Happy FM Day, are we excited? Today's blog outlines a few potential Player & Staff targets discovered in the FM17 Beta. Individuals who could be making their way to La Plata (if the circumstances are right). Stay tuned to my Twitter feed throughout the day to see what happens: @FM_Grasshopper.
The Clairefontaine of Argentina
In Football Manager 2017, Estudiantes de La Plata (EdlP) sits alongside an illustrious list of clubs whose training facilities are considered 'State of the Art'...including Benfica, Man Utd & Real Madrid. In fact, EdlP have the best training facilities in South America and this is a pivotal reason why I wanted to embark with them on FM17.
As discussed in my introduction to Finding Fame & Fibra in La Plata series, I am looking for a certain type of player. Those players must have a cumulative score (dependent on their age) from the four Mental Attributes of Aggression, Determination, Teamwork & Workrate. There's no doubt this is going to be a challenge, but I figure I am giving myself the best chance by being with EdlP: 'the Clairefontaine of Argentina'.
Head of Youth Development
To complement the Clairefontaine-like facilities at EdlP, the first thing I plan do is evaluate the current Head of Youth Development (HoYD). This role is a fundamental influence on the quality of players (both their Current & Potential abilities) that come into your club as part of the annual Youth Intake. I also strive to have a positive Personality type in this position with 'Model Professional' being the pinnacle - as youngsters are more likely to come with their HoYD's Personality.
So my current HoYD, Hermes Desio, is not so bad. Obviously he can be replaced with a better guy, but with finances tight and EdlP nowhere near an attractive/reputable club to come to, I may have to keep for a season or two more.
However, a quick search on the FM17 beta yields two candidates that could come in and improve things:
1. Eduardo Solari
Club Renato Cesarini's HoYD Eduardo Solari has managed EdlP on three separate occasions (1988-1990, 1993-1994 & 2000). He has an equal Personality to Desio, but an improvement in HoYD stats.
Solari would also come on very cheap wages (around £250 per week), around 75% less than Desio's current weekly wage. He also has some immense knowledge of Central & South America...this would significantly improve my Player & Scouting Knowledge.
2. Luiz Fernando Moraes
Ex-Santos HoYD has very good stats. Moraes is on a free and will join for around £2k wages.
He doesn't quite have the Personality required, but I am hoping that he is [partly] randomly generated on the save creation...so there is still hope that he will be good in today's FM17 release. Moraes also only has knowledge of Brazil, although desirable, EdlP already have this nation covered in terms of Player & Scouting knowledge.
Verdict: I will more than likely sign Eduardo Solari as HoYD, with the view to attracting a better Personality type for the HoYD role in 1-2 years - providing I can boost EdlP's reputation in that time.
After evaluating the squad during he FM17 Beta, and with my Counter Attacking desires in mind for FM17, I would like to bring in cover for a number of positions. But I'll highlight just the Central Defender & Striker targets in today's blog...
37 year old Club Captain Leandro Desábato is certainly in his twilight years as a Pro Footballer. He is the first name on the teamsheet, but also the first name that needs to be replaced in the short term. For this reason, I am searching for an upcoming young Centre Back...with a preference to be left footed...to keep the positional combination with other right footed Centre Backs: Leandro González Pirez & Jonathan Schunke.
A reminder of my transfer restrictions:
- If the targets are between the ages of 18-24 year old, recruits must have a combined 'Fibra score' of at least 50 (average of 12.5 across the 4 Mental attributes). Up to two South American players outside of Argentina aged 18-24 per season. As many Argentines as I like however...got to keep that Domestic Bias % up :-)
- For targets 25 year old (and over), recruits must have a combined 'Fibra score' of at least 55 (average of 13.75 across the 4 Mental attributes). Only one non-Argentine 25 year+ signing per season.
It's restrictive for sure, but I've spent a good 2 weeks amassing a shortlist on the Beta, here are my Centre Back targets:
1. Fausto Grillo
Fausto Grillo's fibra score is 67. A phenomenal score for a player of 23 years of age. With 2-3 years on polishing him as a Centre Back, I believe he can be a top defender.
Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield are willing to accept bids of around £2m in my Beta save, so he is within budget and would be willing to come to EdlP.
2. Nehuén Paz
Like Grillo, Nehuén Paz is 23 years of age and meets the fibra threshold with a score of 57. Another benefit is that he is an EdlP graduate, leaving the club as a 17 year old to All Boys before ending up at Club Atlético Newell's Old Boys.
Nehuén Paz could be available for a similar fee of £2m. He also has a more preferred Personality type (Professional) and I believe he could also become a top Centre Back.
Verdict: this is very difficult. Grillo is the better defender but Paz could reach the same heights. I'll go with Grillo on the basis of his extreme fibra.
During my Beta playthrough of six games, EdlP Striker Lucas Viatri did an admirable job of holding up play and bringing others into the game as a Deep Lying Forward - either in a 4-4-2 or a 4-1-4-1 DM formation. However, as the South American season is long and arduous, I believe I need cover. I would like a brute upfront...somebody who has the fibra to lead the line and get in the faces of my opponents. Again, we have a couple of targets to look at...
1. Lucas Cavallini
23 year old Lucas Cavallini has a fibra score of 59. Despite being born in Canada and playing for them at International level, Cavallini has Argentinian and Italian ancestry and therefore would not qualify as my sole foreign signing. He is now playing his trade in the Uruguayan First Division for Centro Atlético Fénix.
Cavallini's contract is up in December 2016, and on the Beta I can get him for a cut price fee of just £250k. With a few years at The Clairefontaine of Argentina, I believe I can develop Cavallini into an effective Defensive Forward.
2. José Sand
At the other end of the spectrum we have José Sand who plays for Club Atlético Lanús. Sand turns 36 in July 2016 and is in a nice purple patch of his career: scoring 101 goals in 139 (all comps) over two spells for Lanús.
Sand's fibra score is 62 and he has a Resolute Personality - favorable for tutoring. Lanús are also willing to sell for around his market value of £175k.
Verdict: There are pros & cons to either signing. But my gut is telling me to sign Lucas Cavallini: he has good re-sale value and will get better in time. Sand unfortunately will not.
There are also a number of other targets I would like to make into new signings at EdlP, particularly a left midfielder. I'm keeping a few targets up my sleeve, as I am unsure I can pull them off...but expect fireworks today on Twitter if I actually do.
Thanks for reading, agree or disagree with my verdicts? I want to hear from YOU.