Football Manager 2022 gave us the joys of Lorenzo Lucca, Benjamin Sesko, Andreas Schjelderup, Yousouffa Moukoko, Karim Adeyemi, Arsen Zakharyan and many more wonderkids who were available relatively affordably to build our teams around.
But how has this summer transfer window affected that as we look ahead to Football Manager 2023? We all know that the likes of Adeyemi (Dortmund), Sesko (Leipzig), Ryan Gravenberch (Bayern), Darwin Nunez (Liverpool), Tyrell Malacia (Man UFC), Bremer (Juventus) and Erling Haaland (Man City) have moved on to new pastures. But the other day I was casually scrolling through The Guardian’s excellent interactive transfer feature and noticed plenty of transfers I didn’t know about and could affect our enjoyment of this year’s game.
So here in chronological order are under-the-radar transfers you may have missed and could affect your FM23 experience – both in terms of player availability and fun save ideas:
Nohan Kenneh – Leeds to Hibernian (undisclosed): Kenneh may not be the great prospect he once was on previous editions of FM. But he’s still only 19 and had a potential ability range of 110-140 on FM22 – for context, Adeyemi starts the game with 134 current ability. How Kenneh’s rating will be affected by a move to Hibs remains to be seen, but this is an intriguing signing and he could be a player to build your club around in a quest to take down the Old Firm.
Jens Petter Hauge – Milan to Eintracht Frankfurt (£7m): The Norwegian went on loan to Frankfurt last season but, still only 22, he looks like a good permanent transfer. And Frankfurt could be a team getting a reputation boost based on their Europa League win – plus they’ve also signed former FM favourite Mario Gotze.
Samuele Ricci – Empoli to Torino (£8.6m): Ricci was one of the top midfield prospects on FM22 with a potential of 150-180. He spent last season on loan in Turin but completed a permanent move in the summer – and Torino could have a bargain on their hands. Keep your eye out for another FM hero joining him later in this list.
Ezequiel Ponce – Spartak Moscow to Elche (£4.3m): Ponce was also at Elche on loan last season, but could be an interesting permanent signing for the Spanish side. Now 25, he had an impressive maximum potential of 165 on FM22.
Marcel Wenig – Bayern to Eintracht Frankfurt (free): Still looking for reasons to manage Frankfurt? This could be one, as highly-rated Wenig is only 18 and had a potential range of 120-150 but a peak potential of 181 on FM22.
Adam Hlozek – Sparta Prague to Bayer Leverkusen (£11.1m): A seemingly perennial FM hot prospect, Hlozek sealed a move to wonderkid factory Leverkusen in the summer. And his new club is loaded with prospects like Florian Wirtz and Moussa Diaby.
Mohamed-Ali Cho – Angers to Real Sociedad (£12m): I have to admit this is a name that’s completely new to me. But 18-year-old Cho, who spent time in the Everton and West Ham academies, has a potential range of 140-170 in FM22 and is highly rated in real life, so this could be one to watch out for in FM23.
Valentin Antov – CSKA Sofia to Monza (£1.7m): A true legend of former FM versions, centre-back Antov is still only 21 and had a potential of 148 in FM22. He’s been snapped up by Serie A new boys Monza, probably better known for having an F1 track and owned by Silvio Berlusconi. The club has also attracted Andrea Ranocchia, Davide Bettella and loaned in Matteo Pessina, Stefano Sensi and Filippo Ranocchia. So if you’re looking for an FM23 challenge – or you fancy a few cheeky Bunga Bunga parties – this could be the club for you.
Julio Enciso – Libertad to Brighton (£9.5m): Another name that’s new to me, but Brighton have spent big on this Paraguayan, who scored 18 in 55 for Libertad despite only being 18. And let’s be honest, Brighton really need someone who can score goals. He had a 130-160 potential in FM22, but he could be one worth looking out for in FM23.
Williot Swedberg – Hammarby to Celta Vigo (£4.3m): Swedberg had 130-170 potential in FM22 and he’s still only 18. He’s joined one of the lesser fancied Spanish sides, who I’ve never managed in FM, but the Swedish midfielder could be one to build a team around.
