I'm returning to action with notorious watch checker, Franco Ricci, as Head Coach of Sampdoria.
It's great to finally get my first meaningful save of FM17 underway and I'm delighted to do so in Genoa with La Samp. Of course I had a FM16 game not so long ago with Empoli so there is certain degree of familiarity this time on my return as I have a feel for the scene in Serie A and a few of the players.
Without further ado allow me to dive straight in and introduce the squad.
Well quite simply it is enormous. I don't know the exact intentions of the previous regime but if it was collecting 250 players then they were well on the right track. Fortunately countless are away on loan so I don't have to deal with everyone all at once. And bravely I've decided to go with it for the most part, I cut 4-5 absolute wasters but I handed twice as many new contracts. The time will come to fully address the playing staff as one whole but everyone is getting their chance early doors.
The team/squad was, to be fair, an attraction for me in selecting La Samp. Well that and their sexy kit on the tactics screen. They have a really intriguing mix of young, old, home-grown and imported talent. I actually couldn't wait to get stuck in and look for a blend.
Let's start with the experienced end of the scale. They are all here from your yesteryear FMs:
- Angelo Palombo
- Fabio Quagliarella
- Luca Cigarini
- Antonio Cassano
- Emiliano Viviano
That's a trip down memory lane right there. And not that tutoring is my thing, how can I ignore such a wealth of professionals. I hope to turn most into coaches and eek out their influence of the younger ones. So we move on to them:
- Pedro Pereira. - Not heard of him? 18 year old Portugese fullback and a touted wonderkid on the FM scene.
- Karol Linetty. - Polish midfielder who I know well having signed him at Empoli. A highly reliable, consistent type.
- Lucas Torreira. - A mystery to me to be honest but looks similar to Linetty, perhaps slight more defensive.
- Bruno Fernandes. - A real favourite of mine, on loan from Udinese with future transfer in pre agreed.
- Dennis Praet. - Ex-Anderlecht starlet.
As if these weren't enough I sold Luis Muriel for £10m plus along with a couple of others to bring in £16.5m of which I reinvested around 90%. Here's a screenshot of that inbound dealing.
Just to explain Gnoukouri appearing twice. I loaned him in with a future fee and was so excited that I exercised that right immediately. Melegoni again harps back to my Empoli save, he's only 17 right now but I know he comes good. Pierini is also super young but is known in Italian youth football as "baby bomber". The big signing is Concha, with £6.5m representing his release fee. A slight gamble on this one but he can play inside forward right, a position of need.
My midfield area is extremely well stocked despite the sale of Edgar Barreto and Mirko Eramo. This means I will have to play a lot of 5-man midfields.
The two-team city of Genoa (pop. 588k) sets itself. I hope its a roller-coaster with more thrills than spills.
STADIO LUIGI FERRARIS _ GENOA, ITALY