Kim Källström entered my consciousness in the early 'noughties' as one of my first signings for The Arsenal back in my Championship Manager 01/02 save. Kim developed into the finest AMC that North London has ever seen (move over Brady, George, Bergkamp et al...Kim was in town). His career at Arsenal was littered with league titles and European success. He was the heartbeat of my attacking 5-2-1-2 formation. A conjurer of assists and a weaver of dreams.
Yet in real life I had to wait until 2006 until I watched a full 90mins (technically 120 mins) featuring Kim. This was a France Cup tie: Rennes against Montpellier, where Kim scored Rennes' 5th goal in extra time. I watched it with my mum that day on Eurosport UK, and I took great pleasure in telling her the ins and outs of Kim's game. His assists, long shots and the way he gloriously dictates play. My mum was left bewildered with my obvious man lust.
Moving forward 8 years and I finally got to see Kim in the flesh playing for my beloved Arsenal (25 March 2014, Arsenal 2-2 Swansea). Was I dreaming? Apparently not, as Kim came on that day for an 11 minute cameo. The most striking thing that I noticed was that, in 8 years, Kim's game was seemingly unchanged. He was tidy in possession and showed a keen eye for a pass.
Now fast forwarding a little more to the Present Day, I am once again reunited with Kim at Grasshopper Club Zürich (GCZ) . This feels like the final hurrah in [our] my fictional manager/player relationship, which has spanned almost 15 years of [our] my life. So what does Kim Källström bring to GCZ in FM16?
It's difficult to say exactly what he will bring in terms of player stats (unless I bribe Swiss FM researcher, @aulit_z, for some clues) but we are safe to assume that Kim will be the Deep Lying Playmaker of previous FM editions:
Kim's arrival has seen GCZ line up as a 4-2-3-1 in the first few weeks of the season, being partnered by Marko Basic - a new signing from Lugano. This combination is currently working in real life and something I may look to replicate in FM16. However, do I give Kim a defensive of supportive DLP role?
Looking at his stats above. Kim posses good defensive DLP traits; he has good passing combined with positioning, teamwork and vision. He also has a helpful PPM of 'Tries Killer Ball Often', something that is crucial in the DLP role. He could also contribute further up the pitch in a supportive role, however I have a slight reluctance due to his Off The Ball currently set at '10' in FM15.
If we are to use Kim as a DLP, we also need to be confident in Marko Basic's role as a defensive central midfielder. This is because they represent the deepest pair in a 4-2-3-1 formation and need to be primarily compact & defensive. If I use Kim to his best ability I will need somebody who can defend and recycle possession - think of it as a Pirlo/Gattuso relationship. Recruitment in pre-season in this area should definitely be a focus for me.
Kim will not be the swashbuckling AMC of CM 01/02, but he represents GCZ's most valuable asset - especially after being given a 3 year contract expiring in 2018. So now, after 15 years since gracing the Highbury grass, the challenge in FM16 is to make him the heartbeat of my team once again.