Increase your creativity in FM24 with Liberos & Roaming Playmakers

In recent years, a trend has begun to emerge – the classical No.10 or advanced playmaker isn’t used in the same way anymore.

Given the importance of collective pressing and counter-pressing in the modern game, many managers don’t quite feel comfortable deploying a free-floating midfielder behind their leading striker. However, this doesn’t mean that playmakers aren’t important – in fact, they’ve probably got a more important role than ever. The main difference now is that they tend to operate in different places on the pitch.

Two of the best roles in Football Manager 2024 showcasing the evolution of the traditional playmaker are the Libero and the Roaming Playmaker. Here, Ihor Crusadertsar uses Manchester City stars John Stones and Kevin De Bruyne to illustrate how to use both roles in your latest FM24 saves.

Increase your creativity in FM24 with Liberos & Roaming Playmakers

The New and Improved Libero

Pep Guardiola’s deployment of John Stones as a central defender stepping up into midfield during the 2022/23 season led to the Libero role being significantly overhauled as part of FM24’s positional play changes.

Expected to defend against opposition attacks when out of possession and to receive the ball and advance it up in the pitch when your team has possession, a Libero is ideally placed to drive your build-up play from the heart of defence.

When identifying a good Libero, you need them to have strong Attribute scores for Passing, Technique, Decisions and Vision – essentially the areas you’d expect a more advanced playmaker to excel in. They also need to be good at the things a traditional centre-back is – namely Jumping Reach, Strength, and Tackling.

Unsurprisingly, John Stones is perfect in this role because he also boasts strong Attribute scores for Dribbling, First Touch, Composure, and Balance. Collectively, these will help him to ride out pressure from opposition players and comfortably transition the ball out of defence and into midfield.

John Stones

When using the Libero to drive my team’s playmaking, I like to utilise a Sweeper Keeper who is comfortable on the ball and will be more likely to pass the ball short to the central defenders rather than instinctively kicking it long.

For the rest of the defence, I pair the Libero with a more traditional central defender like Nathan Aké or Ruben Dias and then make the most of FM24’s new Inverted Full-Back player role with one on each side.

4-3-3 Back Four

In this set-up, the Libero will step up to the defensive midfield position when we’re in possession and will effectively act as a Deep-Lying Playmaker, regardless of whether you use a Support or Defend duty.

With the Libero stepping up, the two Inverted Full-Backs will tuck in and form a solid back three with the other central defender you’ve selected.

Further forward, by using a Defensive Midfielder or a Ball-Winning Midfielder at the base of your midfield, the Libero will form a double pivot with them in front of your back three. As such, you’ll have a 3-2 shape at the base of your tactic; an essential component in most progressive possession approaches.

Flipping the idea of a traditional playmaker on its head, the Libero allows you to successfully build up from deep without sacrificing any defensive solidity.

Tactical Variations - Moving Your Playmaker Deeper and Wider

Having someone like John Stones at your disposal opens doors for playing with a Libero but you need a pretty specific Attribute profile for that role to work properly. So, how can you find a new home in midfield for your team’s designated playmaker?

One of the modern game’s best passers and most creative talents, Kevin De Bruyne is a great playmaker but he’s rarely acted as a traditional Number 10 in recent seasons. Instead, he’s often played a bit deeper and wider, operating in a role that allows him to press, defend, score and create a bunch of high-value chances for his teammates. 


Here, FM24’s positional play changes once again take centre stage to level up the abilities of the Roaming Playmaker role.

In possession, a Roaming Playmaker will now push up from central midfield to take up a position behind your striker, thereby taking on an active role in your build-up play.

What’s exciting is the fact that they’ll do this from a starting position in defensive midfield too. If you’ve got a mobile, hard-working player, you can use the role to build your team around someone who will battle hard to win the ball and then push play up the pitch and drive chance creation when you’ve regained possession.

The tactic below indicates the kind of ‘total football’ approach you can achieve in FM24 by using the Roaming Playmaker in a deeper position.


Another approach can be to use an Advanced Playmaker in a central midfield position. Whether you go for a Support duty or a more Attacking one, this player will be more involved in pressing when your team is out of possession but will then drive forward when you’ve got the ball back.

Kevin De Bruyne is perfect here because it makes the most of his skillset and ensures that he’s involved with all phases of play.

Using the Advanced Playmaker role in central midfield also gives opposition defenders a dilemma. They can choose to move forward and try to mark your player but doing so runs the risk of leaving gaps for your attackers to exploit. Alternatively, they can stay back and end up giving someone like De Bruyne loads of space to roam around in and the time to pick the perfect pass to a teammate.

In the screenshot below you’ll see that I’ve opted for another aggressive role in the Mezzala next to De Bruyne. Using Phil Foden in this way helps us to get more players forward for De Bruyne to create chances for, while the use of two Wingers and Fairly Wide Tactical Instruction helps us to stretch and overload the opposition defence.


A final alternative route of using a playmaker is by deploying one on the flank.

The Wide Playmaker has been one of my favourite roles in FM for a few years now because it’s a role that increases the player’s time with the ball and decreases the chances of them being marked out of the game by the opposition.

To illustrate this with Manchester City, I’ve got a tactic using a 4-4-1-1 formation. Here, Rodri and Bernardo Silva stay fairly central, giving De Bruyne plenty of space out wide. Deploying him on an Attack duty opens up space for penetrative overlapping runs from Kyle Walker at Wing-Back


So, there you have it, four different ways that you can use playmakers in FM24.

While the old-fashioned No. 10 playmaker might not be in vogue anymore, the art of playmaking has not been abandoned and you have several options to make your playmakers more versatile and valuable than ever in FM24.

Happy managing,

Ihor Crusadertsar


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