If you’re looking to get a head start with FM 09 and you don’t have a Sheikh/Russian billionaire owner to throw mega amounts of money at you then this is the post for you.
Yes, even if you possess the proverbial shoestring budget, here are 11 relatively cheap players that are available right at the start of the game and could make the difference between success and failure for your team.
Sergio Asenjo (Real Valladolid)
Young Asenjo is starting to get the recognition his fantastic potential deserves in real-life after a string of impressive performances for Spain under-21’s in the recent European Championship’s. The 20-year-old goalkeeper has all the credentials to become a great stopper on FM 09 and the best part? He has an £8.25 million release clause with his current club Valladolid. Activate this clause and agree personal terms and Asenjo should prove to be your number one for many-a-virtual year.
Francisco Guillermo Ochoa (America)
He may be a cross between Gabi Milito and Carlos Puyol in appearance but Ochoa means business when it comes to his goalkeeping abilities. Just like Asenjo, Ochoa has a minimum fee release clause of £8 million and at 22-years-old he is already the more finished product out of the two. If you have the cash and need a ‘keeper, Ochoa won’t let you down.
Petri Pasanen (Werder Bremen)
If you’re looking for a right-back, left-back or centre-back all rolled into one then Finnish star Petri Pasanen will undoubtedly fit the bill. The Werder Bremen full-back possesses decent defensive attributes and is available to buy at just under £10 million. The fact that Pasanen can play anywhere in defence will also mean he offers your squad valuable versatility as well as quality.
Sylvian Distin (Portsmouth)
OK so Distin isn’t the greatest defender in the world, nor is he the youngest but at £8 million what you are getting is value for money. While the Frenchman is getting on at 30-years-old, he will do a stern job at centre-half and he can also be deployed as a right full-back too. Distin certainly represents a wise investment if you are struggling for solid defenders.
Diego Lugano (Fenerbache)
You would be silly not to take a gamble on Lugano if you ask me. At around £3 million you have nothing to lose for a player that possesses all the attributes required to be a successful central defender.
Ibrahim Afellay (PSV)
Dutch midfielder Afellay brings you vast amounts of versatility as he can play pretty much anywhere across the midfield. His attributes show that he’s a decent attacking proposition and the fact that he can be lured for under £10 million should definitely mean he’s worth a look.
Those of you that have played FM/CM for as long as I have will remember a player called Alex from a good few years back. He would tend to be an automatic buy in previous versions of the game and while he’s back again on FM 09, this isn’t him. Although his name-sake is just as good, if not better and at a little over £6 million, Alex will provide goals and assists from the left and he won’t break the bank at that price either.
Fernandinho scored one of the goals of the season for Shakhtar in this season’s Champions League and he will cut the mustard for you on Football Manager too. While at the start of the game he can’t be uttered in the same breath as Kaka or Lampard, at 23-years-old, Fernandinho has all the credentials to become a top class attacking midfielder. If your budget allows, I urge you to take a plunge at around £9 million.
Steven Defour (Standard)
Defour has the potential to be a real quality player at the start on FM 09 and you would be silly not to try and pursue his signature when he’s available for a measly £4 million. While he clearly needs time to develop his massive potential, Defour would definitely prove to be a useful purchase at the very start of the game.
Rodrigo Palacio (Boca)
While Palacio isn’t the truly greatest finisher you will ever set your eyes on, his tremendous pace off the mark will ensure he gets in behind on more than enough occasions to test opposition goalkeepers. The added bonus is that you should be able to snap him up for under £10 million and there’s noticeable room for development too.
Alexis Sanchez (Udinese)
I can tell you now that Alexis Sanchez will go on to develop into one of the best strikers on the game in time. I would advise you to snap him up as soon as possible and while he’s with Italian club Udinese, it will probably be your best chance to grab him for under £10 million. Although act fast…his talents will attract attention the more your game develops!