditional Arsenal way (Wenger-ball) or fast build-up to utilise the immense speed of Arsenal’s attackers.

Defensively, you should go for press after possession loss, but with Mesut Ozil in the side it won’t be as effective. Some players may want to opt for Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos for a harder working attacking midfielder.

READ MORE: RealOpinions - FIFA 20’s balance between attack & defence is ALL WRONG

If you find yourself trailing in a game, use Dani Ceballos (high attacking work rate & 87 dribbling) and Reiss Nelson (90 sprint speed) as impact subs. Whereas a strong defensive sub would be Matteo Guendouzi (high defensive work rate & potential of 86). 

As for your instructions, Aubameyang should be your priority as you want to utilise Arsenal’s best player in the most effective manner.

The Gabon international's defensive support should be set to ‘stay forward’ to link up with Lacazette, whilst his support runs are set to ‘get in behind’. If you are playing him as a left winger you should also set his support on crosses to ‘get into the box for cross’.

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With Mesut Ozil, his positioning freedom should be on ‘free roam’ so he has licence to influence the game creatively. With a low attacking work rate you may as well set Ozil’s defensive support to ‘stay forward’ in most games, so he can be a point of escape after defending and instigate a counter attack.

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However, against stronger opponents, you’re best to set Ozil’s defensive support to ‘come back on defence’ to help Torreira and Xhaka, and as mentioned earlier you may even wish to opt for the higher attacking and defensive work rate of Dani Ceballos.

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With Aubameyang staying forward to link up with Lacazette, it’s best to set Torreira to ‘stay back while attacking’ on attacking support; this will ensure you have cover in case of an opposition counter attack. If you’ve set Ozil to stay forward as well, you may even want to set both Torreira and Xhaka to ‘stay back while attacking’.

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Your focus in training should be on high growth players which are indicated by the green symbol in the training section of Career Mode. These players tend to be younger and have strong potentials.

Arsenal currently have a fairly young squad meaning there are many first team players that can still grow plenty, including Kieran Tierney, Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, and Nicolas Pepe

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The Transfer Market

Starting transfer budget: £85 million

Starting wage budget: £223,000 a week

Who should go

Arsenal have been criticised of holding on to deadwood in previous seasons, but have undergone a decent clear-out over the summer of 2019. There is still more expendable players to be sold which will increase your transfer budget, helping you bring the right players in.

Shkodran Mustafi has long been criticised by Arsenal fans and with better centre backs available in the game, the sale of the German centre half is a good idea. The Arsenal defender will sell for £15.5 million and you’ll recoup his £68,000 a week wages.

READ MORE: Best Young Centre Backs on FIFA 20 Career Mode

Youngsters Tyreece John-Jules and Robbie Burton may yet make something of themselves at Arsenal, but EA predicts they are nothing special, giving them low potentials. The sale of these two will earn you just over, with a total of £8,000 a week in wages.

It is also worth noting that both Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£18 million) and Mohamed Elneny (£8 million) will return from loan in the summer of 2020 and can be sold for a combined £26 million, freeing up their wages of £143,000 a week. These funds can help you in your second season of Career Mode.


Arsenal’s involvement in the Premier League, both domestic cups and the Europa League means you cannot afford to send many players out on loan. The young centre back, Konstantinos Mavropanos (OVR 70 - POT 82)left winger, Emile Smith-Rowe (OVR 65 - POT 83) and centre mid, Joe Willock (OVR 67 - POT 84) are the only sacrifices that can be made.

Who to Sign

New transfer budget: £96.5 million

New wage budget: £294,000 a week

High class Centre Back

Although solid on the game, both Sokratis and David Luiz are approaching the end of the career. Therefore, it is wise to invest in a high potential centre back, to partner an improving Rob Holding as the weeks go by.

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Your best choice is Dortmund’s Manuel Akanji. Having achieved a fair amount of first team game time in the Bundesliga (40 games in two seasons), he will be looking for more regular starts at a new team.

With an 83 overall rating and a massive 88 potential rating he has the quality to start for Arsenal already. His amazing 85 sprint speed and 84 strength can be yours for £48 million and £80,000 a week in wages.

Alternative options:

  • Jonathan Tah – Bayer Leverkusen, Age 23, OVR 83, POT 88, Cost: £48 million, Wage: £80,0000 a week
  • Alessio Romagnoli – AC Milan, Age 24, OVR 83, POT 89, Cost: £50 million, Wage: £90,0000 a week
  • Presnel Kimpembe – PSG, Age 23, OVR 82, POT 87, Cost: £42 million, Wage: £75,0000 a week
  • Daniele Rugani – Piemonte Calcio (Juventus), Age 24, OVR 82, POT 86, Cost: £36 million, Wage: £75,0000 a week
  • Ruben Dias - Benfica, Age 22, OVR 80, POT 86, Cost: £29 million, Wage: £12,000 a week

Strong Defensive Midfielder

Arsenal have relied on Lucas Torreira in the number six role for far too long, with Xhaka looking less than reliable in his defensive duties.

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Sander Berge fits the bill of a strong, physical defensive mid with fantastic potential. Currently playing for Genk, Berge has outgrown the Belgian league and is ready for the next step in his career.

The Norwegian is 6'5", with a strength of 91 and a potential rating of 87; he will have no problems bossing Arsenal’s midfield. Berge will set you back £18.8 million and £42,000 a week in wages.

