With all their summer spending, Manchester United are back. They have endured an early season blip, but with the Premier League as their number one priority, you know they will be fighting for the title as we enter the closing stages of the season. This enhanced squad makes them a great club to manage in FIFA 17’s Career Mode, with your only issue getting all the star players on the pitch at the same time. The challenge for United will be handling the other competitions, as a club of their capacity should be fighting on all fronts. With some good players coming through, the Red Devils are almost back to where they were in the Ferguson era. The only thing missing? A Premier League crown. RealSport gives you the complete guide in order to bring the trophy back to Old Trafford.
Check out the FIFA 18 Manchester United Career Mode Guide
How you should line up
Jose Mourinho has gone for a 4-2-3-1 formation, but with Wayne Rooney now playing so deep (his in-game work-rate reflects this) you may want to think about using a 4-3-3, if you still want to play the captain. Everywhere else pretty much picks itself, with the only slight worry in defensive midfield.
David de Gea obviously takes his spot in goal, and in front of him, you should go for Matteo Darmian, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw. You may opt for the pacier Antonio Valencia at right back, but the 26-year-old Darmian does have the greater potential at 82.
The midfield anchor is a tricky spot as there is about six players you could choose from. Morgan Schneiderlin is the most likely choice as he has the highest potential at 84, but outcast Bastian Schweinsteiger could come in to utilise his 83 overall rating. You could even put Paul Pogba in there if you wanted a really attacking line-up, but you want to free him up to go forward. With Wayne Rooney’s high defensive work-rate he could do a job in there for you, or you could opt for the height of Marouane Fellaini, the experience of Michael Carrick, or the control of Daley Blind.
Alongside Schneiderlin, Pogba is obviously in the side, and it’s then a choice between Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata to make up the rest of the midfield. Rooney’s captaincy, experience and aggression should give him the start, and Mata would be the more influential off the bench.
Up front, the potent Zlatan Ibrahimović is flanked by the creative Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the speedy finisher Anthony Martial.
On the bench, you should have Sergio Romero, Daley Blind, Antonio Valencia, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ander Herrera, Memphis Depay and Marcus Rashford.
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £102 million
Starting wage budget: £295,000
Who should go
With the signings that Jose Mourinho made over the summer, it was surprising that no first team players left the club. Ashley Young probably tops the list, and if it wasn’t for his ability to fill in at full-back, he would have been out of Old Trafford. With Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Anthony Martial, Memphis Depay, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford all in front of him in the pecking order, he isn’t going to get a run out on the wing too often. With two years remaining on his contract, you should be able to get around £7 million for the 30-year-old.
With all those options at defensive midfield, something has got to give. Although Marouane Fellaini brings height and strength, he is not and never will be a Manchester United type player, and his overall rating of 78 highlights this. Sell him and you’ll receive around £8 million. If you do choose to keep and play Bastian Schweinsteiger, it’s hard to see the worth in keeping Michael Carrick. You are likely to use your vast wealth to bring in another holding midfielder, so there isn’t really a need for the 34-year-old. However, he is in the last year of his contract and could be looking to retire.
Now, on to the fringe players. The likes of Sam Johnstone, Sean Goss and Sadiq El Fitouri are so far out of contention that there is no point in keeping them, and none of them have a potential of 80 or higher. Don’t expect to get close to £1 million for all three of them, however.
What the team needs
With the biggest transfer budget in the game, the world is pretty much your oyster as Manchester United manager. If you make those sales, your budget will be beyond the £110 million mark, and if you win a pre-season tournament, you will have beyond £120 million. That is virtually unheard of. There are only three positions that need taking care of, and by the end of your second season, you should have a squad that can compete with the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
Looking at the team sheet, right back is the weakest position. Matteo Darmian will only grow to 82, so you need to bring in someone that will hit the United benchmark of 83 or 84. Serge Aurier looks to be that man, with the 23-year-old offering a starting overall of 83, but a potential of 88. The Ivorian has 93-jumping, 87 stamina and 85 sprint speed, with a ‘power header’ trait and ‘engine’ speciality. The Paris Saint-Germain defender can also play at centre-back, and with three years remaining on his contract, you should be able to sign him for less than £30 million, with wages of £65,000 per week.
- – Philipp Lahm – Bayern Munich, Age 32, OVR 88, POT 88, Cost: £20 million, Wage: £101,000
- – Cesar Azpilicueta – Chelsea, Age 26, OVR 84, POT 84, Cost: £26 million, Wage: £86,000
- – Dani Carvajal – Real Madrid, Age 24, OVR 83, POT 86, Cost: £25 million, Wage: £65,000
- – Dani Alves – Juventus, Age 33, OVR 85, POT 85, Cost: £15 million, Wage: £65,000
- – Alessandro Florenzi, Roma, Age 25, OVR 82, POT 85, Cost: £23 million, Wage: £65,000
With Luke Shaw’s potential at 89, there is no need to search for a new left-back, so you should look to solve your midfield conundrum. First off is someone to play in that defensive midfield position. If you think of the world’s best holding midfielder, it has to be Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets. The 27-year-old is rated at 87 with a potential of 88, and with stats like 88 stamina, 87 interceptions, 86 aggression and 86 standing tackles, it’s hard to look anywhere else. The 6’2” Spaniard will win you the ball back all day long, but he will cost you a fortune as he has five years remaining on his contract. You will be looking to bid near £45 million to sign him, with hefty wages of £115,000.
