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 FM23.
Sampdoria bid farewell to not one but two legends as the outrageously impressive Antonio Candreva and 46-year-old Gianluigi Buffon retired from football in the summer of 2024.
Roberto di Lazaró's Sampdoria side was once again defying expectations as they sat third in Serie A and were the competition's top scorers heading into 2024.
Sampdoria had massively exceeded all expectations by finishing in third in Serie A in 2022/23. However, season three was likely to be much more of a struggle as the club looked to balance competing in the Champions League with the league on a shoestring budget.
Sampdoria were performing well above expectations despite a massive overhaul of the playing squad in the summer of 2022. Moving into 2023, Blucerchiati sat second in Serie A as the league resumed following the silly Winter World Cup in Qatar.
Fledgling manager Roberto di Lazaró had guided Sampdoria to a 10th place finish in Serie A in 2021/22. However, that had largely been inspired by the goals of a 19-year-old striker so much work was needed in the summer transfer window to strengthen the squad.
Sampdoria had made a solid yet wholly unspectacular start to life with Roberto di Lazaró, sitting firmly in mid-table and struggling to score goals heading into 2022.