The 20 Biggest Spending Managers in Football History

Football managers often live and die by transfers. They might not always be directly in charge of signings, but being handed expensive players by their club will always bring huge expectations.

Everyone on this list has seen more than £500m worth of new players sign for their clubs over the years. But who are the biggest spending managers in history?

All data is courtesy of Transfermarkt.

Note: Only players who commanded a fee for a permanent transfer are included in the number of signings. Any difference between fees stated here and reported fees may be down to a number of factors, such as currency fluctuation, add-ons/bonuses or other potential variables.


20. Brendan Rodgers – £503m

Brendan Rodgers

65 signings

Avg. per signing: £7.7m

Most expensive: Christian Benteke (£41.85m – Liverpool, 2015)

Brendan Rodgers’ most expensive signing at a club anywhere other than ​Liverpool or current side ​Leicester comes in at under £10m. He had a big budget at Anfield, but few of the players that arrived were successes, not that it was necessarily solely his decision.


19. Fabio Capello – £513m

Fabio Capello

65 signings

Avg. per signing: £7.9m

Most expensive: Gabriel Batistuta (£32.5m – Roma, 2000)

Several of the most expensive players Fabio Capello managed during his storied career were signed during his spell at Roma, including the likes of Gabriel Batistuta, Antonio Cassano, Vincenzo Montella and Walter Samuel. Three of those won Serie A in 2000/01.


18. Marcello Lippi – £524m

Marcello Lippi

59 signings

Avg. per signing: £8.9m

Most expensive: Gianluigi Buffon (£47.5m – Juventus, 2001)

Italian football led the way in big transfers in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with Marcello Lippi afforded plenty of expensive players at Juventus and Inter around that time. The capture of Gianluigi Buffon from Parma in 2001 stood as a world record for a goalkeeper for 17 years.


17. Leonardo Jardim – £528m

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-MONTPELLIER-MONACO

67 signings

Avg. per signing: £7.9m

Most expensive: Wissam Ben Yedder (£36m – Monaco, 2019)

Having narrowly avoided an embarrassing relegation in 2018/19, Monaco spent big to try and equip Leonardo Jardim with a squad good enough to return to the right end of the table. It included the most expensive signing of his career to date in Wissam Ben Yedder


16. Mark Hughes – £536m

Mark Hughes

62 signings

Avg. per signing: £8.6m

Most expensive: Robinho (£38.7m – Manchester City, 2008)

Mark Hughes was installed as Manchester City manager shortly before the Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008 and reaped the rewards of a massively inflated transfer budget. That being said, he was also backed with considerable money at both Stoke and Southampton later on.


15. Luciano Spalletti – £569m

Luciano Spalletti

88 signings

Avg. per signing: £6.5m

Most expensive: Hulk (£36m – Zenit St Petersburg, 2012)

Luciano Spalletti might not have been an obvious contender for this list, but Inter spent very big during the Italian’s relatively short-lived time at San Siro. The double capture of Axel Witsel and Hulk stand out from his spell at Zenit St Petersburg.


14. Jurgen Klopp – £577m

Jurgen Klopp

68 signings

Avg. per signing: £8.5m

Most expensive: Virgil van Dijk (£76.19m – Liverpool, 2018)

Such was ​Borussia Dortmund’s financial position 10 years ago, Jurgen Klopp initially had very little to spend on players during his time there. That has significantly changed at Liverpool, with well over half of his career spend coming just since the summer 2017.


13. Louis van Gaal – £588m

Louis van Gaal

65 signings

Avg. per signing: £9m

Most expensive: Angel Di Maria (£67.5m – Manchester United, 2014)

Louis van Gaal famously enjoyed a lot of success as a manager using home-grown players, but the situation he found himself in at Manchester United required serious cash. That, plus inflation, is why nine of his 15 most expensive signings came in just two years at Old Trafford.


12. Rafael Benitez – £695m

Rafael Benitez

93 signings

Avg. per signing: £7.5m

Most expensive: Gonzalo Higuain (£35.1m – Napoli, 2013)

Rafa Benitez is revered a manager, but many of his most expensive signings fell short of being home-runs. He had success with Fernando Torres, while Gonzalo Higuain exploded into life under someone else, but then there’s Robbie Keane, Djibril Cisse and Alberto Aquilani.


