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Welcome back to my Football Manager 2020 Wolverhampton Wanderers Story.
Season 6, Episode 61
An unlikely treble was on the cards last season and we fell quite far from the line. I’m still proud of the squad as all the pressure was certainly not on us. A defence of our league title was always going to be hard and no one expected us to be in the final of the Champions League, but there we were.
Back-to-back FA Cups helped lighten the mood though and we can move into this season with our heads held high.
Summer Transfer Goals
As explained in the previous episode, a new strike partner for Goncalves is of top priority this summer. The likes of Jota, Cutrone and Pellegri have not cut the mustard of late and it’s time to bring in someone who can help link-up play as well as score goals.
Whether we can get a new strike partner for Goncalves will rest on our ability to sell either Jota or Cutrone (or both) for decent money. Get them off the wage bill and bring in some fresh blood.
The rest of the squad I’m pretty happy with and I won’t make too many changes unless something out of the ordinary occurs. We have a couple youngsters already lined up to join us that should help flesh out the under-23’s.
Summer Transfer Deals
BOUGHT: Simon Damms (CM) £10.5m
While unproven and at just 16 years old, it’s a lot of money to spend on such a player, but he has all the potential in the world.
To be just 16 and close to being ready for a Premier League time is exciting and I’m more than happy to try and move on Jeronimo Fiezzi now that Damms has joined. How much first team football will he play this season? It’s too soon to say, but I for one am very excited. I’m more than likely to use him has a central midfielder, rather than an attacking one. Welcome, Simon Damms!
BOUGHT: Billy McCarron (CB) £4.5m
Another unproven English talent in the form of Billy McCarron. I was told by my scouts to sign him at whatever price. So elated was my scout that I took his advice and we managed to secure his signature for £4.5m.
Am I disappointed with what we’ve got? A little. But he still has room to grow and his value is much higher than what we paid so if worst come to worst, we could make a tidy profit from him later down the road. But let’s not jump to too many conclusions. He’s a mountain of a lad who has lots of work in his heading department so let’s see what the future holds for young, Billy.
BOUGHT: Joaquim Neves (ST) £60m
I mentioned in my last post about Joaquim Neves and I’ve decided to pull the trigger on the deal. Negotiations lasted a while going back and forth but we eventually agreed to a £60m deal.
I believe we have an absolute gem of a player here. I hope his link-up play will match well with Goncalves and Foden. It’s a lot of money on a relatively unknown player, but I have high hopes for him. We are still unable to compete with the big boys in terms of transfer funds and wages. Manchester City just shelled out £122m for Fabio Silva, a player who I would have liked but we don’t have that sort of power… yet. With growing interest in Cutrone from other clubs, I’m almost certain I can move him on for big money allowing Neves to slot into his position within the squad with ease. Welcome, Neves!
SOLD: Patrick Cutrone (ST) £80m
With the acquisition of Joaquim Neves, it was time we let a striker go, and that man was Patrick Cutrone.
He has all the attributes to be a sensational footballer, but for whatever reason he could not get it to click here at Wolves. Over the course of 5 seasons with me, he could only muster 26 league goals in 107 games. Not good enough in my eyes – especially since we’re trying to push for the title.
To nab £80m for him is a bit of a steal based on his performances for me. Maybe he’ll do very well at Juventus, but I was more than happy to let him go for a £60m profit. Good luck to him.
BOUGHT: Nicolas Lefevre (CB) Free
A freebie is on the cards next. In comes Nicolas Lefevre from PSG.
Not the most gifted of players, yet, but my scouts tell me his potential is huge. I think a loan move will be good for him to get games under his belt in a quest to help him fulfil his potential. Welcome, Lefevre.
BOUGHT: Dave Bennett (CM) £10.75m
On deadline day we were in for another young unproven English talent in the form of Dave Bennett from Burnley.
On paper he is very similar to Simon Damms and I’m extremely excited to watch both of them develop. With Bennett’s arrival, Jeronimo Fiezzi has been carted out of the club for £22m to Championship side Derby County. His personality was not the right fit for the squad and I hope I can expect more from these young lads coming in instead.
It’s going to be an interesting juggling act to give players enough game-time. Perhaps one will go out on loan in January.
Title Odds Are In
To my surprise, our title odds have been slashed from last year and we’re predicted to finish 5th. A little harsh on the lads considering a 1st and 2nd finish over the past two seasons.
But I’m happy to play a sort of underdog this year and put the onus on other teams to do better. Teams around us are shelling out lots of money but I’m trying to be sensible with our finances. Things can become sour very quickly if we do not keep an eye on our outgoings. £106m is still available in the transfer budget but as of right now I’m happy with the squad.
Overall we’ve had a good pre-season. Winning every game and playing some quite beautiful football at times too. I’m especially pleased with the Ajax, Galatasaray and Benfica matches. All those teams do pose a threat, but we dealt with that they threw at us very well.
We even picked up a trophy during pre-season with the season opener FA Community Shield. Revenge was on the cards for us since we lost to United in last years Champions League final. We looked fresh against Manchester United and it’s always nice to start the season as we mean to go on. Goncalves was in scintillating form, but he’s yet to partner up with his teammate Joaquim Neves since he has been playing for Portugal at the Olympics, along with Vinagre. Currently, they are both in the final and will play Holland for a Gold Medal.
Elsewhere, the Euros took place and Portugal took the crown this year beating Spain 3-2 in the final. Neves, Jota and Goncalves were all in involved, with the latter coming off the bench to score an equalizer and also his first for his country. I’m very proud of him. It’s no wonder he had an extra kick to his step during our pre-season tour.
For a second year in a row we’ve sold more than we’ve spent. We’ve done very well the past two years and it would be foolish to try and change too much.
The signature of Joaquim Neves was to try and fill a hole I believe we have next to Goncalves up front. I hope his ability on the ball and his vision to find a pass will work wonders while our other acquisitions are for the benefit of Wolves in the future. No more than six players have been bought for the future, with Simon Damms (16) and Dave Bennett (17) possibly having enough talent to take part this year.
The sale of Cutrone for £80m was fantastic. On paper he’s an incredible talent, but for what ever reason he couldn’t make it work here. I wish him all the best. Jeronimo Fiezzi finally was sold for £22m. A lot less than I originally planned on selling him for (more in the region of £50m), but needs must. His attitude was not right and with the late purchase of Dave Bennett, he just had to go. The Championship awaits him and no doubt he will dominate there.
I did have a bid from West Ham for a 28 year old Kalvin Phillips who has 2 years left on his deal. The original offer was £35m. I cheekly negotiated up to £50m and they accepted. I was astonished and I couldn’t have signed the papers quick enough. But a couple weeks later, Phillips told me he rejected West Ham’s offer and wanted to fight for his place here. I was furious. £50m for a bench player, and he goes and rejects it? We’ll never see that amount of money for him again. But nevertheless, he’s a hard working boy and I cannot hold it against him too much.
Next episode I will be cramming in a lot more games to help speed the save up a little so we can see the likes of our young talent develop quicker. The format will be a case of trial and error to see what work’s best and any feedback on the new episode will be much appreciated.
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