Well, things haven’t exactly gone to plan at Swansea over the past 18 months. A string of bad decisions have occurred down in Wales, arguably ever since Michael Laudrup was sacked back in 2014, and the Swans are on their fourth managerial appointment in two years. That said, there is still enough quality for Swansea to stay up, and you could almost guarantee that if either Laudrup or successor Garry Monk were still at the club, there would be a healthy gap between them and the relegation zone.
That little spark of talent in the squad should entice you to take charge of Swansea in FIFA 17’s Career Mode. Don’t forget that ex-Barcelona man Laudrup guided the Swans to the League Cup and performed well in Europe, so this is a club with humble beginnings but with bags of potential. A healthy bank balance will be at your disposal, as you lead the Welshmen away from relegation and back towards the European places.
How you should lineup
With a lot of talent up front, we’ve gone for a 4-4-2 holding, but the two strikers are very similar, so you could opt for a 4-2-3-1 to make the most out of star man Gylfi Sigurdsson.
In goal, Lukas Fabianksi is the obvious choice, with Angel Rangel, Federico Fernandez, Jordi Amat and either Neil Taylor or the incoming Martin Olsson making up the back four.
Jack Cork and Ki-Sung Yueng prop up the midfield, with Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jefferson Montero out wide. In attack, you have the physically strong pair of Fernando Llorente and Borja Baston.
On the bench, you should go for Gerhard Tremmel or Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Mike van der Hoorn, Kyle Naughton, Leon Britton, Leroy Fer, Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge.
The Transfer Market
Starting Transfer Budget: £35 million
Starting Wage Budget: £143,000
Who should go
With a healthy transfer and wage budget, there is no need to go crazy and sell loads of players in the transfer window. Swansea do not have any players with no future at the club, so only one man can be shown the door. This is Mark Birighitti, who is the fourth-choice goalkeeper and will not receive any game time at the Liberty Stadium. He can be sold for around £700,000.
What the team needs
Looking at the team sheet, there is a clear weakness in the full-back areas. Despite Martin Olsson joining the club, it remains to be seen whether his overall 75 rating will improve on the game, but if not you will need a new left back. Neil Taylor can then be sold in exchange for someone like Patrice Evra, who won’t break the bank. The Frenchman has a 82 overall rating despite now being 35, and he will cost you less than £6 million. The Juventus man has 87 balance, 86 sliding tackles and 86 interceptions, with his wages costing £43,000.
– Daley Blind – Manchester United, Age 81, POT 83, Cost: £20 million, Wage: £58,000
– Faouzi Ghoulam – Napoli, Age 25, OVR 79, POT 82, Cost: £18 million, Wage: £43,000
– Benoit Tremoulinas – Sevilla, Age 30, OVR 81, POT 81, Cost: £15 million, Wage: £43,000
– Kieran Gibbs – Arsenal, Age 26, OVR 79, POT 80, Cost: £15 million, Wage: £58,000
– Gael Clichy – Manchester City, Age 30, OVR 80, POT 80, Cost: £12 million, Wage: £43,000
– Domenico Criscito – Zenit, Age 29, OVR 79, POT 79, Cost: £13 million, Wage: £43,000
Going over to right back, you may choose to sell Angel Rangel and bring in Lukasz Piszczek. The Dortmund right or centre back has an 82 overall rating, costing around £16 million. The Pole has 84 standing and sliding tackles as well as 83 crossing and aggression. His wages will set you back £65,000.
– Bacary Sagna – Manchester City, Age 33, OVR 82, POT 82, Cost: £9 million, Wage: £43,000
– Pablo Zabaleta – Manchester City, Age 31, OVR 82, POT 82, Cost: £11 million, Wage: £65,000
– Dusan Basta – Lazio, Age 31, OVR 80, POT 80, Cost: £13.5 million, Wage: £43,000
– Branislav Ivanovic – Chelsea, Age 32, OVR 80, POT 80, Cost: £8 million, Wage: £43,000
– Christophe Jallet – Lyon, Age 32, OVR 79, POT 79, Cost: £8 million, Wage: £43,000
– Maxi Pereira – Porto, Age 32, OVR 79, POT 79, Cost: £8 million, Wage: £43,000
With only two first team strikers at the club, and with them being very similar, you may want to loan in another, more dynamic forward. With Danny Ings behind Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi in the pecking order, you may just be able to get him on loan. The striker is rated at 77 with a potential of 83, being made up of 89 acceleration, 84 sprint speed and 82 balance. His wages of £43,000 should come in under your target.
