2019/20 Season Preview - Enforced Small Improvements
After last season's over-achievement of finishing 16th, I was concerned that the board may have been overly ambitious this season, but quickly learnt that I needn't have worried about that. The media think we'll improve on last season's prediction of 20th and finish 19th this season. Once again, my board expect us to battle bravely against relegation. They did increase the wage budget to £250k per week however, and give me £23m to spend.
The issue I have is that our reputation is small and out maximum wage offered is even smaller. This priced me out of some of the more established players and meant I had to go a little more left-field.
Dejan Joveljic - £1.4m - Elfsborg
A young striker with plenty of potential, Joveljic goes straight into the first team squad and will battle with Beltrame and Palombi for my lone striker position. Physically, he's very good, but it was is work rate that drew me to him initially. His finishing and composure can improve, and should do with game time.
Georges-Kevin N'Koudou - £4.4m - Marseille
Recently signed by Tottenham in real life, but not someone I've seen mentioned a lot on FM. Bags of pace and can cross and dribble, which will be what is expected of him in every game this season. He's a bit one-dimensional, but he was the best I could afford and will probably take on more of a squad role and we develop further as a club.
Krystian Bielik - £5.5m - Arsenal
I needed a defensive midfielder and Bielik ticked lots of boxes. Tall, strong, good positional sense, anticipation, marking, determination and work rate. He offers Partey competition for his place and can also play centre back if needed, although he is a bit slow in that position for me.
Total spent: £11.3m
I was chasing Lincoln all summer, as he is transfer listed at Porto, despite being labelled a wonderkid, but I just could afford him. At first it was his wages, but after a bit of wiggling around with my budgets, it was the fee of £21.5m.
It's a frustrating time. We need upgrades to left back, right back, left wing and right wing, but just haven't got the financial or reputational pull to attract anyone good enough.
No-one exciting left the club this summer, and our lack of sellable assets meant we didn't bring much in by way of transfer fees.
The Season Ahead
One point from our first four games suggests it's going to be another season of real struggle. Goalscoring is a real issue at the moment and a lack of confidence means that despite being "in" games, we don't have the quality to punish teams. The form of the second half of last season seems to have disappeared completely, and we'll need to drastically improve if we are to stay in the division and avoid second season syndrome.
On a more positive note, there is money in the bank and the youth facility upgrade should be completed on Boxing Day.