11. Antonio Conte – £700m

Antonio Conte

68 signings

Avg. per signing: £10.3m

Most expensive: Alvaro Morata (£59.4m – Chelsea, 2017)

Inter could end up paying more for Romelu Lukaku over time, but for now the most expensive signing of Antonio Conte’s career as a manager remains Alvaro Morata. The Italian had wanted Lukaku at ​Chelsea instead of Morata in 2017, but has finally got his man at a different club.


10. Claudio Ranieri – £721m

Claudio Ranieri

95 signings

Avg. per signing: £7.6m

Most expensive: James Rodriguez (£40.5m – Monaco, 2013)

Claudio Ranieri has benefitted from major club spending sprees a few times in his lengthy managerial career. The Italian was the incumbent when Roman Abramovich began injecting money into Chelsea in 2003 and was at Monaco when they attacked the market in 2013.


9. Roberto Mancini – £721m

Roberto Mancini

79 signings

Avg. per signing: £9.1m

Most expensive: Sergio Aguero (£36m – Manchester City, 2011)

It highlights the spending power of Premier League clubs compared to the rest of Europe that Roberto Mancini has never had a player who cost more than Sergio Aguero in three separate jobs at Galatasaray, Inter and Zenit since leaving ​Manchester City.


8. Unai Emery – £731m

Unai Emery

67 signings

Avg. per signing: £10.9m

Most expensive: Neymar (£199.8m – Paris Saint-Germain, 2017)

Having famously thrived at Sevilla under a system where revered sporting director Monchi would supply him with incredible bargains, Unai Emery entered a different world when he joined PSG in 2016. A year later, his bosses shattered the world transfer record to sign Neymar.


7. Ernesto Valverde – £761m

Ernesto Valverde, head coach of

50 signings

Avg. per signing: £15.2m

Most expensive: Philippe Coutinho (£130.5m – Barcelona, 2018)

The summer of 2019 saw the transfer spend during Ernesto Valverde’s career as a manager grow by close to 50% in the space of just a few months. Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong immediately became two of the four most expensive signings he has ever been given.


6. Diego Simeone – £813m

Diego Pablo Simeone

64 signings

Avg. per signing: £12.7m

Most expensive: Joao Felix (£113.4m – Atletico Madrid, 2019)

Atletico Madrid knew only too well ahead of this season that challenging ​Real Madrid and ​Barcelona in La Liga required huge spending. They did just that, handing Diego Simeone well over £200m worth of new players in one summer alone.


5. Massimiliano Allegri – £923m

Massimiliano Allegri

87 signings

Avg. per signing: £10.6m

Most expensive: Cristiano Ronaldo (£105.3m – Juventus, 2018)

Five seasons at ​Juventus is an easy way to rack up major transfer expenditure, with players moving to Turin accounting for most of the money spent during Massimiliano Allegri’s career. Juventus buys make up his entire top 10, and 17 of his top 20.


4. Manuel Pellegrini – £1.01bn

Manuel Pellegrini

86 signings

Avg. per signing: £11.8m

Most expensive: Cristiano Ronaldo (£84.6m – Real Madrid, 2009)

Manuel Pellegrini wasn’t directly in charge of transfer at Real Madrid, but the Chilean was handed over £200m worth of players in one summer alone when he first arrived at the Bernabeu. That included two world record deals for Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo.


3. Pep Guardiola – £1.18bn

Pep Guardiola

58 signings

Avg. per signing: £20.4m

Most expensive: Rodri (£63m – Manchester City, 2019)

Pep Guardiola has often gone for quality over quantity when it comes to signings. His clubs have supplied him with far fewer buys than most on this list, but the average fee spent per player is considerably higher than the rest. Seven of his signings have cost in excess of £50m each.


2. Carlo Ancelotti – £1.23bn

Carlo Ancelotti

94 signings

Avg. per signing: £13m

Most expensive: Gareth Bale (£90.9m – Real Madrid, 2013)

Carlo Ancelotti has never been short of transfer backing in his illustrious managerial career. That much is clear by the fact that five different clubs – Real Madrid, Chelsea, PSG, Bayern Munich and ​Napoli – are represented on the list of his 10 most expensive buys, all above £30m.


1. Jose Mourinho – £1.40bn

José Mourinho

97 signings

Avg. per signing: £14.4m

Most expensive: Paul Pogba (94.5m – Manchester United, 2016)

When it comes to managers getting financial backing from their clubs, none come close to Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese is close to £200m out in front, but it remains to be seen what kind of transfer budget there will be at latest side Tottenham.


