Football Manager 2019: Arsenal Team Guide, Player Ratings & Tactics

Arsenal may be in transition, but their squad has the ability to overcome anyone in the Premier League. Can you fire them back into the top four on FM 19.


At first, Arsenal look to have been revitalised under new manager Unai Emery, but perhaps their lack of depth has hauled them away from competing from the title this season. That said, the new boss has developed the Gunners in making their possession-based play swifter and more direct. 

As you kick Emery out of his newly appointed role on Football Manager 2019, can you go even better and claim some silverware in your first season in charge of Arsenal? RealSport gives you all need to know as you set up in North London.

Philosophies

With Arsene Wenger gone, there are no philosophies to follow as Arsenal manager. This is perhaps down to the board now willing to sacrifice an attractive playing style for silverware and qualification back into the ‘Champions Cup’.

Expectations

It’s a sensible set of expectations issued by the Arsenal board on FM 19, with cup success prioritised over finishing inside the top four. ‘EURO Cup’ qualification will suffice so you will still need to finish fifth, which is no easy task these days as you go up against Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea. 

As for the FA Cup, Arsenal have performed well in the competition in recent years, winning it three times in the past five seasons, therefore a trip to the semi-finals will be the minimum target. 

The EURO Cup brings your biggest task, where you will need to reach the final of Europe’s secondary competition. You should be able to use your fringe players in the groups, but once the knockouts start, it must become your priority. 

The Carabao Cup has now importance, but you will be granted more cash if you aim bigger in the other competitions. Aiming for a top four finish in the league will give you an extra £9 million in your transfer budget, with gunning for the FA Cup final and a EURO Cup victory earning you an extra £1 million each. 

Tactical style

There’s a bit more to picking your team in Football Manager this year, with your tactical style dictating which formation you will then pick. If you want to be realistic, you should opt for a ‘vertical tiki-taka’ to stick with Arsenal’s new system of looking after the ball but still moving the ball up the pitch quickly.

If you find the squad doesn’t have the quality to fulfil that, you can slow things down by going for ‘control possession’, try to hit the bigger teams with ‘fluid counter-attack’ or use a bit more width with the conventional ‘tiki taka’. 

You can also adjust your mentality depending on the strength and qualities of your opponent. Remember to tweak your player duties to reflect the mentality, otherwise gaps will appear.

Formation

Arsenal have experimented with a 4-4-2 diamond narrow formation this season, and if you want to get your best players on the pitch, this is the system to use. It fits the vertical tiki-taka playing style perfectly, but if you want more width, go for a 4-3-3 or 5-2-1-2. 

Petr Cech is in goal, with a back four made up Hector Bellerin, Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal. Captain Laurent Koscielny will come in for Mustafi when he returns from injury. 

Lucas Torreira operates at the base of diamond, with midfield runner Aaron Ramsey and the powerhouse Granit Xhaka just ahead. Mesut Ozil gets the playmaking role in attacking midfield with deadly duo Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette linking up top. 

On the bench go for Bernd Leno, Rob Holding, Sead Kolasinac, Mohamed Elneny, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck. 

Key players

Arsenal’s squad is much more balanced than it has been in recent years, with only two world class players standing out from the rest of the squad. Add a couple more and the Gunners can really go for the title.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – CA 4 star (165), PA 4 star (168)

Many suggested the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January 2018 as a panic buy, but his £56 million switch from Borussia Dortmund now looks to be a great piece of business. 26 goals in 42 games for the Gunners is a great return, with Aubameyang playing alongside Alexandre Lacazette up front, as a sole striker or out wide on the left. 

On FM, the Gabon star has stats of 20 acceleration, 20 pace and 18 off the ball, taking his CA to 165. This makes him Arsenal’s best player and is just shy of the 29-year-old’s 168 PA, so you need him on the pitch and starting in his preferred striking role.

Mesut Ozil – CA 4 star (162), PA 4 star (180)

Undoubtedly the most frustrating player in the Arsenal squad, after the debacle of a new contract last season, Mesut Ozil now struggles to make the bench under Unai Emery. He is far too good to be outside of the starting 11, but getting the defensive balance with the German playing behind Aubameyang and Lacazette is tricky.

The forwards can drift wide and Aaron Ramsey should run beyond Ozil, so options will be there for him to showcase his 19 vision, 19 first touch and 19 technique on FM. Aged 29, his 162 CA should be much closet to his 180 PA, but there is hope that if you get the former Real Madrid star on form, he will deliver. 

Laurent Koscielny – CA 4 star (160), PA 4 star (165)

It’s a surprise to see Koscielny as the third best Arsenal player ahead of the likes of Lacazette, Ramsey and Lucas Torreira but the Frenchman is the closest thing the Gunners have to a reliable defender. The centre back is out injured for the first half of the season so you will have to make do without him, but he will have the effect of a new signing when he returns in the new year.

