FM 16 Newcastle – In the past two seasons Newcastle have spent over £100m, and for all their spending, they’re still not all that good. In the world of Football Manager however, they’re not too bad. They have a few decent attackers, a solid midfield (Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Tiote), a top-quality goalkeeper (Krul), but are let down slightly by their defence. Oh, and they start off with less than £1m for a transfer budget, meaning you can’t go and splash £75m like Steve McClaren has this season. So then, how can you make this Newcastle side achieve their full potential?
We’ve given you the minimum and maximum budget available, depending on what your expectations are. Transfer Budget – £700k – 797k Wage Budget – £1.19m – 1.83m
Key players to build your team around
The following players should never be sold and should form the spine of your team for the foreseeable future. Some are obvious choices, others less so, but none of the following players are easily replaced.
Ayoze Perez (21)
Unless you manage to achieve great success in your first-season (i.e. qualify for Europe), it may prove difficult holding onto Perez, who at 21 and with 5-star potential, is bound for great things. He’s agile, skilful, has good dribbling and when given a regular run of games, he becomes one of the most prolific strikers in Europe. Need I say more?
Moussa Sissoko (25)
Sissoko is massively under-rated both in real-life and in FM. He’s a box-to-box midfielder that is ever so hard to replace at a club like Newcastle. You might sign the next Cabaye/Sissoko with the money you get for him, but then again, you probably won’t. Make him your captain and allow your squad to be built around him.
Tim Krul (27)
In goalkeeping years, Krul isn’t that old, and still has a good 4 or 5 seasons left in him at the highest level, which is where you come in. He’s by no means world-class, but will more than do for your side until you can afford to spend big on a younger model (e.g. Gianluigi Donnarumma).
Best youngsters to keep an eye on
Tbe best players on your side that are 21 or younger that you need to keep an eye out for in future. If the player is under 21 and is already someone to build your team round, they won’t be included in this list. Keep the following players either to integrate into your first-team or to sell for a high price later on.
Aleksandr Mitrovic (20)
The FM15 players amongst will know all about Mitrovic, however, in FM16, he’s less of a dead-certain wonderkid and more of a risk. Still, he has a decent set of attributes already (strength = 17, heading = 15, finishing = 14, composure = 15, aggression – 18), and has a great future ahead of him if used correctly. He sometimes go one of two ways:
Rolando Aarons (19)
Aarons is already a first-team player, and is making a name for himself slowly but surely. He is someone good enough to fill a role in your first-team from the word go, or failing that, should do really well if you loan him out to a lower league club. He can also cover both wings and has 5-star potential, making him a great cash-cow if all else fails, provided you nurture him correctly.
Players you should consider letting go of
The following are players who could be easily replaced for one reason or another.
13 goals in his first 14 games made for the impression that the Toon Army had signed a real bargain when the £6m Cisse arrived back in 2011. However, 21 goals in his next 82 league games suggests he may not have been such a bargain after all. He’s also 30 when you start a game-save, and at £7.5m, there are far better options out there.
Gouffran is someone you could offload and not replace, and still not be that much worser off for it. Still, offload him for around £5m, and draft in a younger prospect.
Demarai Gray (19)
Birmingham – £5m With the money from Gouffran, sign up Gray ASAP. Yes, he moved to Leicester in real-life, and yes, you may have downloaded the latest patch. But this isn’t real-life, it’s FM, so with that in mind, get him on your books as soon as you can. Newcastle could do with a top-winger, and he can become exactly that, and arrives at a decent price too.
Eder Alvarez Balanta (22)
River Plate – £5-7m Balanta is perfect for Newcastle. He’s relatively cheap, already a great defender and has the potential to grow into the centre back the Toon Army need to lead their defence for the next 10+ seasons. A must-buy after you offload Cisse. He can also double up at left-back, which is another area Newcastle are severely lacking in.
Divock Origi (20)
Liverpool – Loan It would be quite fickle to offload two attackers without signing a replacement, and given that you probably would’ve spent most your budget on Balanta/Gray, Origi fits the bill of a cheap and cheerful forward. Perez and Mitrovic should start, but in the event that one of them gets injured, Origi is a nice option to have coming off the bench.