This is the start of season 2 for our Football Manager 2020 Wolves save. You can read our Season Review in Episode 13 for our first season.
Welcome back to my Football Manager 2020 Wolverhampton Wanderers Story.
Season 2, Episode 14
The summer is transfer window is finally over. After a miraculous end to last season we found ourselves in the Champions League. The pinnacle of club football.
We needed to strengthen. Bring proper talent into the side to show that we can compete.
But before we get into the juicy transfers, let me talk a little about our pre-season fixtures and media prediction for the upcoming season.
We didn’t have a lot of pre-season fixtures. But we had enough to get the players fit and ready for match day 1.
We had a short tour in China. This allowed us to generate of money, while providing the players with an experience of another culture of football.
While the class of opponants wasn’t the greatest, I’m still pleased with only conceding one goal.
The Euro 2020 tourament was hosted this year. A fair few of our players went, while Mexican Jimenez played in the Olympics where they lost to U.S.A in the Quarter Final.
These touraments provided many players with lots of experience and kept up their fitness throughout the summer. France won the Euro’s while Portugal, along with a contingent of Wolves players, came 4th after losing to Germany in the semi-final.
The media predicts us to finish 7th, behind the aptly named “big six”. I feel this is fair and we have to show consistency before we can break into that illustrious six.
We initally started the window with £77m given by the board. A large sum allowing us to complete some shrewd business – but we must act fast. I’d hate to see a target be whisked away without us even putting in a bid.
Adrian Bajrami (CB) – £750k
Tomas Azevedo (CM) – £1.2m
First up were a couple of Portugese youngsters that are bought for the future. Small sums but I look forward to seeing them develop. Both have been raided from Benfica youth team, who have been known to develop some high quality talent.
Tomas Azevedo probably has the best potential out of the two. They will have a full year in the Championship on loan and I will of course be keeping a lose eye on the pair.
Andre Horta (AMC) – £15m
Andre Horta was our next acquisition. Another portuguese, but this time one for the first team. He had a great campaign for SC Braga last season with 10 goals and 7 assists in the league.
I believe he offers great value for money, and at £15m, it’s close to a steal. Yet to be capped by Portugal, he definitely could push for a place after a season in the Premier League. I’m hoping for big things from Horta. He will likely rotate with van de Beek in a AMC role.
Sandro Tonali (CM) – £10m
The Sandro Tonali purchase may be the best value for money signing. At just £10m, he offers such wealth of talent already.
With 3 seasons of professional football already under his belt, the 20 year old wonder kid is a eventual replacement for the ageing Moutinho. I expect him to challenge for his spot in the first team straight away – the sky is the limit for this kid.
Sandro Goncalves (ST) – £1.5m
The second Sandro to join the club this summer. The 17 year old Portuguese is definitely one for the future.
He has a great deal of potential but he is some way off the first team. I expect a loan may be in order for him to help fulfil his potential. He has already been capped at U20 level for Portugal. Welcome, Goncalves.
Shkodran Mustafi (CB) – £9m
Next up we added a bit of Premier League experience. The 20 capped German international is coming into his prime years and I believe he can offer a lot to our side.
I doubt he will be first choice, but he is definitely a worthy back-up, especially for £9m. He accepted a playing time of a ‘fringe player’, so hopefully I won’t have to worry too much about giving him too much time on the pitch. He will be mainly needed to cover for injuries.
Pablo Maffeo (RWB) – £16m
The young Spanish right wing-back will come in to challenge Doherty for the first team spot. We needed depth in our wing-back area’s and Pablo fit the mould perfectly.
Possibly a little pricy for his ability, but I’m confident he can be a success at Wolves. He is another one that could potentially work towards an international call up in the next year or two.
Tiago Djalo (CB) – £5.25m
The 20 year old came in at a bargain price of £5.25m. I really like his attributes. He’s certainly a physical beast and I hope the experience of English football can develop his mental attributes.
Since we play three centre-backs in our system, adequate depth is needed and I hope Djalo can fulfil that role.
Ruben Neves Bid From Chelsea
Before I get into my last signing of the summer, let me draw your attention to a bid we recieved from Chelsea.
A long admirer of our star player, Neves, they initally came in with a bid of £73m. A huge sum but not something I contemplated of accepting.
Not long after, another bid came in from The Blues. A whopping £97m. I almost fell off my chair. They had really made me question my devotion to Neves. I had to sleep on it.
Midway through eating my corn flakes on a Tuesday morning, I came to the conclusion that I just couldn’t part way with Neves – and especially not to a league rival.
His agent let me know that he had no interest in joining Chelsea. He is a Wolves man, through and through. And with that in mind, I drafted up a new 5 year contract for him.
Neves has a long term plan to become captain of Wolves, and it’s something I can definitely see in the future.
The media rate Neves highly as well, coming in at 6-1 to win young player of the year. Ruben Dias, a long term target of mine joined Chelsea this summer for £54m. An already world-class centre back at just 23.
It just goes to show we are some way off the big boys in terms of reputation, and we need to show consistancy within the domestic league and European competitions if we are to attract the very best.
Bruno Fernandes (AMC) – £51m
Now onto the biggest transfer news for us this season, and quite possible, in our entire history.
That’s right, we’ve bought a world-class talent in the likes of Bruno Fernandes. On the final day of the summer window, I noticed want-away attacking midfielder Fernandes was still at Sporting Lisbon.
I didn’t have enough of a budget to acquire him, but I decided to take a shot and task the board to complete the deal for me.
While I wasn’t too confident of it actually happening, especially on the final day of the window, to my surprise, they managed it.
This signing satisfies the boards need for signing Portuguese players and signing high-reputation playuers also.
I can’t praise the board highly enough they sealed the deal for £51m. The 25 year old signed a 5 year deal that will take him into his prime. I can’t wait to see what this man can do in a Wolves shirt.
We may be a little overburdened in midfield now, but I cannot complain. Signing such a player elevates us to a new level – something we just cannot miss out on.
Summer Transfer Round-Up
While we did spend quite a bit of money, we were no way near spending the most. Manchester City, after ending last season 6 points behind eventual winners Liverpool, spent an eye-watering £302m.
Harry Kane for £205m is mind-boggling and I cannot even begin to image the weight in his shoulders as he carries around that price tag.
With no European football this season, Spurs saw a big dent in their attacking line-up, with Son Heung-Min also leaving for a large sum.
We made a few sales ourselves as we needed to recuperate a bit of the money we’d spent. We got good money for Ivan Cavaleiro and Helder Costa. Two wingers who had no future at Wolves, considering the formation we play.
At the end of last season, the board were disappointed with the lack of Portuguese signings. I tried to remove this requirement, but they were not having it.
But I’m pleased to see they are not satisfied with the signings. A total of 5 Portuguese players signed this summer, along with a few others.
Despite winning the Europa League last year, the board only require us to qualify for the EURO Cup II. This European comeptition is new this year and is basically a tier lower than the Europa League.
I’m glad the board are being realistic and allowing us to slowly progress forward and not expect too much too soon. No doubt the vision will change if we are to play above expectations.
The start of this season is very different from last. With no European qualification games to play, we can ease into the season a little better.
We do however, have a chance at silverware. The UEFA Super Cup pits the Europa League winners and the Champions League winners against each other. Mostly favourable to the Champions League winners for obvious reasons, but in the past 2 years, the Europa League winners have come out on top. Let’s hope we can make it a third year running – but I don’t expect too.
Until next time, thank you for reading and supporting the blog. I’ve had a blast documenting my time with Football Manager 2020 this year. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for all updates: @ExtraTimeFM