Gavin Bazunu – Man City to Southampton (£12m): Bazunu was an absolute rock between the sticks for my title-winning Sampdoria team in the FM22 Beta and had a 130-160 potential in the game. Southampton are rubbish in real life but have great youth recruitment, so they could be an interesting challenge for the new version.
Agustín Álvarez – Penarol to Sassuolo (£10.3m): Another I’ve never heard of but the 21-year-old Uruguayan striker scored 34 in 89 for Penarol and bagged on his international debut. So he could be one to build a Scamacca-less Sassuolo around.
Armel Bella-Kotchap – Bochum to Southampton (£8.6m): Still not convinced about Southampton as an FM23 project? Saints look to have a great potential defence in the making with Bella-Kotchap, who had 130-160 potential in FM22, joining Bazunu, Thierry Small (140-170 potential and loaned to Port Vale), Tino Livramento (150-180) and Mohammed Salisu (165).
Conor Bradley – Liverpool to Bolton (loan): This is a very self-centred suggestion as a Bolton fan, but what a doozy of a loan this could be! Bolton had a great end to the 21/22 campaign and have a decent squad in a very competitive League 1. But 19-year-old Bradley, who had 120-150 potential on FM22 and won a penalty on his Bolton debut, could be one of the prospects to look out for in FM23.
Taiwo Awoniyi – Union Berlin to Nottingham Forest (£17m): This is a little less under the radar than some of these transfers, but the deal intrigues me. As do Forest generally as an FM23 project given the ridiculous number of signings they’ve made over the summer. Awoniyi had 136 ability and 145 potential on FM22, which might get a little boost, even though I’m not convinced he’s any good from his performances thus far.
Malcolm Ebiowei – Derby to Crystal Palace (undisclosed): Palace have developed a knack for snapping up exciting young talent – see Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze, Marc Guehi and Tyrick Mitchell. But 18-year-old winger Ebiowei, who had 100-130 potential range but a peak potential of 191 on FM22, could be another reason to make Palace your FM23 youth development project.
Christopher Scott – Bayern to Royal Antwerp (£500k): I remember this guy being a hot prospect on FM a while ago but he’s still only 19 and had 120-150 potential on FM22. So if you fancy a Belgian project then head to Royal Antwerp – who’ve also signed Toby Alderweireld and Vincent Janssen and hired Mark van Bommel as manager.
Pietro Pellegri – Monaco to Torino (£3.9m): Speaking of Torino getting wonderkid bargains… This could be a great deal, although Pellegri – the first player born in the 21st century to score in Ligue 1 – has suffered with injuries in real life. But still only 21, he had 155 potential in FM22.
Corentin Jean – Lens to Inter Miami (£1m): This guy was a wonderkid on FM14 (I think?) when he was just 17. Now 26, that potential didn’t really ring true with 121 peak ability on FM22, but he could be good in MLS. Which brings us nicely onto other MLS signings: Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini (LAFC) and Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi (Toronto FC) if you fancy finding out how Soccerball works.
Xavi Simons – PSG to PSV (free): Maybe he just likes teams with initials, or maybe he had a tattoo that he wanted to get amended on the cheap. Either way, Simons feels like one of those FM prospects that actually isn’t very good. But he had 130-160 potential on FM22 and PSV have great youth production.
Vitinha – Porto to PSG (£34m): This guy was one of the best under-the-radar signings you could pick up on FM22, with locked-in 166 potential. But that’s been ruined by PSG. However, fast-forward FM23 a couple of seasons, they probably won’t have played him and you can snap him up along with the likes of Nuno Mendes and Mukiele.
Corentin Tolisso – Bayern to Lyon (free): Speaking of clubs that hoover up talent for you to nick in FM… Tolisso is only 28 and had 145 potential on FM22, making him a solid midfielder for any Ligue 1 side. And Lyon finished in a lowly 8th last season, making them an intriguing rebuild project.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia – Dinamo Batumi to Napoli (£8.5m): If FM22’s 150-180 potential is to be believed, Napoli have got themselves an absolute bargain with the Georgian winger, who Milan were also interested in.
