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

The Red Devils have turned a corner under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but how far can you take United on Football Manager 2019.


Manchester United have had a bizarre season, but it may just have a grandstand finish. The Red Devils were flat under previous manager Jose Mourinho, with the club seemingly out of the race for Champions League places. Fast forward a few months and they are in the Champions League quarter-finals after overcoming PSG in the round of 16 and they are firmly in the hunt for qualification for next season. 

Silverware is still likely to escape the club for a second straight season, which isn’t good enough for a club of Man United’s stature. Fortunately, you have the opportunity to rewrite history on Football Manager 219 with the Red Devils. RealSport gives you all you need to know as you set up with the Premier League giants. 

Philosophies

Manchester United have been criticised for their style of play ever since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club… which was six years ago. This must be changed, and the board will expect you to play attacking football as soon as you arrive at Old Trafford. United have always had a mix between homegrown talent and world superstars, so you will be expected to sign high profile players, sign young players for the first team and develop players using the club’s youth system

Expectations

As for your expectations, you will need to reach the quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup and qualify for the Champions Cup in the English Premier Division. For the FA Cup, you will be expected to reach the final. If you target the semi-finals in Europe you will receive an extra £1.4 million for your transfer budget. 

Tactical style

There a plenty of options to go with for your tactical style at United, and it does depend on the system you want to use. We have gone with control possession, but tiki-taka, vertical tiki-taka, wing play and fluid counter-attack are all possible options. 

Formation

Manchester United have tended to go for a 4-3-3 this season, but with so many attacking options, you should adjust this into a 4-2-3-1 wide. A 4-4-2 or 4-2-4 can also be used if you want two strikers on the pitch. 

Star man David De Gea is in goal as Ashley Young, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw make up the back four. 

Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba are in central midfield with Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Alexis Sanchez in ahead of them. Romelu Lukaku leads the line in attack. 

On the bench go for Lee Grant, Chris Smalling, Matteo Darmian, Nemanja Matic, Fred, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. Sergio Romero will be your goalkeeper on the bench when he returns from injury. 

Key players

Manchester United may not be at the heights they were under Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure, but still have some of the finest players on the planet.

David De Gea – CA 4.5 star (179), PA 4.5 star (183)

The world’s best goalkeeper for many, but David De Gea is still rated beneath Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer (CA 186) on FM. De Gea has been in the PFA Team of the Year four years running, with his trophy haul including two Europa Leagues, a Premier League, a FA Cup and a League Cup. 

De Gea has a 179 CA rating on Football Manager 19, with this able to rise to 183 for the 27-year-old. The Spaniard’s best stats include 20 reflexes, 18 agility and 18 handling, which sees him valued at £56 million and with wages of £200,000 a week. 

Paul Pogba – CA 4.5 star (174), PA 4.5 star (185)

Paul Pogba is an enigma, but the way his form has been transformed under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer just shows how influential he is to the rest of the team. The difficulty you will have is getting the most out of the World Cup winner, with the solution to pay him in midfield three rather than in a two behind a number 10. 

Pogba is still only 25, so his 174 CA still has time to reach his 185 potential. Stats of 19 flair, 18 balance and 18 first touch takes his value to £66 million, with his wages at a staggering £300,000 a week. 

Alexis Sanchez – CA 3.5 star (157), PA 4 star (182)

Alexis Sanchez is perhaps the only United first team regular that hasn’t seen his form significantly improve under Solskjaer. The Chilean international only just edges out Anthony Martial in our starting lineup, but at the age of 29, the younger players will soon overtake him. 

A 157 CA has fallen considerably from a 182 potential for left winger or striker Sanchez, and you could even consider selling the former Arsenal man. Valued at £42.5 million and with outrageous wages of £400,000 a week, you may want to get Alexis off the books. 

Young talent

Manchester United have a rich history of youngsters coming out of the academy and into the first team. In the current squad Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira have come up the ranks at the club, following in the footsteps of Bobby Charlton, George Best, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Darren Fletcher.

Diogo Dalot – CA 2.5 star (130), PA 4-5 star (150-180)

Diogo Dalot arrived in the summer from Porto, having just played eight senior matches. He has since made 17 for Manchester United, and looks to be the long-term solution at right back. The Portugal U21 international can improve from a 130 CA to a potential between 150 and 180. 

Tahith Chong – CA 2 star (116), PA 4-5 star (150-180)

Dutch U21 international Tahith Chong has made three appearances from the bench this season, with the winger expected to be the next big thing to come out of the club’s academy. Chong has a 116 CA rising to a potential between 150 and 180, seeing him valued a £8.5 million and wages of £10,000 a week. 

Angel Gomes – CA 2 star (110), PA 3-4 star (140-170)

Angel Gomes was the first player born in the 200s to play in the Premier League, but has only added two first team appearances since making his debut in 2017. The U17 World Cup winner has a 116 CA on FM which can improve to a potential between 140 and 170. 

