Football Manager 2019: 13 brilliant cheap central midfielders to sign

4 Mar

A strong midfield is vital for any team on Football Manager but sometimes the cash at your club won’t let you sign the best in the business.

A central star is an absolute must, whether as a playmaker or a ball-winner, so what can you do?

Football Manager 2019 is set to thrill fans from November 2.

Thankfully the folks over at the excellent FMScout.com have figured out the best bargain buys in this position, and they should all be available for fairly low fees.

So which central midfielders should you be getting? Find out below.

*Some players may not be available on every game to due to differing database sizes

13. David Ivan (Vis Pesaro) – Age 23 – Value = £350,000

Top attributes – First Touch, Passing, Technique, Determination, Teamwork, Acceleration, Agility, Natural Fitness, and Stamina.

12. Teboho Mokoena (SuperSport United) – Age 21 – Value = £300,000

Top attributes – Passing, Tackling, Technique, Positioning, Work Rate, Acceleration, Agility, Natural Fitness, and Pace.

11. George Thorne (Derby County/Luton) – Age 25 – Value = £725,000

Thorne hasn’t featured under Frank Lampard this season.

Top attributes – Passing, Technique, Composure, Vision, and Teamwork.

10. Anders Trondsen (Rosenborg) – Age 23 – Value = £450,000

Top attributes – Corners, Crossing, Long Shots, Passing, Tackling, Vision, Work Rate, Stamina, and Strength.

9. Bruno Cosendey (Vasco da Gama) – Age 21 – Value = £525,000

Top attributes – Technique, Bravery, Decisions, Flair, Off The Ball, Teamwork, Vision, Work Rate, Acceleration, Natural Fitness, Pace, and Stamina.

8. Cristhian Paredes (Portland Timbers) – Age 20 – Value = £14,750

Paredes has two international caps for Paraguay.

Top attributes – Long Shots, Technique, Anticipation, Composure, Determination, Off The Ball, and Agility.

7. Manu Morianes (Villarreal) – Age 19 – Value = £475,000

Top attributes – Passing, Tackling, Technique, Decisions, Determination, Work Rate, and Acceleration.

6. Benjamin Hvidt (AGF) – Age 18 – Value = £38,000

Top attributes – Passing, Aggression, Bravery, Work Rate, Jumping Reach, and Stamina.

5. Fabio Castellano (Juve Stabia) – Age 20 – Value = £200,000

Top attributes – First Touch, Passing, Technique, Determination, Flair, Teamwork, Vision, and Natural Fitness.

4. Lasse Vigen (Brondby) – Age 23 – Value = £925,000

Top attributes – First Touch, Passing, Technique, Aggression, Anticipation, Composure, Decisions, Determination, Leadership, Teamwork, Work Rate, and Stamina.

3. Igor Kogut (Dnipro) – Age 22 – Value = £325,000

Top attributes – Finishing, Aggression, Bravery, Determination, Work Rate, and Natural Fitness.

2. Assane Gnoukouri (Free Agent) – Age 21 – Value = £0

Gnoukouri was once on the books at Inter Milan.

Top attributes – First Touch, Passing, Technique, Work Rate, Acceleration, Natural Fitness, Pace, and Stamina.

1. Alex Blesa (Levante) – Age 16 – Value = £170,000

Top attributes – First Touch, Passing, Technique, Flair, Teamwork, and Natural Fitness.

Sunderland confirm departure of AWOL record £13.6m signing Didier Ndong

11 Oct

Sunderland have confirmed Didier Ndong is no longer a Black Cats player after the AWOL midfielder and the club reached terms over an amicable split.

Ndong failed to report back for pre-season training this summer following a second successive relegation, and attempts to sell their club record £13.6million signing before the transfer shut fell flat.

Didier Ndong has finally left Sunderland

Sunderland served the 24-year-old Gabon international with notice of their intention to terminate his contract last month.

But now an agreement has been reached under which they will be due compensation when he finds a new employer.

A statement said: “Sunderland AFC has reached an agreement with Didier Ndong for his departure on amicable terms. As of 8 October 2018, he is no longer an employee of the club.

“Sunderland AFC has an agreement with the player for a payment by way of compensation upon his signing for a new club.”

Ndong arrived at the Stadium of Light from Lorient in August 2016, as the Black Cats invested heavily in his potential.

But, after a promising start, he struggled to make an impression and, after the club slipped into the Championship at the end of his first campaign, became surplus to requirements under then manager Chris Coleman.

Ndong spent five months on the sidelines on loan at Watford

He was sent out on loan to Watford during the second half of last season but did not make a single senior appearance for the Premier League side.

The midfielder was due to report back with the rest of the squad to begin preparations for life in League One, although he and central defender Papy Djilobodji failed to re-appear as their representatives tried, ultimately unsuccessfully, to move them on.

Djilobodji was told his contract would be terminated after he eventually returned last month and underwent fitness tests, and Ndong was served with a similar notice days later after belatedly returning.

Sunderland sack club-record signing Didier Ndong after he goes Awol all summer

24 Sep

Sunderland have sacked their club-record signing Didier Ndong after he went Awol all summer.

The Gabonese midfielder, 24, showed up to the Black Cats training ground first the first time this season on Monday only to learn his contract had been terminated.

He is the second player the club have dismissed this month – Papy Djilobodji suffered the same fate just 12 days ago.

Sunderland have sacked two players in 12 days

Ndong had three years left on the five-year deal he signed when David Moyes was manager in 2016.

He joined Sunderland from Lorient for a club-record £13.6million fee but he spent the second half of last season at Watford, who he did not make a single appearance for.

Black Cats owner Stewart Donald had to pay an instalment of £2.7m to Lorient earlier this month.

