Bournemouth’s romantic story to reach the Premier League has been written about at length, and rightly so, but now is your chance to show that you can eclipse whatever Eddie Howe achieves in the Cherries first season in the Premier League.
Your squad needs some reinforcements before you can really compete, but the potential of Callum Wilson and Tyrone Mings should whet your appetite and make safety a realistic possibility.
The funds are there to help you rebuild your squad and, there are probably already three teams with weaker squads in the FM virtual reality. The crucial thing to your success in the first season will be if you can keep Callum Wilson fit.
The budget of £6million is far better than many of your league rivals, fortunately, and it should be enough for your squad to improve in two or three key areas. The wage budget is low, but so is the current wage expenditure!
Premier League – Merely avoiding relegation will have your board and fans delighted with your tenure, anything more and you’ll be an icon!
FA Cup – Typically, a run to the fourth or fifth round should keep the board from too much disappointed in the FA Cup. However, if you get knocked out in the third round by a strong team they should be quite understanding.
Capital One Cup – As with the FA Cup, the board will give you a bit of slack on this competition if you perform well in the league.
Christian Poulsen – Poulsen is a really veteran of Football Manager, but the Dane is a great addition on a free transfer. Even if he is only rotated as a screening player for the centre-halves, Poulsen’s mental attributes are likely to help you get through the trickiest spells, but you may need to have players around to compensate for his Mertesacker-esque pace.
Jores Okore – Villa may not want to sell one of their best defenders, but Okore has the physical presence to be a really dominating figure in the Cherries’ back line. His pace and power will be ideal for recovery challenges if your side is left exposed when changing a game and he will develop for the first few seasons of your save.
Adel Taarabt – The ex-QPR man is probably one of the hardest players to manage on the game, but, if you can get him firing, he will be a crucial player in your save. Taarabt has wonderful dribbling and is a guaranteed chance creator who could be a great player to have behind Callum Wilson. The Moroccan shouldn’t be too expensive either, but wages may be an issue.
Stephane Zubar – There is little more to say about Zubar other than that he is, like the two players who follow, not up to standard for Bournemouth to consolidate themselves in the top flight.
Charlie Daniels – It is easy to forget about full-backs when rejuvenating a side, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find an upgrade on Daniels. His stats may not seem too weak at first glance, but the full-back role should be one that is used as a crucial attacking outlet. Tyrone Mings’ development is far more important, or even Charlie Taylor from Leeds.
Tokelo Rantie – Rantie, considering the other options as a striker, is out of his depth in the Premier League. The revenue brought in from his sale could be far better invested to reinforce the defence and both Murray and Wilson have far better chance of succeeding in the Premier league.
Baily Cargill – This young centre-half develops into a pretty well rounded players and is one of the better young options available to you when you start your save. Cargill is also capable of filling in at left back.
Ryan Fraser – Wingers naturally peak earlier than most other players, and Fraser is a key player to watch from the start of your save. The young scot has the pace to cause any side problems on either flank and will provide a decent delivery from set pieces.
Tyrone Mings – Despite being a target for Arsenal last summer, Bournemouth managed to land the ex-Ipswich defender and the giant left-back develops into quite a force on FM16. At 6’5, Mings is a real threat at set pieces and quite an option to have to play at full-back or as the left centre-back in a back three. However, you’ll have to wait a while before being able to play him, due to his torn knee ligaments injury leaving him sidelined for 15-17 months at the start of the game.