One of my favorite things on Football Manager is to develop young players and my Kaiserslautern save has been no different. Now I didn’t run out with 11 kids, but there were quite a few young players that contributed greatly to our 2019/2020 Bundesliga title success (read about it HERE) and I wanted to quickly highlight them. The market values are as of the end of the 2019/20 season and the statistics are in all competitions (Bundesliga, DFB Pokal, Champions League).
Transfer Fee: €200k
Bought From: FSV Frankfurt
Ave. Rat.: 7.36
Ünal was the first newgen signing I made in this save. He became a Turkish international in his second season and has quickly developed into a reliable rotation option. Unfortunately for him, Ismael (see below) quickly outpaced him for a starting slot.
Transfer Fee: €20k
Bought From: SpVgg Unterhaching
Ave. Rat.: 6.95
Stefan is a player I have very high hopes for, but whose development has been hampered by injuries. A cultured passer of the ball, I’ve retrained him to play in the center of midfield, since he doesn’t have the pace I prefer for my attacking midfielders. With an injury-free season he could quickly become a regular starter in the future.
Transfer Fee: €1.1 mill.
Bought From: Partizan Belgrade
Ave. Rat.: 7.46
Uros Rodic, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. He’s the tireless workhorse, box-to-box-midfielder that my tactic depends upon. A regular starter for Serbia at just 19, Rodic cleans up at the back, passes the ball like a playmaker and is dangerous in and around the opposition penalty area. He is the midfield general that I love.
Transfer Fee: €13 mill.
Bought From: Greuther Fürth
Ave. Rat.: 7.21
Büttel was a bit of an anomaly for me in terms of typical young player signings. I never spend that high of a transfer fee on a developmental prospect. Granted, he had advanced to a regular starter for Fürth in the 2nd Bundesliga when he was just 17. The big boys of Europe were sniffing around this “generational” talent so I decided to snap him up after we sold Rivaldo Coetzee for over €15 million to PSG. Still a work in progress, I see him becoming part of the preferred centre-back pairing in the next season.
Transfer Fee: €4 mill.
Bought From: Villareal C.F.
Ave. Rat.: 7.39
Ismael is what one could call an “instant impact” player. Signed in the 2019/2020 season, he became a first choice player after the winter break. Despite what the positional graph shows, he plays as an attacking midfielder in my system (now “natural” at it). I wanted an all round attacking threat sitting behind the striker and Ismael fit the bill perfectly. His maiden season in Kaiserslautern was great, but I expect even more greatness from him moving forward.
Last but not least…
Transfer Fee: €4 mill
Bought From: Boca Junior
Ave. Rat.: 7.34
All other “Young Devils” have been newgens, but Facundo Colidogol (nickname coined by FM Grasshopper) was too crucial in our success that I simply had to include him in this homage to youth. This sublime striker became my first choice halfway through his second season, displacing the reliable yet unspectacular Joel Pohjanpalo. He’s a little injury prone, but is absolutely brilliant on his day. His goals in the final weeks of the season helped us secure the Bundesliga title. I fully expect some big offers to come in over the summer (rumors are mentioning Juventus), but I’m confident in keeping him around for another campaign.
Thus concludes my honoring of the “Young Devils” of Kaiserslautern. My next post will be a very brief overview of my title winning tactics.