The biggest club in Turkey, Galatasaray have won 20 league titles in their history. This record is under threat however, with arch rivals Fenerbahce just one league success behind them, and Besiktas lurking with 15 league titles. With just one Turkish Cup to celebrate since 2015, we could see the tide changing in Turkey, with the rise of Istanbul Basaksehir making it a four-way battle for the league trophy.
With strong competition in Turkey, Galatasaray are a fantastic team to take over on Football Manager 2018. Their mix of top class and average players will test your ability, but you'll still have the pedigree to pick up trophies.
Under a period of transition, there are no philosophies you need to follow when you arrive at Galatasaray. You can present your own to the board, but you are best off leaving it for your first season.
Club president will outline the expectations for the season, and unlike most clubs, these are non-negotiable at Galatasaray. You will be expected to win the Turkish Super League, reach the quarterfinals of the EURO Cup and make the final of the Turkish Cup. It’s a tough ask, but within your grasp.
Transfer £4.5 million
Wage: £1.2m per week (Current spend: £1.07m)
You should opt for a 4-2-3-1 formation to get the best out of your players. You could tweak this slightly by either dropping a central midfielder or winger deeper, but for simplicity we have gone for the conventional version.
Uruguayan international Fernando Muslera is in goal, with Mariano, Maicon, Jason Denayer and Martin Linnes in the defensive line.
Badou Ndiaye and Fernando are in the engine room, whilst Sofiane Feghouli and Yasin Oztekin provide the width.
Younes Belhanda is in the number 10 role and former Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis leads the attack.
Opt for Cedric Carrasso, Serdar Aziz, Tarik Camdal, Selcuk Inan, Tolga Cigerci, Garry Rodrigues and Eren Derdiyok on the bench.
There are some superbly talented players at Galatasaray, but your challenge will be to get the best out of them whilst they are surrounded by inferior teammates.
Fernando Muslera – CA 4 star (160), PA 4 star (160)
Perhaps the most familiar name in the Galatasaray side, goalkeeper Fernando Muslera has been very reliable for club and country for close to a decade. With 92 caps for Uruguay, you know the 31-year-old can be trusted, and he also has a long list of silverware to his name. Muslera has won three Turkish Super Lig titles and three Turkish Cups with Galatasaray, a Coppa Italia with Lazio and a Copa America with national side Uruguay.
On FM, the ‘keeper gives you a 160 current ability rating, which is also his maximum potential. Muslera’s best attributes include 18 reflexes, 18 pressure and 18 temperament.
Mariano – CA 4 star (151), PA 4 star (152)
One of the best right backs on the game, the Brazilian Mariano joined Galatasaray last summer. In his two years at Sevilla, the defender won the Europa League, starting in the 3-1 final victory over Liverpool. Now aged 31, he needs to lift more trophies before his level drops.
His 151 current ability rating is just one off his 152 potential, so you should have time before his attributes of 17 stamina, 16 consistency and 15 decisions decrease.
Younes Belhanda – CA 4 star (145), PA 4 star (150)
Another summer recruit, Younes Belhanda will be your star creative player on FM 2018. The Moroccan international has had a tricky couple of years after going out on loan, but now aged 27 and at a permanent home he can make something of his career.
The attacking midfielder offers skills of 17 flair, 17 first touch and 17 technique for Galatasaray, which gives him a 145 CA, rising to a 150 potential.
The notable academy graduates from Galatasaray are few and far between, with Arda Turan and Semih Kaya the only recognisable names. If Galatasaray are to compete in Europe in the years to come, they will need some young talent to come through so they can save cash for big name signings.
Ozan Kabak – CA 1.5 star (80), PA 2-3 star (120-150)
Yet to make his bow for the first team, 17-year-old Ozan Kabak is one of the hottest prospects at the club. The centre back has been a regular for Turkey’s youth teams, working his way up to U17 level, and his five goals in 15 games for the U16s suggest he is a cut above his peers.
Kabak’s 80 current ability rating could rise to a potential as high as 150.
Recep Gul – CA 1.5 star (85), PA 4-5 star (110-140)
Right winger Recep Gul has been given his opportunities in the first team this season, making three appearances in the Turkish Cup. Gul only turned 17 in November, but as captain of Turkey U17s, he's surely set for a big future. The youngster may only have a CA of 85 on FM, but this can rise to a useful potential between 110 and 140.
Yunus Akgun – CA 1.5 star (80), PA 1.5-2.5 star (110-140)
Another Turkey U17 international, winger or striker Yunus Akgun could become a useful attacking threat for the club. The 17-year-old may have yet to play for Galatasaray’s first team, but 23 U17 caps for suggest he has potential. His 80 CA can rise to a PA between 110 and 140 on the game.
|Decisions||Left back depth|
|Youth prospects||Attack depth|
|Central midfield depth|
|Centre back depth|
|Star midfielder (Fernando)|
|Star goalkeeper (Fernando Muslera)|
|Star defender (Mariano)|
Team Leaders - Fernando Muslera, Selcuk Inan (C), Hakan Balta
Highly influential - Yasin Oztekin, Eren Derdiyok, Nigel de Jong
Dynamics is the big new feature for Football Manager 2018. It depicts the atmosphere inside the dressing room at your club. You need to identify the different social groups and the more influential players in your squad as the impact you have on them will be passed on to those surrounding them. If the squad dynamics fall, then so too will your performances on the pitch.
With just £4 million to spend, you can at best bring in one signing in the summer transfer window.
