Football Manager 2016 Guide: Manchester United

Being a Manchester United fan has been turbulent over the last couples of seasons, but Louis van Gaal seems to be bringing some success back to Old Trafford. Van Gaal’s ‘philosophy’ might bore some of us to tears, but Football Manager 16 gives you the chance to prove you can get Rooney and co. providing some more interesting football.

Whether you want to re-jig the defence or put the final nail in the coffin of Wayne Rooney’s United career, this guide will help you to know the ins and outs of a save with Manchester United on Football Manager 2016.

What you start with…

The board generously give you £60million to add to the squad, which isn’t quite as much as Van Gaal has been splashing! The wage budget leaves a little to be desired, but hopefully some sales or loans can help you out in that regard.

What’s asked of you…

Premier League: Apparently, the ‘minimum’ expectation is to win the league in your first season. So, good luck with that one.

FA Cup: The board kindly only ask you to reach the final of the FA Cup, but, as ever, a decent league performance will probably mean they overlook any failings in the cup.

Champions League: In their returning year to Europe’s premier competition, its asked that you make it to the quarter finals. To do this, you may well need to add some depth to your squad.

Capital One Cup: The minor domestic cup isn’t going to bother the board, but winning it will always give you a little boost!

Three to buy…

Karim Bellarabi

Karim Bellarabi: Van Gaal has been crying out for more pace in his squad, and they don’t come much quicker than Karim Bellarabi. The Leverkusen man will cost in excess of £25 million and you may well face stiff competition from some of Europe’s biggest clubs, but his electric pace, high work rate and magical dribbling make him a must-buy for any side looking to counter attack.

Marco Verratti: This PSG star may well set you back nearly all of your starting budget, but he is a guaranteed success and would make a brilliant partner for Morgan Schneiderlin in central midfield. At only 22, Verratti is already a very well rounded midfield playmaker and is not afraid to work hard defensively either, which will be key with all of the attacking talent in the United squad.

Aymeric Laporte: Laporte may take a bit of convincing to join, and a hefty transfer fee, but the Athletic Bilbao centre-back is destined to become one of the best defenders in the world within a few seasons. Expect plenty of interceptions with positioning of 16 and, if you want to play out from the back, Laporte is your man with a passing stat of 16.

Aymeric Laporte

Three to sell…

Antonio Valencia: Since his move from Wigan, Valencia has been a regular performer for United but it seems like his time must come to an end. With the addition of Bellarabi, Valencia is surplus to requirements and using him as a full-back on Football Manager will be extremely risky. His tackling is as high as 14 and crossing as low as 10, but, whatever tactics you may employ, no wide player should be that poor a crosser of the ball.

Sergio Romero: Romero possesses a lot of natural ability and this is indicated in his one on ones stat of 16. However, the ‘keeper’s concentration at 10 makes him an utter liability and must be moved on. With De Gea still at the club and an extension able to be triggered on Valdes’ contract, Romero is an unnecessary member of the squad.

Sergio Romero

Paddy McNair: If you are going to add another centre-back to your squad, McNair must be either sold or loaned. With Smalling, Rojo, Blind and Jones around, McNair is a long way down the pecking order as it stands, but the addition of Laporte should see the Northern Irishman shown the exit door. McNair possesses no particularly outstanding stats and you would be lucky to see him improve too much on his starting stats.

Youngsters…

Adnan Januzaj: The young Belgian might be out on loan at the start of your save, but his potential is still sky high in the latest edition of the game. His dribbling begins at 16 and is natural in several attacking positions, so Januzaj can become one of the world’s best and a long-term partnership with Martial is frankly mouth-watering. Januzaj’s passing is also at 16, and with vision of 15, the starlet can be used as a central playmaker if required.

Adnan Januzaj

James Wilson: Marginalised somewhat by Van Gaal, Wilson is a player you must invest time in because his potential could see him and Martial become the most feared strike partnership in world football. With pace ratings of over 17 and finishing at 16, Wilson has all the components to play as an advanced forward and really stretch opposition teams. His off the ball of 14 and high composure makes him a truly lethal finisher and a prospect for the next decade of the game.

Anthony Martial: Martial’s sensational early season form is reflected brilliantly in Football Manager 16. The ex-Monaco man has the potential to compete for the Ballon D’or on the game and can be utilised as a centre forward or wide man, depending on your formation. The young French forward has electric pace and develops into a striker capable of performing in a number of different roles, the big challenge for anyone managing him will be where they can fit both him and Rooney in.

Anthony Martial