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FIFA 18: Arsenal Career Mode Guide, player ratings, tactics, formations & tips

No Champions League football, and star players Sanchez and Ozil are set to leave. Can you save the day at Arsenal on FIFA 18's Career Mode?


It was a strange season for Arsenal last year. They were finally knocked off their top 4 perch, but an FA Cup victory over Chelsea showed they are still a quality side. With uncertainty over the future of players Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil it could be a transitional 12 months for the Gunners, so it may just be the perfect time for you to step in for Arsene Wenger and get the club back on track.

Team rating

Arsenal hold on to a 5 star rating in FIFA 18, with an average score of 83. This is made up by an 86 attack, 82 midfield and 81 defence.

There are plenty of options at Arsenal in personnel, system and tactics so they are an exciting team to take charge of on FIFA 18. There is a point to prove at The Emirates, and we give you all there is to know to manage The Gunners in Career Mode.

Formation

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With fluid attacking players, there are so many systems you can play with Arsenal. We suggest that you scrap the 5-2-3 formation however, as you want to get as much quality on the pitch as possible. We have gone for the reliable 4-3-3 holding formation, this is less taxing on your midfielders and allows Arsenal to showcase their passing game.

If you want to get more out of Mesut Ozil, go for a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 attack formation, and you also have the option of a 4-4-2 and play Sanchez up front or just off the main striker.

In goal, Petr Cech picks himself. In front of him you should go for Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny and new man Sead Kolasinac. 

The uncertainty arises in midfield. Granit Xhaka comes in at defensive midfield, and he has Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey either side of him. Jack Wilshere could force himself into contention if he gets close to his 84 potential, and Francis Coquelin provides a more protective option with his high defensive work rate. 

Your front three should be Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and the scintillating Alexis Sanchez. Olivier Giroud provides a great option off the bench with his aerial ability (90 heading accuracy), as does Theo Walcott with his pace (91 sprint speed).

On the bench, you will want David Ospina (OVR 79), Nacho Monreal (80), Mathieu Debuchy (77), Jack Wilshere (81), Theo Walcott (80), Danny Welbeck (80) and Olivier Giroud (82). 

Tactics

It may sound too simple, but just get the ball to Alexis Sanchez. The 89-rated Chilean can dribble, pass, cross and score all kinds of goals, so make sure you give him as much of the ball as possible.

Mesut Ozil could get a bit lost out on the wing so look to drift inside with the 88-rated man, and if you get any time on the ball, look for the killer pass.

With your wingers likely to cut inside, you will want your full backs to be pushing forward to create the overlap, and this shouldn’t be a problem with Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac. 

Your options off the bench give you different ways of playing, with Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck offering the pace and movement, whilst Olivier Giroud can provide the direct approach

The transfer market

Starting transfer budget: £79.8 million

Starting wage budget: £317,000 a week

Who should go

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With Arsenal having a deep, well-balanced squad, it’s almost a case of ‘one-in, one-out’ during the transfer window. You may be surprised that we are willing to let the reliable Nacho Monreal leave the club, but as we are adopting a system with four at the back, he is neither good enough to start at either centre or left back. You should target a price tag of around £13million for the 31-year-old, which will free up £97,000 a week in your wage budget.

We are also showing the door to club captain Per Mertesacker. The big German is in the final year of his contract, so you will want to cash in now for the centre back. His 81 rating means he cannot compete for a starting spot, so look to sell him for around £12 million. The 32-year-old has weekly wages of £97,000.

As we are looking to bring in a new defensive midfielder, Francis Coquelin can be shown the door. The Frenchman’s 79 rating does put him in the first team picture, but his 80 potential means he would never be a regular starter. With a transfer value of around £17 million, it makes more sense to sell him and reinvest his £97,000 a week wages. 

Chuba Akpom, Tolaji Bola and Tafari Moore will never make the grade in North London. You should look to recoup around £2.25 million for all three of them, with their combined wages coming to £32,000 a week. 

Loans

With a large squad, you should look to be loaning out a handful of the young, talented players to give them the experience they need. Jeff Reine-Adelaide has a 63 overall rating with a 81 potential, so you should look to loan him out to a League One or Two club for the campaign. Send Gedion Zelalem out on a short loan as he may be needed when the fixtures pile up in the second half of the season. Both Edward Nketiah and Reiss Nelson have potentials of 80 or higher, but to get their 59 starting ratings up they should be sent on loan to a League Two club for two seasons. 