Sebastiano Esposito – Inter to Anderlecht (loan with €8m option): If you wanted a cheap, big goalscorer on FM21 or FM22 then Esposito was your man. He had a locked-in 158 potential on FM22 but solid attributes across the board could outperform that potential – if you played him, which Inter rarely did. Anderlecht could have a bargain on their hands.
João Palhinha – Sporting to Fulham (£17m): Another higher profile signing, but this could be a cracker for Fulham. He’s now 27 but started FM with 150 ability and he’s a solid midfielder with particularly good mental attributes. Can you build around him to stop the Fulham yo-yo?
Zaki Celik – Lille to Roma (£6m): Celik was a quality attacking right-back for me on my FM21 save with Lille and, still only 24, could thrive under José Mourinho. He had 139 ability and 146 potential on FM22 but I’d fancy that to increase on the new game.
Karamoko Dembélé – Celtic to Brest (free): Dembélé was massively rated on FM22 with 130-160 potential but I rarely saw him deliver on it in the game – to the extent that he barely got a game for my AFC Wimbledon side and we flogged him inside 6 months! But could Brest get the best out of the young winger?
Luis Sinisterra – Feyenoord to Leeds (£21.3m): I think Leeds have quietly done good business this summer in the aftermath of losing Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha. Sinisterra, who turned 23 in the summer, had 152 potential ability on FM22 and could be absolutely deadly if you played him enough. So I think Leeds could be a fun FM23 project, given they have good youth production and also signed the likes of Tyler Adams, Marc Roca, Rasmus Kristensen and Brendan Aaronson.
Erik Botheim – Krasnodar to Salernitana (free): The 21-year-old striker moved to Russia for €7.5m but, for obvious reasons, was available for free and makes an interesting move to Salernitana, who finished 17th in Serie A last season. He had 143 potential on FM22 but I can’t say I’ve ever used him.
Jean Michaël Seri – Fulham to Hull (free): Imagine spending £25m on a player then letting them leave on a free transfer 4 years later. Madness. But what a deal this could be for Hull! Now 30, the midfielder had 130 ability and 145 potential on FM22, so could be a cracking player to build a Hull team around – along with Turkish international Ozan Tufan.
Luka Jovic – Real Madrid to Fiorentina (free): Jovic feels like another one of those players you presume is good because he was amazing on some version of FM. He still had 165 potential on FM22 and, still only 24, he could be a great option at Fiorentina, who’ve also signed Dodo and Rolando Mandragora.
Josha Vagnoman – Hamburg to Stuttgart (£3m): This guy is one of my favourite pick-ups as a cheap full-back option and was part of my Scudetto-winning Sampdoria side on FM22, my La Liga-winning Valencia side on FM21 and my all-conquering Atalanta side on FM21. So I firmly Stuttgart could have picked up a bargain if he follows through on his 145 potential on FM22.
Gonzalo Plata – Sporting to Valladolid (£6m): The Ecuadorian attacker had 130-160 potential on FM22 and could well realise that at Valladolid, whose President is the original Ronaldo and made him their record signing.
Diego Valencia – Universidad Católica to Salernitana (£2m): Valencia was fantastic in the second leg of my Aventuras Américas journey at Católica. He had a potential of 134 in FM22 so could be another shrewd Salernitana signing and, still only 22, I’d expect him to get a boost in FM23.
Luís Maximiano – Granada to Lazio (£8.9m): Goalkeeper Maxímiano, only 23, was one of the stars of my Saving Sporting team that began my Journeyman save on FM20. He had a 154 potential ability on FM22 that could be boosted in the next version.
Arturo Vidal – Inter to Flamengo (free): Not exactly a youngster to get excited about, but Flamengo do have great young players like Lázaro that Vidal could set an example for. Plus Flamengo have amassed a bizarre assortment of big-name Brazilians like Gabriel Barbosa, Diego Alves, Thiago Maia, Filipe Luís, Diego, Rodrigo Caio, Everton and David Luiz.
