Some clubs are not blessed with grand budgets on Football Manager 2018, so you need to be smart with your business in the transfer window. Attacking midfielder’s usually come at a premium, but if you look in the right places you can find some fantastic deals. We look at the best orchestrators who you can sign for less than £5 million.
For a full list of our attacking midfield bargains, look at the table near the end of the page.
Lucas Lima (CA 142 – PA 148)
Positions: AM (C), M (C)
Club: SAN (Santos)
Best attributes: 16 passing, 16 technique, 16 creativity
Value: £2.8 million
Wage: £16,700 a week
Not a name you will be familiar with but Santos attacking midfielder Lucas Lima has earned 14 caps for the Brazil national team. The 27-year-old has been a regular for his club for over three years, winning the Campeonato Paulista twice. It might be the perfect time for Lima to revive his career and move to your club on FM 18.
Lima’s 142 Current Ability score can still rise to a 148 potential, with his best attributes 16 passing, 16 technique and 16 creativity. You will need to make a deal worth around £4.5 million to sign the Brazilian, with his wages setting you back around £17,000 a week.
Xabi Prieto (CA 141 – PA 149)
Positions: AM (CR), M (R)
Club: Real San Sebastian (Real Sociedad)
Best attributes: 20 penalty taking, 19 technique, 18 dribbling
Value: £1.4 million
Wage: £30,700 a week
Hailing from San Sebastian, it would be a massive surprise for Real Sociedad’s Xabi Prieto to leave the club, but the window is still open for you to sign the 33-year-old on Football Manager. The attacking or right midfielder has chalked up over 500 appearances for La Real over 14 years and is the current captain of the side.
Prieto has 20 penalty taking, 19 technique and 18 dribbling on the game, giving him a 141 CA rating. That may have fallen from his 149 potential, but for a cost of just £2.5 million snapping up the experienced Prieto would be a fantastic signing. His current wages are £30,700 a week.
Bryan Ruiz (CA 139 – PA 158)
Positions: AM (CL), M (L)
Club: Sporting Lisbon
Country: Costa Rica
Best attributes: 16 crossing, 16 first touch, 16 passing
Value: £3.4 million
Wage: £36,800 a week
Former Fulham man Bryan Ruiz showed flashes of his talent in the Premier League, with the 31-year-old showing more consistency at Sporting Lisbon. The Costa Rican attacking midfielder has earned over 100 caps for his country, and was one of the shining lights that took them to the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup, only to be knocked out by the Netherlands on penalties.
Ruiz will set you back close to £5 million on the game, giving you his 139 current ability rating. Despite a fall from a 158 potential, Ruiz’s 16 crossing, 16 first touch and 16 passing show he still has bags of talent, which can be yours for £36,800 a week in wages.
Thiago Neves (CA 138 – PA 160)
Positions: AM (CRL), M (RC)
Club: CEC (Cruzeiro)
Best attributes: 16 technique, 16 free kick taking, 16 flair
Value: £3.1 million
Wage: £19,400 a week
Thiago Neves is another man who has snuck in with some Brazil caps, with the 32-year-old playing for various clubs in Brazil, Germany, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The journeyman enjoyed success with Fluminense, and after a failed spell at Hamburg, he moved to the Middle East, winning the Saudi Premier League twice with Al-Hilal.
At the age of 32, there is enough time for one more chance in Europe for Neves, with the attacking midfielder setting you back around £4 million. For £19,400 a week wages you’ll get his 138 current ability score, consisting of 16 technique, 16 free kick taking and 16 flair.
Macnelly Torres (CA 138 – PA 144)
Positions: AM (C), M (C)
Club: Atletico Nacional
Best attributes: 16 first touch, 16 passing, 15 technique
Wage: £2,400 a week
Named after former baseball star Dave McNally, Macnelly Torres is one of the great servants of South America football. With 48 caps for Colombia, the attacking or central midfielder has won five Colombian and two Chilean league titles, and is currently plying his trade for Atletico Nacional in his homeland.
Torres has a 138 current ability score on the game, with 16 first touch, 16 passing and 15 technique. He has only fallen slightly from his 144 potential, and he can be yours for as little as £1 million and £2,400 a week wages, perhaps making him the best bargain midfielder.
Kaka (CA 136 – PA 190)
Positions: AM (CL)
Club: Orlando City
Best attributes: 17 first touch, 17 passing, 17 technique
Wage: £105,000 a week
Kaka has just left Orlando City, and is pondering retirement from football, so make sure you act fast to snap up the former Ballon d’Or winner. The 35-year-old Brazilian is the last man outside of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win the award, having won Serie A, La Liga, Champions League and World Cup trophies over his career.
