Football Manager 2019: Man City Team Guide, Player Ratings & Tactics

Manchester City are having an unbelievable season, with the Premier League champions still on course for an unprecedented quadruple. The League Cup has already been secured, the Citizens are going toe-to-toe with Liverpool in the Premier League, with Tottenham waiting in the Champions League quarter-finals and they are also the clear favourites for the FA Cup ahead of Wolves, Brighton and Watford.

You may not have it so easy on Football Manager 2019, but it does say that from the off, this Man City side is set to win titles. In fact, just one trophy in your first season in charge may not be good enough. 

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RealSport gives you all you need to know as you start your FM save with Man City, but the rest is down to you. 

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Philosophies

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As Manchester City boss, it won’t be a surprise that you need to play attacking football. City like to sign big, and another of their philosophies is to sign high profile players. There is also a demand to develop players using the club’s youth system, and this may surprise you, but the powers that be have focussed on this in recent years, with Phil Foden coming into the first team picture and wonderkids Jadon Sancho and Brahim Diaz moving elsewhere.

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Expectations

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The expectations of the club are understandably high, and it will come as no surprise that you need to win the English Premier Division. For the FA Cup, you will need to reach the final and also reach the semi-final of the European Champions Cup. Targeting an FA Cup win and a Champions Cup will give you close to an extra £7 million in your transfer budget. 

Tactical style

There are plenty of options to go for with your tactical style at City, with reverting back to Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona tiki-taka an understandable option. We have gone for wing-play given City’s strength in wide areas, but control possession is also a valid alternative. 

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Formation

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Manchester City go for a 4-3-3 in real life, and this is what you should replicate on FM. We have tweaked this into a 4-1-4-1 Wide for more defensive protection. A 4-2-3-1 or an adventurous 3-1-3-3 are other options. 

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Ederson is in goal with Kyle Walker, Vincent Kompany, Aymeric Laporte and Benjamin Mendy making up the back four. 

Fernandinho is the defensive midfielder, with Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva operating in central midfield.

Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane are on the flanks as Sergio Aguero leads the line in attack.

On the bench go for Claudio Bravo, Nicolas Otamendi, Fabian Delph, Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus. 

-NOTE- Kevin De Bruyne & Raheem Sterling will miss the Community Shield vs Chelsea having not returned from holiday after the 2018 World Cup

Key players

Manchester City are in the top tier of teams in Europe, holding some of the finest players in the world. When the chips are down, expect these men to come up trumps. 

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Kevin De Bruyne – CA 4.5 star (186), PA 4.5 star (186)

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The best player in the Premier League for many, and although Kevin De Bruyne has endured a campaign hampered by injuries, he is your main man for City on FM. With the club the Belgian has claimed a Premier League and three League Cups but also tasted success in Germany with Wolfsburg, lifting the DFB Pokal in 2015. 

De Bruyne’s 186 CA on Football Manager is at its peak, with his best stats being his 19 passing, 19 vision and 18 first touch. The central or attacking midfielder is valued at a huge £80 million with wages of £230,000 a week. 

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David Silva – CA 4.5 star (179), PA 4.5 star (179)

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David Silva operates alongside De Bruyne in midfield, and the challenge you will face is to what roles you play the two in. The 32-year-old Silva has popped up with some important goals in recent seasons, so you may want him to the man getting forward in an advanced playmaker role, with De Bruyne therefore as a deep lying playmaker or mezzala. 

Silva holds abilities of 19 first touch, 19 balance and 19 flair on the game, taking him to a 179 CA, which is also his peak. The Spanish World Cup winner is valued at £66 million with a wage of £160,000 a week. 

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Sergio Aguero – CA 4.5 star (178), PA 4.5 star (183)

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Sergio Aguero shows no sign of letting up aged 30. The Argentine is the eight-highest Premier League goal scorer of all time with 151, and could end the season inside the top six. Three Premier Leagues, four League Cups, a Europa League and an Olympic gold medal are in the striker’s trophy cabinet, but a Champions League would round off his magnificent career. 

On FM, Aguero’s 178 CA may have fallen slightly from his 183 potential, but he still holds stats of 19 balance, 18 off the ball and 18 technique. He is valued at £75 million with wages of £230,000 a week. 

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Young talent

Manchester City historically aren’t renowned for having a strong academy, but the board have been keen to change that. The City youth setup is now among the finest in Europe, with current crop looking to achieve more than the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips and Micah Richards before them. 

Claudio Gomes – CA 1.5 star (100), PA 2.5-3.5 star (150-180)

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Claudio Gomes looks to be the next man to make the transition to the first team, with the 18-year-old one of few defensive midfield options at the club. The France U19 international has made two substitute appearances for the first team, and has been a regular for the U23s this season. Former PSG man Gomes has a 100 CA on the game which can improve to a potential between 150 and 180, valuing him at £575,000 and wages of £20,000 a week. 

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Gavin Bazunu – CA 1.5 star (92), PA 2.5-3.5 star (140-170)

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Gavin Bazunu joined Manchester City in the summer from Irish side Shamrock Rovers, but hasn’t featured much during his first campaign in England. Just two appearances for the U18s have come his way, but with a 92 CA and potential between 140 and 170, he has a bright future ahead of him. 