Team report


Strengths

Weaknesses

Goalkeeper depth

Overall depth

Midfield depth

Youth prospects

Scouting staff

GK Kicking

GK Reflexes

Flair

GK Eccentricity

Star goalkeeper (David De Gea)

Star midfielders (Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard)

Wage budget

Dynamics

Team Leaders – Antonio Valencia (C), David De Gea, Paul Pogba

Highly influential – Ashley Young, (VC), Juan Mata, Alexis Sanchez, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Romelu Lukaku, Jesse Lingard, Jesse Lingard, Ander Herrera, Sergio Romero

The Transfer Market

Starting transfer budget: £63 million

Remaining wage budget: £580,000 a week

Players to sell

Manchester United have a well-balanced squad, so if you want to bring in new talent, you will need to ship out some the players on the books. With five centre halves at the club already, you can certainly allow Marcos Rojo to go, with the Argentine fetching you around £12 million in the transfer market and freeing up a huge £110,000 in your wage budget. 

It’s a big move to get rid of your club captain, but Antonio Valencia doesn’t offer much anymore. The right back is out of contract at the end of the season, and at the age of 32 you should cash in and sell him for £6 million to free up £90,000 a week in your wages. Scott McTominay can also go with the midfielder not having enough quality, with the Scottish international collecting £9 million in the transfer market and saving you £35,000 a week in wages. 

Transfer Targets

New transfer budget: £90 million

New remaining wage budget: £815,000 a week

Top quality right back

In selling Antonio Valencia, you are still left with three right back options, Ashley Young, Matteo Darmian and Diogo Dalot. Young can fill in for now, he and Darmian can also cover at left back and Dalot is likely to be in the starting frame in a few seasons’ time. 

A new reliable starter is required, and you should look to Napoli’s Elseid Hysaj. The Albanian will set you back £35 million in the transfer market, with his wages starting at £51,000 a week. That will get you his 147 CA and 156 potential, with his best stats his 17 stamina, 16 natural fitness and 16 tackling. 

Alternative options

Player

Age

Club

Country

CA/
PA

Value

Wage

Sergi Roberto

26

Barcelona

Spain

160/
167

£49m

£173k

Alessandro Florenzi

27

Roma

Italy

150/
159

£21m

£89k

Mario Gaspar

27

Villarreal

Spain

147/
153

£12m

£42k

Hugo Mallo

27

Vigo

Spain

146/
157

£11m

£36k

Mattia De Sciglio

25

Juventus

Italy

146/
151

£17m

£64k

Solid defensive midfielder

You still have enough cash for another man in your starting lineup, and you must choose whether to go for left back, centre back or defensive midfield. We’ve gone for the midfield option to add a little of protection in the middle of the park, freeing up Paul Pogba.

Marcelo Brozovic presents the best value for money in this position, with the Inter Milan man available for £45 million and wages of £80,000 a week. Stats of 18 natural fitness, 17 stamina and 16 passing take his CA to 155 with a potential of 161 for the 25-year-old. 

Alternative options

Player

Age

Club

Country

CA/
PA

Value

Wage

Sergi Roberto

26

Barcelona

Spain

160/
167

£49m

£173k

Casemiro

26

R. Madrid

Brazil

160/
167

£49m

£43k

Axel Witsel

29

Borussia Dortmund

Belgium

159/
170

£35m

£138k

Saul

23

A. Madrid

Spain

157/
169

£39m

£207k

Javi Martinez

29

Bayern Munich

Spain

154/
165

£35m

£103k

Contracts

Four United players have their contacts running out at the end of the season, and you may have some tough decisions on your hands. Ander Herrera has emerged into a key man for the club, and even if you bring in another midfielder, you will still want the Spaniard in the squad. Juan Mata may be forced out of the starting lineup by the end of the season, but with so much quality, you cannot afford to lose the attacking midfielder for free.

Andreas Pereira may be a little short on quality to be a United regular, but with the ability to play anywhere in midfield, it may be worth keeping him on for the next few seasons. As for Antonio Valencia, with injuries creeping in and plenty of competition at right back, you don’t need to keep him at the club any longer. 

Finances

Man United are never going to be short on cash, and as you can see by their financial projection there is nothing to worry about at the Old Trafford club. The overall balanced of the club is on an upward curve, but there should be concern about the level of profits. This is to decrease until the end of the 2019/2020 season, but will creep up after that. Guaranteeing Champions Cup football could cause this to boom again. As for your transfer budget, this should hit £189 million for the start of next season.

Back to the top

No league titles in six years is bleak for Manchester United, and they need to at least close the gap on rivals Man City to show they are heading in the right direction. You should target one of the cups this season as well as reaching the Champions League knockouts, so expect to use the full depth of your squad as you look to juggle all the competitions. There is a nice blend of youth experience with Man United at the minute, and in around two seasons time you should be ready to go all the way for the league title. 

