Eight Teams to Restart your Journey with in the Winter Update
The Winter Update is where we start to plot our next FM journey, our heads turned by ideas for new saves and the chance to get stuck into updated squads and the latest player data. It can be tough to find the right club to create your story with but to help you out we’ve pulled together eight of the most interesting sides waiting for you to lead them to glory.
It’s safe to say that North Wales is a world apart from Hollywood but the club have found themselves in the limelight after an A-list takeover. The new celebrity owners are hoping to sprinkle a bit of Tinseltown magic over the Vanarama National League club and return them to the EFL for the first time since 2008. There’s the promise of significant investment to make that happen and the squad is already in the playoff picture which gives you a solid base to build upon and to chase promotion with in the first season. In fact, the stage is set for you to take Wrexham through the leagues and turn them from background actors into leading men. Will you be there to sweep the board when awards season rolls around?
What a difference a year makes. This time 12 months ago, A.C. Milan were sat in mid-table but have looked firmly back to their best this season and currently sit right amongst the title contenders. Since football restarted back in June, I Rossoneri have lost just four times in the league and seem to be relishing the prospect of a 'fight' to win a first league title in 10 years. Their success this season has been largely helped by a certain evergreen Swede who has bagged 14 goals to date but the core of the squad is young and ambitious, featuring familiar FM Wonderkids Gianluigi Donnarumma and Sandro Tonali. Can you deliver the league title and then go on to challenge for European honours?
If blue and black is your more style then look no further than a rejuvenated FC Internazionale Milano team that look set to be en vogue well beyond this season. I Nerazzuri boast the best goal record in the Italian top flight and have one of Europe’s most potent strike partnerships in Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez. The core of the squad is full of established stars which should give you a good foundation to build upon, with a couple of Wonderkid additions you could begin to create a dynasty over the next few seasons. Can you win a first league title in more than a decade and then build a squad capable of success over the next one?
There’s an unusual look to the Ligue 1 Uber Eats as Paris Saint-Germain aren’t perched in their customary top spot, at the time of writing at least… If there’s one team that can end the Parisiens’ run of titles, it’s LOSC Lille who have been superb this season and are currently on a run of eight games unbeaten. Les Dogues have an exciting young squad containing the likes of Renato Sanches, Sven Botman, Jonathan David and Timothy Weah as well as a strong strike partnership between Turkish duo Yusuf Yazici and Burak Yilmaz. It’s defensively where Lille have been particularly impressive, giving up just 16 league goals this season and, as the old saying goes, defences win championships. Can you build a squad that’s capable of challenging PSG’s dominance at the top of French football?
We all know how good AFC Ajax are at producing Wonderkids but this current crop look particularly special, even by their standards. De Godenzonen have been in sensational form this season with a free scoring attack – famously scoring 13 times in one game earlier this season – and a resolute defence who have conceded just 17 times in the league, they’re unsurprisingly six points clear at the head of the Eredivisie at the time of writing. The squad is packed full of high potential talent, as you’d expect – take your pick from Dutch starlets Ryan Gravenberch, Kenneth Taylor and Devyne Rensch as well as Brazilian talent Anthony and Ghanaian midfielder Mohammed Kudus. The Amsterdam-based club were also one of the only sides in Europe to spend money this January, bringing in Sebastien Haller for a €22.5 million outlay. The squad is primed to deliver success from the get-go and there’s a conveyor belt of Wonderkids ready to come through and create another exceptional chapter in this legendary club’s story. Can you be the manager to write it?
If you’re after a club that is always trying to innovate then look no further than FC Midtjylland. The Danish club have only been in existence for 22 years but have made quite the mark on the game in that time, with their data-driven approach earning plaudits and – in more recent years – silverware. The club’s youth academy is renowned for consistently producing high profile youngsters and that’s evident in the current squad with a handful of players primed to maximise their potential in the coming seasons. As such, you’ll be amongst the title favourites from the moment you take the reins and will have a board that will encourage you to identify and attract Wonderkids; the perfect ingredients for a long-term save. Can you add more silverware to FC Midtjylland’s expanding trophy cabinet and then put Danish football on the map in elite European competition?
Feelgood stories can be hard to come by in football but there’s one unfolding with Pogon Szczecin in Poland. To set the scene, Pogon Szczecin have not won a major trophy since their foundation 72 years ago but currently sit one point off top spot in the Polish Estraklasa with more than half the season gone. They’ve conceded just 10 goals in 18 games, led by the exploits of their Croatian ‘keeper Dante Stipica who has 12 clean sheets to his name this campaign. The fact that their closest challengers are Legia Warsaw gives the title battle a David vs Goliath feel that is just crying out to be replicated in FM. Can you create history by sealing the club’s first league title and then set about adding more trophies to the collection in the coming years?
The Cherries have picked up a few notable names in Jack Wilshere, Shane Long and Ben Pearson as they seek to gain promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking. They’ll join a core group of players that is relatively unchanged from the squad that was a fixture in the top tier for several seasons. The young Welsh duo of David Brooks and Chris Mepham should give you plenty of potential to work with and, should you make it to the promised land of promotion, you’ll benefit from the increased financial pulling power and a reputation boost that will help to bring in a star or two. The board have gone all-in on securing promotion this season, can you be the manager to take them there and re-establish the club as a top flight force?
Hopefully that list has inspired you to take charge of one of the eight teams we covered. If it has then let us know who you’ve picked and how you’re getting on, we’re @footballmanager on social. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’ve got to get back to our own Winter Update saves…
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