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Let’

100 Wonderkids You Need to Sign on Football Manager 2020

​For some Football Manager players, blowing your entire budget on a ready made superstar is the way to go. However, one of the best parts of the game is snapping a youngster up for cheap and watching him develop into a world-beater.

Football Manager 2020 has plenty of young players who you should be looking out for, and ​FM Scout have put together a list of some of the brightest prospects for you to try and pick up for your own club.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at 100 of the best on offer this year.

*All values subject to change.


Goalkeepers


Iván Martínez

Atlético Pamplona (Osasuna) – £150,000​

If you don’t have the budget to splash out on AC Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma, then Martínez is your best bet. Tipped for big things, you definitely need to be the one to try develop him.

Manuel Gasparini

Udinese – £100,000

Gasparini was a gem of FM 2019, and he’s back again this year. Having impressed in youth football, the future is looking promising for the 17-year-old.

Alessandro Plizzari

AC Milan – £570,000

Milan already have Donnarumma, so surely they don’t need two wonderkid goalkeepers. You’d be doing them a favour to sign Plizarri. Maybe.

Gavin Bazunu

Manchester City – £270,000

City snapped up this future superstar in 2018. Will he be able to get past Ederson in the pecking order, or is he yours for the taking?

Alban Lafont

Fiorentina – £4.1m

If you’ve played FM before, you’ll know all about Lafont. Now 20, he’s good enough to play first-team minutes for most sides already, so he could be your starter for the next decade.

Alban Lafont

Diogo Costa

Porto – £1.5m

No strangers to developing superstars, Porto have done it again with Costa, who is on the cusp of breakthrough to the senior side.

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​Phelipe Megiolaro
​Gremio – £40,000
​One of the stars of Brazilian football, Phelipe has already been part of the senior international side, and there is a real belief that he could be the next great goalkeeper for the Seleção.

Andriy Lunin

Real Madrid – £630,000

No stranger to lists like these, Lunin has taken his talents to Real Valladolid on loan this year, in the hope of earning himself a spot back at Real Madrid.

Iñaki Peña

Barcelona – £630,000

Peña is everything you’d expect from a Barcelona goalkeeper. He’s great with the ball at his feet, and he’s actually a machine when it comes to penalties.

Pontus Dahlberg

Watford – £2.5m

Watford struck an under-the-radar deal for Dahlberg back in January 2018, but first-team minutes have been hard to come by. He needs a manager like you to save the day.


Right-Backs


Guga

Atlético Mineiro – £2.3m

Once you look past Trent Alexander-Arnold, Max Aarons and Diogo Dalot, Guga is your man. He’s cheap and ready for the test of a major league.

Jayden Bogle

Derby County – £7.2m

Bogle won’t come cheap, but he’s worth the expense. He has plenty of Championship experience under his belt, so there will be no shortage of sides who look to sign him.

Facundo Mura

Estudiantes – £1.6m

An exciting right-back, Mura can play anywhere on the right side of the pitch, meaning he knows how to grab his fair share of goals and assists.

Dodô

​Shakhtar Donetsk – £4.4m

Shakhtar love selling their Brazilians on for profit, so you need to take advantage of that and pick up Dodô

Tomás Tavares

Benfica – £830,000

The latest talent off of the Benfica production line, Tavares has already turned out for the first team, in what should be the start of a long, successful career.

Ki-Jana Hoever

Liverpool – £340,000

Comfortable both centrally and on the right, Hoever made a big impression on Liverpool during pre-season, and he could do the same for your team.

Ki-Jana Hoever

Raoul Bellanova

Bordeaux – £200,000

Bellanova left Milan in search of first-team football during the summer, and he found that in Bordeaux. Versatile enough to play even in attack, the Italian is the kind of player every manager wants.

Thierry Correia

Valencia – £3.3m

Primarily a right-back, Correia is also comfortable to play on the left, so he could fill in in plenty of positions in any team.

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​Sergiño Dest
​Ajax – £1.3m
​There’s not a lot Dest can’t do. He can defend and attack with ease, and he can do so on both sides of the field. He’s every manager’s dream.

Emerson

Barcelona – £4.2m

Emerson has only recently made the switch to Barcelona, but La Blaugrana see him as a potential star of the future, and understandably so.


