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03|03 MERCATO D’HIVER: Things Are Ticking along Nicely

Welcome to the latest instalment of my journey with Stade Rennais F.C. Last time out, I took you through our season up to the end of 2021. In this update I'll be reviewing our January 2022 transfer window and the matches for the month.

SeasonThree.EpisodeThree | Mercato d’hiver

January 2021

January is a bad month when you’re the manager of a club like Stade Rennias. You have good players, players probably too good for your club which leads to two almost certain outcomes:

  1. The player outgrows your club and decides he needs to be playing at a bigger club
  2. Another bigger club takes an interest in your players and once that interest is there, the player wants to leave.

Well, that happened a lot this window.

THE TRANSFER WINDOW

It was a quiet transfer window, but that hasn’t stopped the drama.

Transfers in

IN | Ênio | €18.75M from Fluminense

Right, hear me out. I’ve been scouting this guy for a while. He can cross the ball, he has bags of pace, acceleration, agility and natural fitness. He has 24 goals or assists in 89 matches at just 17 years old. My scouts kept saying I should sign him and so with the outgoing players I decided to ask Sabino Aguad to see if he could get a deal done.

Turns out he could, for €18.75M. Eyewatering. However, instantly he is valued at €23M which makes me feel this could turn out for the best. I will give it time.

Screenshot 2020-02-26 at 17.46.23.png

Transfers out

Camavinga started developing concerns that he should be looking to move to a bigger club. Fortunately, no one came in for him. He’s valued at €53M so I might have an easier time getting a huge fee for him than Niang, who is wanted by … PS fucking G.

PSG bid €17M for Niang, who has 16 goals and 7 assists in 19 games. No chance is he leaving for that. I slapped a €50M price on his head as I did Raphinha and set Aguad the instruction to reject all bids below this amount.

He’s currently unhappy because no one would come close to it.

OUT | Michael Kouamé | €30.5M to AC Milan

I had moaned about Kouamé being bought for me in a position I didn’t need filling, however, after last season I decided to retrain him and give him a go up front as the Advanced Forward alongside Niang. He hit 9 goals, 6 assists in 14 games with an average rating of 7.68. A staggering return and naturally, that made clubs come calling. I stuck a €30M valuation on him and AC Milan paid it.

Sold.

Screenshot 2020-02-26 at 17.53.38.png

Youth player promotions

Quite a bold move, perhaps, but Camavinga was playing for me at 16 years old, so…

Guela Doué | 19 years old | Full-back 

Take a look at his attributes and explain to me how he has achieved a 7.25 rating over the two games he’s played for me (he has only just been called up due to injuries).

This was more of a forced promotion, but the performances he is putting in right now mean he’ll keep his spot for now.

Screenshot 2020-02-26 at 17.57.37.png


JANUARY 2021

So onto the matches and it was almost a perfect month for us.

Screenshot 2020-02-26 at 18.00.08.png

This month has basically been the Niang and Camavinga show. I really don’t think either of these players will be here at the start of next season so the search is on for replacements already.

The performances have been incredible, I’ve switched up the system ever so slightly to include an inverted wingback on the left of defence to come inside and offer support when the Mezzala goes wandering and it is working excellently. I’ve brought the left-winger back a bit to support and offer a little cover in doing so.

Screenshot 2020-02-26 at 18.03.44.png

This new system creates some really nice patterns over on the left which often drags a lot of the opposition players over since we normally have the advantage in numbers, allowing players to switch to Quintana or Pereira out on the right in space.

The league is now shaping up nicely. Managing to keep Camavinga and Niang for the rest of the season should hopefully see us secure Champions League football next season unless something goes badly wrong.

january transfer window.png

(Click here for the full table)

We have dropped into the Europa League, which is a little frustrating as we could do without the distraction, but I might give it a go and see how far we can get. We have drawn Bournemouth so it should be a good test nonetheless.

YOUTH WATCH

Returning this January, we take a look at the youth players playing in the first-team squad and profile how they’re doing for us.

Gilles Schmitt

This kid just keeps getting better and better. Some clubs have started to show an interest in him, understandably. We’re trying to bring him in slowly, but with 6 goals in 6(5) games it’s sometimes hard to leave him out.

I feel comfortable letting Niang go in the summer, knowing that with another season under his belt, Schmitt might be ready to be a regular starter.

Screenshot 2020-02-26 at 18.18.16.png

That just about wraps things up. My next post will be covering the rest of the season!

As always, you can get in touch with me in the comments below, via twitter @fmfutbolmanager, or my slack channel #fmFutbolManager — if you’re not a part of the Football Manager Slack community, then you can join here!

Until next time, à tout à l’heure.

Oliver Jensen

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