AS Saint-Etienne - A New Beginning

misterioBean

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AS Saint-Étienne is a club full of history, with 10 Ligue 1 titles and 6 Coupe de France in their trophy cabinet.
Former home of big players such as Aubameyang, Matuidi, Payet, Fredy Guarín, Perrin and so much more, Saint-Étienne has one of the most passionate fan bases in the country and the club’s home stadium, the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard boasts an electric atmosphere with it's 42000 seats.

Stade Geoffroy-Guichard

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Despite being one of the most successful clubs in France, in recent years Saint-Étienne has fallen off pretty hard. Their last trophy was way back in 1981 and right now and they see themselves playing in France's 2nd tier, Ligue 2, since 2022, failling to get promoted last season, only managing to finish 8th in the league.

Our job in Saint-Étienne won't be easy. We need to get them back to where they belong: the top of the French football scene and, eventually, fighting for European titles, something they were never able to accomplish since they were founded in 1919. However, I want to make this challenge even harder, so I added a twist.

Youth2Gold Method

If you saw my FM23 posts, one of my favourite saves to do in FM is the Youth2Gold.
Inspired by OmegaLuke's challenge, I have been doing this challenge for years and I never get tired of doing it.

Usually I play with my city's club, Vitória SC, which I considered doing again this year. But in the end I thought I would do something different so, here it is.

I hope you enjoy this posts as much as I enjoy doing them.​
 
AS Saint-Étienne

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When we first see the club's page, we instantly think of a top flight team, I mean what is a team with a 42k seat stadium and good facilities doing in the 2nd division?

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The board wants to go back to Ligue 1 and we know this team should be playing 1st division football. It's a big challenge, but we need to get this fallen giant back to its former glory.

Meeting the Squad

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Looking at our squad depth, there's clearly some areas that we need to focus and some players we need to build the team around of.
Goalkeepers:

- We actually have 3 options here. Gautier Larsonneur (26) is our first choice GK and Etienne Green (22) will be his backup. Matthieu Dreyer on the other hand is already 34 years old and doesn't add much in terms of quality. We will be trying to sell him this summer.

Defense:

- The first position we need to have in mind is the CD. Both our starting CD's are good don't get me wrong but Batubinsika is already 27 and Briançon is 28, so they won't be sticking around for long. We only have one backup in Mickael Nadé (24).

- We also lack decent options in our WB's positions. Léo Petrot (26) doesn't offer us offensive width and Dannis Appiah (31) will probably be leaving us soon due to his age. As backups Mahmoud Bentayg (23) is very bad and Bryan Nokoue (21) is very slow for a WB and is not very good overall.

Miedfield:

- Our midfield looks decent. All our starters, Tardieu (31), Monconduit (32) and Lobry (28), are all good but old. However we do have decent younger backups for all of them in Moeffek (22), Fomba (25) and Bouchouari (21). We also have Chambost (25) but I think we will try to get some money from him.

Wingers:

- We don't really have much to say in terms of wingers. Our best winger, Stephane Diarra (24), is on loan at our club and doesn't have a buy clause and Matthieu Cafaro is 26 years old, which means he won't be improving much. As backups, Ibrahima Wadji (28) is decent but not for the long run but we do have 2 younger options in Maxence Rivera (21) and Ayman Aiki (18) who can still develop.

Strikers:

- The striker role also worries me to be honest. Don't get me wrong, we have 2 good options in Charbonnier, who's already 34, and Sissoko (27), but they are both Target Forwards, a role I don' really enjoy using, and aren't exactly fast enough to be used as Advanced Forwards. I may try to use them as AF's but I don't think it would bring much results.

What about our youth system?

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The future doesn't look too bad. We have some good players in the making and the future looks bright for Saint-Étienne.

Meeting the Staff

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The meeting with the backroom staff was pretty fast. We basically fired everyone except our Assistant Manager who I'm still debating if we keep or not. New staff will be joining the club soon to help bring the club back to Ligue 1.