Breel Embolo – Borussia Monchengladbach to Monaco (£10.6m): Another former FM wonderkid, Embolo still had solid potential of 147 on FM22 and a peak potential of 165. Now 25, his goalscoring record of 1 in 4 at Gladbach isn’t amazing but could still prove himself in France.
Takefusa Kubo – Real Madrid to Real Sociedad (£5.2m): Another intriguing signing here for Sociedad, Kubo had 140-170 potential on FM22, and at the age of 21 he could still be a superstar in the making. I think Sociedad could be a really fun project for FM23.
Morten Thorsby – Sampdoria to Union Berlin (£2.5m): I couldn’t get the best out of the Norwegian midfielder on my Sempre Samp save but he had 134 ability and 142 potential on FM22. Union Berlin could be a popular option on this year’s game given they finished 5th in Bundesliga last season.
Jordan Torunarigha – Hertha Berlin to KAA Gent (£3m): The centre-back has had high potential on previous FMs but was capped to 142 on FM22. He’s still only 23 so a move to Gent seems a little odd, but this is another club with solid youth production so maybe this could be his chance to shine.
Kaiky – Santos to Almería (£6m): Kaiky was one of the best young defenders on FM22 with 140-170 potential – so this looks like somewhat of a coup for La Liga new boys Almería.
Luis Suárez – Granada to Marseille (£8.5m): I feel obliged to say “not that one,” but this could be an exciting signing for the French side. The 24-year-old striker had 155 potential on FM22 so expect him to get an ability boost this year. He joins the likes of Matteo Guendouzi, Cengiz Under, Chancel Mbemba and Pau Lopez in moving to Marseille this summer.
Paulo Dybala – Juventus to Roma (free): A potentially brilliant bit of business by Mourinho’s side this summer. Dybala feels a little like another of those players whose potential hasn’t quite been fulfilled but, still only 28, he had 174 ability on FM22 – which is world-class – and he’s a massive upgrade on Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Luis Suárez – Atlético to Nacional (free): Yes, that one! The bitey striker returns to his homeland and his first senior club, which could be a great place to start if you fancy an Americas journeyman on FM23.
Arthur Theate – Bologna to Rennes (£16.8m): Theate developed into a bit of a beast on FM22 and could be a player for you to build a team around to try and topple PSG with Rennes, who did just that after about 35 years of my Aventuras Américas save.
Diego Lainez – Betis to Brage (loan): Lainez had plenty of promise on previous FM versions and performed pretty well in my Crazy Gang save. But he’s struggled to live up to the hype in real life and now has an opportunity to develop in Portugal – plus he has a €7m buyout clause.
Charles De Ketelaere – Club Brugge to AC Milan (£26.8m): I used CDK on my Sampdoria save and he was absolutely brilliant, so he’s absolutely a player to build around if you fancy an AC Milan save. However, that’s a lot less appealing given they won Serie A last season.
Gonçalo Guedes – Valencia to Wolves (£27.5m): Wolves signing a Portuguese player? Shocker. Guedes has always had potential in FM but arguably not realised it in real life until last season, as he scored 13 in 42. So if you fancy a Portugal Wolves save, then he and more recent signing Matheus Nunes could be key players for you.
Mikkel Damsgaard – Sampdoria to Brentford (£12.7m): Brentford signing a Danish player? Shocker! This could be a great addition to help you avoid the second-season syndrome with Brentford, and he’s a much younger alternative to Christian Eriksen. He was pretty disappointing on my Sampdoria save last season, but maybe he’ll be better on FM23?
Antonio Candreva – Sampdoria to Salernitana (loan): Speakling of Sampdoria, Candreva was absolutely brilliant on my Samp save. Whether he can he be as good on FM23 remains to be seen, but he could make Salernitana a fun Serie A challenge alongside deadline day signing Krzysztof Piatek.
Tanguy Nianzou – Bayern to Sevilla (£16.9m): Sevilla have done some interesting business this summer, with Nianzou joining Isco, Kasper Dolberg, Marcao and Thomas Delaney. They’re probably not the most exciting challenge to take on, but Nianzou is a good young option to build around.
