Football Manager 2016 Guide: Arsenal

Arsene Wenger’s failure to bring meaningful silverware to the Gunners in recent years should mean that being his replacement is an easier task than you would expect.

The Frenchman currently has a highly gifted squad at the Emirates and, if you can overcome injury problems, you should be able to guide his side to a strong finish across all competitions.

The new level of injuries on Football Manager is another challenge added for any of you looking to do an Arsenal save, but the depth of squad is there to make this manageable.

What you start with…

The Gunners’ board kindly give you over £63million as a starting budget for the save and around half a million in wage budget.

What’s expected…

Premier League: As with all the top clubs, anything less than winning the league is frowned upon.

Champions League: You must reach the quarter final to keep the board off your back and trying to achieve anything more will allow you for a bit more budget to build the squad.

FA Cup: Another appearance in the final will be enough to keep the board from losing the plot.

Capital One Cup: If the board are judging you on the Capital One Cup it is probably because things have gone drastically wrong in the rest of the campaign..

Three to buy…

Grzegorz Krychowiak: This enforcer from Sevilla has all the makings of the perfect stopper in Arsenal’s midfield. Coquelin has done an adequate job up to this point, but the powerful Polish midfielder has a very complete game that is capped off by almost perfect work rate and determination.

Grzegorz Krychowiak

Rafinha: Whilst his brother has been lighting up the stage at Bayern, Rafinha has been taking his rare chances at Barcelona. The opportunity for regular first team football may well help to sign this Brazilian and he can play in a number of positions. Arsenal may have an embarrassment of riches in these positions, but, at 22, can develop into one of the best midfielders around. The cost shouldn’t be too severe and Rafinha would be a significant upgrade on Wilshere.

Saido Berahino: A striker might be a necessity for Arsenal, but Berahino also offers the option of playing wide. His pace and finishing of 16 makes him a perfect second striker option and, fortunately, has a different type of game to Olivier Giroud. Although it might be tempting to opt for a more powerful centre forward, Berahino’s potential can see him become an asset even in the latest stages of the Champions League.

Saido Berahino

Three to sell

Joel Campbell: Since impressing in the World Cup last year, Campbell has failed to show he is up to the standard at Arsenal and there are younger players with a far higher ceiling than the Costa Rican. His decisions of 10 and concentration of 9 undermine his other more positive stats and the revenue that could be generated would be more beneficial than the space in the squad taken up.

Joel Campbell

Alex Iwobi: Iwobi may only be 19, but his time at Arsenal should be brought to an end early on in your save. It might be worth a first season loan, but the Nigerian does not look like he has the ability to reach the standards of Oxlade-Chamberlain or Walcott. Passing and vision of 10 does not make good reading for a wide player and he is often found to lose the ball far too often.

Mathieu Flamini: Some Arsenal fans still seem to have a love affair with Flamini, but he is not up to scratch on FM16. Despite some high mental stats, the rest of his game is not up to the quality that you need if playing as the defensive cover for Ramsey and Ozil. Vision of 10 for a central midfield player is always going to be a concern and his game is just not suited to the Arsenal way of playing.

Mathieu Flamini

Youngsters..

Jeff Reine-Adelaide: This young French star is already in the first team squad at only 17 and has the potential to replace Theo Walcott or Alexis Sanchez once they move on (or frustratingly lose their pace). Reine-Adelaide is natural anywhere behind the striker and, given his height of 6’2, can be a threat in the box from crosses as well.

Serge Gnabry: Gnabry is out on loan at the start of your save, but don’t let that mean that you forget about him. Arguably, the German could already do a job as a squad player and is comfortable playing in any role behind the striker. Crucially, I would look to train his concentration if you are going to rely on him for goals at some point in his career. Aside from that, a role as a winger allows Gnabry to show his expert close control and burst of pace.

Serge Gnabry

Dan Crowley: Since his first appearance in the reserve side, comparisons have been made between Crowley and Wilshere and his stats on FM16 would suggest just that. At 17, Crowley has dribbling of 15 and the makings of an accomplished creative midfield player. If you could train him in the more disciplined side of the game, Crowley could become excellent competition for Aaron Ramsey.