Power your FM24 attacks with the Complete Forward

Having players who can perform two different jobs at the same time can be an absolute game-changer for your tactics in Football Manager 2024. Few player roles fit that bill better than the Complete Forward. 

Expected to lead the line but also link up with your team’s other attackers, the Complete Forward could be your top scorer or best playmaker in any given game. This makes them an ideal role to unlock your team’s full potential but also one that needs a special, well-rounded player to do it well.

In this guide, Rock’s End FM shows you the skills you need to look for in a Complete Forward and how to make the role fit into your tactics.

Power your FM24 attacks with the Complete Forward

A player for all seasons

Let’s start with the basics: what is a Complete Forward? 

The Complete Forward can operate across the entire final third of the pitch. They need the strength and anticipation to outmuscle opposition defenders and make late runs into the box, as well as clinical finishing instincts. They also need to be able to drop deeper to create space and contribute to your build-up play, playing passes in behind to teammates in the wide channels. 

In FM24, the Complete Forward is available with two duties – Attack and Support. Each option has its pros and cons, with the Attack setting pushing their focus more towards goalscoring and Support prioritising collaboration with the rest of the team. 

Finding such a jack-of-all-trades isn’t easy but there are some key Attributes that you can look for. From a Technical perspective, Dribbling, Finishing, First Touch, Heading, and Technique are key, as are Off The Ball, Composure, Anticipation, and Positioning from a Mental side. Having decent Pace, Acceleration, and Agility aren’t essential but they’re a nice bonus. 

To round their profile out, the stronger their Passing, Teamwork, Vision, and Determination Attributes, the better. 

Having taken a look at how the role works work and the key Attributes you need to look for, I’ve taken charge of two Bundesliga clubs to show the role in action in FM24.

Example #1: Harry Kane - Complete Forward (Support)

Few players in the FM24 database are as perfect in a role as Harry Kane is as a Complete Forward. 

Having initially burst onto the scene as a clinical finisher, Kane has evolved his game over time to become much more than that for club and country. Technically sublime, smart on and off the ball, and incredibly hard-working, Kane has the physical tools to make an impact across the final third.

Harold Kane

However, even the best and most well-rounded players in the world will struggle if they’re not backed up suitably by their teammates. 

I’m using Kane as a Complete Forward on Support and to make that role shine, you need two things: players who can supply balls into him and players who can receive them from him. 

The below screenshot shows how I’ve set up FC Bayern for this experiment, with Kane leading the line in a fairly traditional 4-3-3. 

FC Bayern 4-3-3

As you can see, we have a good mix of passers and runners that will all work around Kane. The Wing-Backs will provide width and crossing options, while having both wingers inverted will give us both close-range passing options and darting runs that Kane can pick up when he drops deeper. In midfield, the Mezzala and the Box-to-Box Midfielder will both arrive late into the box, giving us more passing options and attacking threats. 

Now we have our tactic assembled, let’s put it to the test on Matchday. 

In possession, Kane drops into the pocket and effectively becomes an auxiliary midfielder. In the screenshot below, taken from a game with SV Darmstadt 98, you can see him in line with the other central midfielders.


However, he will still lead the line. In this second shot, you can see him pushing the defensive line back, thereby creating more space in the box for both him and our onrushing midfielders to drive into. As it happened, he opened the scoring from this passage of play, heading home a Serge Gnabry cross.


In this third example, you see him in full flow having picked up the ball from deep. On this occasion, he dribbled forward from a counter-attack, drawing some of the opposition defenders out of position and opening up a run in behind for Leroy Sané, who doubled our lead.  


Kane was man of the match in this game and one of our best performers throughout the entire season. 

As FC Bayern are a team that typically dominates possession, the Complete Forward on Support is an ideal role. In most games, FC Bayern will have to break down opposition teams who tend to sit deeper and look to play off turnovers. The Complete Forward offers you more flexibility in your tactic as their roving position opens up more avenues for attack, stopping your offence from becoming predictable and giving the opposition defence more to think about.  

Example #2: Serhou Guirassy - Complete Forward (Attack)

Some teams, however, will have less of the ball from game to game and will be more reliant on their strikers to shoulder a greater scoring responsibility. In this instance, you need to opt for the Attack duty. 

The Complete Forward on Attack offers you a striker who can run into space, hit it long, or head it home while also offering a partner for creative midfielders and attacking wingers.

Perfect for illustrating this duty is VfB Stuttgart’s Serhou Guirassy, a sensation during the 2023/24 season. The Guinean forward has a skillset every bit as complete as other strikers but his playing style – based on strength, pace, and smart movement - lends itself better to him being the focal point of the attack.

Serhou Guirassy

As boss of VfB Stuttgart, this is how I’ve set up:

Stuttgart Tactics

Contrasted to the previous example, the Complete Forward sits higher up in the pitch, allowing us to bring in Enzo Millot to sit in behind as a Number 10 who can drive the team’s playmaking efforts. Guirassy will get plenty of service from Silas Katompa Mvumpa and Maximilian Mittelstädt in the wide areas, while Mahmoud Dahoud will offer an on-rushing threat from midfield. Simply put, the Complete Forward in this example opens up room for the rest of the team to operate in, whereas Harry Kane was the cog that the rest of the team centred around. 

How does it work in practice? Well, the Complete Forward is our furthest forward player while we’re in possession, pinning the opposition central defenders back and opening up space behind. 


This high positioning means that Guirassy gets a higher volume of shots per game, as he has less ground to cover to join attacks. The screenshot below shows him about to get on the end of a Woo-Yeong Jeong cross to open the scoring against Eintracht Frankfurt.


On Attack duty, Guirassy is much more active in both the pressing and counter-pressing aspects of our play. You can see this illustrated by the heat map below - if you’re looking to regain the ball as high up the pitch as possible, this is a role you should be thinking about using.


Despite its high quality and ability threshold, the Complete Forward is a role that can adapt to many teams and styles of play. With the right player in it and a suitable tactic supporting, the Complete Forward could be the difference between a title triumph and a near miss in your next save. 

Happy Managing,

Rock’s End FM


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