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08|03 MERCATO D’HIVER: Are the New Signings Taking Their Toll?

Welcome to my Football Manager 2020 blog. In this latest instalment of my journey with Stade Rennais I'll be reviewing our January transfer window and the matches for the month.

SeasonEight.EpisodeThree | Mercato d’hiver

Welcome back to my Football Manager 2020 blog with Stade Rennais. If you missed by previous post, you can catch up with everything that happened, here:

08|02 MATCHS ALLER: Aint Nobody Stopping the Stade Rennais Train!

January 2027

It has been a difficult month at Stade Rennais, I’m not going to lie. Perhaps the team blend is affected due to all the signings and it’s only now taking its toll, or perhaps the lack of quality is beginning to catch up with us.

Either way, we’re not blowing teams away like we were. Something needs to change or we’re going to fall away in this title race.


It was a relatively quiet window. And we needed that, after the summer we had.

Stade Rennais Transfers in

So the players in.

IN | Godfrey Mdluli | €13M from FC København

I didn’t really put as much thought into this signing as I usually do. I’ve signed him because my scouts said he’s a good player, but I don’t think he’ll ever be good enough for us. I’ve loaned him out immidiately to get some game time, given his age. I’ll see how he does at Montpellier. If he does well I’ll see how he gets on over the summer with us.

I like his physical attributes, so I have some hope he can develop well over the next year or two.

Players signed: A view of new Stade Rennais signing Godfrey Mdluli's attributes from the player profile screen
Godfrey Mdluli

Stade Rennais Transfers out

Just the one player leaving this window.

OUT | Michael Petersen | €48.5m (€54M) to Napoli

This was a really poor piece of business, but Petersen was winding me up by refusing a conract on offer to him. It was a good deal and he should have accepted, but he didn’t so I had no choice but to let him go when Napoli came in for him as he was affecting the morale in the squad.

Could have probably got more for him, but given that we signed him for just €18.75M we’ve done a good bit of business. We also have a 20% of the profits coming back to us if Napoli sell him for more than €48.5M which I expect them to.

Players sold: A view of outgoing player Michael Petersen's attributes from the player profile screen
Michael Petersen

Youth player promotions

Just the one promotion from the academy this season. I’ve been playing some of the younger kids we signed this last window, too.

Erwen Le Bras | 18 years old | Striker (Centre)

This kid! To think he’s the third rated youth striker we have here, too! The future if very bright in that department if the youth teams keep churning these players out. Entering his third year at Stade Rennais he’s now in and around the first team getting games. with 15 goals in 16 starts he has exploded onto the scene in a similar way to Schmitt.

Dare I say… He could be even better…

Youth player: A view of youth player Erwen Le Bras's attributes from the player profile screen
Erwen Le Bras


If only we could have played in the league as we have in the cup!

January 2027 results
January 2027 results

Honestly, I’m struggling to pin point exactly what has gone wrong recently. We’ve been excellent in the cup, winning comfortably in all our games, but in the league we have struggled.

Against Brest we hammered them, but no real clear chances. The same can be said for Marseille and Monaco. We’ve had 71 shots in those three matches, with 29 in the match against Breast, but they’ve all been pretty poor chances.

Players aren’t turning up like they were. Whether that is complacency or just a lack of quality compared with the players who were here last season.

I’m going to switch up our training and do more match prep work to see if we can get back on our feet and start winning games.

Amazingly, despite the rather poor month by our standards, PSG are also struggling and are level on points. It’ll be an interesting end to the season if we both keep dropping points like this.

League table

(Click here for the full table)

Here’s to the rest of the season.


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.

Jordy Verbeek

Remember this summer signing? Well, I decided he would play in the DM slot and he’s doing really well. His development is coming along nicely, and he’s almost a natural in that position. His training is helping improve him and he’s getting games as well.

I look forward to watching his development over the rest of the season.

Jordy Verbeek
Jordy Verbeek

Another frustrating January comes to a close, but this time for different reasons. We’ve not lost any of our star players, but we’ve not won any matches in the league either.

If we want to retain the title we need to start finding that cutting edge again, and soon!

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

Please leave me a comment below.

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