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04|01 PRÉ-SAISON: Keeping Hold of Our Midfield

Welcome to the latest instalment of my journey with Stade Rennais F.C. Last time out I took you through my end of season review, as we completed season 2021/22. In this update I'll be reviewing preseason ahead of the 2022/23 season.

SeasonFour.EpisodeOne | Pré-saison

The goal of this preseason was to try to keep all the players together but also plan for losing my key players, should that happen.

I mean Chelsea did bid €107M for Palacios

June 2022 – August 2022

Unlike last season, however, we were able to hold onto our better players.

Despite the €107M offer from Chelsea, Palacios is still a Stade Rennais player. For some reason, Palacios turned down the contract offer, so we keep a world-class player and lose €80M upfront.

It means the rest of our transfer plans are scuppered as I was banking on at least €100M in fees incoming.


A relatively quiet and uneventful window.

Transfers in

First up, the players I have brought into the club this window.

IN | Pablo Marí | €11.5M from Flamengo

I needed a centre-back as we were down to just three in the first-team squad. I had tried to sign a few but missed out on four of the five targets we had. Marí was actually the last central defender we had on the list, but at just under €12M he should do for a couple of years until a few of the younger players are ready.

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IN | Andreas Pereira | €14.75M from Man United

A bargain in my eyes. I had my eye on Pereira when he became available for sale and I thought we were going to be losing Palacios. I signed him anyway since we’ve moved to a three-man midfield now.

Technically he is a good player and with a value greater than the fee, he is someone we might be able to sell on for profit if it doesn’t work out.

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Transfers out

Always the worst part of the updates. But being a club of our stature, it is always going to happen.

OUT | Adrien Hunou | €3.3M to Stade Reims

With moving to a one striker system I don’t need four first team strikers at the club and given his age and lack of mobility I was willing to let Hunou leave.

Stade Reims have got a cracking player for a bargain price!

Screenshot 2020-03-28 at 22.56.53.png

Youth player promotions

Zied Ayari | 17 years old | Striker

I’m not sure just how many games he will get, but Ayari has been tearing up the youth leagues so I will give him a couple of games to see how he gets on.

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So we moved to a 433 system which has proven successful defensively, but we’re struggling a little in the attacking phase.

I think over the opening games of the season we’ll need to tweak things to get us firing.

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The system currently looks like this.

Screenshot 2020-03-28 at 18.57.49.png


Another good start.

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Our lack of attacking threat continues into the season. We’re having plenty of the ball and creating a lot of shooting opportunities, but none are clear cut and we’re not finishing the chances we’re getting.

Still, winning is good and keeping clean sheets is good. We just have to find our shooting boots.


(Click here for the full table)

So another good start to our fourth season here. No real signings but keeping hold of Camavinga and Palacios is fantastic for us. Camavinga signed a new contract so if I can get Palacios to sign one too, that’ll be a very good summer for us.

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


  1. Do you have any players in the last line, pinning back the defenders? The false nine and the AP-A sometimes, I guess, but that’s really defensive. I played a similar system in FM 19, but with a CF-A, two attacking midfielders and also two IWBs on support. I would at least bring the second midfielder forward (maybe B2B?).

    1. Hey, sorry. I completely missed this comment. The system has changed somewhat since this post. It has been an evolution going through many changes. I actually now do use a BBM with an AF as a striker.

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