In this week’s Backpage, football journalist and FIFA fan Darren Cross highlights some of the top players that moved to new Leagues in the January transfer window, and why FUT managers should check them out…
When I first heard that Rennes and France midfielder Yann M’Vila had gone to Russian club Rubin Kazan in the January transfer window, I was disappointed. As a football journalist who focuses mainly on the Barclays Premier League, I was hoping he’d move to the Prem and I was looking forward to watching him every week.
Then I remembered that I am currently using an Ultimate Team based on Russian League players, and realised that M’Vila could possibly improve my squad.
As soon as he became available as a Rubin player I snapped him up and stuck him straight in the team in place of my current CDM, Witsel. If you read last week’s Backpage then you’ll know Witsel is a player I like in FUT, but M’Vila definitely offers something different. He feels quicker and stronger than Witsel, so he’ll be handy for games when I need to give my defence a bit more protection than usual.
Anyway, there were plenty of other moves in January that could interest FUT managers because they involved players moving to a new League. When that happens it gives fresh options to FUTers that build squads based on players from the same League, and sometimes it also offers new variations for those that like to make hybrids, which are squads made up of players from two or more different Nations or Leagues.
Let’s use M’Vila as an example. If I play him in his preferred formation and position in my team that’s made up solely of other players from the Russian League, then he immediately gets the maximum individual chemistry rating of 9. Or I could use M’Vila as a link man between in a hybrid Russian League-based attack and French-based defence. That’s something I wouldn’t have done prior to M’Vila’s transfer, as Lassana Diarra is the only other French CDM in Russia and I don’t seem to do very well with him there.
That’s just one example. There are many different combinations out there for hybrid fans and part of the fun is finding the player or players that link it all together, so we won’t focus too much on hybrid combos in this week’s Backpage. Instead, I’ve picked out a handful of big moves that I think could be interesting for FUT players looking to either add something new to a squad they’re using already, or build a completely new one.
Since we’ve already mentioned Yann M’Vila’s move to Rubin from Rennes, let’s start off by looking at another interesting transfer into the Russian League. Vagner Love is back at CSKA Moscow and he’s a Brazilian ST who is popular with a lot of FUT players. Love is quick, a decent finisher, good dribbler and can do 4* skill moves, so he’s a very useful forward. You can get him for under 1000 coins at the moment so he’s a slightly cheaper option than the excellent Gold Brazilian striker Welliton, of Spartak.
Other than M’Vila and Love there isn’t too much else to get excited about yet in terms of new players coming into the league, but it’s worth keeping an eye on Russia as the transfer window there still has a few weeks left to run.
Although superstars like Cavani and Falcao didn’t move to the Barclays PL last month, there are still plenty of newbies to get excited about.
Moussa Sissoko instantly became one of the most-wanted Prem CDMs in FUT when he joined Newcastle from Toulouse as, with 85 for Pace, only Ramires is faster in that position. There aren’t many Sissokos out there on the FUT market at the moment, so you’ll have to pay around 9000 coins for a 4-1-2-1-2 version of him.
Sissoko’s Newcastle team-mate Mapou Yanga-M’Biwa is another signing that’s well worth checking out. The former Montpellier CB is also pretty rapid, with a Pace rating of 76, so he’s right up there with the quickest central defenders in the League. He has a high Defending rating too, and costs around 5500 coins in a 4-1-2-1-2. Staying with Newcastle, Mathieu Debuchy is a good value RB with decent Pace and Defending stats – he only costs around 1000 coins – and The Magpies also signed ST Yoan Gouffran from Bordeaux. You can buy him for around 1500 coins and for that you get a good all-round striker with 84 for Pace and ratings in the low-mid 70s for everything else except Defending.
You could pair Gouffran with QPR striker Loic Remy, who joined from Marseille in the window. Remy is an excellent ST with 92 for Pace, 84 for Heading, a Dribbling rating of 78 and 76 for Shooting, which is why you’ll have to pay upwards of 15,000 coins for him.
At the time of writing this Arsenal’s new LB Nacho Monreal hadn’t completed his move in the FUT database, but hopefully he’s there now and you should definitely check him out, as his Malaga version is useful.