The 32-year-old Koscielny has attributes of 18 tackling, 17 bravery and 17 heading on FM, taking his CA to 160. Just five short of his 165 potential, you will want your captain back as soon as possible following the Achilles injury that ruled him out of France’s World Cup winning campaign. 

Young talent

Arsenal have produced some fantastic talent in years gone by, featuring names like Ray Parlour, Martin Keown, Tony Adams and Jack Wilshere. With the Carabao Cup and EURO Cup group stages providing the opportunity to rotate your squad, be sure to give these names some game time this season. 

Emile Smith-Rowe – CA 2.5 star (126), PA 3.5-4.5 star (140-170)

Already a part of the Arsenal scene, Emile Smith-Rowe has burst onto the scene this season with three goals in six games across the cup competitions. With a lack of wide options, if you do wish to play with wingers, you may find yourself needing to call upon the England U19 international. The left or right winger offers 17 agility, 16 acceleration and 15 pace which will grow as his 126 CA improves to a potential between 140 and 170. Be sure to make him available for the U23s as well to give him game time and remain sharp.  

Eddie Nketiah – CA 2.5 star (125), PA 4-5 star (140-170)

It’s a similar story for Eddie Nketiah, as with only two out-and-out strikers in your first team, could be thrust into action if injuries strike. The forward has already picked up 15 first team appearances after first being opportunities by Arsene Wenger, and with a CA between 140 and 170 on Football Manager you can see why. Stats of 17 acceleration, 16 pace and 15 off the ball take him to a 125 CA. 

Konstantinos Mavropanos – CA 2 star (123), PA 3-4 star (130-160)

Despite a defensive injury crisis this season which has seen Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding all on the sidelines, it is a surprise that Konstantinos Mavropanos has not been given any minutes under Unai Emery. There is still hope for the Greek U21 international with his 125 CA able to improve between 130 and 160, with his best abilities 16 strength, 16 jumping reach and 15 heading. 

Team report


Strengths

Weaknesses

Scouting Staff

Attack Depth

Youth Prospects

Natural Fitness

Goalkeeper Depth

Midfield Depth

Star Goalkeeper (Petr Cech)

Defence Depth

Star Defender (Laurent Koscielny)

Star Midfielder (Mesut Ozil)

Wage Budget

Bravery

Dynamics

Team Leaders: Laurent Koscielny (C), Petr Cech (VC), Mesut Ozil

High influential: Aaron Ramsey, Nacho Monreal, Sokratis, Granit Xhaka, Danny Welbeck

Dynamics depict the dressing room atmosphere at your club. Be sure to keep the team leaders and influential players happy, as their morale can affect the teammates around them. Motivate them in your team talks and other members of the squad will get fired up. Equally, disrespect them, and the dressing room may turn against you. 

The Transfer Market

Starting transfer budget: £68.7 million

Remaining wage budget: £510,000 a week

Players to sell

The Arsenal first team squad is small, with just 22 fit players as you start the season, so don’t be too drastic in the transfer market. The only first team player you can afford to sell is perhaps Mohamed Elneny, but only do this if you have already brought in a new central midfielder. The Egyptian can still do a job for your side but now 26, his 142 CA may not hit his 155 PA so he has little benefit to your squad. Look to sell the former Basel man for around £17 million, freeing up £50,000 a week in your wage budget.

The other two players to sell are from your U23 squad. It’s a surprise to see Carl Jenkinson still at Arsenal after loan spells at West Ham and Birmingham, and failing to build on his sole England cap back in 2012. Sell the 26-year-old for £2 million and free up £45,000 a week in wages. Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez can also go, with him fetching you close to £5 million and putting £20,000 back in your weekly wage budget. 

Transfer Targets

New transfer budget: £91.7 million

New remaining wage budget: £625,000 a week

Complete central midfielder

If you want to persevere with the 4-4-2 diamond, you may want to another central midfielder to your books, and one can that can do everything in midfield. At the moment, Mesut Ozil creates, Aaron Ramsey runs and adds goals, Granit Xhaka adds a backbone and Lucas Torreira breaks up play as well as starting attacks.

As soon as you lose one of those players you start to look short, and someone who can cover all bases will be a massive asset. Someone who is out of contract at the end of the season is PSG’s Adrien Rabiot, and he has the potential to develop into one of the world’s best midfielders. The Frenchman has a 154 CA on the game which can improve to a potential of 165, and hold stats of 17 passing, 16 balance and 16 composure. Despite just 12 months left on his contract, you will still need to pay £44 million plus instalments for the France international, with the 23-year-old’s wages starting at £52,000 a week. 

Alternative options

Player

Age

Club

Country

CA/
PA

Value

Wage

Corentin Tolisso

23

Bayern Munich

France

152/
165

£31m

£121k

Saul

23

Atletico Madrid

Spain

157/
169

£39m

£205k

Allan

27

Napoli

Brazil

157/
158

£42m

£64k

Kevin Kampl

27

RB Leipzig

Germany

150/
150

£26m

£60k

Giacomo Bonaventura

28

AC Milan

Italy

150/
155

£24m

£64k

Left winger for formation change

With your budget, you perhaps only have enough to make one signing in the summer so if you do want to change your formation, you will need to bring in a left winger. Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck are your only trustworthy options in there, so look for some more class in the transfer market. 

