For football fans that want to experience what it is like to manage a club there is only one game series: Football Manager. The latest edition is FM21, released last year, and it has continued the high standard of the previous editions. Yet, as any fan knows it can be tricky to find the right club to manage, which is why a little preparation and research can go a long way.

It can be incredibly disappointing to get hours deep into a new save, only to find you don’t have a connection with the team you have chosen to take over. To truly get the full experience of FM21 you need to invest in a team long term. This is why a feature on FM21 by Bwin notes that long term success relies on securing a production line of young talent that can replace the stars as they age. So you need to be careful with the club you choose, as if you pick a top tier team, you will have to replace the biggest stars in the near future and this can cause players to lose that initial connection with their chosen team.

There is also the fact that it can be easy to feel a little letdown, even when picking a big club like Barcelona. Sure, you have the resources, but is buying success in a league dominated by one or two clubs really fun? Is that really the Football Manager challenge? Of course not. FM21 players want a goal, something to aim for, even if it is just European qualification with a minnow or changing the direction of a club. The game allows you to set the narrative and often football is about far more than big money transfers and endless trophies, it is about writing your story. Over the years, fans have stayed up until the early hours taking their local League Two side to Europe, and even though the game is far tougher now, that is still the aspiration, isn't it? To build your own story, your own legacy which you can tell people about, whether they want you to or not.

If you want an interesting save, why not consider one of these three clubs next time you are starting over?

Inter Milan


Inter are a great side to take over if you want to implement your own philosophy on a big team. They boast two forwards that will net you a significant transfer fee, Martinez and Lukaku, so the scope is there to move one on and invest the funds back into the club. With young stars such as Stefano Sensi and Nicolò Barella set to shine for Italy at Euro 2020, selling one of the crown jewels up top might not devalue your squad much, and you could see increases in value on them after your first full season. The obvious challenge is breaking the Juventus dominance, as Antonio Conti has managed to do in real life, so there is a precedent set for you to go ahead and beat them. Plus, you get the lure of big matches throughout your save, with Juventus, Milan, Roma and Napoli to play domestically, as well as almost guaranteed European football, too. However, as with almost any Italian team, there will be a degree of budget management and perhaps tougher decisions to make with I Nerazzurri.

PSV Eindhoven


PSV Eindhoven are a great club to choose for your next save, for two very good reasons indeed. Firstly, the challenge is double-layered, with success in the Eredivisie being the first goal. Beyond that, establishing a team from the Netherlands in the Champions League is a big task, and one FM21 players should seize upon with gusto. Like Inter Milan, PSV are a club that could benefit from events at the end of your first season, namely Euro 2020. The Netherlands are a country with a strong and proud international heritage, and PSV’s current roster could play a big future in that. Donyell Malen is just 22 and with eight caps and two goals already to his name, he could help his country become more than just the rank outsiders. Going forward, Mohamed Ihattaren and Cody Gakpo are also likely to feature for the international side, although not at Euro 2020, and even if they go the same way as other wonderkids, such as Henri Saivet, you should find it easy to pick up young Dutch talent as one of the biggest clubs on the domestic scene.

Nashville SC


If you want to manage far away from Europe for a wholly new experience, then Nashville would be a great MLS pick. They were only added to the MLS roster as an expansion team in 2017, and the experience will certainly differ from your usual FM21 save. Signing players might be a little more challenging and understanding due to the complex rules around the US game that presents you with a very unique challenge. However, Nashville has a new stadium opening and former Liverpool CEO Ian Ayre expects to challenge for the MLS Cup in 2023. You will be expected to play attacking football and hunt out the finest homegrown American talent for the club. It might not be a traditional FM21 experience, but at least you cannot be relegated! Just do not expect to be too affected by Euro 2020 though; the only European player on the roster is Hany Mukhtar, who last appeared for his country, Germany, at Under 21 level four years ago.