How to Use Wingers in Football Manager 2024

The role of the Winger in football has changed dramatically over the years. No longer are they just expected to hug the touchline and whip in lofted deliveries for tall, old-school centre forwards. Now, just like their teammates in other positions, they have to be much more versatile.

Modern wingers now serve a variety of roles across the pitch, something reflected in the growth in attacking and defensive outputs delivered by top wingers year after year.

Here, SteinkelssonFM uses Brighton & Hove Albion to break down all of the different winger roles in Football Manager 2024 and how you can effectively build your tactics around getting the most from them.

How to Use Wingers in Football Manager 2024

Kaoru Mitoma – A true modern Winger

Kaoru Mitoma has been nothing short of sensational for Brighton since joining the south coast club from his native Japan in 2021.

What makes him so special? Like most players, it’s a unique combination of skills.

His biggest strength, and the thing that’s wowed fans and pundits the most, has been his movement and ability with the ball at his feet; his Dribbling Attribute of 18 is one of the best in the entire FM24 database.

He’s also mobile, with Attribute scores of 16 for Pace and 17 for Acceleration, while his rating of 16 for Flair highlights his natural talent for the creative and unpredictable.

These scores reflect his natural game, wherein he’s constantly working to create one-on-one situations with opposition defenders. In this way, he very much embodies all of the things that teams need modern wide players to be.


Test case #1 – Using Mitoma as an Inside Forward

We’ll start this run-through of the modern winger roles with the one that’s alphabetically first, the Inside Forward.

Players used as Inside Forwards are typically those whose strongest foot is the opposite to the flank they’re being used on, allowing them to regularly cut inside from the flanks and run at the opposition defence. This movement can open up space for overlapping Full-Backs/Wing-Backs as well as overloading a retreating defender.

For this example, we’ll be using Mitoma as an Inside Forward on a Support duty, as this will encourage him to cut diagonally into the space behind the defence and play through balls or take long shots if the opportunity arises.

IF Instructions

Mitoma’s strong Off the Ball Attribute (15) is important for him being successful in this role, as it means he’ll be constantly moving while not in possession, scanning for avenues to receive the ball and create attacking opportunities. It also likely means he’ll have more touches in the box when compared to the alternative roles covered in this post.

His strong scores for Pace and Acceleration make it easier for you to use a Support duty as he’s still likely to be able to break free beyond the opposition’s defensive line - even if his runs start from deeper positions.

With Mitoma in this role on the left, you’ll need something complementary on the right. The best option is using Solly March as a Winger on Attack. In this role, he’ll often look to play balls into Evan Ferguson as the Deep Lying Forward, who can slow the pace of the game with the instruction ‘Hold Up Ball’ as he waits for support. Due to Mitoma’s deeper starting position, he is already at full tilt when Ferguson plays the pass through the defensive line, meaning that he’s got a great shot of goal and João Pedro supporting for any rebound opportunities.


Test Case #2 – Using Mitoma as a Winger

In FM24, the Winger aims to beat their opposite number on the outside, either through technical skill, speed or a combination of the two. Typically, you will see the winger hugging the touchline when their team is going forward, ready to surge into space and attack the byline.

When deployed with an Attack duty, the Winger will be much more direct in their runs in the final third, aiming to cause panic and indecision before shooting or attempting to make a through ball/cross to a teammate.

Winger Instructions

Mitoma’s previously outlined strengths make him a great fit for the Winger role but you need to make sure that he gets the requisite space to be able to run at the opposing full-back. To create this within a tactic, Pervis Estupiñán has been deployed as a Full-Back on Support to reduce the number of overlapping runs made. This is a fairly accurate representation of how Brighton plays out from the back in real life, with Mitoma being Brighton’s leader in terms of progressive passes received.

You will note the other players' roles highlighted within this tactical set-up all emphasise making runs into the box. Danny Welbeck, operating as the lone complete forward, will be supported through the late runs of Julio Enciso (Attacking Midfielder), and Simon Adingra (Inside Forward), as both roles have the ‘Get Further Forward’ instruction.

Welbeck snip

Test Case #3 – Using Mitoma as an Inverted Winger

Last but not least is the Inverted Winger, whose primary aim is to cut inside to open up space for overlapping full-backs and overload opposition defenders. With an Attack duty, the Inverted Winger will run directly at the defence with the options of shooting, passing or crossing as he moves into the attacking third.

Inverted Winger Instructions

By being a bit more direct and having a naturally wider starting position than the Inside Forward, a player in this role is likely to face more direct resistance in terms of pressing when attempting to progress play. 

In this role, Mitoma’s Attributes of 14 for Balance and Agility allow him to move between defenders to create a shooting opportunity or draw contact, resulting in a potential free kick or penalty. Mitoma also has 14 for Decisions, enabling him to make the correct choice more often or not in wide areas.

Much like in the example above, the roles of your defenders and wingers on the same side should be in tandem. As such, in this example, Estupiñán is deployed as a Wing-Back on Support to take advantage of the space vacated by Mitoma cutting in.

Again, I have opted to ensure that Mitoma has two players occupying the defensive line – namely Enciso and Ansu Fati. The Advanced Forward will look to exploit any vacant space behind and also take an opponent away from the defensive block, thereby leaving space for the Attacking Midfielder. March, meanwhile, ensures that width is maintained on the other flank.

These simple relationships will potentially help Mitoma’s attacking contribution, improving the likelihood of him playing a key pass into a goalscoring position.

Fati 4231

Picking the most appropriate Player and Teams Instructions

While the default roles in FM24 will cover most of the things that we want our players to do, it’s sometimes worthwhile to add some additional Player and Team Instructions to give things a helping hand.

Regardless of which wide player roles you choose to use him in, Mitoma’s effectiveness is enhanced even further by the Shoot Less Often and Take More Risks Player Instructions. These will encourage him to be patient while in possession, particularly further away from the goal, meaning he has more avenues to pursue either mazy dribbles or lower-percentage passes.

To ramp up Brighton’s effectiveness down the left, you could also add in the ‘Focus Play Down the Left’ Team Instruction to create more overloads and opportunities.

tactical instructions

Wide players are integral to almost every tactic in FM24, and with this guide, you should have a greater insight into whether a Winger, Inverted Winger or Inside Forward is best for your next career.

Happy managing,



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