Samo’s Stirling – Season Fourteen – Squad Building

It’s difficult not to be inspired by Keysi Rensie, so I’ve taken a leaf out of his book ahead of my fourteenth season (2030/31) in charge at Stirling. The usual sales will happen, the vultures are always circling for the talented players at the club. They’ll still be a fair few incomings, to flesh out the squad and try to compete on multiple fronts. It’s time though, for the my closing couple of seasons at the club, to put a bit more of a focus behind bringing through youth players. This includes from our own academy and ones we’ve poached from around Scotland at a young age.

Brace for screenshots and blurb. 

Outgoings

It was mentioned in my season thirteen summary post, but Man United activated Cho Chang’s £32.5m release clause and off he went. This represents the highest upfront fee we’ve received for any player so far. He’ll be a huge loss as he’s been incredible for us on that right hand side of midfield. In his two seasons at the club after his £1m move from Pohang Steelers he contributed 43 assists and 38 goals in 82 appearances, breaking all sorts of records and bringing home all sorts of awards, including being the 2029 European Golden Boy. He’d be difficult to replace.

Coulibaly, a £500k signing from ASEC in season twelve, was developing into a very promising full back. Arsenal didn’t hang out when swooping in with an initial £25m bid which could rise to £35.5m, a potential new Stirling record. I don’t put enough emphasis on my full backs, they’re expected to defend first and foremost, but with a little bit more freedom to go forward, I think they could attract even more attention from further afield.

Real Madrid like buying our strikers. After having purchased the Pharaoh and Radovanovic from us a few seasons back, they’ve now snapped up Moussa Diaby for a potential fee of £36m, another new Stirling record this season. He initially joined, again from ASEC, in season eleven for £1.1m but spent it out on loan gaining Scottish football experience at St Mirren. He returned to score 40 goals across seasons twelve and thirteen, and was a constant menace for opposition defences with his pace, power and off the ball movement. Probably one of the best strikers I’ve managed at the club for his pure ability.

Jorge Arias and Dinis Pinto also left for Atletico Madrid and Napoli, respectively, for a combined £34.5m. Both players joined for a combined £425k (Arias was actually a free transfer), so it represents even more good business for the football club. Jordi Mboula leaving for £5.5m to Saint-Etienne after five great years of service on the right hand side of midfield takes the sales total to £119m this season. That’s second on the list for a season versus our record of £136m from season twelve.

Young Scots 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Keysi has really gone down the route of a proper homegrown squad in his Siofok save. He’s dominating Hungary, and has managed a couple of his customary Champions League wins too. Incredible as usual. My approach won’t be to the same extent by any means, but I do want to bring through, and actually play, much more Scottish players and certainly a few more that are our own youth products from the academy.

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Incomings

This transfer had been tied up for a while, Bernardo becomes the first Brazilian to play for Stirling Albion. He joins from Goias for £300k. At just 18, he should develop quite nicely and he already has the physical attributes I look for in players. He was initially identified to play in the CM(A) role, but I think he’d also do a job out on the left hand side too as cover for Daniel Christensen.

Another transfer that was already tied up ahead of the window opening, Edison Palacios joins from Deportivo Cali for a potential fee of £475k. He’ll compete for a starting spot alongside Scottish prospects, Brian Hendry and Joe Carr, this season. Similarly to Bernardo, at just 18-years-old, I predict Palacios will develop very nicely and attract interest from elite clubs in the not-too-distant future.

Transfer business was mostly all done mid-way through the second half of last season, as Abbas joined Bernardo and Palacios in joining when the window opened up. I’m not sure what Ismaily were playing at here but he joined for just £22.5k. A ridiculously cheap fee for what is going to be a brilliant central defender for us. He’ll go on to do big things for us, and beyond.

The bargains kept rolling in as usual, as Thabo Mkhize joins from Ajax Cape Town for £325k. The South African international will provide competition for places in that CM(A) slot, especially after the sale of Jorge Arias. He’s certainly by no means the finished package, but that’s never really what I look for in a player to join our club anyway.

After the sale of Diaby and playing through the first half of the season, I felt we were a little light up top. Martin Aguirre arrived on the 1st of January from Defensor Sporting in a £600k deal to bolster my attacking options. I can see him doing very well in Scotland and moving on to pastures new for a big fee in just a few years like so many of my strikers have done before him. The Aguirre arrival and Diaby departure is the perfect time to remind you of how the Circle of Transfers has worked over the last few seasons.

Thanks for reading!

It’s around about a month until FM19 now. I’ll be back very soon for the summary from season fourteen but I’m considering making this season my last…

If you haven’t ordered the new game yet, then click here and enter the code SAMO at the checkout. 2Game looks like one of the cheapest places around to purchase FM19 and my code will get you an extra 10% off at the checkout too. It’ll also bag me around $2 per purchase, but that isn’t going into my back pocket. I’m going to be donating it to charity! So you’ll be getting the new Football Manager and also doing your good deed for the day. Not bad at all.

Catch up on last season

What is the Circle of Transfers?

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