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)
Club: Athletic Bilbao
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)
Club: Atletico Madrid
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)
Club: Boca Juniors
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)
Club: FLA (Flamengo)
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)
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)
Positions: ST, AM (L)
Club: NYC FC
Best attributes: 18 finishing, 18 professionalism, 17 penalty taking
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)
Club: ATM (Atletico Mineiro)
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)
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)
Club: Club America
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)
Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Best attributes: 18 composure, 18 adaptability, 17 anticipation,
Value: £2.7 million
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
|Dimitar Berbatov||36||ST AM (C)||Kerala||Serbia||138/ 173||£8k||£23k|
|Ruben Castro||25||ST||Guizhou||Spain||138/ 145||£1m||£30k|
|Klaas-Jan Huntelaar||33||ST||Ajax||Holland||137/ 143||£2m||£17k|
|Fabio Quagliarella||34||ST||Sampdoria||Italy||137/ 152||£1m||£38k|
|Marco Borriello||35||ST||Spal||Italy||137/ 150||£1m||£41k|
|Guillaume Hoarau||33||ST||Young Boys||France||137/ 148||£2m||£25k|
|Cyril Thereau||34||ST AM (LC)||Fiorentina||France||137/ 143||£2m||£22k|
|Sergi Enrich||27||ST AM (C)||Eibar||Spain||136/ 140||£3m||£17k|
|Samuel Eto’o||36||ST AM (C)||Antalyaspor||Cameroon||135/ 185||£1m||£81k|
|Emmanuel Adebayor||33||ST||Basaksehir||Togo||135/ 172||£3m||£91k|
|Jermain Defoe||34||ST||B’mouth||England||135/ 155||£2m||£65k|
|Burak Yilmaz||31||ST AM (RC)||Trabzonspor||Turkey||135/ 148||£4m||£72k|
|Lucas Barrios||32||ST||GRE||Paraguay||135/ 143||£1m||£28k|
|Rodrigo Palacio||35||ST AM (RLC)||Bologna||Argentina||135/ 140||£1m||£22k|
|Dayro Moreno||31||ST AM (RC)||Atletico Nacional||Colombia||135/ 140||£200k||£1k|
|Robinho||33||ST AM (LC)||ATM||Brazil||134/ 168||£1m||£65k|
|Ricardo Oliveira||37||ST||SAN||Brazil||134/ 166||£200k||£14m|
|Asamoah Gyan||31||ST||Kayserispor||Ghana||134/ 150||£3m||£14k|
|Hernan Barcos||33||ST||Liga de Quito||Argentina||134/ 138||£500k||£36k|
|Alessandro Matri||32||ST||Sassuolo||Italy||133/ 150||£3m||£32k|
|Luis Fabiano||36||ST||VDG||Brazil||132/ 164||£1m||£24k|
|Ignacio Scocco||32||ST AM (RC)||River||Argentina||132/ 158||£1m||£6k|
|Emanuel Gigliotti||30||ST||Independiente||Argentina||132/ 143||£2m||£7k|
|Alexander Meier||34||ST AM (C)||Frankfurt||Germany||132/ 139||£1m||£34k|
|Adrian||29||ST AM (RL)||FCP||Spain||132/ 145||£4m||£37k|
|Rodrigo Mora||29||ST||River||Uruguay||132/ 143||£2m||£16k|
|Alan Pulido||26||ST AM (C)||Chivas||Mexico||132/ 135||£3m||£29k|
|Stefan Kiessling||33||ST||Leverkusen||Germany||131/ 146||£1m||£51k|
|Rafael Sobis||32||ST AM (RL)||CEC||Brazil||131/ 138||£2m||£22k|
|Robin van Persie||33||ST||Fenerbahce||Holland||130/ 180||£1m||£120k|
|Vagner Love||33||ST AM (C)||Alanyaspor||Brazil||130/ 170||£3m||£30k|
|Roberto Soldado||32||ST||Fenerbahce||Spain||130/ 160||£3m||£71k|
|Jimmy Briand||32||ST M (R) AM (R)||EA Guingamp||France||130/ 148||£4m||£16k|
|Giampaolo Pazzini||32||ST||Verona||Italy||130/ 148||£2m||£63k|
|Hugo Rodallega||31||ST||Trabzonspor||Colombia||130/ 142||£2m||£32K|
|Ricky van Wolfswinkel||28||ST||Basel||Holland||130/ 137||£4m||£15k|
|Mikel Arruabarrena||34||ST||AEL||Spain||130/ 136||£300k||£2k|
|Emmanuel Emenike||30||ST||Olympiakos||Nigeria||130/ 134||£3m||£28k|
|Riccardo Meggiorini||31||ST||Chievo||Italy||130/ 134||£4m||£17k|
|Glenn Murray||33||ST||Brighton||England||130/ 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.
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