Centre-Backs

Jean Claire Todibo

Jean-Clair Todibo

Barcelona – £5.4m

Matthijs de Ligt is the obvious dream purchase, but Todibo shouldn’t be far behind. With the composure to step into midfield when needed, he’s a real star in the making.

Dayot Upamecano

RB Leipzig – £6.8m

Upamecano is already a fully fledged star in the Bundesliga, and it’s only going to get better. His price tag is only going to skyrocket, so get yourself in early before you regret it.

Nehuén Pérez

Atlético Madrid – £750,000

A powerful defender, Pérez has been impressing on loan away from Atléti, and he certainly appears destined for a big future.

Malang Sarr

OGC Nice – £4.7m

Having already made well over 100 appearances for Nice, Sarr is ready to step into any team on the game. He can play centrally and on the left, so he’s incredibly useful in any squad.

Ethan Ampadu

Chelsea – £10.6m

You’ll have to pay a hefty price if you want to pry Ampadu away from Chelsea, but for good reason. The Welshman is a versatile option who can impress all over the field.

Slovakia v Wales - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

William Saliba

Arsenal – £5.7m

Arsenal have high hopes for Saliba, and it’s not hard to see why. He has plenty of Ligue 1 experience under his belt, so he might be tough to lure away from the Gunners.

Dan-Axel Zagadou

Borussia Dortmund – £6.8m

Standing at 6’5, you’ll notice Zagadou on the pitch. He has been trained by both PSG and Borussia Dortmund, so you know he has learned from the best.

Alessandro Bastoni

Inter – £4.6m

Inter have a rich history of producing some top defenders, and Bastoni looks set to become the next San Siro great.

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​Nicolò Armini
Lazio – £260,000
​Armini has the potential to become one of the greatest centre-backs around, and he can be snapped up for pocket change if you move fast enough. The definition of ‘hidden gem’.

Ibrahima Konaté

RB Leipzig – £6.3m

It’s just selfish how many good, young centre-backs Leipzig have. Konaté is one of many, so you could sign him and Leipzig wouldn’t even realise he was gone.


Left-Backs

Gian-Luca Itter

Gian-Luca Itter

Freiburg – £2.1m

Left-back wonderkids don’t come better than 20-year-old Itter. Already seen as one of the world’s finest at his age, he would be able to play a starring role for years to come.

Rayan Aït-Nouri

Angers – £1m

18-year-old Aït-Nouri has already established himself as a first-team regular at Angers. France know how to produce elite defenders, so you need to move for him soon before his price tag flies up.

Luca Pellegrini

Zebra Turin (Juventus) – £5.7m

Pellegrini won’t come cheap, as Juventus only brought him to the club before the start of the season. However, as a versatile, creative defender, he is certainly worth the investment.

Juan Miranda

Barcelona – £2.8m

Barcelona see Miranda as a real star of the future, and so they should. Comfortable anywhere on the left side of the field, he’s a dream for any boss.

Marc Cucurella

Marc Cucurella

Barcelona – £6.6m

La Blaugrana have plenty of exciting left-backs. Cucurella is slightly older and more experienced than Miranda, which means his price tag will be a little higher. Nevertheless, he’d still be a top signing.

Toni Herrero

Levante – £140,000

A regular for Spain’s youth sides, Herrero has regularly played above his age group, so it wouldn’t take him too long to adjust to the rigours of senior football.

Zlatan Šehović

Partizan – £170,000

Šehović has plenty of top-flight experience to his name already. An attacking full-back, he is sure to play a part in plenty of highlights for any side.

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​Melvin Bard
​Lyon – £440,000
​A versatile left-back, Bard can play centrally and even in midfield. He has been trained by Lyon’s fantastic academy coaches and looks like the kind of player who could make a real difference in the future.

Gonçalo Costa

Sporting CP – £80,000

Sporting know how to turn youngsters into superstars, and Costa could be the next wonderkid off the production line.

Nuno Tavares

Benfica – £1.7m

Like Sporting, rivals Benfica know what they’re doing with young players. Tavares can play on either side of defence and can even hold his own as a left winger, which should tell you what you need to know about his play style.


​Defensive Midfield

Florentino Luis

Florentino Luís

Benfica – £15m

Florentino will certainly not come cheap, but he’s the kind of youngster you should not hesitate to spend big on. He will almost certainly blossom into a superstar on FM, so make sure he does so for your club.