Staying with defenders, powerhouse CB Chris Samba is back in the Prem after completing his move from Anzhi. I’m not the biggest fan of him in FUT because, with just 54 Pace, he’s a little slow for the high line I often play, but I know plenty of players that like him for his Defending ability. If you want to find out if he’s for you then it’ll cost you around 3000 coins in a 4-1-2-1-2. Dutch CAM Urby Emanuelson, who joined Fulham, is a speedy midfielder with a good left foot, and he’s very cheap at just 300 coins. And as we’re talking useful CAMs there’s also Tottenham’s Lewis Holtby, who’s an excellent all-rounder for 1500 coins.
If you’re in the market for a new Prem CAM and your budget is bigger, there’s Philippe Coutinho. He joined Liverpool from Inter and is already selling for upwards of 10,000 coins thanks to his 4* skills and 92 Dribbling rating. Personally I think Chelsea’s Oscar is better value so I’d go for him if I wanted a Brazilian CAM to link my Prem team.
There’s one more Prem move I want to highlight which could be of interest to you if you like building Silver teams. New Wigan CM Roger Espinoza is a useful player who’s selling at around 5k+ at the moment. He’s a 73 Overall and has a 5* weak foot, so could be worth a look.
In Italy it’s all about Mario Balotelli for me. He is fantastic in FUT, and I should know as he’s bagged countless goals against me over the last few months. If you’ve got plenty of cash to spend and you want Mario in your Serie A team then you’ll be paying over 35,000 coins, which is a lot in a League that already boats an abundance of great STs. Actually, seeing as I just mentioned great STs in Italy, did you know that Giuseppe Rossi moved to Fiorentina from Villarreal? He’s an 82-rated CF with 84 Dribbling, 79 Pace and 81 Shooting as well as 4* skills, and you can sign him for less than 1000 coins.
It was a fairly quiet month in the Bundesliga but there were still a couple of interesting moves for FUT players. Michel Bastos joined Schalke from Lyon and he’s an LM that I really like as he’s quick, good with the ball at his feet and can whip quality crosses in. He’s expensive right now – around 10,000 coins in a 4-1-2-1-2 – but that’s probably because I think I’m right in saying he’s the only Brazilian LM in the League. Former Liverpool midfielder Nuri Sahin moved back to Borussia Dortmund and, although he’s a little slow for many FUTers, he’s excellent technically and a fine passer. His price varies quite wildly but I found a few versions of him at 6k or less.
You don’t need me to tell you the big news from France. We all know David Beckham joined PSG, and it’s a potentially interesting move for us FUT players because he makes a better midfield link between Ligue 1 and English players than Marseille’s Joey Barton. But the transfer that really got Ligue 1 FUT players excited was Lucas Moura’s long-awaited move from Sao Paulo to PSG. With 92 Pace, 88 Dribbling and 4* skill moves, Lucas is a very popular CAM for players that don’t have loads of coins to spend. You can sign the new version of him for around 7000.
Now I could be missing something but I don’t think there’s a great deal to tell you about Spain in terms of new players coming into the League. Spanish LM Nolito moved to Granada on loan from Benfica and you can pick him up for 350 coins, which is okay for a player with 84 Pace, 84 Dribbling and 4* skill moves. Left-back Emiliano Insua also moved from Portugal to Spain, joining Atletico Madrid from Sporting, and he’s a solid left back with all six ratings in the 70s.
Finally, I also want to mention a couple of excellent moves for players using Brazil-based teams. Lethal ST Alexandre Pato joined Corinthians from AC Milan and instantly became one of the best STs in the Liga Do Brasil in my opinion, at least for those unable to afford the in-form Neymar anyway. You can buy a 4-1-2-1-2 Pato for just over 8000. The last player left for me to flag up is also in Brazil; tricky CAM Carlos Eduardo left Rubin Kazan for Flamengo. He’s a player I’ve used a lot and really like, as he feels very responsive, has a great shot and can do 5* skill moves. There are loads of great CAMs in Brazil though, which is probably why Eduardo is available for 950.
Well that should give you plenty to think about if you’re looking to try something new in FUT. If you’d like to see a full list of all the FUT January movers, click on this link.
If I’ve missed anyone that you think other FUT players need to know about, tweet me @Darren_Cross and I’ll share them with the community.