Left back – Emiliano Insua (CA 137, PA 137)
With just one conventional left back in the squad who is injured for the first month or so of the season, you must bring in another option. The 28-year-old Emiliano Insua would be a great option, with the former Liverpool man offering great experience and quality. His 137 current ability score is at its peak, with stats of 17 sportsmanship, 16 anticipation and 16 positioning. You will need £4 million to sign him with his current wages at Stuttgart £31,000 a week, and you will also need to get rid of one of the foreign players in your squad to make room for the Argentine.
- Gael Clichy – Age 32, Basaksehir, France, CA 137, PA 155, Value: £3.7m, Wage: £61k
- Milton Casco – Age 29, River, Argentina, CA 135, PA 145, Value: £2.3m, Wage: £6k
- Vitaly Denisov – Age 30, Lokomotiv Moscow, Uzbekistan, CA 135, PA 137, Value: £2.3m, Wage: £21k
- Joo-Ho Park – Age 30, Dortmund, South Korea, CA 134, PA 138, Value: £1.8m, Wage: £51k
Players to sell
If you want to bring in more signings, you will need to sell some of your fringe players which will also free up space for foreign players in your squad.
Hakan Balta has been a great servant for the club, but at the age of 34 and his best football well behind him, you can consider selling the defender. He is one of the leaders in the squad though, so you must tread very carefully if you get rid of the Turkish international. His 115 current ability score may leave you with no choice, but you will still only get £90,000 for him. His current wages are £25,000 a week.
Nigel De Jong
A fantastic player in his prime, but the fact Nigel De Jong can be found in the U21 squad at Galatasaray says it all. The Dutchman has since moved on to Mainz, and you should also look to ship him on for £500,000, saving you £50,000 a week in wages.
With a potential of just 125, there is no point in keeping Emrah Bassan. His 111 CA means he'll struggle for first team minutes, so look to sell the winger for £950,000 and save £9,000 a week on wages.
The financial picture at Galatasaray is stable, but you sense a couple of more seasons without a trophy could change this. The overall balance of the club will remain constant, and after an initial increase in the club’s losses, this will slowly get better. The good news is that you should have £25 million in your transfer budget for the next few seasons.
Reclaim the crown
After a disappointing couple of seasons, some summer acquisitions have put Galatasaray firmly back in league contention. Work still needs to be done, but given you can rotate you squad for around half of the fixtures in the Turkish top flight, there is no reason why you can’t compete for domestic silverware this season. Europe will be tricky, and you should target one big scalp in the EURO Cup.
Galatasaray first team squad, player roles and ratings
|Player||Age||Pos||Role||Duty||Role Ability||CA/ PA|
|Fernando Muslera||31||GK||Goalkeeper||Defend||4 star||160/ 160|
|Mariano||31||DR||Full-back/ wing-back||Attack||4 star||151/ 152|
|Maicon||28||DCR||Central defender||Stopper||3 star||135/ 152|
|Jason Denayer||22||DCL||Ball playing defender||Cover||2.5 star||126/ 155|
|Martin Linnes||25||DL||Full-back/ complete/ inverted/ wing-back||Attack/ support||2.5 star||125/ 132|
|Badou Ndiaye||26||MCR||Box to box midfielder/ mezzala||Support/ attack||3.5 star||140/ 150|
|Fernando||30||MCL||Carrilero/ defensive midfielder||Support/ defend||3.5 star||145/ 145|
|Sofiane Feghouli||27||AMR||Winger||Support/ attack||3.5 star||142/ 155|
|Younes Belhanda||27||AMC||Advanced playmaker||Support||4 star||145/ 150|
|Yasin Oztekin||30||AML||Inside forward||Support||3 star||125/ 130|
|Bafetimbi Gomis||31||STC||Complete forward/ target man||Attack/ support||3.5 star||140/ 145|
|Cedric Carrasso||35||GK||Goalkeeper||Defend||3 star||136/ 156|
|Serdar Aziz||26||D (C)||Central defender||Stopper||2.5 star||125/ 130|
|Tarik Camdal||26||D (RL) WB (RL) M (RL)||Full-back||Attack||2 star||100/ 110|
|Selcuk Inan||32||DM M (C)||Advanced playmaker||Support||2.5 star||125/ 145|
|Tolga Cigerci||25||DM M (LC) AM (L)||Mezzala/ box to box/ ball winning/ wide midfielder||Support/ automatic||3 star||135/ 138|
|Garry Rodrigues||26||M (RL) AM (RL)||Winger||Support||2.5 star||130/ 130|
|Eren Derdiyok||29||ST (C)||Target man||Support||3 star||130/ 142|
|Ahmet Calik||23||D (C)||Central defender||Defend||2.5 star||115/ 130|
|Hakan Balta||34||D (LC)||Central defender/ ball playing defender||Defend||2.5 star||115/ 137|
|Koray Gunter||22||D (C)||Ball playing defender||Defend||2.5 star||110/ 135|
|Ryan Donk||31||D (C) DM||Defensive centre back||Any||2.5 star||125/ 130|
|Nigel De Jong||32||DM M (C)||Anchor man||Defend||2.5 star||120/ 160|
|Atalay Babacan||17||M (C) AM (C)||Advanced playmaker||Support||1.5 star||85/ <150|
|Sinan Gumus||23||M (RL) AM (RL) ST (C)||Inside forward||Attack||2.5 star||120/ 135|
|Emrah Bassan||25||M (RL) AM (RLC)||Winger||Support||2 star||111/ 125|
|Iasmin Latovlevici||31||D (L) WB (L)||Full-back||Attack||2.5 star||125/ 125|
Who have you signed on your FM save? Let us know in the comments section below.
Looking for wonderkids?
On a tight budget?