Sandro Tonali

Brescia – £3.8m

Almost every club in the world wants to sign Tonali in real life, and that’s exactly how it goes on FM. His blend of defending and tempo-setting passing make him a wanted man.

Marcos Antônio

Shakhtar – £4.2m

Another Brazilian youngster to take his talents to Shakhtar, Antônio is showcasing his talents on the European stage, and there are plenty of sides keen on snapping him up already.

Adrian Fein

Bayern Munich – £3.8m

A powerful midfielder, Fein has grown up as part of Bayern’s academy. He has been an ever-present for Germany’s youth sides, and you should be the one to give him his first taste of top-flight football. 

Jonathan González

Monterrey – £360,000

Seen as one of the brightest prospects in Mexican football, González is already a full international for his country, and big things are expected from the diminutive midfielder.


​Daniel Bragança

Sporting CP – £430,000

Sporting have done it again with Bragança. They don’t need all these exciting youngsters, so you need to try and snap the midfielder up early on.

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​Noah Kenneh
Leeds United – £190,000
​An England youth international, Kenneh is versatile enough to play in midfield and anywhere across the back line as well. He can be snapped up for pennies early on, so make sure you secure his signature soon.

Gustavo Assuncão

Familicão – £1.2m

Gustavo has been a revelation for Famalicão, proving why he is rated so highly with a number of impressive top-flight showings.

Ronaldo Vieira

Sampdoria – £4.7m

Vieira swapped Leeds for Sampdoria in 2018 in order to play football at the highest level, so he is already ready to fill in for any team.

Victor Bobsin

Gremio – £200,000

A powerful midfielder, Bobsin has the potential to develop into a key player for any side. He can tackle and he can pass, so Bobsin could become the complete midfielder with the right training.


 Central Midfield


Sergio Gómez

Borussia Dortmund – £2.1m

As one of the most highly rated prospects on the game, Gómez is one of those players who you need to sign at all costs. Creative enough to operate out on the wing as well, there’s not a lot he can’t do.

Alessio Riccardi​

Roma – £500,000

Having already broken through into Roma’s first team, it seems like just a matter of time before Juventus try to sign Riccardi. Make sure they can’t.

Hamed Junior Traorè

Empoli – £8.9m

Sassuolo already have the option to sign Traorè permanently at the end of his loan stay with the club. However, make sure you keep an eye out, because they might opt against doing so.

Arne Maier

Hertha Berlin – £8.4m

Maier is one of many exciting German youngsters on the cusp of a real breakthrough. Already an established talent in the Bundesliga, he is not far away from being able to step into any first team on the planet.

Exequiel Palacios

River – £2.9m

Long viewed as part of the future of Argentinian football, Palacios can be picked up for cheap early in the game before he reaches his full potential. 

Exequiel Palacios

Riqui Puig

Barcelona – £5.7m

Breaking through at Camp Nou is not an easy task, so if you offer Puig the chance to further his development somewhere else, there’s a chance he might say yes.

Mickaël Cuisance

Bayern Munich – £4.3m

After a slow start to 2019, Cuisance is looking to get his career back on track with Bayern. He’s destined for greatness on FM, so you need to do all you can to snap him up.

Augustín Almendra

Boca – £1.9m

A core part of Boca’s exciting midfield, Almendra is another of those who is available for a bargain price early on.

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​Ilaix Moriba
​Barcelona – £500,000
​Moriba has been tipped to reach the kind of level which most players can only dream of. FM clearly believe the hype, giving the 16-year-old sky-high potential.

Romário Baró

Porto – £3.4m

A FM legend, Baró has been overwhelmingly dominant in youth football, firing goals and assists with terrifying ease. He has still got some way to go to make it in senior football, but you better make sure you’re the manager to get him there.


Left Wing

FBL-EUR-C1-REAL MADRID-GALATASARAY

Rodrygo

Real Madrid – £6m

The likes of Jadon Sancho and Vinícius Junior are high on every boss’ wish list, but Rodrygo should be right up there alongside them.

Rayan Cherki

Lyon – £180,000

Some see Cherki as one of the finest prospects to ever emerge from Lyon’s famous academy. The 15-year-old can play anywhere across the attacking line and can be bought for a ludicrously cheap fee early on.

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Naci Ünüvar
​Ajax – £118,000
​The ‘wonderkid’ label was made for Ünüvar. The exciting winger has everything you could want from a winger, including a stunningly low price tag. He’s the dream signing.

