FM20 Bolton Wanderers: A deeper look into the squad

Welcome back, In this post I wanted to show you my first thoughts on the squad and point out some potential youth players we have on the books.

Goalkeepers

Ben Alnwick will be moved on asap at 32yo and £5k pw which is 7.3% of our overall wage budget. I’ll look to get a fee as hes valued at £675k if we can get anything it will be a bonus.
Remi Matthews will be our number 1 at 25 he still has room for improvement and is young enough to hold the position for 5-6 seasons while we develop Luke Hutchinson who at 15 already has 5* potential. Matthew Alexander will be back up/ u23 Goalkeeperfor the foreseeable future.

Actions – Renew Matthews, Hutchinson and Alexander’s contracts. Sell Alnwick

Right Backs

Josh Emmanuel is a potential star aged 21 he’s starting RB. £1.5kpw i’ll be getting his renewal sorted asap. Probably a sellable asset long term. Nathan Whalley is a 16yo with 4* potential. Long term he’ll probably only be a back up. I’ll need to find some RB targets for next summer and long term to cover Emmanuel leaving at any point.

Actions – Renew Emmanuel contract and start scouting long term RB replacements

Centre Backs

Jake Wright is on loan for the season for £0 pw wages I have no long term interest in him will probably terminate contract if possible. Jack Hobbs and Harry Brockbank (contracted until 2021) will be my CB pairing with Yoan Zouma and Liam Edwards as back up. Zouma looks brilliant so next season I’d like him to replace Hobbs as Brockbank’s partner. Edwards will be a backup player long term he has a 3 year deal on £850pw contract which is ideal. Adam Senior, Ryan Colvin and D’Neal Richards i’ll look to develop for the first team in 3-4 seasons time. Kwame Osigwe is probably going to be released in the summer.

Actions – Renew contracts of Hobbs and Zouma. Terminate Wright loan deal

Left Backs

Josh Earl is on loan until January and is injured until January and on £800pw so i’ll be terminating his deal straight away. Joe Bunney will start as first choice with Adam Chicksen as backup. Joe White and Jordan Boon look tasty so ill be looking at one of to take over Chicksen as backup to Bunney in the next 2 seasons. Chicksen’s deal ends in January and Boon has the best attributes so hopefully he can make that step up ASAP which will allow us to move chicksen on saving his wages.

Actions – Renew Bunney deal and decide if Boon or White are ready to back up or do we give Chicksen another year

Right Midfielders

Thibaud Verlinden is the best player we have and hes only here for 6 months. I’ll be using him while retraining Dennis Politic at RM and he will be the long term player there he looks brilliant already for this level. I need to renew his contract asap. Same as Emmanuel hes a potential asset. Callum King-Harmes will be stepping up as back up from the winter once Verlinden leaves. Jay Fitzmartin looks brilliant at 15 he’s already better than King-Harmes. I’m hoping to get him trained up so if Politic goes he is ready to step in.

Actions – Contracts for Politic and King-Harmes need renewals and retraining to RM. Fitzmartin has a 2 year deal so not a massive rush.

Centre Midfielders

Liam Bridcutt is here until January. That gives us 6 months to focus on retraining someone to play DM to cover him when he goes. A early look suggests Jason Lowe could be the man. Ali Crawford is our most creative player so we need him to influence games Luke Murphy will probably complete the midfield 3. James Weir will probably be a long term back up at 23. We seem to have 4 great prospects in Ronan Darcy, Sonny Graham, Markus Assarsson and Regan Riley with Lowe and Murphy on £9k pw I’ll be hoping for one or two of them to try and step into the first team squad to help save money.

Actions – Retrain the youngsters to build a new midfield for long term and sort out contracts. Lowe and Murphy on big deals worry me both are on double what i would think it is suitable for us at the moment

Left Midfielders

Will Buckley is our only option hes on £2.5k pw so i think we will be moving him on in the winter when his deal expires. Finlay Hurford-Lockett looks a good prospect but at 16 hes probably not ready to replace Buckley. So we will need to find an alternative or maybe look at retraining King-Harmes to play on the left therefore it improves his and Fitzmartins playing time pathways.

Actions – Scout for a new LM for next summer and retrain/develop Hurford-Lockett and Kings-Harmes?

Strikers

Probably our deepest area and I’m most likely only to play with one striker. Daryl Murphy will lead the line for one season only. Connor Hall is out injured until winter but then he will challenge Joe Dodoo for the starting role going forward, Chris O’Grady will leave this summer.
Eddie Brown and Brown-Sterling look like ones to watch in the next 2-3 years but probably won’t see much first team this season.

Actions – Secure the futures of Hall and Dodoo

This will most likely be our strongest staring XI as we start the game.

Looking to the future I took this image so I can look back and see how many of these players became first team regulars

i mentioned the class of 92 earlier could this be the class of 19?

Things to take away from this post is we need to sort contracts out. We have a decent crop of youth players to develop. LM is our biggest priority for Summer 2020 If King-Harmes can’t step up with RB in second if Emmanuel becomes wanted. We have to weigh up player by player if they are worth their demands on renewals.
I’m happy to lean on what we have here. This is a rebuild but it won’t be 20 players coming in next summer. We will focus on weaknesses and potential departures and build from there.
From this squad analysis we have an inexperienced squad but one i’m hoping can keep us up this year then develop going forward and aim for promotion in 3 years. I don’t expect to have any money to spend for a few years so any incomings will most likely be frees at end of contracts.

Thanks again for reading and my next post should be out soon where i talk about my first tactic of the save. Spoiler alert above its 4141.

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