Signing the AC Milan legend would certainly bring experience to your side, with the attacking midfielder’s 136 current ability rating still making him a reliable performer. His 190 potential shows how good he was in his heyday, with his current attributes 17 first touch, 17 passing and 17 technique. You will need as little as £500,000 to sign the veteran which balances out his expensive wages of £105,000 a week.
Oscar Romero (CA 136 – PA 143)
Positions: AM (C)
Club: Alaves (on loan from Shanghai Shenhua)
Best attributes: 18 flair, 17 technique, 16 dribbling
Value: £1.2 million
Wage: £13,700 a week
At the age of 24, Oscar Romero is one very few long-term bargain signings, but the Paraguayan already has some pedigree. He has played for his country 30 times already, and after impressing for native side Cerro Porteno and Racing in Argentina, he made the big money move to Shanghai Shenhua in the Chinese Super League. Attacking midfielder Romero clearly didn’t settle in China, being almost immediately loaned out to Spanish club Alves.
You can strike a deal to sign Romero on FM, but he won’t join your club until summer 2018. For around £3 million you can get his 136 current ability score, with the potential to hit 143. 18 flair, 17 technique and 16 dribbling are promising attributes, for which you will need to at least match his £13,700 a week wages.
Keisuke Honda (CA 135 – PA 150)
Positions: AM (CR)
Best attributes: 16 composure, 15 corners, 15 technique
Value: £3.4 million
Wage: £75,000 a week
A man with bags of talent, but there was always a sense that there was more to come from the Japanese attacking midfielder. The 31-year-old built his reputation at CSKA Moscow, with a move to Italian giants AC Milan seemingly coming at the right time. During his three year spell at the San Siro it never really clicked for Honda, and he has now made the strange move to Mexican side Pachuca.
You are looking at a fee of around £4.5 million for Honda, which will get you his 16 composure, 15 corners and 15 technique. A 135 current ability shows he can still be trusted to perform, but it isn’t quite the 150 potential he was at a few years ago. Honda’s wages are a surprising £70,000 a week.
Juan Fernando Quintero (CA 135 – PA 142)
Positions: AM (C)
Club: Medellin (on loan from Porto)
Best attributes: 15 dribbling, 15 free kick taking, 15 passing
Wage: £27,300 a week
Staying in South America, Juan Fernando Quintero looks to be knuckling down once more after a tricky spell at FC Porto. The 24-year-old is on loan at Colombian side Independiente Medellin from the Portuguese club, and with 13 goals in 25 games this season, he looks to be back to his best.
With his loan deal up at the end of 2017, it’s the perfect time to move for the Colombian international who will get plenty of playing time before joining your club. You will only need around £3 million to secure him, with his wages currently £27,300 a week. 15 dribbling, 15 free kick taking and 15 passing contribute to his 135 CA which can rise to a potential of 142.
Clint Dempsey (CA 134 – PA 149)
Positions: AM (C), ST
Best attributes: 18 flair, 17 off the ball, 16 important matches
Wage: £57,000 a week
Still going at the age of 34, Clint Dempsey gives his all for any club he plays for. Regarded as a Fulham legend after scoring 60 goals for the club, and is one of the undisputed stars of US soccer. In 141 games for his country the attacking midfielder or striker has bagged 57 goals, helping raise awareness for the game in The States.
Dempsey is back in MLS, joining Seattle Sounders in 2013 after a seven-year absence from the US league. You will need just £800,000 to secure his services, with wages of £57,000 a week. His 134 CA may have fallen from a 149 potential, but he still offers 18 flair, 17 off the ball and 16 important matches.
More bargain attacking midfielders
|Stephen Ireland||30||AM (C)|
|Stoke||Republic of Ireland||132/|
|Enis Bardhi||21||AM (CL)|
|Valentin Stocker||28||AM (CL)|
|Aaron Hunt||30||AM (C)|
|Emre Colak||26||AM (CL)|
|Andres D’Alessandro||36||AM (CRL)|
|Pablo Hernandez||32||AM (CRL)|
|Victor Rodriguez||27||AM (CRL)||Seattle||Spain||130/|
|Mauro Formica||29||AM (C)||Pumas||Argentina||130/|
|Christian Cueva||25||AM (CRL)||SPO||Peru||130/|
|Borja Garcia||26||AM (CRL)|
|Mehmet Ekici||27||AM (C)|
|Ruben Rayos||31||AM (CL)|
Have you snapped up any bargains on FM? Let us know in the comments section below.
Looking for wonderkids?
On a tight budget?
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?