Giacomo Raspadori – Sassuolo to Napoli (loan): Sassuolo have lost both Raspadori and Scamacca this summer, but their loss is Napoli’s gain on the young striker. He’s also joined at the club by Giovanni Simeone, who scored loads of goals last season, and Tanguy Ndombele.
Alexander Isak – Real Sociedad to Newcastle (£59m): Another obvious one, but Isak has to be included in this list. It feels like Newcastle always buy him on FM and clearly their DoF also plays the game, as he’s turned to him in real life. But the Swede could be key to you leading Newcastle to glory on FM23.
Rasmus Højlund – Sturm Graz to Atalanta (£14.4m): Apparently this guy has been dubbed “the new Haaland” (even though he’s Danish). He had 120-150 potential on FM22, which doesn’t particularly suggest that, but he’s only 19 and Atalanta have taken a punt on him, so it’ll be interesting to see how highly he’s rated on FM23.
Andrea Belotti – Torino to Roma (free): An absolute goal machine on FM, Belotti has finally moved on from Torino and joined José Mourinho at Roma. A Belotti, Dybala, Abrahams could be a pretty fun adventure on FM23!
Lucas Paquetá – Lyon to West Ham (£36.7m): West Ham are always a team that intrigues me on FM but I’ve never actually managed. Paquetá had 161 potential on FM22, so teaming him up with Scamacca could tempt me to address that.
Joshua Zirkzee – Bayern to Bologna (£7.3m): Zirkze has always had great potential on FM and had 130-160 potential on FM22 but, unsurprisingly, hasn’t been able to fulfill it at Bayern. But moving to Bologna could be the move that finally enables him to, and he’s still only 21.
Julian Weigl – Benfica to Gladbach (loan): Still only 26, Weigl had 144 ability and 162 potential on FM22, which could make him a key player in your midfield at Gladbach.
Julian Draxler – PSG to Benfica (loan): Benfica replaced Weigl with a more attacking option in Draxler, who apparently made over 200 appearances in 5 years at PSG. Now 28, Draxler started FM22 with 151 ability, so could be a strong player in Portugal.
Ilaix Moriba – RB Leipzig to Valencia (loan): Moriba is outrageously highly-rated on FM, with potential of 170-200 on FM22. He’s heading back to Valencia for the season along with Justin Kluivert and, if he’s as highly-rated again this year, Valencia could be a fun save (despite selling one of my favourite players Carlos Soler to PSG, which is absolutely criminal).
Maxi Gómez -Valencia to Trabzonspor (£2.6m): Fancy a go at managing in Turkey? Then Gómez, who had 162 potential on FM22, could be the man to fire you to glory and help you challenge in Europe with reigning champions Trabzonspor.
Amine Gouiri – Nice to Rennes (£12.9m): Another exciting signing by Rennes, Gouiri had 165 potential on FM22. Their summer business could help them become a key challenger to PSG, with your assistance.
Tahith Chong – Man UFC to Birmingham (£1.5m): Chong has always been highly-rated on FM but never been given a chance by UFC. He had 165 potential on FM22, but could Birmingham be the place where he fulfils it? He’s joined at the club by a fellow wonderkid in Hannibal, who’s spending the season on loan.
Duje Caleta-Car – Marseille to Southampton (£8.6m): I used Caleta-Car in my Samp save earlier this year and he was pretty solid alongside Ahmedhodzic for several years. He’s only 25 and had potential of 156 on FM22. This signing makes me think a Southampton save would actually be quite enjoyable on FM23.
Lázaro – Flamengo to Almería (£6m): The La Liga new boys added Lázaro – who had 155 potential on FM22 – to the signing of Kaiky on deadline day. I signed Lázaro at New York Red Bulls and he was our star man as we wrapped up the MLS title. So if you like working with Brazilian wonderkids, Almería could be the place for you!
Wilfried Gnonto – Zurich to Leeds (£3.9m): Leeds have had a fascinating transfer window, topped off by snapping up 18-year-old Gnonto – who also had 155 potential on FM22 – on deadline day. This could be an absolute bargain of a signing and adds another exciting young talent to work with at Elland Road.
What do you make of these summer signings? And do any of them leap out at you and make you want to manage any specific team on FM23?