Football Manager 2016 guide: Aston Villa

While the beginning of any save on Football Manager takes a bit of time to get going, your starting point with Villa requires a whole new approach to understand what each of your players can do, because of the lack of quality in the squad.

Remi Garde has taken the reigns recently, but the ex-Lyon manager is yet to fix the errors made by Tim Sherwood during his turbulent time at the club.

To be a truly brilliant manager on FM16, you need to be able to make a shoestring budget work in your favour and get the best out of the young talent that you have at Villa Park.

Grealish will need to be crucial in your line-up, whilst replacing Benteke, Delph and Vlaar is a challenge only the very best will manage…

Aston Villa

What you start with…

Kindly, the Villains board don’t even give you a penny to splash on transfers.

The wage budget stands at around £1million-per-week – with a bit of wiggle room – and Lerner’s desire to sell prevents any chance you may have had of gaining a bit more financial backing.

What’s expected…

Premier League – Typically, the Villa board are just hoping that you can stay away from the drop zone in your first season.

FA Cup –  A cup run would be nice, but the little it does to your budget hardly makes it worth considering if it will jeopardise your league performance.

Capital One Cup – As ever, the Capital One Cup is consider as a bit of a gimmick compared to the sanctuary of PL safety, but a nice run to the final could swing the board in your favour.

Three to buy…

Sebastian Larsson

Sebastian Larsson – Larsson might be ageing, but his versatility will help add some depth to your squad. Comfortable on the wing, at right-back, or centrally, Larsson will add experience to a young squad and is one of the best crossers you will be able to attract to a bottom half side. Sunderland won’t want to let one of their better players go, but Larsson must be a target if you are to sure up the Villa midfield.

Vurnon Anita – Anita is going to be a wonderful acquisition if you could attract him to Villa Park. The Magpies’ man is comfortable in front of the back four or in a more advanced playmaking role and offers a very well rounded game for a central midfield player.

A passing rating of 16 will be ideal to feed in to Grealish and Gil, but his strength of 6 may be some people off.

Michu

Michu – Michu may have disappeared into the wilderness, but he still has stats that could attract you to chase down the Swansea man (or ex-Swansea depending on your update).

Ideally, Michu will compete with Gil for the number 10 role, but the Spaniard can also operate as a lone striker and cause problems running beyond or with his back to goal.

Three to sell…

Gabby Agbonlahor

Gabby Agbonlahor – The Birmingham road-runner might still have his pace, but its probably best to offload this speed merchant while you can.

His finishing is 9, which is diabolical, and at 29- years-old, his pace is likely to go within a season or two. If you wait for his pace to vanish, you’ll be left with a player who is not much good at anything, and no one wants that.

Mark Bunn –  With Jed Steer as backup to Brad Guzan, Mark Bunn’s position in the squad is clearly unnecessary. Bunn is surplus to requirements and, at 31, not going to improve into anything more than a third choice keeper.

The money brought in from this sale will be minimal, but it could help to add to your wage budget for loan transfers.

Gary Gardner

Gary Gardner – A previous star of both FIFA and FM, Gardner is no longer anything more than an ordinary backup option for the Villains. His development potential may encourage you to invest some time in this central midfielder, but it would be far better to use the small amount of revenue to find someone who could impact on the XI immediately.

Youngsters…

Jack Grealish

Jack Grealish – You are likely to face a lot of interest in Villa’s biggest starlet, but avoid temptation with hefty transfer fees and Grealish will become the star to drive your save forward for several seasons.

Versatility is one of his biggest assets, being able to play anywhere behind the striker, and develops into a player with the creative spark that will see him as an England regular within a couple of seasons.

Adama Traore – Recently brought in to the club, Traore should be a player that you look to build your attack around. The La Masia graduate has exceptional dribbling from the start of your save and the pace to cause any defence real problems.

Unfortunately, his crossing of 10 will need a bit of work before he can become a reliable creator from the wing.

Callum Robinson

Callum Robinson – Robinson can be sold after a couple of seasons for a nice bit of profit, but you may be able to find a use for him in your squad.

His finishing is comfortably higher than a couple of your other options at centre-forward and could save you the finances of investing in another striker.