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How to spend Newcastle’s £200m budget on Football Manager 2022: Realistic raid or Galacticos 2.0?

By Ben Green

Published: 18:28, 30 December 2021

In a double boost to Newcastle’s hopes of becoming a major continental player, Mike Ashley has left the building and a Saudi-led takeover has given the Magpies football’s wealthiest owners.

It will make for fascinating viewing as Eddie Howe shifts from signing Jordon Ibe and Dominic Solanke for over-the-odds fees, to signing Philippe Coutinho and Eden Hazard for over-the-odds fees.

Or will the former Bournemouth man defy football’s predictable script-makers and make more subtle, sensible signings?

Time will tell, but there can be no denying that Newcastle are a source of intrigue at the minute, particularly on FM22, where users are given a £200m war chest at the start of a new save.

Of course, spending the money is the easy part, but spending it wisely? That is where you could run into some trouble. In the video at the top of this article Dave Azzopardi discusses some of the big-name signings you could look to make, as well as a handful of more pragmatic purchases.

Or you can read down below for our full breakdown on how to spend Newcastle’s £200m transfer budget on FM22. We have five galacticos and five realistic buys you can look at.

Five Galactico Signings

Dusan Vlahovic

Club: Fiorentina

Position: Striker

Valuation: £48m – £56m

Best attributes: Finishing 17 | Strength 17 | Work Rate 16 | Penalty Taking 16

Dusan Vlahovic is a supreme goalscoring talent who recently became only the second player since 1960 to score 33+ Serie A goals in a single calendar year after Cristiano Ronaldo managed it in 2020. At 21 he is already operating at an elite level and, frighteningly, still has room to grow.

Aurelien Tchouameni

Club: Monaco

Position: Central Midfielder

Valuation: £70m – £91m

Best attributes: Bravery 16 | Tackling 15 | Work Rate 15 | Strength 15 | Stamina 15

Monaco sporting director Paul Mitchell recently compared 21-year-old Aurelien Tchouameni to a young Steven Gerrard; describing him as the complete midfielder, though he did stress: “Everything is expensive in Monte Carlo, let’s say that Tchouameni is as expensive as the Grand Casino.”

So the already-capped France international will cost you a pretty penny, but he could be worth it. Why? He has made more tackles than any other player in Europe’s top five divisions this calendar year (133). Tenacity and timing are two adjectives that spring to mind here.

Karim Adeyemi

Club: RB Salzburg

Position: Striker

Valuation: £11.5m – £16.5m

Best attributes: Determination 19 | Acceleration 17 | Pace 16 | Off The Ball 15

Salzburg has been the home to some of football’s finest talent this century, and there’s another emerging forward making significant headway in Austria: Karim Adeyemi. The fledgling finisher won four penalties in the 2021/22 Champions League Group Stage, which is the joint-most ever recorded in a single campaign alongside Arjen Robben in 2012/13.

He’s a tricky customer, whose twinkle toes could work ferociously in tandem with serial ankle-snapper Allan Saint-Maximin.

Declan Rice

Club: West Ham

Position: Central Midfielder

Valuation: £72m – £82m

Best attributes: Natural Fitness 18 | Composure 17 | Determination 17 | Work Rate 17 | Stamina 17 | Leadership 16 | Tackling 16 | Positioning 16 | Teamwork 16

The heart and soul of everything good about West Ham in the David Moyes era, Declan Rice is an all-action No. 8 who has no discernible weakness. Dynamic, athletic, creative and hard-hitting, he’s the vital artery of any midfield.

Matthijs de Ligt

Club: Juventus

Position: Central Defender

Valuation: £79m – £92m

Best attributes: Bravery 18 | Strength 18 | Leadership 17 | Aggression 16 | Tackling 16 | Work Rate 16 | Determination 16 | Heading 16

Matthijs de Ligt is the only defender to be named European Golden Boy, such was his meteoric rise to prominence at Ajax. Still only 22 (21 at the start of a new FM22 save), the hard-nosed Dutchman has years ahead to continue his rapid ascent, and his agent, of course the notorious Mino Raiola, recently stated he is ready for a new challenge. Could ushering in a new era on Tyneside be that challenge?

Five Realistic Signings

Dean Henderson

Club: Man Utd

Position: Goalkeeper

Valuation: £21m – £25m

Best attributes: Determination 16 | Communication 15 | One On Ones 15 | Reflexes 15 | Aggression 15 | Agility 15 | Natural Fitness 15

Among goalkeepers to make 20+ appearances in the Premier League since the 2019/20 season, Dean Henderson has the highest save percentage (74.86%), outranking the likes of Ederson (70.82%), Alisson (71.37%) and Edouard Mendy (73.29%). With David de Gea wrestling the No.1 berth back off him at Man Utd, Henderson may feel his services are best suited away from Old Trafford. Maybe St. James’ Park?

Lucas Digne

Club: Everton

Position: Left-Back

Valuation: £34m – £37m

Best attributes: Work Rate 17 | Crossing 16 | Free Kick Taking 16 | Composure 16 | Determination 16 | Stamina 16

Frozen out by former Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez at Everton, Lucas Digne will be hot property in just a few day’s time. Only five players have created more chances in the Premier League since the Frenchman made the switch to Goodison Park (211). When compared to defenders, only Trent Alexander-Arnold (266) can beat him. No wonder Chelsea are thought to be eyeing him up to remedy Ben Chilwell’s season-ending injury.

Dele Alli

Club: Tottenham

Position: Central Attacking Midfield

Valuation: £28m – £31m

Best attributes: Natural Fitness 18 | Flair 17 | Composure 16 | Finishing 15 | Technique 15 | Anticipation 15

Dele Alli was once so good that Sir Alex Ferguson told Jose Mourinho to sign him for Man Utd. Now looking to rebuild his career, he is another player that they could be tempted to make a move for when the January transfer window opens for real. Dele was directly involved in 63 goals in his first three Premier League seasons — he is definitely worth taking a gamble on.

Jesse Lingard

Club: Man Utd

Position: Central Attacking Midfield

Valuation: £20m

Best attributes: Work Rate 17 | Off The Ball 17 | Stamina 17 | Natural Fitness 17 | Teamwork 16 | Aggression 15  | Acceleration 15 | Agility 15 | Pace 15

Jesse Lingard was a revelation on loan at West Ham. In 2021, Lingard has been directly involved in a Premier League goal once every 100.8 minutes on average. Only five players with 500+ minutes played can beat that. The best of them all? Gareth Bale. He scored or assisted every 63.5 minutes on loan at Spurs so could be someone you look to sign as well.

Sven Botman

Club: Lille

Position: Central Defender

Valuation: £22m – £25m

Best attributes: Determination 17 | Tackling 16 | Jumping Reach 16 | Heading 15 | Marking 15  | Stamina 15

Lille is becoming the go-to shopping destination for the biggest clubs in Europe; Jonathan David, Renato Sanches and Jonathan Ikone would all be great additions. But Sven Botman is arguably the pick of the bunch. During Lille’s title-winning 2020/21 season, Botman won 67.8% of his duels — the third-highest success rate of any player to win at least 100. Not bad for a 21-year-old.