Before the start of the season, few would have heard of little RB Leipzig outside of Germany, but after an incredible start to their first ever Bundesliga season, the East German side have been catapulted into the limelight. RB Leipzig, owned by energy drink company Red Bull, finished second in the Bundesliga last year and went 13 games unbeaten to kick off this season. Leipzig are the only club that can challenge Bayern Munich for the title, just three points behind the defending champions at the top of the table. Incredibly, it looks as if Leipzig will be playing in Europe next season, as they are currently 11 points clear in the Champions League places. Although the club has been pumped with money, they have bought very intelligently, going for long term purchases, with Scotland’s Oliver Burke a prime example. If you are looking to take charge of a club that is firmly on the up and looking to upset the applecart, RB Leipzig should be your choice on FIFA 17’s Career Mode.
How you should line up
Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuttl has used the slightly alternative 4-2-2-2 system, allowing his wide players to float infield, and looking at the squad, you should follow suit. Peter Gulacsi is in goal, with Lukas Klostermann, Marvin Compper or Stefan Ilsanker, Willi Orban and Marcel Halstenberg making up the back four.
In holding midfield you should go for Diego Demme and Naby Keita, with Marcel Sabitzer and Emil Forsberg in more advanced role. Up top, it has to be Timo Werner and Yussuf Poulsen.
On the bench, you should have Fabio Coltori, Stefan Ilsanker, Benno Schmitz, Rani Khedira, Domink Kaiser, Oliver Burke and Davie Selke.
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £43 million
Starting wage budget: £73,000
Who should go
Coming up from the division below, there are always going to be players who do not make the grade in the top flight. That means all of Benjamin Bellot, Ken Gipson, John-Patrick Strauß, Soren Reddemann and Federico Palacios Martinez can be sold, and you should look to collect just over £1 million for all five of them combined.
What the team needs
For a promoted side, £43 million is an astronomical amount of money. That should take the pressure off your pre-season tournament, which could take you close to £50 million if you win it. With that money you can certainly afford to bring in two established players into your starting line-up, with the defence only needing a slight bit of work. With neither Marvin Compper or Stefan Ilsanker able to grow beyond 74, a new centre back is called for. American John Brooks is already playing in the Bundesliga with Hertha Berlin, and he wold be a perfect fit for Leipzig. The 23-year-old has an overall rating of 79 with a potential of 85, and can be purchased for close to £25 million. He has 85-rated heading accuracy, 83 standing tackles, and 82 interceptions, with his current wages only £22,000.
– Jorge Mere – Sporting Gijon, Age 19, OVR 78, POT 84, Cost: £15 million, Wage: £720
– Bruno – Real Betis, Age 26, OVR 78, POT 82, Cost: £14 million, Wage: £14,000
– Francesco Acerbi – Sassuolo, Age 27, OVR 81, POT 82, Cost: £19 million, Wage: £32,000
– Loic Perrin – Saint-Etienne, Age 30, OVR 82, POT 82, Cost: £17 million, Wage: £11,000
– Ryan Shawcross – Stoke, Age 28, OVR 81, POT 81, Cost: £17 million, Wage: £32,000
– Andreas Granqvist – Krasnodar, Age 31, OVR 80, POT 80, Cost: £13 million, Wage: £22,000
Although right back Lukas Kolstermann has a superb potential of 84, his 72 starting rating isn’t quite ready for the Bundesliga, so you should look into picking up a more senior replacement. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a player you just need one that will do a job for you for a season or two, and therefore you should look at someone like Javi Lopez. The 30-year-old Espanyol man is rated at 77, and will cost less than £8 million. The Spaniard has 85 sliding tackles, 84 aggression and 82 composure, with just £3,000 a week wages.
– Jonny – Celta Vigo, Age 22, OVR 77, POT 83, Cost: £15 million, Wage: £14,000
– Pavel Kaderabek – Hoffenheim, Age 24, OVR 77, POT 82, Cost: £13 million, Wage: £22,000
– Santiago Arias – PSV Eindhoven, Age 24, OVR 77, POT 81, Cost: £12 million, Wage: £22,000
– Joel Veltman – Ajax, Age 24, OVR 77, POT 80, Cost: £11.5 million, Wage: £22,000
– Sebastein Corchia – Lille, Age 25, OVR 77, POT 80, Cost: £10.5 million, Wage: £22,000
– Glen Johnson – Stoke, Age 31, OVR 77, POT 77, Cost: £6 million, Wage: £18,000
With Leipzig developing their young players brilliantly, there are a whole host of candidates who can be sent out on loan. Dominik Franke, Gino Fercher and Felix Beiersforf would all benefit from two years away from the club on loan, whilst the super talented Dayot Upamecamo may only need a short loan to bring him into the first team equation.
Just three men have contracts running out at the end of the season, and you should definitely be renewing the deals of Rani Khedira (brother of Juventus’s Sami) and Marvin Compper. As for Fabio Coltori, at the age of 35, he will only be able to do a job as the backup goalkeeper for a season, so you can release him at the end of the season.
With RB Leipzig looking to create long term success as opposed to bringing in expensive signings every season, there is a very heavy onus on youth development, and this is replicated on FIFA 17. Bringing through youth players is your top priority in East Germany, and failure to do so could see you sacked. You may be asked by the board to sign three players with high potentials into your youth squad and increase them by 10 overall points over the season, meaning you will need to train them regularly. You may also be asked to sign three youth academy players in a certain position, most likely in defence, so try and intertwine the two tasks to make your job a bit easier.
For domestic success, you will be asked to finish in mid table and reach the round of 32 or round of 16 in the German Cup. Your long term goal is likely to be to finish in a ‘Euro League’ spot (6th) within two seasons.
With no continental or financial goals in the first season, your final objective is to increase season tickets holders to 10% of the ground’s capacity. This can be achieved by winning regularly, signing big players and lifting trophies.
Watch the club rise
RB Leipzig may be one of the most disliked clubs in Germany due to their ownership by Red Bull, but if you are looking for a club that has high ambitions over a long period of time, they are one of the most exciting clubs to take charge of in FIFA 17. Bringing through youth players does not take up much of your transfer budget, so you can still spend your cash freely, enabling you to challenge for European places or trophies straight away. That may sound ambitious, but all you need to do is look where Leipzig are in the Bundesliga table. If, like them, you get off to a superb start, you can then either choose to challenge for a European place or the German Cup; going for both may not be out of the question. There are so many winnable games in Germany, with over half of the sides in the Bundesliga seriously out of form. Domestic form and youth development should be your only concern for the season, and if you perform well, the rest of the objectives will take care of themselves. If you are patient, Bundesliga and Champions League titles are only five seasons away.
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