Football Manager 2016 Guide: Liverpool

Can you replace Jurgen Klopp and bring Liverpool back to the glory days? Could this be their year?

Well, probably not, but with FM16 anyone can do it! You’ve got the issues that Klopp is wrestling with but the quality of Emre Can and Jordan Henderson in midfield must give you hope, meanwhile, the class of Firmino and Coutinho is a good attacking base.

As ever, the defence will probably be your main focus but there are elements of the squad to develop your own gegenpressing unit…

What you start with..

You’ll be blessed with a budget of nearly £17million and a wage surplus of £200k per week.

Fortunately, you should be able to pump a bit more into the kitty with some sales.

What’s asked of you..

Premier League: The board want a Champions League qualification place in the first season and, although you may get more money, it would be foolish to promise any higher attainment. Top four will be a challenge regardless of your transfers, even if you are the next Klopp.

FA Cup: The second challenge from the board is to reach the semi final of the premier domestic cup competition. Its unlikely failure to do this will put too much pressure on you, but succeeding will give you a bit of leniency in other areas.

Europa League: Oddly, there will be no pressure on European football at Liverpool. Making it out of the group will leave the board happy and that should be easily achievable.

Capital One Cup: As with most big clubs, the Capital One Cup doesn’t effect the board’s opinion of your management.

Three to buy…

Jack Butland: Butland is a longer term option for the goalkeeping berth at Liverpool, but he is likely to cost more than many may want to spend on a back up goalkeeper. While Mignolet is prone to mistakes, Butland can become one of Europe’s best goalkeepers and adds to the home-grown quota. At 6”5 and an aerial reach stat of 16, Butland will be formidable against the long-ball tactics of many Premier League opponents.

jack butland

Gokhan Tore: Whilst Tore’s quality with the ball at his feet is unquestionable, the one downside to this signing is his poor finishing. Capable of playing on either wing and with exceptional dribbling, Tore injects some pace and width to a Liverpool squad that is highly focused on players who are best centrally. Tore will only set you back around £10 million, which is quite a bargain for a player of such class.

Victor Wanyama: If you are to sell Lucas Leiva, Liverpool’s requirement for a natural defensive midfield player is higher than ever. Wanyama could be brought in for under £20 million and has the physique to be an absolute rock in front of Liverpool’s questionable defence. The Saints man is limited on the ball, but can also play a break-up role in central midfield and would be the ideal anchor man to compensate for all the attacking flair.

Three to sell…

Jon Flanagan: After a year of impressing under Brendan Rodgers, Flanagan’s FM ratings have declined in line with his own form at Liverpool. Injuries have troubled the Scouse Cafu, but his quality on the game makes him a definite seller. Despite versatility, Flanagan is far off the quality of either Clyne or Moreno and probably isn’t even up to playing as the back-up full-back.

Lucas Leiva: Lucas has seemingly been on his way out of Liverpool for years, but finally it is the time to let go of the midfield hatchet man. His overall game can be quite limited, and the addition of Wanyama would take his position in the squad. You may recoup a decent fee for the Brazilian and even Joe Allen is of better use on this edition of the game than Lucas.

Lucas Leiva

Jose Enrique: Ostracised under Rodgers and probably in his final days under Klopp, Enrique must be out the door once you take the reins at Anfield. His stats are unflattering and his all round game makes him far below the standard of a team trying to reach the top four.

Youngsters…

Jordon Ibe: Ibe is one of the most versatile youngsters on the game. The youngster can play down all the way down either flank or as a central striker, allowing you to mould him into whatever player you may need. His pace is high and his all round attributes could see him develop into a player capable of any number of roles. The highlight is undoubtedly 14 dribbling.

Jordon Ibe

Jordan Rossiter: Rossiter is only 18 at the start of your save and should be a candidate for a loan move to the Championship. He is ideal as a defensive midfielder once you are a couple of seasons in and it would be best to train his playmaking abilities, as his overall game is fairly limited early on. Also, at only 5”9 he may need to add the technical side to his game because of his weaknesses physically.

Joe Gomez: Despite his long-term injury in real life, Joe Gomez is just as promising on the game as he was earlier this season. Primarily a centre-back, Gomez can also cover on the right hand side and, because of Sakho and Skrtel, might be well suited to a loan move in the first season. Both his stamina and work rate are very high, which could suggest that retraining as a midfield player is the best move for his career.

Joe Gomez