Introduction: How do these articles work?
Each Sunday I examine a different team in detail and look at why they’re a good team for FIFA 16’s career mode. The teams are broken down into the following categories:
- Tier 1: Teams in tough divisions that can push on to challenge for silverware
- Tier 2: Teams that will have to fight for survival in a challenging division
- Tier 3: Teams that start in a lower division but can hope to get promoted and work their way up higher leagues
- Tier 4: Teams that start right at the bottom of the pile, with few funds or high potential players
Everton (Tier 1)
Tier 1 teams can challenge for the title in a tough division, but it’ll be no walk in the park.
- Why choose Everton?
- Recommended purchases
- Suggested sales
Starting transfer budget: £18,000,000
Starting wage budget: £140,000
Default formation: 4-4-1-1
Board expectations: Qualify for the Champions’ Cup, reach the cup final
Key player: Romelu Lukaku
Best young prospect: Ross Barkley
Why choose Everton?
This is the first tier 1 article I’ve done on a Premier League team, and there are plenty of reasons why it’s a great division for a career. It’s one of the most competitive leagues in the game (just look at Leicester City’s season in real life for proof), and no matter what team you pick you can more or less guarantee you’ll have a great budget and a smattering of high potential players. Of course, that means it’s always super challenging, no more so than when you compete for the league title. The likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal will see off most challenges, not to mention Manchester United, Spurs, Liverpool and more.
Everton, though, are a great choice to mount such a title challenge. In Ross Barkley, Romelu Lukaku and John Stones they have three of the highest potential young players in the game, and they have a total of 26 players with potential 75 or higher. That said, their budget is adequate for a mid-table team, not title challengers, and the board has high expectations in wanting you to reach the cup final. Winning the league is doable, but it’ll be no walk in the park.
The team’s key player is Romelu Lukaku. If you’re to win the league then you need to be scoring goals, and he’s the player to do it. His 85 sprint speed and 92 strength will help him overcome almost any defence, and 84 finishing, 80 heading accuracy and 84 positioning will have him banging in the goals. He’s rated 82 at 22 years old and has 88 potential, so if you thought he’s good now, just wait til he hits that potential!
Everton’s most promising young player is Ross Barkley. Like Lukaku, he’s got a massive 88 potential, and is just the player to supply Lukaku with goalscoring opportunities. A Barkley-Lukaku combination is a frightening thought for opposition defences, and will result in a shedload of goals if they’re both performing strongly. But Barkley’s not just a playmaker – with 85 dribbling, a powerful shot and a good combination of speed and strength, he can fashion chances for himself too.
Strongest starting lineup
Changing the formation slightly to 4-2-3-1, here is Everton’s strongest starting lineup, with OVRs in brackets:
Highest potential lineup
Keeping the formation the same, here is Everton’s highest potential lineup, with potentials in brackets:
Key signings required: GK, CB, winger.
While Everton’s current and future lineups both look very healthy, there are improvements to be made. Tim Howard is in his mid 30s so will need to be replaced soon, while Phil Jagielka at CB is looking the same way. Finally, we could do with one more high potential winger just to really solidify that area going forward.
Before buying anyone, adjust your budget ratio to 54:46. This will give you £13,651,201 in transfer funds and £223,630 in wages. Now let’s see who we can buy for that.
Cost: £0 (contract expiry)
Tim Howard is a solid goalkeeper, but at 36 it won’t be long until he declines (even though GKs decline later than outfield players, his time is not far away). Joel Robles has 78 potential so isn’t really a long term replacement, while Jindřich Staněk has 77 potential so probably isn’t good enough either. A proper first team keeper is needed, but perhaps not straight away as Howard has at least another season left in him.
So with that in mind, I suggest you buy Alisson from Internactional. Rated 79 and with 85 potential, he’s at the perfect level to step in an replace Howard. He’s a well-rounded keeper, but his 86 reflexes stand out as a real highlight; he’s unlikely to be beaten by many close-range shots. He’ll grow into one of the best goalkeepers in the league and can of course be trained to become even better.
Best of all, you don’t need to pay a transfer fee because his contract is expiring. Just wait until the January transfer window and you’ll be able to sign him for free, and he’ll join the team at the start of the second season. His wages are £80,000, which is high, but it’s more than made up for by his future potential and non-existent transfer fee.
Club: Valencia CF
Everton’s centre back lineup consists of an established veteran (Phil Jagielka) and a promising youngster (John Stones). While Jagielka is great now, he’ll decline fairly soon because he’s 32. You’ll need to think about getting a replacement, someone who can grow alongside Stones and solidify the back line for years to come.
My recommendation is Rúben Vezo of Valencia CF. He’s strong and certainly isn’t slow for a centre back, and his 83 jumping will make him a real threat from set pieces and crosses. He can read the game well and has good interceptions, while his tackling stats are all very impressive for a 21 year old. His 76 OVR means that after a year of growth he’ll be ready to replace Jagielka, just as Jagielka’s OVR starts to slip, and his 83 potential can easily be exceeded seeing as he has many years to grow those few OVR points. Don’t be surprised if he grows into the mid or even high 80s.
Valencia CF want £6.5m for him but you can convince them to sell him for £5m. His wages are £50,000.
Balde Diao Keita
Everton’s attacking trio of Lukaku, Barkley and Deulofeu have phenomenal potential for the future, but while he’s very good at the moment, Kevin Mirallas isn’t going to improve much going forward. The team’s other wide options – Aaron Lennon, Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman – aren’t as good as Mirallas, so you’re probably going to need another high potential wide player to really make the team’s attack even more deadly.
My suggestion is Balde Diao Keita of Lazio. With 89 acceleration and 91 sprint speed he is lightning quick, but his 76 strength means he can hold his own against defenders. His 85 dribbling and four star skills will bamboozle all but the best opposition players, and with 75 stamina and a powerful shot he can cause problems all game long. He’s also got 85 potential and is already rated very highly for a 20 year old, so like Vezo he could well exceed his given potential and reach into the high 80s.
Lazio put a pretty eye-watering price tag of £12m for him, but that can be negotiated down to a more-reasonable £8.5m. His wages are £60,000.
So, after those transfers we’re left with £151,201 in transfer funds and £33,630 in wages. That doesn’t leave much to buy any more new players or scouts, so let’s see who we can sell to raise some extra funds.
Most of the players we’ll be selling are defenders. Add Gethin Jones, Felipe Mattioni, Matty Foulds and Bryan Oviedo to the transfer list; they should bring in about £2.4m in total.
As well as that, Conor Grant and Harry Charsley can both be sold, bringing in around £450,000.
If you wanted to sell more players then you’re starting to get into the high potential range (potential 75 or higher), but if you need the cash then you can also sell Leon Osman for about £1.2m and Kieran Dowell for around £200,000.
So depending on who you wanted to sell, those transfers can bring in roughly £2.85m – £4.25m – not a bad amount.
That’s it for this week’s article on good teams for career mode. If you want a fun team to challenge for the Premier League title, Everton are a great choice. With some amazing young players and a fantastic budget, it’s definitely doable, but you’ll still need to have a great season to win one of the world’s toughest leagues.
I’d like to hear if you have any thoughts about the format of the article itself. Did you find it useful? Conversely, do you think it was missing something that you’d have liked me to include?