- – William Carvalho, Sporting Lisbon, Age 24, OVR 83, POT 87, Cost: £30 million, Wage: £65,000
- – Marco Verratti, PSG, Age 23, OVR 85, POT 90, Cost: £45 million, Wage: £79,000
- – Arturo Vidal, Bayern Munich, Age 29, OVR 87, POT 87, Cost: £38 million, Wage: £94,000
- – Granit Xhaka, Arsenal, Age 23, OVR 84, POT 87, Cost: £38 million, Wage: £79,000
- – Blaise Matuidi, PSG, Age 29, OVR 86, POT 86, Cost: £27 million, Wage: £86,000
If you are ready to bite the bullet on Wayne Rooney, you will need to bring in a midfielder who can work in tandem with Paul Pogba. From who we have already seen, Marco Verratti could be that man, but it is more than likely that you will finally get Toni Kroos to come to Manchester United. The Real Madrid midfielder has an overall of 88 on FIFA 17, with a potential of 90, with 93 long passing, 89 short passing, 88 vision and 88 long shots. The 26-year-old German will cost around £60 million, so you may have to make some sales to make way for him and wait until January, especially with wages of £122,000.
- – Andre Gomes, Barcelona, Age 22, OVR 84, POT 90, Cost: £45 million, Wage: £65,000
- – Luka Modric, Real Madrid, Age 30, OVR 89, POT 89, Cost: £35 million, Wage: £115,000
- – Koke, Atletico Madrid, Age 24, OVR 84, POT 88, Cost: £35 million, Wage: £79,000
- – Ivan Rakitic, Barcelona, Age 28, OVR 87, POT 87, Cost: £40 million, Wage: £115,000
- – Thiago, Bayern Munich, Age 25, OVR 84, POT 87, Cost: £35 million, Wage: £79,000
Due to an injury crisis at Old Trafford last season, a lot of young players were given an opportunity, and a few grabbed that chance. Marcus Rashford is the most noticeable, and he will be firmly in your plans as you look to turn him into one of the world’s best.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah also has great potential (OVR 71 – POT 87), but with so many options in midfield and defence, it’s worth loaning him out for the season. Plus, if a couple of injuries occur, it’s good to be able to recall someone who can fill in anywhere in defence as well as holding midfield.
18-year-old centre back Axel Tuanzebe has been tipped to be the next man to breakthrough and ‘do a Rashford’, and the Congolese has a potential of 81 on FIFA 17. You may think that is not enough to be a United player, but if he performs well and gets regular game time, he could go beyond that level. You should look to loan him out to a League One or Two club so he is a regular in the side, and with plenty of centre-back options, feel free to send him out for two seasons.
Regan Poole is in exactly the same boat, being rated at 63 with a potential of 80. The 18-year-old Welshman made his debut for the club in the Europa League last season, but he will have to be patient to get his next opportunity. You should loan him out to League Two for two seasons, with a reunion with former club Newport County potentially on the horizon.
For United, the contracts is a tricky one, as a few players who are at the end of their deals will probably not be of the Manchester United standard come the end of the season. This will not be the case for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with the big Swede only signing a one year contract, and you should look to extend this by at least another year.
Michael Carrick, however, you will probably want to get rid of, but if you sell him straight away, you will not get much for him. You are in a bit of catch-22, as if you give him a new contract he may retire the following season, meaning you cannot sell him. So, perhaps just let his contract run out.
Antonio Valencia still holds great pace, but with a right back on your shopping list, he will be the man to go. It could be worth giving him a new deal, however, just to raise his price tag. Sam Johnstone and Sadiq El Fitouri should also be on their way out of the club, but once again, a cheeky new contract could get you more money. Axel Tuanzebe’s contract, however, should be renewed to see if he can go on and fulfil his potential.
There are so many sides gunning for the title this season, and it will be no different for Manchester United. You will be asked to bring the Premier League title back to Old Trafford, and don’t be surprised if you are expected to lift the ‘Euro League’ as well. You are likely to also be asked to win the ‘Champions Cup’ within a couple of seasons, so you really do have a lot on your plate.
You will also have a brand exposure target as well, and that can come in the form of shirt sales and raising the club worth. These can be accomplished by bringing in big signings and performing well on the pitch.
Manchester United won’t have any serious financial targets, so you will be free to spend all of the transfer budget. As for youth development, you may need to sign some young players or bring some through the academy.
Time to take United back to the top
Life after Sir Alex Ferguson was always going to be tough for Manchester United, but no one anticipated the massive backwards step they’ve endured. The owners have attempted to rectify things by dipping into their pockets, and that gives you an incredible opportunity in FIFA 17 Career Mode. You will have a lot of targets, so I will try and simplify things for you. You need to be winning the Premier League title, you’ve got the squad and bank balance to do it, so finishing anything but first will be a disappointment. As for the ‘Euro League’, it is a long competition, but it is perhaps worth prioritising over the domestic cups due to pure excitement and financial gain. But if ever a side could win five trophies in a season (Manchester United face Leicester in the Community Shield), it would be this United side.
Make your team stronger:
FIFA 17 Best Contract Expiry Signings
Fifa 17 Best Young Goalkeepers
Fifa 17 Best Young Wingers
Fifa 17 Best Young Defenders
Fifa 17 Best Young Strikers
Fifa 17 Best Young Midfielders
Fifa 17 Best Young Left Backs
Fifa 17 Best Young Right Backs
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