If you’ve ever taken charge of a club on Football Manager, then chances are you’ve headed straight to the market in search of a striker.
Indeed no truly great side is complete without a prolific marksman, but hungry goal-getters can be hard to come by, no matter where you’re situated in the football pyramid.
Just look at Barcelona for example. The crisis klaxons were working overdrive when Kevin-Prince Boateng pitched up last year, and the alarm bells haven’t exactly subsided with news of Martin Braithwaite’s arrival.
Managers will do almost anything to find that coveted 20-goal-a-season striker. Heck, West Ham and Newcastle forked out a combined £85m for Sebastien Haller and Joelinton respectively, but a return of just seven league goals between them is hardly Romario territory.
“Strikers are egotists, selfish. We have to be,” mused the World Cup winner, but that counts for nothing if you can’t find the back of the net. Luckily for Barcelona and Brazil, this penalty box assassin could pick out the goalposts with his eyes closed.
It’s unlikely you’ll find a No. 9 of Romario’s cut-throat proficiency, but there are a number of top finishers in the game nonetheless, and some will come at an absolute bargain.
FM20 best cheap strikers to sign for under £1m
Matias Arezo (River Plate Montevideo)
We’re kicking things off with an absolute gem. This 16-year-old is yet to sign his first professional contract so you can pull the wool over the Uruguayan club’s eyes by approaching to sign him straight off the bat.
Despite his age, the advanced forward already has 14 for finishing, 14 for technique and a whole host of excellent attributes. He is a natural finisher in every sense and will go on to reach great heights in the game under the right guidance. That he comes so cheap makes this proposition all the more tantalising.
Diego Souza (Sao Paulo)
The experienced Rio de Janeiro striker is currently on the books at Sao Paulo but his contract expires in December, meaning you can approach to sign him and secure his signature on a free to start the New Year right.
A veteran of the game, Souza has been capped seven times by Brazil and possesses a good balance of all-round stats. There is no particular aspect that he excels in, nor are there any discernible chinks in his armour. Souza is simply a reliable, efficient forward who can all drop back and operate as a CAM if needs be.
Adam Hlozek (Sparta Prague)
If signing one precocious teenager on the cheap wasn’t enough to fill your boots, then how about a second? Hlozek comes at a much lower price to Arezo but still packs the required skillset to make it at the top.
The 17-year-old is one of the best wonderkids FM 20 has to offer, which makes his measly compensation package that much sweeter. He is adept either up-top as an advanced forward, or can fluidly slot in on the right as an out-and-out winger. Make no mistake, we’re dealing with a real talent here. Sign him up.
FM20 best strikers to sign for £1m-£10m
Raul Ruidiaz (Seattle Sounders)
Moving along now to one of Major League Soccer’s star protagonists: Ruidiaz. The path from South America to MLS is well-trodden these days, but this Peruvian marksman is simply on another level.
If ever you were on the prowl for a guaranteed 20-goal-a-season striker whose acquisition won’t break the bank, Ruidiaz is your man. His physical attributes are second to none, while his technical stats aren’t bad either, with 15 for dribbling, 15 for first touch and a whopping 16 for finishing. No matter which top-flight club you are, secure him quick and watch the goals fly in.
Viktor Fischer (Copenhagen)
A former wonderkid of these parts, it’s safe to say Fischer hasn’t quite lived up to his once formidable potential on Football Manager, but the game still rates him very highly despite underwhelming stints at both Middlesbrough and Mainz.
In fact, if you begin the game as Man Utd for example, he is one of the first names on your scouting list. He’s hit form again in his native Denmark for Copenhagen but can be prised away for an absolute snip and is undoubtedly worth the small fee.
Mohamed Daramy (Copenhagen)
Staying in the Danish capital, we turn our attention to the club’s youngster ever goalscorer, teenage wunderkind Daramy.
This fledgling forward can be secured for around £2m, and no matter who you’re in charge of, he comes with a five-star potential rating. Dribbling, first touch and impressive physical attributes are just some of the tools in his repertoire. If provided the right platform, Daramy could genuinely evolve into a forward of real elite substance.
FM20 best strikers to sign for £10m-£20m
Odsonne Edouard (Celtic)
Celtic have already lost one prolific Frenchman – and a former PSG graduate – in Moussa Dembele, but could they lose another? Your call.
And that call should be straight to Parkhead as you can wrap up a deal for Edouard for less than £20. If you’re at the helm in any of Europe’s top five leagues, then this is a no-brainer.
Michael Kouame (Genoa)
Edouard comes with a poacher’s touch, owing to his 17 for finishing, but Kouame boasts breakneck speed and an insane dribbling ability.
If your philosophy requires a back-to-the-goal forward, then Edouard’s a shoo-in, but if you need an over-the-top marksman to show defenders a clean pair of heels and run into space, then Kouame can duly oblige.
Fedor Chalov (CSKA Moscow)
Returning to strikers who have a little bit of everything in the locker, Chalov is an excellent buy for any top-flight club.
Nominally a deep-lying forward, the young Russia international boasts quite outrageous mental attributes, as well as the requisite stats for a top class striker: finishing (14), first touch (13), composite (14), anticipation (14), flair (16), off the ball (17) and vision (14).
FM20 best strikers to sign for £20m and above
Josef Martinez (Atlanta United)
Crossing back over the Atlantic we return to another clinical stateside marksman, and he comes in the guise of Martinez.
The ferocious Venezuelan finisher will set you back just over £20m, but fear not because Martinez is a natural born goalscorer. He’s set MLS alight but he is surely ready to another another bit at the European cherry after an unsuccessful spell at Torino.
Erling Braut Haaland (Red Bull Salzburg)
An obvious choice no doubt, but the point can never be stressed enough. Soon the winter update will kick in so keep signing this Leeds-born weapon until then.
Labelling Haaland as an already-world class striker won’t cause too many arguments in football discourse, nor would it be unwise to suggest he has already transcended his wonderkid status. We are now talking about one of the best finishers across Europe – Haaland just became the fastest player to reach 10 Champions League goals (7 games) – and you can yet shatter Dortmund dreams by signing him on FM 20 for the time being.
Jonathan David (Gent)
Another youngster causing quite the scene across the continent this season is Gent’s David, whose international record for Canada stands at a quite alarming 11 goals in 12 senior matches.
That should tell you everything you need to know about this talented tyro. His formative years have already yielded great success, but he can truly explode under the right tuition. He’ll cost you a pretty penny, but no where near the price Gent will be demanding of him in just a few years’ time. Move aside Alphonso Davies, Canada have a new poster boy.
FM 20 best strikers to sign – for every budget
- Matias Arezo (River Plate Montevideo)
- Diego Souza (Sao Paulo)
- Adam Hlozek (Sparta Prague)
- Raul Ruidiaz (Seattle Sounders)
- Viktor Fischer (Copenhagen)
- Mohamed Daramy (Copenhagen)
- Odsonne Edouard (Celtic)
- Michael Kouame (Genoa)
- Fedor Chalov (CSKA Moscow)
- Josef Martinez (Atlanta United)
- Erling Braut Haaland (Red Bull Salzburg)
- Jonathan David (Gent)