If you decide to take over one of the top clubs in world football, chances are the board are going to be breathing down your neck, expecting results. That’s why it’s important to bring in the right players that will provide the quality you need to succeed both in the league and in all cup competitions.
This guide will provide you with some options of the best players in the game. Some are ready made stars, and others have the potential to be league-leaders. If you’re not sure how to approach the early days as a manager, check out our tips for the first transfer window.
*Note* All prices are an estimate, as valuations fluctuate depending on form, your team of choice, whether a player is receiving interest from other clubs and other factors.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 80 Overall – Being just 21 years old, this guy has huge potential. If you can grab him in the opening summer, you’re first choice ‘keeper situation is sorted for the rest of your career. ter Stegen is wanted by many real-life teams in the Premier League, so nab him quickly before somebody swoops in.
David Ospina - David Ospina is a bargain. As Manchester City, I managed to grab him for just £3m in my first window. Ospina is a great second-choice keeper, and at just 24, can develop into an excellent number one. Although his handling is average, he high shot-stopping numbers, and that should be your number one priority when choosing a number two, as you’ll be playing him in the lesser matches against inferior opposition. Even if you have strong backup options, he might be worth a purchase and loaning out for a few years.
Asmir Begovic – Another no-brainer. You can grab Begovic for easily under £5 million and he’ll walk straight into your first team. Another young goalkeeper capable of holding down a starting spot for the next decade in your team, this is an easy choice to make.
Danilo – One of the best up-and-coming right backs in world football and you can get him for less than £10 million. He may have a modest overall rank at the beginning of your career (77), but at just 22 has huge potential to develop and become a leading star of the team.
Kyle Walker – Tottenham’s perennial right back offers great pace and an attacking threat down the flank. He’s also good in the air, which is rare for full backs and is excellent in a tackle. If you are short of a defender or two, here is your first option.
Nathanial Clyne – Southampton’s young full-back is lightning fast and has good standing and slide tackle stats to boot. Another young player who can become a core part of your side going forward. He may need a season on loan to become a regular starter, but he’s worth the investment, especially as you can get him for around £5 million. If you can’t afford Kyle Walker, look to buy this guy.
Micah Richards - Thanks to Zabaleta’s position as the best right back in the Premier League, you can usually get Micah Richards for pretty cheap. Still only 25, Richards represents a good investment for any squad.
Jan Vertonghen – A rock solid defender who’s also capable of operating at left back. He may be costly, but will prove to be worth the investment.
Raphael Varane – Varane burst onto the scene for Real Madrid towards the end of last season. A huge player who is also surprisingly quick. Another young player capable of becoming one of the best in his position, if you can prise him from the clutches of Lose Blancos, do it.
Inigo Martinez – A great young defender who has all the great foundations needed to be a first-class player. All stats you would want from a defender are in the 80s: Jumping, Standing Tackle, Slide Tackle, Marking and Aggression.
Gael Clichy - Try and buy early. At 28 years old, Cluchy is at his peak right now.
Alex Sandro - excellent defensive and speed numbers make Sandro an easy pick. Might be expensive, but if this is where you need strengthening, go for him.
Kieran Gibbs – Left backs are usually pretty cheap, and Arsenal’s full back should be no exception.
Aaron Lennon - Don’t expect Lennon to develop should you buy him, but being an 80 overall, he’s already a sound purchase.
Xherdan Shaqiri - The Bayern Munich man is down in the pecking order thanks to the likes of Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery, which means you can get him for a surprisingly cheap deal. He will most definitely be worthy of the outlay, with excellent pace and already being an 80 overall at the age of 22, he is better than many wingers costing much more.
Hatem Ben Arfa – Every Newcastle fan knows how good Ben Arfa is. His excellent dribbling skills coupled with great speed make him a threat to any defence. Possessing five star skill and three star weak foot in FIFA 14, he’s a worthy investment for around £10 million. He may only be a 79 overall, but has good attacking stats, and that’s what’s important.
Arturo Vidal – Vidal is an all round excellent player. Already a star, he will fetch a high price, but all his stats are in the 70′s and 80′s, so consider him a must buy.
Sven Bender – Every time I’ve started a career, Sven Bender has been a bargain. Approximately £8 million, he is a great holding midfielder, possessing both speed and strength, as well as good composure on the ball. Bender is able to do the job usually required of two midfielders, making him essentially in a title run.
Gaston Ramirez - A brilliant player, and the start of the revolution on the coast of England. Ramirez is a set-piece specialist and perfect playmaker for any top team.
Antoine Griezmann – Real Sociedad’s exciting young wide man impressed against Manchester United recently in the Champions League. The Frenchman should be scouted ASAP, to try and get him for the best possible price.
Vladimir Weiss – Manchester City’s forgotten man is now playing for Olympiacos, but should be taken to your team. You should be able to get him for cheap, and he will develop into a great midfielder.
Alan Dazgoev – Russia’s dynamic midfielder impressed at Euro 2012, and continues to ply his trade with CSKA Moscow. With youth on his side, Dzagoev is a worthy investment at any cost below £15 million.
Christian Benteke - An absolute beast. Benteke is almost impossible to knock off the ball and wins his fair share of aerial challenges against defenders. If you like to play with width, having a man like Benteke in the middle to fling crosses into is vital. I managed to steal him for £10 million, which is excellent value for a 22 year old. Lukaku is another option, but you won’t be able to purchase him in the first season due to his loan spell with Everton.
Alexandre Pato - Having recently signed for Corinthians, Pato may be tough to get. He can sometimes go for around £16-20 million, and will always score plenty of goals as well as have the skill to link play and create chances.
Leandro Damiao – The man who has long attracted Tottenham’s interest should also grab your attention. A quality finisher who can also put a lot of power behind his shots, the type of player who could easily net 20 goals a season for you.