A review of the 2014-15 season
It’s an exciting time for the story of the super seven wonderkids I threw in at the deep end of FM13 in the 2012-13 season.
As I write this I’ve seen two of the six players who still remain and they’ve had impressive 2014/15 seasons and I’m just about to check out the other four.
French striker, Gordon Banks, who Monaco bought for 775k in 2013, has spent two seasons on loan at FC Admira Wacker in the Austrian Football Bundesliga.
In his first loan season there he failed to make a single appearance. However, he wasn’t deterred and spent another season there where he played 35 games scoring 15 goals!
What an improvement and it looks like, at 19, he’s now becoming a striker with the mentality to put the ball in the back of the net.
In Football Manager talented young strikers usually take several years before they start scoring consistently but when the good ones do they usually never stop so this is an exciting development for me.
The wonderkid who was quickest to develop, Dom Johnson, made an amazing 25 appearances for Wigan in the Premier Division the season just gone which is a great sign for his future despite only achieving an average rating of 6.58.
Johnson did, however, play four cup games, scoring and assisting one, with an average rating of 7.05.
Banks wasn’t the only striker of the group to hit the back of the net on a regular basis last season.
Eric Cantona from AJ Auxerre scored an impressive 14 in 29 appearances in Ligue 1 and two in three for the senior France side.
Cantona has overtaken Johnson as the most gifted player and you can see below how good he is at the tender age of 17. He’s also valued at a cool £6m.
Giorgio Genoa has been a huge disappointment so far and is still wasting his talent in Serie C1/B.
Genoa has decent stats and has just made a free move from Catanzaro to Trapani in the same league. It seems like a step down though as Trapani haven’t been above Serie C1/B since at least 1994 whereas Catanzaro were in Serie B in 2005.
He’s still only 19 though and I really hope he’ll move to a bigger club soon.
James Briscoe is still at Spurs and is now worth £2.3m. He’s still struggling to make a string of appearances in the first team but he is a regular member of the squad now.
What’s quite illuminating is Briscoe has made 14 appearances for England Under 21s scoring eight goals. This gives you an idea that he has real ability, not just fancy looking stats.
George Best has now been at Braga for four seasons but hasn’t played for the first team. Last season, 2014-15, he made 14 appearances for Braga B scoring four goals and laying on five for his teammates with a 7.20 average rating.
The Portuguese winger, 19, has represented his country at U21 level on 13 occasions scoring one goal.
Looking at the super six side-by-side the players based in England and France are developing quickest and most are making waves in their respective country’s U21s.
It’s unsurprising that Cantona and Briscoe are coming on leaps and bounds as they benefit from great training facilities and coaching but Banks has shown the benefits first team football can bring despite being judged not yet ready for the Monaco first team.
It’s really interesting to see some of the six are performing so well and how talent alone is no guarantee, on FM13 or in real life, of success.