A club statement read: “Sunderland AFC have given notice under its contract with Didier Ndong.

Djilobodji suffered the same fate

“The player, who was under contract with the club until June 2021, failed to return to Sunderland for pre-season training in July as scheduled, nor in the subsequent months that followed.

“No reason was given for his failure to report and continued absence.

“As a result, the club has accepted Didier Ndong’s repudiatory breaches of contract and notice of the same has been provided to the player.

“Sunderland AFC does so whilst retaining the right to pursue the player and any club he may subsequently join in relation to compensation for the value of the player.”

Sunderland owner Stewart Donald says Papy Djilobodji and Didier Ndong are in breach of contract and Black Cats should not be paying their wages

11 Sep

Stewart Donald believes Sunderland should not be forced to continue paying Papy Djilobodji and Didier Ndong after accusing the pair of breaching their contracts with the Wearside club.

Ndong, the midfielder, has not returned to Sunderland since pre-season began in July, while defender Djilobodji reported back after being granted extra leave over the summer to try and engineer a transfer.

Djilobodji reported back for training more than a month after he was told to

He was expected to return for training at the beginning of August, but failed to do so, with the former Chelsea player only showing up to join Jack Ross’ side last week.

However, Donald, the club’s owner, has revealed Djilobodji did not stick to the regimen outlined by Sunderland to ensure he stayed fit throughout the summer, meaning he is not at the level required to play competitive football.

Djilobodji failed to show up at training the next day despite being ordered to report for fitness drills, and Donald doubts whether the 29-year-old will be fit to play for the Black Cats before the transfer window reopens in January.

Speaking to Jim White on talkSPORT, Donald said: “The reality is that they [Djilobodji and Ndong] were supposed to report back in training in July, but they made no secret of the fact they wanted to find other clubs.

“We gave Papy Djilobodji permission to not be with us in July, when he said he wouldn’t turn up if we didn’t pay him, so he could find another club. We gave him some guidelines to keep himself fit to make sure he was up with the pre-season standards, but he didn’t turn up in August whilst looking for a move, and with the transfer window shutting neither player managed to find a club.

“There’s an obligation on you as a player to turn up in a condition in which you can play football, and the reality of it is that I would probably have beaten his stats when he returned. He was unfortunately way off what everyone else in pre-season turned up in, and then his commitment to us from there was, in the very next training session to get himself fit, he didn’t turn up.

“When you’ve not turned up for 72 days and missed eight games of the season, and you come up in a condition which means you’ll probably miss the next 12 games, I think that sort of says you’re not really committed to the contract you’ve got.

“That’s the view we’ve taken, but I don’t think the player obviously agrees with that so he will argue his case.

“I’m not entirely sure what that case is though.”

Donald believes the players’ refusal to honour the obligations written in their contracts means that they are in breach of a legal document – which means Sunderland should not have to continue paying them a wage.

He continued: “I think for them to expect us to pay them, when they’ve said they don’t want to be here, when they’re in breach of contract, when they don’t want to turn up…

“But then they come back, but they don’t come back in a condition in which they can play football, buy say ‘you can pay us’.

“If there’s a rinky-dink somewhere in the law that says we’re obliged to pay them, I don’t think that should be the case. Any right-minded human being would say they have continually breached their contracts and Sunderland should not be paying for that.”

While Donald is certain enough has been done by Djilobodji and Ndong to dock the duo’s pay, the Sunderland owner remains unclear on the question of whether they have breached their contracts.

“I’m certain we are allowed to fine them for their behaviour, but the question is whether they have done enough to be in breach of their contracts to terminate their contracts and pursue them for wilfully devaluing themselves. That is the question.

“But the bottom line is, Didier Ndong has shown no interest in returning to the football club whatsoever – we don’t even know where he is.

Championship news: Sunderland appeal against Didier Ndong's red card
No one at Sunderland even knows where Ndong is right now

“Papy has returned but in his last conversation said ‘you’ll never see me in Sunderland again’.

“So I don’t think either of the two players wants to be here anyway.

“The question is, of course, what can they get out the football club? It’s all very well saying they don’t want to be here, but I’m sure the legal advice will say we’ve done something wrong and the players would return etc…

“We will see where that goes.

“But our view of it is we have done nothing wrong; we haven’t asked them not to turn up, we haven’t asked them to be unfit, we’ve honoured their contracts to point at which they are not breaching it, and to the point they’ve breached it we’ve said ‘enough is enough’.

“Just because they now can’t move, we don’t think they behaved well enough for us to turn around and say ‘all right, come back and we’ll pay you’. Never mind play them, because neither of them are in condition to play.”

Sunderland stars Didier Ndong and Papy Djilobodji fail to report for pre-season training

3 Jul

Sunderland duo Didier Ndong and Papy Djilobodji have both failed to report for pre-season training this week, according to reports.

Ndong and Djilobodji did not turn up for pre-season training this week

The Black Cats are said to be accessing their options after the wantaway pair did not turn up as the team prepare for League One football.

Senegal defender Djilobodji and Gabon midfielder Ndong were due back on Wearside on Monday, ahead of the squad’s departure for a training camp in Portugal.

But did not turn up, and remained absent on Tuesday.

Both players are as keen to leave the club as the Black Cats are to offload them, in an attempt to reduce the wage bill for life in League One.

New manager Jack Ross is busily rebuilding his squad having made six signings to date.

Djilobodji, an £8million signing from Chelsea in August 2016, spent last season on loan at French club Dijon, while Ndong, who cost Sunderland £13.6million when he arrived from Lorient during the same summer, sealed a temporary move to Watford in January, but did not make a single senior appearance.

Ivory Coast international defender Lamine Kone did report back for training, but did not travel to Portugal as he too looks to secure a move.