Ansu Fati

Barcelona – £840,000

Barcelona will make you pay a hefty price to sign Fati, but that’s because he has the potential to develop into one of the finest players on FM. 

Francisco Trincão

Braga – £1.3m

Those with a smaller budget will still be able to pick up Trincão, who could play on either side of your attack for the next decade.

Francisco Trincao

Diego Lainez

Real Hispalis (Real Betis) – £2.9m

Experienced FM players will already be familiar with Lainez, who already has plenty of La Liga and Europa League experience under his belt.

Arnór Sigurðsson

CSKA Moscow – £1.7m

CSKA moved quickly to snap up the Icelandic midfielder’s signature back in 2018. His potential is clear to see, and it could be up to you to unlock it.

Luca Connell

Celtic – £270,000

Comfortable both centrally and on the left, Irishman Connell has already been called up to the senior national side. He looks to have everything you need to make it as a FM wonderkid.

Daniel Maldini

AC Milan – £100,000

When your dad is Paolo Maldini, you’re expected to blossom into a superstar. The younger Maldini has the potential to do just that, so make sure you win the race for his signature.

Gabriel Veron

Palmeiras – £20,000

The Golden Ball winner at the latest Under-17 World Cup, the sky is the limit for dynamic forward Veron. Most elite sides in Europe will take notice of him very quickly in your FM game.


Right Wing 

Emanuel Vignato

Emanuel Vignato

Chievo – £600,000

When you realise that you haven’t got enough money to sign Kylian Mbappé, you should settle for Vignato. The Italian is nowhere near Mbappé’s level just yet, but he can certainly get close in the future.

Rober

Real Hispalis (Real Betis) – £50,000

A core part of Spanish youth football, Rober has the potential to develop into one of the finest wingers around. Comfortable on both sides, he is the kind of player you should want in your team.

Harvey Elliott

Liverpool – £600,000

Given he is seen as one of England’s brightest talents, Liverpool will make you pay a high price to sign Elliott, but he could justify those demands as he gets older.

Antony

São Paulo – £6.4m

There are plenty of exciting youngsters making waves in Brazil, and Antony is amongst the finest available. Primarily a winger, he can even play as a central striker.

Andreas Skov Olsen

Bologna – £4.9m

After years of starring for Nordsjælland, Olsen has taken has talents to the Serie A, but it might not be too long before he finds himself the subject of interest from some top sides.


Manor Solomon

Shakhtar – £5.2m

Another of those who should already be on the radar of any experienced FM player, Solomon has long looked like a star in the making.

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​Calvin Stengs
​AZ – £5.5m
​Stengs has a little bit of everything (apart from reliable knees). A powerful yet agile winger, he can cause problems for any defender in all sorts of ways. 

Jacob Bruun Larsen

Borussia Dortmund – £10.8m

Dortmund knew what they were doing when they snapped up Bruun Larsen at a young age. He won’t be the easiest to sign, but he’s worth the effort.

Dejan Kulusevski

Atalanta – £2.9m

Kulusevski has attracted plenty of suitors in the real world, and his impressive performances on the virtual pitch will ensure the same happens in FM.

Tetê

Shakhtar – £4.4m

How many wonderkids do Shakhtar need? It’s not fair on the rest of us.


​Attacking Midfield


Pedri

Barcelona – £570,000

Many at Barcelona are incredibly excited by Pedri, and so they should be. With the potential to reach a similar level as João Félix, signing him should be a no-brainer.

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​Thiago Almada
​Velez – £2m
​Comparisons to Lionel Messi are more than a bit premature for Almada, but he can grow into one of the most dominant forwards around. He can be picked up for a bargain price early in the game.

Hannibal Mejbri

Manchester United – £360,000

United won’t let Mejbri go for cheap, but he’s the kind of player you need to constantly keep an eye on. As soon as he becomes available, make sure you pounce.

​Mohammed Ihattaren

PSV Eindhoven – £4.2m

Ihattaren is seen as one of the brightest talents in Dutch football, and it surely won’t be much longer before he follows the likes of Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong and seals a blockbuster move overseas.

Yari Verschaeren

Anderlecht – £2.3m

Belgium have produced plenty of exciting forwards in the past, and Vershaeren looks to be next. Already part of the senior international side, his price tag will blow through the roof in the near future.