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Arijanet Muric – CA 2 star (125), PA 2-3 star (130-160)

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Another goalkeeper, Arijanet Muric is challenging the experienced Claudio Bravo for the backup spot at Man City. The Kosovan international has made five first team appearances this season following his move from Dutch side NEC Breda, and playing in all of City’s matches in their EFL Cup campaign, bar the final. Muric’s 125 CA can improve to a potential between 130 and 160. 

Team report

Strengths Weaknesses
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Dynamics

Team Leaders - David Silva (VC), Vincent Kompany (C), Sergio Aguero

Highly influential - Fernandinho, Nicolas Otamendi, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Claudio Bravo, Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva

The Transfer Market

Starting transfer budget: £63 million

Remaining wage budget: £120,000 a week

Players to sell

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The Manchester City squad is well balanced, but there are a few players who aren’t of the standard required to play for the Premier League champions. Amazing, centre back Eliaquim Mangala is still at the club, with the defender being injured for the whole campaign to date. With his injury, you will only get £8 million for him, but more importantly it frees up £100,000 a week in your transfer budget. 

Olexandr Zinchenko has filled in at left back with Benjamin Mendy out injured, but the Ukrainian’s best position is in fact right win. You can’t trust him to do a job week-in, week out, so sell him for £15 million and bring in a new conventional left back. The 21-year-old has wages of £20,000 a week. 

Transfer Targets

New transfer budget: £86 million

New remaining wage budget: £580,000 a week

Top class left back

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In selling Zinchenko, you are left with Fabian Delph and Danilo as the only other players who can fill in at left back. Benjamin Mendy is your only out-and-out option, and with his injury record, you need another option. This can be a world class player to take the starting spot, or one who can grow into one of the world’s best. 

With few options available, it is difficult to get value for money. If you want one of the world’s best, you will need to spend at least £50 million, so it makes much more sense to go for Celtic man Kieran Tierney. The Scot can be picked up for just £23 million with his wages starting at just £18,000 a week. A 142 CA and 170 potential makes him a future star, with his best stats being 19 determination, 17 bravery and 16 leadership. 

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Alternative options

Player Age Club Country CA/ PA Value Wage
Alex Sandro27JuventusBrazil161/ 168£45m£89k
Nacho28R. MadridSpain155/ 158£31m£80k
Lucas Hernandez22A. MadridFrance151/ 170£17m£50k
Alex Grimaldo22SLBSpain147/ 163£17m£18k
Junior Firpo21Real HispalisSpain132/ <140£2m£13k

Contracts

Two players have contracts up at the end of the season, and they are both centre backs. Vincent Kompany is clinging on to a starting spot by his fingernails but expect the club captain to act as cover by the end of the season. Give him a year extension and reassess next season. As or Eliaquim Mangala, if you fail to sell him, just release him at the end of the campaign. 

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Finances

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As one of the richest clubs on the planet, Man City’s finances are in a very strong position. The overall balance of the club is on the rise, and although profit is set to decrease in 2019, it will increase again in 2020. Your transfer budget will continue to increase, with around £200 million to spend next season. 

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Create a legacy

Manchester City are a top, top club, but they need the silverware to back it up. The club has won three Premier League trophies thus far, as well as an FA Cup and tree League Cups since they became cash-rich. They have reached the Champions League semi-finals once, and that has to be your minimum aim this season, with an incredibly deep and talented squad. The league title should be a given, but the challenge will be if you can juggle all the various competitions like City have done in real life this season. 

Full Man City player ratings

Player Age Pos Role Duty Role Ability CA/ PA
Starting lineup
Ederson24GKSKSupport Attack3 stars164/ 180
Kyle Walker28DR WBRWB FBAny3 stars153/ 157
Vincent Kompany32DCBPDDefend Stopper3.5 stars162/ 168
Aymeric Laporte24DCBPDAny3.5 stars161/ 170
Benjamin Mendy25DL WBLWB CWB FBSupport Attack Auto3 stars150/ 160
Fernandinho33MC DMBBM Mezzala DLPSupport Defend4 stars165/ 165
Kevin De Bruyne27MC AMCDLP AP Mezzala AMSupport Attack4.5 stars186/ 186
David Silva32AMC MCAP DLPSupport Attack4.5 stars179/ 179
Bernardo Silva23MC AMC AMRMezzala AP DLP AM IFAttack Support4 stars166/ 170
Leroy Sane22AMLWingerSupport Attack4 stars164/ 177
Sergio Aguero30STAFAttack4.5 stars178/ 183
Substitutes
Claudio Bravo35GKSKSupport Attack2.5 stars145/ 167
Nicolas Otamendi30DCBPD NCB CDAny3 stars159/ 159
Fabian Delph28MC DLBBMSupport2.5 stars149/ 149
Ilkay Gundogan27MCDLP APAny3.5 stars160/ 167
Riyad Mahrez27AMR MRIF IWSupport Attack3 stars152/ 163
Raheem Sterling23AMR AMLWingerAttack Support3.5 stars164/ 171
Gabriel Jesus21STAFAttack3.5 stars159/ 175
Reserves
John Stones24DCBPD LiberoAny3 stars158/ 170
Olexandr Zinchenko21AMRIF APSupport2.5 stars142/ 150
Phil Foden18AMCAP AMAttack Support2.5 stars135/ 175
Arijanet Muric19GKSKDefend2 stars125/ <130
Injured
Danilo27DR WBRWB FBSupport Attack Auto3 stars150/ 152
Eliaquim Mangala27DCNCB CDStopper Defend2.5 stars147/ 150