Who to sign

Transfer budget after suggested sales: £124 million

Wage budget after suggested sales: £640,000 a week

Left back

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If you get rid of Nacho Monreal, you will need a new left back with Sead Kolasinac the only man left to play in the position. With the new signing’s potential at 83, you may decide to go big and bring in a left back of the highest order. We suggest Barcelona’s Jordi Alba. The Spanish international is rated at 85, and at the age of 28 he will be in your side for four or five seasons. His £55 million release clause is a pretty good price in today’s market, with his wages a bit steep of £189,00 a week. Alba’s best stats are his 93 sprint speed, 93 acceleration and 90 stamina.

Alternative options:

  • Filipe Luis – Atletico Madrid, Age 31, OVR 85, POT 85, Cost: £45.1 million, Wage: £71,000
  • Leighton Baines – Everton, Age 32, OVR 82, POT 82, Cost: £20.9 million, Wage: £101,000
  • Raphael Guerreiro – Borussia Dortmund, Age 23, OVR 81, POT 86, Cost: £37.5 million, Wage: £51,000
  • Layvin Kurzawa – PSG, Age 24, OVR 80, POT 85, Cost: £28 million, Wage: £61,000
  • Grimaldo – Benfica, Age 21, OVR 80, POT 87, Cost: £33.9 million, Wage: £11,000

Defensive midfield

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Similarly, with our decision to get rid of Francis Coquelin, a new out-and-out defensive midfielder needs to come in, one who can be a certain starter. We’ve gone for the bullish Arturo Vidal. The Chilean international holds no prisoners in midfield, and with an 87 overall rating he can be the main man in the engine room. His £54.5 million release clause is reasonable with his wages of £141,000 a week not overly expensive. For his 93 aggression, 91 stamina and 89 standing tackle, the 30-year-old is worth the money.

Alternative options:

  • Claudio Marchisio – Juventus, Age 31, OVR 85, POT 85, Cost: £47.9 million, Wage: £141,000
  • Casemiro – Real Madrid, Age 25, OVR 85, POT 89, Cost: £78.5 million, Wage: £172,000
  • Kevin Strootman – Roma, Age 27, OVR 84, POT 85, Cost: £54.7 million, Wage: £92,000
  • Bruno – Villarreal, Age 33, OVR 84, POT 84, Cost: £34.2 million, Wage: £52,000
  • Sami Khedira – Juventus, Age 30, OVR 84, POT 84, Cost: £42.1 million, Wage: £141,000

Contracts

With Arsenal not finishing in the top four last season, a lot of high-profile players have been hesitant to sign new contracts. Six first team players have deals expiring at the end of this season, and five of those you need to renew. Alexis Sanchez needs to be slapped with a new contract, you simply cannot afford to let him go for free at the end of the season or be without a man of his talents. It’s a similar case for Mesut Ozil, however you could choose to cash in on the German and replace him with an out-and-out winger. Midfielders Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere need to be given new deals, otherwise you will have a substantial hole in your midfield come next season.

As for the fringe players, Jeff Reine-Adelaide (POT 81) and Edward Nketiah (POT 80) have superb potentials so you will want to see how they develop over the next few seasons. 

After six years at The Emirates, it looks to be Per Mertesacker’s final season, and to avoid losing him on a free you should sell the centre back.

Gedion Zelalem’s future is in the balance, and if you see little development, you could sell him in January. As for Tafari Moore, you will want to be selling him straightaway with the right back’s potential only 71. 

Managerial objectives

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At Arsenal, your domestic, continental and brand exposure objectives have critical importance. For your domestic goal, you will be asked to win both the league title and the FA Cup. A tough ask, but with no Champions League football to contend with and a big squad, this is possible. However, your domestic goal is to win the Euro League (Europa League). Arsenal have talent but to lift three trophies is an incredibly unlikely task. You will need to start the league season like a train, forget about the league cup and rotate your squad well. 

As for brand exposure, you will need to earn £176 million from shirt sales over the season. This can be done by signing big names, scoring plenty of goals, maintaining good form and lifting trophies. 

Both your financial and youth development goals have low importance. Financially you will need to record a profit margin of £66 million, so you may not want to spend so freely. However, you will receive considerable income for each round of the Euro League that you get through as well as for your Premier League finish. 

For youth development, you will need to sign a youth player and play them five times over the course of the season. You will also need to sign two players under the age of 20. They must have a higher potential than the average rating of the current players in the same position. 

