To add a bit of context to this piece, I’m currently managing RB Leipzig and I’m in my second season. After finishing a respectable 4th place in the league and reaching the Europa league final (but losing to PSG) I made some good additions to the squad including a transfer listed Reuben Loftus-Cheek, Benjamin Henrichs from Monaco and Donny Van de Beek from Ajax.
After the summer we set out on another season in the Bundesliga and to my surprise, we’ve done incredibly well and found ourselves top of the league at the mid-way point. After signing Rafinha on a free-transfer come the summer I continued the save. I was originally thinking of uploading my tactic, showing off how brilliant my team was but then came 29th February, 2020: I struck gold.
I’ve been lucky enough to have a son before in Football Manager, but this feeling was completely different. I realised quickly how lucky this was. I received a youth academy team of young starlets. It completely restructured my youth set-up and made me realise how good this bunch of kids could be if I put my mind to it. So this series of articles will follow the lives of 8 youngsters, either from my youth academy or brought in for less than 300k. I’m not expecting all of them to become world class, but I’m hoping a fair few of them will become regulars at my title-challenging side.
Prospect 1: Richard Fiala (GK)
This youngster looks good. 19 Determination and a Driven personality suggests if he wants something, he’ll probably get it. Some great goalkeeping stats already including reflexes and handling and he’s a little unpredictable with the 15 eccentricity. He’s been dubbed the next Jens Lehmann and you can see why. After arriving in my youth intake this season, he will be in my under 19’s squad, with the aim to move him up to the first team as soon as possible. My current keepers have nowhere near the potential of this kid so the more game-time the better.
Prospect 2: Christopher Schuster
Another player from this years intake is Christopher Schuster, the short but snappy full back with decent Stamina, Decisions and Bravery. This player looks fairly confident on the ball but seems to have no idea how to kick it, with weak first touch and passing stats. A wing-back role might be better suited to to the players fitness and stamina but needs higher work rates. With training I think he could become a fantastic player. For now though, its the Under 19’s.
Prospect 3: Jonas Beermann
Well, the older goalkeeper in my youth team now has competition. After joining last season, the youngster has kept 17 clean sheets in 27 games this year. I’m hoping my youth team manager is able to rotate these two players effectively to ensure game time and competition without hindering either of their futures. Jonas has potential and it’d be a shame to ruin it just because a better player is here. Upon turning 17 I’ll look to loan him to a tier 2 club in a bit for more experience as a player.
Prospect 4: Ronny Götz
This lad came through last year and become my little prodigy, but now he’ll have to share the limelight. He’s got surprisingly good pace (15) and acceleration (16) for a defensive midfielder but I’m hoping to turn him into a box-to-box midfielder with that work rate. He’s got a real Lampard-esque feel to him and I’m hoping he can become a star in my football manager save. Lets hope that Ronny Götz the goods!
Prospect 5: Endrit Berisha
Berisha isn’t particularly well rated by the game. His mental and physical stats appear incredible, the 188cm tall left back with great tackling and marking stats. For that price it seemed silly not to purchase the youngster. Next season I’ll either re-train him as a wing-back, or send him out on loan to further his experience at a first team side. With Benjamin Henrichs and Klostermann playing incredibly well I can’t risk selling one to make space for a 17 year old.
Prospect 6: Bartosz Radomski
I almost missed this fella! When you get a youth intake like this, you don’t often check the 1 and 2 star players. This lad was originally a 2 star potential player, but after checking his finishing, off the ball and composure (the 3 KEY stats to a striker) he looked incredible, I signed him up and his potential shot up! He’s a similar type of player to my main striker Timo Werner. If you listened to the podcast this week, you’ll know I might fall in love with this footballer as well.
The sad thing is I wanted to show you my youth squad it would have to be in 3 or 4 parts. My current Under 19 squad is as follows:
My Under 19’s won their league last year and are on course to win it again this year with 54 points from 21 games. During the next few in-game years I will be re-visiting those players, wherever they are and showing how they’ve progressed. Some may fall through the gaps and struggle to reach their potential, but most should do incredibly well. At the time of writing (16th May, 2020) I’m 7 points clear of Bayern with 8 games to go, however I don’t think I’ll hold on. This season has been good for my confidence though, beating Bayern 7-1 across the two matches this season. Wish me luck!
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