If you add on some bonuses, you may be able to sneak in Hirving Lozano into your budget, especially after selling some players. The winger can be picked up for as little as £17 million from PSV Eindhoven, with his wages starting at just £15,000 a week. The 22-year-old Mexican has wages of 17 flair, 16 acceleration and 16 decisions to his game, with his CA at 148 which can rise to a potential of 160. 

Alternative options

Player

Age

Club

Country

CA/
PA

Value

Wage

Hirving Lozano

22

PSV

Mexico

148/
160

£11m

£15k

Diego Perotti

29

Roma

Argentina

148/
154

£23m

£89k

Yannick Carrasco

24

Yifang

Belgium

151/
164

£35m

£170k

Vitolo

28

Atletico Madrid

Spain

156/
158

£38m

£185k

Yacine Brahimi

28

Porto

Algeria

150/
156

£19m

£40k

Stephan El Shaarawy

25

Roma

Italy

150/
156

£25m

£64k

Contracts

Arsenal are among the worst out of the big clubs when sorting out contracts, with the disputes with Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and now Aaron Ramsey all coming in the last two seasons. Five players have deals running out this season at the Emirates, and although you may wish to leave this to your director of football, just be sure you get Ramsey’s sorted, with the Welshman in real life expected to join Juventus for free at the end of the campaign.

Other players with deals running out are Nacho Monreal, Petr Cech, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Danny Welbeck. Try to renew them all to avoid a crisis next season. 

Finances

Arsenal are a big club and don’t spend as freely as many of the other sides in the Premier League top six, meaning their finances are looking rosy. Your overall balance is set to increase, as is turnover.

Expenditure may also be on the rise, but with the club’s profit continuing, although fluctuating, you should be in a good position in the years to come. Getting back into the top four would surely see this rise.

Wages are remaining consistent, but the big news is that your transfer budget will increase over the next few seasons. In 2021, you should have £212 million at your disposal. 

Challenge once again

Even before the season began, few regarded Arsenal as a Champions League contender, with the Gunners perhaps the weakest side out of the top six. Even after a strong start to the campaign, backed up by wins over Tottenham and Chelsea hasn’t changed the public opinion. 

It will not be easy as Arsenal manager, due to an overall shortage of quality in comparison to your rivals, but if you sign well over the next two seasons that could change. The Gunners are probably three players away from being a title contender, so see next season as the one to fire them back into the top four. Could you go even better and claim a first league title since 2004 for the Arsenal?

Full Arsenal Player Ratings

Player

Age

Pos

Role

Duty

Role Ability

CA/
PA

Starting lineup

Petr Cech

36

GK

SK

Defend

3.5 star

155/
182

Hector Bellerin

23

DR
WBR

WB

Auto

3.5 star

151/
162

Sokratis

30

DC

NCB

Cover

3.5 star

154/
154

Shkodran Mustafi

26

DC

BPD

Defend

3 star

145/
161

Nacho Monreal

32

DL

FB

Auto

3 star

148/
148

Lucas Torreira

22

DM
CM

DLP

Defend

3 star

146/
165

Aaron Ramsey

27

MC

Mezzala
AP

Support
Attack

3.5 star

149/
161

Granit Xhaka

25

MC

CM
DLP

Support

3 star

146/
160

Mesut Ozil

29

AMC

AP

Support

4 star

162/
180

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

29

STC

PF
Poacher
AF

Attack

4 star

165/
168

Alexandre Lacazette

27

STC

AF

Attack

3.5 star

151/

161

Substitutes

Bernd Leno

26

GK

SK

Support

3.5 star

154/
163

Rob Holding

22

DC

BPD

Defend

2.5 star

136/
155

Sead Kolasinac

25

WBL
DL

Wing back

Support

3 star

144/
155

Mohamed Elneny

26

MC
DM

DLP

Defend

3 star

142/
155

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

32

AMC
AMR

AP

Attack

3.5 star

156/
165

Alex Iwobi

22

AML

IF

Support

3 star

143/
158

Danny Welbeck

27

AML

IF

Attack

3 star

142/
160

Reserves

Stephan Lichtsteiner

34

DR

FB

Support

3 star

144/
159

Ainsley Maitland-Niles

20

MC

Mezzala

Support

3 star

139/
156

Matteo Guendouzi

19

MC

B2B

Support

2.5 star

133/
155

Emile Smith-Rowe

18

AML
AMR

Winger

Attack

2.5 star

126/
<140

Injured

Laurent Koscielny

32

DC

CD

Defend

4 star

160/
165

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

Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?


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.

0 Comments