– Gabriel Jesus – Manchester City, Age 19, OVR 78, POT 90, Wage: £36,000
– Gabriel Barbosa – Inter Milan, Age 19, OVR 78, POT 87, Wage: £36,000
– Marcus Rashford – Manchester United, OVR 77, POT 90, Wage: £14,000
– Kelechi Iheanacho – Manchester City, Age 19, OVR 76, POT 89, Wage: £32,000
Going the other way, there are heaps of talented players at Swansea who need developing. Jay Fulton, Alex Bray and Oliver McBurnie should be sent out on loan for the season. Botti Biabi, Ryan Blair, Joe Rodon, Thomas Dyson, George Byers, Owain Jones and Daniel James should be loaned out for two years.
A fair few men have contracts running out at the end of the season, but there are a couple of players that you can allow to leave the club. Gerhard Tremmel is now 37, so there is no point in keeping the goalkeeper beyond the end of the season, and if you decide to bring in a new right-back, you will want to sell Angel Rangel.
As for Nathan Dyer, Joe Rodon, Thoams Dyson, Alex Bray and Owain Jones, they can all have their contracts renewed.
It’s a very balanced set of managerial objectives with almost all of them very achievable, and nothing having more than a medium priority. For domestic success, you will need to finish mid-table or simply avoid relegation, reach the last 32 or 16 of the FA Cup, and perhaps even finish in a Euro League spot (5th) within two seasons.
For your financial goal, you may need to increase the worth of the club by 15 percent within two seasons. To achieve this, you need to have strong performances on and off the pitch, so make sure you maintain a profit at the end of the season.
As for youth development, you will need to bring a player through the academy, and play them in ten matches over the season. Also, there is a chance that you will need to sign two teenagers that have a potential higher than the average player in the same position.
Brand exposure is the least important goal, where you will be asked to increase the percentage of ticket holders in the stadium to 10 percent. If you win regularly, bring in big names and score plenty, this should take care of itself.
It’s sink or swim for Swansea
There is a sense that relegation for Swansea could lead to a long spell outside of the top flight, for as much as they have been successful, they were in League Two as recently as 2005. Fortunately, their six-year spell in the Premier League has made them financially stable, and the finances are there for you to go out and bring in a big name or two. The new desire to bring on young talent may stop you from achieving a top half finish, but it will be worth it in the long run. A lot of Swansea players are currently ‘doing a job’ for the side, with only a couple of players showing true Premier League quality. A mass squad overhaul cannot be ruled out, so if you want to bring in young as well as top class players, you will need to sell, sell, sell.
The confidence at the Liberty Stadium has clearly changed since the start of the season, and the levels of the players may have dropped slightly since the beginning of the campaign, but at the end of the day, they are the same players. There is a divide between the rest of the clubs and the top seven, with almost all 13 of them capable of being relegated. That means there are plenty of winnable games, and it may not be pretty at times, but either a top half finish or a cup final should be your aim for the season. Wales had a fantastic Euro 2016, and it’s time that Swansea replicated that on the club scene.
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FIFA 17 Career Mode: Best Bargain Defenders
FIFA 17 Career Mode: Best Free agents
FIFA 17 Best contract expiry signings
FIFA 17: Top 10 Free-kick takers
Fifa 17 Best Young Goalkeepers
Fifa 17 Best Young Wingers
Fifa 17 Best Young Defenders
Fifa 17 Best Young Strikers
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Fifa 17 Best Young Right Backs
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