FM 18: Best bargain strikers

Finding top talent up front can be expensive, but if you look in the right places you can find some quality cheap strikers for less than £5 million.


Goals win you football matches, so strikers are the most expensive players on the pitch. If you want a player to fire you towards a league title, be prepared to use up most of your transfer budget to do so. That said, there are plenty of big names available for £5 million or less, and they can still have a big impact on your season. You may need to experiment with add-ons and clauses to create the best deal, or even offer one of your fringe players as part of an exchange.

All of these players have a PA rating of 130 or higher, have striker as their preferred position and can be signed for initial fee of £5 million or less.

For a full list of all our bargain strikers, visit the table at the bottom of the page. 

Aritz Aduriz (CA 151 – PA 155)

Age: 36

Positions: ST

Club: Athletic Bilbao

Country: Spain

Best attributes: 19 bravery, 18 work rate, 18 loyalty

Value: £1.3 million

Wage: £27,000 a week

A veteran striker who loves to score goals. Athletic Bilbao forward Aritz Aduriz has 154 goals in 337 games in his third spell at the club, having also played for Real Valladolid, Mallorca and Valencia in Spain. Aduriz didn’t make his debut for Spain until the age of 29, and became his country’s top goal scorer in November 2016, aged 35 and 275 days.

Now 36, the evergreen Aduriz can be yours for just £4 million on Football Manager 2018. With a 151 current ability only just falling from his 155 potential, he’s still a reliable forward, with attributes of 19 bravery, 18 work rate and 18 loyalty. For a man of his ability, wages of £27,000 a week are an absolute steal.

Fernando Torres (CA 146 – PA 179)

Age: 33

Positions: ST

Club: Atletico Madrid

Country: Spain

Best attributes: 17 adaptability, 16 important matches, 16 flair

Value: £4.3 million

Wage: £97,000 a week

With Diego Costa arriving at Atletico Madrid, Fernando Torres’ days at his boyhood club appear to be numbered. The former Liverpool man is rumoured to be heading to Newcastle in January, seeking a reunion with manager Rafael Benitez. Torres may be over the hill, but with 22 goals in the past two seasons for Atletico, he can still offer something for your club.

The 33-year-old had 17 adaptability, 16 important matches and 16 flair to his game, adding to his 146 current ability. The days of his 179 potential seem long ago, so you will need just £5 million to sign the Spanish international. His wages of £97,000 a week are steep, so even with some crafty negotiations, El Nino may still be out of your budget.

Dario Benedetto (CA 143 – PA 155)

Age: 27

Positions: ST

Club: Boca Juniors

Country: Argentina

Best attributes: 16 penalty taking, 15 finishing, 15 off the ball

Value: £2.5 million

Wage: £7,000 a week

Not a player you may be familiar with, but Boca Juniors striker Dario Benedetto made his debut for Argentina this year, no mean feat with Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain around. With 34 goals in 42 games since arriving at Boca in 2016, Benedetto had to be picked, and if he maintains his form he should be on the plane to Russia in the summer.

The 27-year-old will set you back £5 million on FM, with wages of just £7,000 a week. At that cost you will get a 143 CA rating, yet to reach his 155 potential. 16 penalty rating, 15 finishing and 15 off the ball are his best skills, and if you are thinking of singing Benedetto, now is the time to strike.

Paolo Guerrero (CA 143 – PA 149)

Age: 33

Positions: ST

Club: FLA (Flamengo)

Country: Peru

Best attributes: 18 controversy, 16 first touch, 16 balance

Value: £2.8 million

Wage: £58,000 a week

Someone who has scored goals throughout his career is Paolo Guerrero. The 33-year-old has almost 240 strikes to his name, enjoying successful spells at Hamburg, Corinthians and now Flamengo. 

The Peru international will set you back around £4 million, with Guerrero having only just tailed off from his peak with a 143 CA short of his 149 potential. 18 controversy, 16 first touch and 16 balance make him a real handful of a striker and he can be yours for £58,000 a week. 

Claudio Pizarro (CA 142 – PA 163)

Age: 38

Positions: ST

Club: Koln

Country: Peru

Best attributes: 19 off the ball, 18 composure, 18 first touch 

Value: £1.5 million

Wage: £57,000 a week

At the age of 38, Claudio Pizarro is still going strong. The Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Werder Bremen striker is now at FC Koln, as he looks to end his career on a high. Over 320 goals during his career show how consistent the six-foot striker is, and besides, being signed by Bayern Munich twice is highly impressive.