Belgium v Cyprus - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

Angel Gomes

Manchester United – £8.7m

It’s hard to remember a time when Gomes was not seen as the future of English football. He may still be young, but he plays like somebody who has years of experience under his belt.

Nuno Santos

Benfica – £980,000

Comfortable anywhere across the forward line, Santos has everything he needs to become a superstar in European football.

Gianluca Gaetano

Napoli – £520,000

Napoli signed Gaetano to a professional contract when he was only 16, and they have high hopes that he could soon become a first-team star.

Matías Palacios

San Lorenzo – £630,000

A star of Argentinian youth football, Palacios made his senior debut for San Lorenzo when he was just 16 years old, and the club feel he could become the next big thing.

Florent Da Silva

Lyon – £90,000

Another gem in Lyon’s academy, Da Silva is a creative machine who can both score and create goals from midfield. He could certainly make any team better in a few years.


Strikers

Jann-Fiete Arp

Fiete Arp

Bayern Munich – £2.9m

Mason Greenwood is the most expensive young striker, but you could pick up Arp for far cheaper. He has long been seen as the future of German football and is surely not far off from living up to that potential.

Fábio Silva

Porto – £1.4m

The gem of Porto’s academy, Silva is one of the most exciting youngsters around, and he is only 16 years old at the start of the game. Buy him early before his value soars.

Amini Gouiri

Lyon – £1.6m

Thanks to their crop of youngsters, Lyon have what it takes to become a real FM powerhouse on FM. Gouiri can lead the line in the future, so sign him before he gets the chance to.

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​Myron Boadu
​AZ – £4.5m
​It’s no exaggeration to claim that Boadu is the complete striker. He’s fast and creative enough to play out wide, but also boasts the strength and finish to star centrally. 

Sebastiano Esposito

Inter – £1.6m

If you act quick enough, Esposito is relatively affordable for any club. Pick him up while you can, before Inter start demanding a ridiculous fee.

Sebastiano Esposito

Troy Parrott

Tottenham Hotspur – £510,000

Is Parrott the second coming of Harry Kane? Spurs fans seem to think so, and that’s the kind of level he can reach on FM with the right management.

Erling Haaland

Red Bull Salzburg – £5.1m

Haaland is making a lot of noise in the real world this year, and he’s good enough to step into most virtual sides on FM already. His value will only go up, so you better move quick.

Pietro Pellegri

Monaco – £1.3m

A FM legend by the age of 18, players should know all about Pellegri already. The powerful forward sealed an expensive move to Monaco in 2018, but his price tag is only going to rise.

Giacomo Raspadori

Sassuolo – £1.1m

You can play Raspadori as both a striker and a winger, so it should be easy to find a place for the talented Italian in your side.

Rhian Brewster

Liverpool – £5.8m

Brewster is already a part of Liverpool’s senior setup, and he can go on to become a real star in FM. The Reds won’t want to let him go for cheap, but when has that ever stopped an ambitious FM boss?


For more from Tom Gott, follow him on Twitter!

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Alternative Table Shows How Premier League Would Look This Season Without VAR

VAR hasn’t been particularly well-received in the Premier League to say the least, but at the top of the league, it seems it isn’t having as much of an impact as you would think. 

That’s according to an alternative Premier League table, anyway, which calculates the hypothetical points totals across the division’s 240 games so far this season – taking the technology out of the picture.

Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool have been labelled LiVARpool by social media’s resident banter-merchants, an homage to the apparent favourable treatment they’ve received from the officials in the VAR room. The algorithm, however – as devised by Paddy Power Games – predicts that their 34-point total would remain unchanged.

Their lead over ​Manchester City would be cut to just seven points, however, since City would be two points better off if the technology wasn’t in play – so perhaps the Cityzens do have a case against it after all. 

In this alternative universe, ​Chelsea and ​Leicester continue to make up the remainder of the top four, but with four points between them – since Chelsea would be a point better off, while the Foxes would lose four. 

Leicester’s -4 point swing is the largest recorded, although ​Everton would move up as many as six places into ninth, with the single point that VAR has allegedly cost them so far. 

Tom Davies,Mason Holgate

Spurs would be facing a relegation battle meanwhile, two points worse off than they are now in 16th, while ​Crystal Palace drop five places into 17th, just behind them. 

The only teams unmoved outside of the current top four are ​Sheffield United, who have been done out of as many as three points, and Watford, who would be no better or worse off. 