Finances

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The club's finances are actually good. 16M in the bank with a budget of almost 4M for a 2nd Division team is pretty good. We did have to move the money around for wages so our transfer budget is around 1.7M with around 175k available in the budget.

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We'll need the money because a lot of players are running out of contract next season and there's only 3 I don't mind losing, obviously not counting with Diarra.

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We do have a 28.5M debt to pay but that won't be going anywhere anytime soon. What we can pay though is the 12M net debt the club has so we will need to try to get as much money as we can.


The Tactic

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Very simple and very basic 4-3-3 but we have the players for it so it is what it is.
 
3rd September 2023

We reached the end of the transfer window and let's just say we ended up making a lot more deals than antecipated.

Transfers Out

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In terms of sales, we only sold Chambost and Dreyer, making 500k in the process. We did have a lot of players leaving on loan because I realized our 2nd Team doesn't play in any tournament and relies only on friendlies.

Transfers In

Here it gets a bit more spicy.

Berna - 240k

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The first player we got was Berna from Boavista and let's just say he looks very good for the price. Hopefully his mentals develop well while he's playing on loan back in Portugal.

Miroslav Marinov - 175k

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Yet another cheap signing as the Bulgarian joins for even less than Berna. Other than his physicals, he looks good.

Samy Chouchane - 300k

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Another midfielder joins us, this time from Brighton. He looks amazing and despite being injury prone I think he has a lot of development margin yet to come.

Alioune Dosso - 80k (100k)

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This one os more of an oportunistic signing as he was very cheap and looks fairly decent for his price and age. He was also loaned out to enhance his development.


Rômulo - 130k (180k)

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We signed the Brazilian CB for a cheap price yet again. I'm a bit worried about his determination but I hope it will increase with a bit of mentoring.

Luca Diana-Oliaro - 56k (67k)

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Another decent looking player for less than 70k. Even if he ends up not developing enough we will probably still make some money from him.

Mateo Fiordeliso - 300k (500k)

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I think I overpaid a lot for this Argentinian considering he's not very consistent but we had a lot of injuries in the midfield and I just needed someone to fill in the gap for a while.

Karamoko Sankara - 200k (400k)

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Well we found an actual Advanced Forward in Africa and considering his base attributes I think we made a good deal with him.

Patrick - 185k

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Another young midfielder for our team and I'm just sad we didn't find this one before signing Fiordeliso because he cost us half what the Argentinian and still looks very good.

Pedrinho - 170k

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Another Brazilian midfielder and yet again half the price we paid for the Argentinian. This one is actually training as a B2B instead of a playmaker since his passing is not the best.

Lee Sang-Min - Loan

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We needed some wingers and I think the South Korean will do just fine with us. He is injury prone but looks very good both mentally and physically. We have a 1M buy clause on his loan so if he doesn't develop much this season or just doesn't play well we won't buy him.

Uroš Stevančević - 80k

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Another winger comes to our team and again for less than 100k. He doesn't look amazing but he's only 18.

Henry Udezuka - Free

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The last player to join us is yet another midfielder, this time from Nigeria and cost us nothing to bring in. Amazing technicals and mentals for his age. Only lacks the physical power but we will definitely work on that.

Schedule and League Table

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We're 5 games into the season and we have won every game except for one until now. I must say the defeat to Valenciennes is very hurtful because we were the better team but they scored two goals in the first 4 minutes of the game and that set the whole tone of the match.

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Even with that loss we share the 1st place with Valenciennes with 12 points. This season start can't be an exception and needs to be the start of a consistent run this year if we want to get back into the top flight.


Finances

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After all this signings we have 200k left in the budget. There was one more player who was supposed to come in but we didn't have the money so the deal didn't go through.​
 
1st January 2024

It's a brand new year and things have been going very well for AS Saint-Étienne this season.
There were good surprises, bad surprises, new faces and a a lot of focus in the team's future in the last couple of months.

Let's see how Les Verts are doing for now.


Schedule and League Table

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After the sad defeat against Valenciennes earlier in September, we are undefeated and had a pretty good run.
However, there are a couple of results that I'm absolutely furious about. The back to back 2-2 draws against Troyes and Ajaccio were specially frustrating. We were winning both games 2-0 on the halftime but then we let them draw and take the 3 points away from us.

