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Starting transfer budget: £11,725,692 Starting wage budget: £92,688 Default formation: 4-3-3 Board expectations: • Domestic success: Medium • Continental success: Low • Brand exposure: Medium • Financial success: Low • Youth development: Medium Key player: Andrea Consigli Best young prospect: Domenico Berardi
Why choose Sassuolo?
What I like about Serie A is it’s highly competitive. There is a huge number of teams that could potentially win the title, and Sassuolo are among them. They’ve got plenty of raw talent and high potential players, and a great starting budget too. And the board expectations aren’t too harsh, giving you lots of leeway.
But the highly competitive nature of the league is a double-edged sword. There are teams with many times the budget and potential of Sassuolo, and even a mid-table finish is not assured. You’ll have to make sure you spend that budget on players who will really make an impact lest you get outgunned.
The team’s key player is Andrea Consigli. Rated 83, he’s a solid goalkeeper and will be keen to keeping out the goals from all the other strong teams in the division. He’s a very well-rounded keeper too, with very few weak spots in his game. And despite being 29, he won’t start declining for a few more years because goalkeepers last longer than outfield players.
Sassuolo’s most promising young player is Domenico Berardi, and he’s also one of the team’s key players too. He’s only 21 but is already rated 82, and has a fantastic 86 potential. Because that’s only four points away and he’s so young, he can definitely exceed that with a bit of training. Then his devastating pace, finishing and dribbling will be even more deadly.
Strongest starting lineup
Changing the formation slightly to 4-2-3-1, here is Sassuolo’s strongest starting lineup, with OVRs in brackets:
Highest potential lineup
Changing the formation back to 4-3-3, here is Sassuolo’s highest potential lineup, with potentials in brackets:
Key signings required: RB, LB, ST.
Looking at the above lineups, both full backs could be replaced. Given that Alessandro Matri is 31 and Gregoire Defrel is the only other decent striker, another forward would be a useful addition.
But before buying anyone, adjust Sassuolo’s budget ratio to 75:25. This will give you £12,409,107 in transfer funds and £79,545 in wages. Now let’s buy some players.
Jonas Svensson is a powerful, pacey full back
Club: Rosenborg BK
Although right back Claud Adjapong is very promising with 80 potential, he’s only rated 61 in the first season. Sassuolo’s first choice right back, Marcello Gazzola, is 31 and has maxed out at his 70 OVR (and will start declining soon). We’ll need a right back to replace Gazzola and play while Adjapong develops.
My choice is Jonas Svensson of Rosenborg BK in Norway. His physical stats are fantastic (almost all green), and in particular his combination of pace, strength and stamina will be very useful at full back. His technical stats are nicely balanced so he’s good going forward and defending, and his 81 potential means he’ll grow quickly once he’s joined.
Rosenborg BK want £5.5m for him but you can get that price down to £4m. His wages are £9,000.
Elmir Nabiullin is absolutely rapid and has high potential
The situation at left back is possibly even worse than at right back. One of the two left backs in the team, Federico Peluso, is 32 and will start declining from his 74 rating, while Cristian Dell’Orco only has 69 potential. Clearly we need a more promising player to take over the reins.
Elmir Nabiullin of Rubin Kazan in Russia is that player. He’s extremely fast (with 92 acceleration and 91 sprint speed), and has decent stamina too, so can cause real problems when he gets forward and attacks. His defensive stats are excellent, as is his dribbling, so he’ll be able to contribute wherever he pops up.
Rubin Kazan want you to pay £5.5m for him, but that fee can be cut down to £3.7m. His wages are £20,000.
Yussuf Poulsen is tall, strong and skillful in attack
As I mentioned earlier, there are only really two decent strikers in the team, Matri and Defrel. Matri is 31 so will decline pretty soon, leaving just Defrel as a long-term option. Really, we need someone else to take the weight off his shoulders.
I recommend you buy Yussuf Poulsen of RB Leipzig in Germany. He’s a hugely versatile striker with 83 potential, so will develop really well. He’s big (6’4″), has 75 strength and decent heading, so can play as a target man. But he’s also rapid (89 acceleration, 87 sprint speed), has excellent dribbling and four star skill moves, so can play on the wing or as a direct striker too. And that pace and height combination will make him extremely hard to handle.
RB Leipzig ask for £7m for his services, but you can cut that price dramatically down to £4.6m. His wages are £45,000.
Those transfers leave you with £109,107 in transfer funds and £5,545 in wages. You’ll need more if you want to buy more players or some scouts, so let’s see who we can sell to raise some funds.
Alberto Pomini will get you about £300,000
Alberto Pomini is 35 and won’t get much game time in goal, so can be sold for around £300,000.
Marcello Gazzola, Cristian Dell’Orco and Emanuele Terranova can be sold for £700,000, £200,000 and £1m respectively.
In midfield, sell Davide Biondini for £800,000. Finally, striker Pietro Iemmello can be sold for about £800,000.
All those sales will bring in around £3.8m, a nice addition to your budget.
Future considerations: get a new goalkeeper
Nicola Leali can be signed for free and has 81 potential
Although Andrea Consigli still has a couple of years left in him, there are no young, promising keepers in the team to take over once he retires. The other two goalkeepers, Gianluca Pegolo and Alberto Pomini, are both 35.
I suggest you get Nicola Leali of Olympiacos CFP. He’s 23, rated 73 and has 81 potential. His reflexes and diving are excellent so he’ll be great at stopping close-range shots, but he’s a pretty well-rounded keeper able to deal with most threats comfortably. With that potential, a little training will get him up to Consigli’s level and beyond (goalkeepers can do really well with some training). Plus he’s Italian, so it’s a realistic transfer too.
Best of all, you can get him for free because his contract is expiring. Just approach Olympiacos CFP in the January transfer window and click ‘approach to sign on contract expiry’. He’ll then join your team at the start of the second season, and all you have to pay are his £15,000 wages.
That’s it for this week’s article on good teams for career mode. Sassuolo have a great chance of surging up the league table and perhaps even winning the title, but you’ll need to invest well with some good signings to stave off the competition.
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?
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