Full Man Utd player ratings

Player

Age

Pos

Role

Duty

Role Ability

CA/
PA


Starting lineup

David De Gea

27

GK

GK
SK

Any

4.5 stars

179/
183

Ashley Young

33

DR
DL
ML

FB
CWB
WB
IW

Attack
Support

2.5 stars

143/
168

Victor Lindelof

24

DC

BPD
Libero

Cover
Support
Attack

3 stars

150/
160

Eric Bailly

24

DC

CD
NCB

Defend
Stopper

3 stars

147/
167

Luke Shaw

23

DL

WB

Support
Auto
Defend

3 stars

145/
162

Ander Herrera

28

MC

BBM
DLP
Carrilero
BWM

Support
Defend

3 stars

150/
156

Paul Pogba

25

MC

AP
DLP
Mezzala

Support
Attack

4.5 stars

174/
185

Jesse Lingard

25

AMR
AMC
AML

Winger
AP
SS
AM
IF

Support
Attack

3.5 stars

152/
158

Juan Mata

30

AMC
AMR

AP
AM

Support
Attack

3.5 stars

152/
174

Alexis Sanchez

29

AML
ST

IF

Support
Attack

3.5 stars

157/
182

Romelu Lukaku

25

ST

TM

Support
Attack

3.5 stars

155/
168

Substitutes

Lee Grant

35

GK

SK

Defend
Support

2.5 stars

130/
130

Chris Smalling

28

DC

CD
NCB

Defend

3 stars

145/
152

Matteo Darmian

28

DR
WBR
DL

FB
WB
NFB

Any

2.5 stars

140/
150

Nemanja Matic

30

DM
MC

DLP
CM

Defend
Support

3 stars

148/
165

Fred

25

MC
DM

AP
Mezzala

DLP

Support
Attack

3 stars

143/
168

Anthony Martial

22

AML
ST

IF

Attack
Support

3.5 stars

156/
175

Marcus Rashford

20

ST
AML

AF
IF

Attack
Support

3.5 stars

151/
176

Reserves

Andreas Pereira

22

AMC
MC

AM
AP
Mezzala

Support
Attack

2.5 stars

136/
155

Diogo Dalot

19

DR
WBR

CWB
WB
FB

Support
Attack
Auto

2.5 stars

130/
<150

Scott McTominay

21

MC

BBM
Carrilero
BWM

Support
Defend

2 stars

126/
140

Injured

Phil Jones

26

DC

CD
NCB

Defend
Stopper

3 stars

144/
152

Antonio Valencia

32

DR

WB
FB

Any

2.5 stars

140/
158

Sergio Romero

31

GK

SK

Support
Attack

2.5 stars

140/
146

Marcos Rojo

28

DC

NCB
CD

Any

2.5 stars

138/
150

Looking for wonderkids?

Football Manager 2019 Wonderkids: Best Lower League Players to Sign

Football Manager 2019 Wonderkids: Best Players to Sign

Football Manager 2019 Wonderkids: Best Strikers to Sign

Football Manager 2019 Wonderkids: Best Midfielders (Attacking, defensive and central) to sign

Football Manager 2019 Wonderkids: Best Right Wingers & Left Wingers to Sign

Football Manager 2019 Wonderkids: Best Defenders (CB, RB & LB) to Sign

Football Manager 2019 Wonderkids: Best Goalkeepers (GK) to Sign

Football Manager 2019 Wonderkids: Best Brazilian players to sign

Looking for bargains?

Football Manager 2019: Best Bargain Left Backs

Football Manager 2019: Best Bargain Right Backs

Football Manager 2019: Best Bargain Centre Backs (CB)

Football Manager 2019: Best Bargain Attacking Midfielders (AMC)

Football Manager 2019: Best Bargain Strikers

Football Manager 2019: Best Bargain Goalkeepers

Football Manager 2019: Best bargain players to sign

Looking for the best young players?

Football Manager 2019: Best Young Centre Backs (CB)

Football Manager 2019: Best Young Left Backs (LB)

Football Manager 2019: Best Young Right Backs

Football Manager 2019: Best Young Midfielders (Attacking, Defensive, and Central)

Football Manager 2019: Best Young Strikers

Looking for the best players?

Football Manager 2019: Best free agents

Football Manager 2019: Best Players

Football Manager 2019: Best Goalkeepers

Football Manager 2019: Best Strikers

Football Manager 2019: Best Midfielders (Attacking, Central & Defensive)

Football Manager 2019: Best Centre Backs

Football Manager 2019: Best Right and Left Wingers

Football Manager 2019: Best Left Backs

Football Manager 2019: Best Right Backs

Football Manager 2019: Best Players

Football Manager 2019: Best Bundesliga Players

Football Manager 2019: Best Serie A players

Football Manager 2019: Best Premier League Players

Football Manager 2019: Best La Liga players

Football Manager 2019: Best Ligue 1 players

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Alastair Pusinelli

I am RealSport's Editor-in-Chief having covered almost everything across the board on the platform. Starting with content on football and the Chinese Super League, I have expanded into esports and gaming, via a stint as rugby editor.

With RS now focused on gaming and working alongside Gfinity, I led the site's coverage on the football titles of FIFA, Football Manager and PES. This has enabled me to cover official esports events such as the FIFA eWorld Cup, FUT Champions Cups and the Gfinity FIFA Series.

Elsewhere, I have been published in The Sunday Times and Variety magazine, as well as working in the offices of Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Hampshire CCC.

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