Other than that, we've been playing well and I'm happy with how our team is performing.

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Half way through the season, we see ourselves top of Ligue 2 with a 7 point gap between us and Paris FC, who were actually very close to us just a few games ago, but a bad run of form saw them falling to 2nd place and to see us take a small gap.

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Our first Coupe de France fixtures have been fairly easy and the next one is another game we should win easily. However, we will probably be facing 1st tier teams on the next round which will be a true test of our ability.

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As I said, there was some good surprises this season and that surprise was Ibrahim Sissoko, who went from being a squad player to being the league's best scorer with 14 goals in 17 games played. On the other hand, Charbonnier has only scored 3 goals in the 10 games he played, which is a big let down. However, I knew that this would happen since he is very slow for the role we play him in but we don't have players to play with a Target Forward in terms of crossing.

Unfortunately for Charbonnier, he will keep being the 2nd option for the rest of the season.

Lee Sang-Min has also been playing very well and I think we will activate his buy clause as soon as we have the money to do so.


Finances

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As you can see, the board gave us an extra 200k for our good run in the league. We've also been given another 100k after adjusting our season expectations to getting automatic promotion.

Transfers

There were no players leaving our team for now, but we have 3 new signings who all joined as free transfers after terminating their contracts.
João Victor

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A good looking striker who lacks mental attributes but we will focus his training on them. He has a lot of cons but there are only two that concern me: his lack of consistency and his injury proness, but as a free transfer we can always make some money if it doesn't workout for him.

Roinner Fruto

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Our backup RWB was very slow so I felt the need to get a new one and Fruto comes as a free transfer so the risk of the transfer is minimum. He turned 20 after we confirmed his signing and his mentals are abysmal but he'll do for now.

Brooklyn Raines

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Very impressed with this American 18 year old and I'm sure he will be playing for our 1st team in a year or two if he develops his mentals a bit. His base stats are very good though and to get him for free is just a bonus.

Nathaniel Nwosu

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Last year I signed this Nigerian GK and he was very bad. This year I looked at his stats and he looked better but doesn't seem to have a lot of potential yet again. Guess I was unlucky with his potential range. Anyway he will join on the 10th after he turns 18.

Preparing the Future

We are already working on getting more free players for next season, with 5 already confirmed and another 13 waiting on the answers.

Our scouts have been working very well I should say and I hope they keep bringing in reports from more players we can get for free or for very cheap prices so we can make a lot of money in the future.​
 
End of 1st Season

Our season is finally over and we now have a much desearved rest before getting back to work.
The last few months have been intense in Saint-Étienne and everybody was looking forward to the end of the season.

So let's see how we've been.


Transfers

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We only signed one player in January. A Serbian winger who joined for 700k.
No players left this winter.


Schedule and League Table

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The second part of the season was a bit more bumpier than the first one. We went from 1 to 5 losses and also drew a lot of games.
The last 3 games in May were specially hard to take because we knew we couldn't lose any points at this stage if we wanted to get promoted.


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Fortunately for us both Valenciennes and Paris FC also lost points in the last games which led to AS Saint-Étienne being crowned Ligue 2 champions.
Not sure what's happening with Auxerre and Caen since they didn't make the Playoffs Finals. Paris FC went against Montpellier and lost.

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Cup Fixtures

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Unfortunately, we got eliminated from the Coupe de France when we lost on penalties against Ligue 1 side Strasbourg.
However, it was a decent sign that we may be ready to fight against some of the top flight clubs. They actually finished 5th in Ligue 1 and will be playing European football next season.


Budgets

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The board gave us a good bit of money to use next season. Unfortunately, they are also trying to sell the club.

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We got this message a few months back. Naturally, I started rubbing my hands just thinking about the possibilities. I never had a club of mine bought in FM before so I was looking forward.

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That quickly ended though and our current board keeps their job, at least for now since they are still trying to sell the club.