A step back to go forward

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After last season’s league disappointment, there is a strange silence coming from The Emirates. The FA Cup success has papered over the cracks, and another finish outside the top four could cause mayhem. With Sanchez and Ozil set to leave for free at the end of the season, Arsenal need to keep things together. On FIFA 18’s Career Mode, you have the opportunity to rebuild the club before it falls apart. Can you take them back to the glory days of competing for, and lifting Premier League trophies? It’s a tough ask, but nothing worth having comes easy. 

Full Arsenal squad player ratings

PlayerAgePos.
Country
OVR
POTValueWage
Goalkeepers
Petr Cech35GKCzech Rep.8686£17.1m£81k
David Ospina28GKColombia7979£14.7m£80k
Defenders
Shkodran Mustafi25CBGermany8486£53.4m£128k
Laurent Koscielny31CBFrance8484£34.2m£132k
Hector Bellerin22RBSpain8188£37.9m£80k
Per Mertesacker32CBGermany8181£12m£97k
Sead Kolasinac24LB LMBosnia8083£26.3m£80k
Nacho Monreal31CB LBSpain8080£16.3m£97k
Mathieu Debuchy31RBFrance7777£9.8m£78k
Calum Chambers22CB RBEngland7584£16.2m£56k
Rob Holding21CBEngland7285£12m£35k
Tafari Moore19RBEngland6371£500k£7k
Krystian Bielik19CB CDMPoland6277£1.3m£7k
Tolaji Bola18CBEngland5972£545k£5k
Midfielders
Alexis Sanchez28LM ST LW RMChile8989£80m£233k
Mesut Ozil28CAM RWGermany8888£70m£233k
Santi Cazorla32CM CDMSpain8383£25m£114k
Granit Xhaka24CM CDMSwitzerland8285£46.6m£97k
Aaron Ramsey26CM CDM RMWales8283£32m£114k
Jack Wilshere25CM CAM CDMEngland8184£27m£101k
Theo Walcott28RM LM STEngland8080£24.4m£110k
Francis Coquelin26CDM CMFrance7980£20.3m£97k
Mohamed Elneny24CDM CMEgypt7781£16.9m£67k
Alex Iwobi21LMNigeria7485£17.1m£56k
Ainsley Maitland-Niles19RM CMEngland6679£2.6m£12k
Gedion Zelalem20CM CAM CDMUSA6575£1.1m£16k
Jeff Reine-Adelaide19RM CAMFrance6381£1.1m£8k
Reiss Nelson17RMEngland5983£878k£6k
Forwards
Alexandre Lacazette26STFrance8588£82.2m£158k
Olivier Giroud30STFrance8282£35m£123k
Danny Welbeck26STEngland8081£29.6m£114k
Chuba Akpom21STEngland6475£1.4m£682k
Edward Nketiah18STEngland5980£600k£7k

Looking for free players? Click the links below:

Contract Expiry Signings Ending in 2018 (First Season)

Contract Expiry Signings Ending in 2019 (Second Season)

Free Agent XI

On a tight budget? Click the link below:

Best loan signings

Top hidden gems

Looking for FIFA 18 young players in other positions? Just click the link below:

Best young strikers

Best young right wingers & right midfielders (RW & RM)

Best young left wingers & left midfielders (LW & LM)

Best young attacking midfielders (CAM)

Best young central midfielders (CM)

Best young defensive midfielders (CDM)

Best young centre backs (CB)

Best young left backs (LB)

Best young right backs (RB)

Best young goalkeepers (GK)

Looking for FIFA 18 wonderkids? Just click the link below:

Strikers

Defenders (CBs, RBs & LBs)

Midfielders (CMs, CAMs & CDMs)

Wingers (LMs, RMs, LWs & RWs)

Argentinian Wonderkids

Brazilian Wonderkids

Who are you going to sign for Arsenal? How is your Career Mode going? Let us know in the comments section below.

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

Alastair Pusinelli

Currently RealSport's FIFA 18 and Football Manager Content Contributor, but I have covered almost everything across the board for the site.

I have contributed on Cricket, Darts, Esports, Olympics, Tennis and Wrestling for the site, as well as stepping in as Football and Rugby Editor.

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. I am still an active sportsman, playing cricket, football, rugby, tennis and golf.

FIFA 18: Arsenal Career Mode Guide, player ratings, tactics, formations & tips

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