Below is the entire table, if that’s your sort of thing.


​Position ​Team ​Points ​Points Change Position Change​
1 Liverpool 34 0 0
2 Manchester City 27 +2 +2
3 Chelsea 27 +1 0
4 Leicester 23 -4 -2
5 Sheffield United 20 +3 0
6 Wolves 18 +2 +2
7 Arsenal 16 +1 -1
8 Manchester United 17 -1 -1
9 Everton 15 +1 +6
10 Bournemouth 15 +1 -1
11 Burnley 15 0 -1
12 Newcastle 15 0 +1
13 West Ham 15 +2 +3
14 Brighton 15 0 -3
15 Aston Villa 13 +2 +2
16 Tottenham 12 -2 -2
17 Crystal Palace 12 -3 -5
18 Watford 8 0 0
19 Norwich 7 +2 +1
20 Southampton 5 -3 -1

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Granit Xhaka Set for Showdown Talks With Arsenal as He Admits He ‘Can’t Accept’ What Happened

The drama surrounding Granit Xhaka and Arsenal looks set to continue with the Swiss star unable to ‘accept’ the current situation, following manager Unai Emery’s decision to strip him of the captaincy and leave him out of the matchday squads. 

Last month, Xhaka found himself in the centre of a storm after swearing at Arsenal fans in retaliation to a chorus of boos upon being subbed in his team’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at the Emirates. 

It has since been suggested that Xhaka will be allowed to leave in January, with reported interest from Serie A, the Bundesliga and even other Premier League clubs. However, there has been no official communication from Emery or the Arenal hierarchy on Xhaka’s future.

Granit Xhaka

In an interview with Swiss broadcaster SRF, as quoted by Metro, Xhaka called for talks with the club over his current situation, insisting things cannot go on as they are.

He said: “I have a clear idea as to how things should proceed, and ​Arsenal know this as well. 

“I still have a contract with them, I will be glad to return to the club – so we can finally sort matters out. There will surely be a solution – as I can’t accept what has happened with me.”

Xhaka has been forced to miss out on the squad for the last five games with Emery suggesting he has not been in the right frame of mind to play. Despite his lack of game time for Arsenal he has been selected for his country, featuring in both of Switzerland’s latest European qualifiers.

Granit Xhaka

Emery has previously indicated he is unsure on the future of Xhaka at Arsenal, stating: “as a coach I have a responsibility for the team. We need a player like Xhaka but also I don’t know if he’s going to play again.”

Xhaka has been heavily linked with a move away from the club, with a move in January looking increasingly likely. Steve Bruce appears to have made signing a new central midfielder a priority for Newcastle and the Magpies are rumoured to be ​interested in a loan move for the out-of-favour star. Both Milan clubs have also been linked.

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Dani Ceballos to Remain Sidelined Until Mid-December Because of Hamstring Injury

Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos is expected to remain out of action until mid-December as a result of a hamstring injury recently suffered in the Europa League.

Ceballos, who is on loan from Real Madrid until the end of the season, picked up the problem during the 1-1 draw with Vitoria SC in Portugal on 6 November.

Dani Ceballos

Manager Unai Emery explained straight away that it was a hamstring issue, but it will be another three to four weeks before the player is back in full training, the Gunners have confirmed. By then, it may also be that the Spanish international needs extra time to regain match fitness after what will have been close to six weeks out.

Ceballos has so far only missed the recent Premier League defeat against Leicester prior to the international break. But a busy upcoming period could see him absent for at least seven games across two competitions, including a big clash with Manchester City on 15 December.

Arsenal then face Everton at Goodison Park on 21 December, before then travelling to Bournemouth on Boxing Day. It seems possible Ceballos could return in one of those fixtures.

Fortunately, the Gunners are generally free of other injury problems. Sead Kolasinac is currently the only other player of any concern, with the 26-year-old returning from international duty with Bosnia & Herzegovina with a tight hamstring.

Sead Kolasinac

The left-back’s issue is much more minor, however, and he could actually be passed fit in time to be involved against Southampton on Saturday.

Arsenal are in desperate need of a win against the Saints. Emery’s team have won just twice in their last 10 Premier League game since back-to-back victories in August.

They are currently eight points adrift of the top four, with the return of Champions League football potentially crucial in terms of retaining key players like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette beyond the summer.


For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

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