Alternative options:

  • Marc Roca – Espanyol, Age 22, OVR 79, POT 86, Cost: £18 million, Wage: £45,000 a week
  • Declan Rice – West Ham, Age 20, OVR 78, POT 87, Cost: £18 million, Wage: £50,000 a week
  • Julian Weigl – Borussia Dortmund, Age 23, OVR 80, POT 84, Cost: £22 million, Wage: £70,000 a week
  • Lucas Tousart - Lyon, Age 22, OVR 78, POT 83, Cost £16.5 million, Wage: £45,000 a week
  • Ibrahim Sangare - Toulouse, Age 21, OVR 76, POT 85, Cost: £15 million, Wage: £16,000 a week

READ MORE: Best young left wingers to sign on FIFA 20 Career Mode


With Arsenal’s new ‘Sign or Sell’ policy there aren’t many current players with contract concerns. Young goalkeeper, Matt Macey, is the only player whose contract is expiring in summer 2020. With a potential of only 72, you can let Macey leave on a free and replace him with a young goalie with better potential.

Make sure you tie both Eddie Nketiah (OVR 69 - POT 84) and William Saliba (OVR 71 - POT 88) to long term contracts once they have returned to Arsenal after their loan spells.

Dani Ceballos will rejoin Real Madrid after his loan spell at the end of the 2019/20 season. However, the Spaniard is one of the best young centre midfielders on the game so it may be worth signing him permanently and tying him down to a long-term contract (you could use the funds raised from the sales of Mkhitaryan and Elneny).

Managerial objectives

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The managerial objectives at Arsenal are tough, and you will have your work cut out if you want to achieve all of them in your first season.

Domestic success is of high importance, with the board expecting you to finish in Champions League Qualifying Place. The objective to reach the Final of the FA Cup is a difficult ask; with cup games prone to upsets and three other competitions to compete in, it won't be easy.

Continental success is also a high priority, and the board expect nothing less than the Europa League trophy. Again, the focus is on qualifying for the Champions League; after reaching the final last season, can you take Arsenal all the way?

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Brand Exposure is a critical priority, with an objective of earning £135 million through shirt sales within the season. So long as golden boot winner Aubameyang and top gunner Lacazette are scoring goals, combined with a few new arrivals, you should achieve this objective with ease.

Financial is a medium priority and you’ll have to increase the club worth by 25% across three seasons. Make wise investments, maintain a steady profit and win some silverware, and this objective will cause you no trouble.

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Finally, Youth Development is of medium priority. The objective here is to grow two youth academy players by at least 10 overall points, before playing them in 10 matches over the season. This is a lot to achieve, so you’ll have to get your youth system up and running as fast as possible.


Return to the lights of the Champions League

The Arsenal managerial objectives are by no means easy, and if you’re playing on a high difficulty you may struggle to achieve them all.

With Unai Emery failing to do so in his first season, your priority has to be to regain Champions League football for the North London club; whether through a top four finish or the Europa League. Once you’re on the right track in these competitions you can start focusing on other objectives.

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Arsenal have a fair few exciting prospects in the squad, so you could make a good go of the cup runs, but be sure to bring in a young striker to cover for Aubameyang and Lacazette in case of injury or fatigue.

With the right acquisitions, you should be looking to win the Premier League by the 2021/22 season, at which point you can push on for the most elusive of things at Arsenal Football Club; a Champions League trophy.

Full Arsenal Player Ratings

Player Age Pos Country OVR POT V W
B. Leno27GKGermany8486£23.4m£81k
E. Martínez26GKArgentina7578£5.4m£42k
M. Macey24GKEngland6672£608k£10k
A. Maitland-Niles21RWB RB RMEngland7584£8.6m£37k
David Luiz32CBBrazil8383£14.9m£95k
S. Kolašinac26LB LWBBosnia7982£12.2m£68k
R. Holding23CDM CMEngland7683£9m£46k
Hector Bellerin24RB RWBSpain8085£15.8m£62k
K. Tierney22LBScotland7686£9.9m£46k
K. Mavropanos21CBGreece7082£2.6m£21k
S. Mustafi27CBGermany7981£11.7m£68k
Z. Medley18CB LBEngland6381£630k£3k
M. Guendouzi20CM CDMFrance7686£11.3m£44k
G. Xhaka26CM CDMSwitz8183£18.9m£85k
N. Pepe24RM RW STIvory Coast8388£31.1m£87k
Dani Ceballos*22CM CAM Spain8187£21.6m£74k
M. Özil30CAM RWGermany7683£26.6m£113k
L. Torreira23CDM CMUruguay8287£24.3m£72k
C. Chambers24CDM CM CBEngland7580£7.2m£44k
J. Willock19CMEngland6784£1.5m£11k
B. Saka17LM RMEngland6586£1.1m£2k
R. Burton19CAM CMWales5874£243k£5k
P. Aubameyang30ST LMGabon8888£51.3m£185k
A. Lacazette28STFrance8686£41.4m£149k
R. Nelson19RW LW LMEngland7285£5.4m£28k
Gabriel Martinelli18LW LM STBrazil6883£1.7m£10k
E. Smith Rowe18LW RW CAMEngland6583£1m£6k
T. John-Jules18STEngland5876£234k£4k

*on loan from another club

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