Former Peru international Pizarro will set you back £2 million, getting you his 19 off the ball, 18 composure and 18 first touch. Skills like that add to his 142 current ability, a fall of just over 20 from his 163 potential. £57,000 a week wages aren’t cheap, so you may need strong negotiation skills to sign the veteran. 

David Villa (CA 140 – PA 183)

Age: 35

Positions: ST, AM (L)

Club: NYC FC

Country: Spain

Best attributes: 18 finishing, 18 professionalism, 17 penalty taking

Value: £210,000

Wage: £82,000 a week

One of the best finishers of all time. During his career, David Villa has won three Copa del Reys, three La Ligas, a Champions League, a Club World Cup, a European Championship and a World Cup. Over 400 goals illustrates Villa’s calibre, and he’s not dropped his level since moving to New York City in the MLS, scoring 65 goals in three seasons. 

Spain’s all-time top scorer will set you back less than £1 million on FM, and although that may just be for one season, he’s worth it. His wages of £82,000 a week balance out the deal, but you will receive 18 finishing, 18 professionalism and 17 penalty taking. A 140 CA rating has fallen from 183, but Villa is a player any side would be blessed to have. 

Fred (CA 140 – PA 161)

Age: 33

Positions: ST

Club: ATM (Atletico Mineiro)

Country: Brazil

Best attributes: 16 heading, 16 important matches, 16 finishing

Value: £2 million

Wage: £31,000 a week

A typical number 9, former Brazil international Fred is scoring plenty for native side Atletico Mineiro. The 33-year-old came to the fore during Lyon’s dominance in France, winning three Ligue 1 titles on the bounce. A move to Fluminense in 2009 brought plenty of goals, with the striker scoring 172 goals in eight years. Fred has since moved on to Atletico Mineiro, scoring 35 goals in less than two seasons. 

The forward will set you back just £3.5 million on the game, along with wages of £31,000 a week. 16 heading, 16 important matches and 16 finishing make up his 140 current ability rating, a drop from his 161 potential. 

Bafetimbi Gomis (CA 140 – PA 145)

Age: 31

Positions: ST

Club: Galatasaray

Country: France

Best attributes: 17 ambition, 17 balance, 16 penalty taking

Value: £4.7 million

Wage: £84,000 a week

Bafetimbi Gomis was another huge success in Ligue 1, with French international scoring over 160 goals for Saint-Etienne, Lyon and Marseille. A move to Premier League side Swansea in 2014 didn’t quite work out, with the striker returning to his best in Turkey with Galatasaray, scoring 11 goals in 13 games. 

The 31-year-old can be signed for just £5 million in your save, but with hefty wages of £84,000 a week. A 140 current ability may not justify that price, with Gomis’ best skills his 17 ambition, 17 balance and 16 penalty taking. 

Oribe Peralta (CA 139 – PA 143)

Age: 33

Positions: ST

Club: Club America

Country: Mexico

Best attributes: 16 finishing, 16 loyalty, 15 concentration

Value: £1.7 million

Wage: £22,000 a week

An Olympic Games specialist may be the most niche role in international football, but Mexico’s Oribe Peralta is exactly that. The 33-year-old scored four goals at the London Olympics in 2012 as Mexico won gold, and was called upon four years later in Rio. After scoring once again in 2016, an injury sadly ruled the captain out of the rest of the tournament.

The Club America man will set you back around £3 million on FM, along with wages of £22,000 a week. Peralta’s 139 current ability has only just fallen from his 143 potential, with 16 finishing, 16 loyalty and 15 concentration his best attributes. 

Vedad Ibisevic (CA 139 – PA 143)

Age: 32

Positions: ST

Club: Hertha

Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Best attributes: 18 composure, 18 adaptability, 17 anticipation, 

Value: £2.7 million

Wage: £43,000

It’s been a long career for Bosnia striker Vedad Ibisevic, who initially made the breakthrough back in 2005 during a loan spell at Dijon. He starred for Hoffenheim over five seasons, then moved on to Stuttgart and is now at Hertha Berlin. At the age of 32, this season may be Ibisevic’s last at the top.

If you want to cash in of the 139 CA-rated Ibisevic, you will need £2.7 million and £43,000 a week for his wages. 18 composure, 18 adaptability and 17 anticipation are useful attributes, and with the striker just four short of his 143 potential, you can trust him to score goals.

More bargain strikers

PlayerAPosClubCountryCA/
PA
VW
Dimitar Berbatov36ST
AM (C)
KeralaSerbia138/
173
£8k£23k
Ruben Castro25STGuizhouSpain138/
145
£1m£30k
Charles33STEibarBrazil138/
138
£2m£22k
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar33STAjaxHolland137/
143
£2m£17k
Fabio Quagliarella34STSampdoriaItaly137/
152
£1m£38k
Marco Borriello35STSpalItaly137/
150
£1m£41k
Guillaume Hoarau33STYoung BoysFrance137/
148
£2m£25k
Cyril Thereau34ST
AM (LC)
FiorentinaFrance137/
143
£2m£22k
Sergi Enrich27ST
AM (C)
EibarSpain136/
140
£3m£17k
Samuel Eto’o36ST
AM (C)
AntalyasporCameroon135/
185
£1m£81k
Emmanuel Adebayor33STBasaksehirTogo135/
172
£3m£91k
Jermain Defoe34STB’mouthEngland135/
155
£2m£65k
Burak Yilmaz31ST
AM (RC)
TrabzonsporTurkey135/
148
£4m£72k
Lucas Barrios32STGREParaguay135/
143
£1m£28k
Rodrigo Palacio35ST
AM (RLC)
BolognaArgentina135/
140
£1m£22k
Dayro Moreno31ST
AM (RC)
Atletico NacionalColombia135/
140
£200k£1k
Robinho33ST
AM (LC)
ATMBrazil134/
168
£1m£65k
Ricardo Oliveira37STSANBrazil134/
166
£200k£14m
Asamoah Gyan31STKayserisporGhana134/
150
£3m£14k
Nilmar32STSANBrazil134/
150
£2m£15k
Hernan Barcos33STLiga de QuitoArgentina134/
138
£500k£36k
Alessandro Matri32STSassuoloItaly133/
150
£3m£32k
Luis Fabiano36STVDGBrazil132/
164
£1m£24k
Ignacio Scocco32ST
AM (RC)
RiverArgentina132/
158
£1m£6k
Emanuel Gigliotti30STIndependienteArgentina132/
143
£2m£7k
Alexander Meier34ST
AM (C)
FrankfurtGermany132/
139
£1m£34k
Adrian29ST
AM (RL)
FCPSpain132/
145
£4m£37k
Rodrigo Mora29STRiverUruguay132/
143
£2m£16k
Alan Pulido26ST
AM (C)
ChivasMexico132/
135
£3m£29k
Stefan Kiessling33STLeverkusenGermany131/
146
£1m£51k
Roger26STLevanteSpain131/
138
£2m£12k
Rafael Sobis32ST
AM (RL)
CECBrazil131/
138
£2m£22k
Robin van Persie33STFenerbahceHolland130/
180
£1m£120k
Vagner Love33ST
AM (C)
AlanyasporBrazil130/
170
£3m£30k
Roberto Soldado32STFenerbahceSpain130/
160
£3m£71k
Jimmy Briand32ST
M (R)
AM (R)
EA GuingampFrance130/
148
£4m£16k
Giampaolo Pazzini32STVeronaItaly130/
148
£2m£63k
Hugo Rodallega31STTrabzonsporColombia130/
142
£2m£32K
Ricky van Wolfswinkel28STBaselHolland130/
137
£4m£15k
Mikel Arruabarrena34STAELSpain130/
136
£300k£2k
Emmanuel Emenike30STOlympiakosNigeria130/
134
£3m£28k
Riccardo Meggiorini31STChievoItaly130/
134
£4m£17k
Glenn Murray33STBrightonEngland130/
130
£3m£30k

A = Age

V = Value

W = Wage

Have you picked up any bargains on FM? Let us know in the comments section below.

Looking for wonderkids?

Best Wonderkid Centre Backs

Best Wonderkid Left Backs

Best Wonderkid Right Backs

Best Wonderkid Strikers

Best Wonderkid Attacking Midfielders

On a tight budget?

Contract Expiry Signings

Bargain Centre Backs

Bargain Wingers

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