Youth Intake

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Our first youth intake looks decent and we signed a lot of youngsters so I can't complain. Let's see how they develop in the upcoming years.

Random Stuff

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Our facilities were downgraded due to technological advances so we asked the board to upgrade them. We also asked to upgrade youth facilities and youth recruitment to enhance the quality of the players coming through our academy.
All of the requests were refused.

Next season we will have a lot in our hands.
We need to avoid relegation and do that while only buying young players for the future and selling the old mans in our current squad.
Let's see how we do against the sharks...
 
Last edited:
4th July 2024

Transfers Out

With the start of a new season we were bound to have some new players coming in as well as some of own players leaving the club.
Let's start with who left us in the first few days of the summer.

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In this first few days of transfer window, we already saw Monconduit and both our main CB's Batubinsika and Brinaçon leaving the club.
Monconduit was already 33 years old and last season he lost space in the first 11 so he was against the purpose of the Youth2Gold.
On the other hand, Batubinsika and Brinaçon were both on their prime, with 28 and 29 years old respectively. We made 8M with their sales so I was quite happy with those 2 deals.

We also lost bost Diarra and Lee Sang-Min, who refused to sign for us in the end of his loan.

However, we are still trying to sell more players:
Larsonneur, our main GK, is running out of contract at the end of this season and is asking for way too much money to renew it, so he will be sold soon.

Florian Tardieu is also on the verge of leaving the club for the same reasons as Monconduit.

Victor Loby, Ibrahima Wadji and Ibrahima Sissoko are all up for sale as well due to their ages and not adding that much quality to our team.

Some younger players were transfer listed too, mainly Nokoue, Bentayg and Rivera, who were all part of our 1st team last year but with very little play time and barely any potential left in them.

Transfers In

On the other side of the market, we had a crazy first few days in terms of new signings.
Just so you have an idea of what happened in Saint-Étienne, there were 31 new signings just in the first day of the summer.

With that in mind, I won't post all of them here otherwise I would take an hour just for this part. I'll only post the players who came straight to the first team and a few others who I think really have an edge over the others.

Yvann Maçon - Came back from loan

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This is not really a new signing but it is a reinforcement for us since he was loaned out last season. He actually had a 1M€ buy clause but it wasn't activated so he came back to us and will be our main RB for the season.

Josen Escobar - 1M

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Monconduit's replacement came in from Colombia for 1M€ and at 19 years old looks very decent. He won't take the B2B place just yet, but will be a very good backup for Fomba this season.


Anders Hartveit Ryste - 2.1M

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If you saw my last year's Youth2Gold you are probably familiar with this name. I promise I didn't search him, my scouts brought his report and I must say I'm very happy to know this lad still has a good potential on this year FM. Knowing how good he was for me last year, I had to bring him in.

Marin Soticek - 2.6M

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Probably the best signing we made until now. I don't think I need to say anything about this 19 year old, I'll just let his sheet talk for itself.

Alan Forneris - 500k

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Decent looking Argentinian with good mentals. Comes in as our backup option for the DM position.

Emir Ortakaya - 2.2M + Efe Sarikaya - 1.4M

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Since we lost both our CB's, I had to sign 2 new ones and I found just the right couple in Turkey. Once again, I already knew Emir Ortakaya from last year's FM but let's just say we are probably good in the CB position for the upcoming future with this two. The only downside of using both of them is they are both left footed and so is Nadé. Actually we don't have any right footed CB this year.

Ousmane Diao - 500k

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We also signed Ousmane Diao, another left footed CB, but this one stayed on loan at his original club back in Portugal.

Justin Diehl - Free

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I'm quite happy to get this guy on a free transfer. He can play both AF or LW so he will be a very good asset for our team this season.

Current Squad

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With all the new signings we made, our squad is looking like this. There are 2 more positions I want to brin in someone, namely LB and RW and I can tell you we already have some names coming in for both.

I also think Hartveit Ryste will be leaving us on loan this season so we don't mess his potential. I'll be targetting offers with good playing time included so he can develop faster.​
 
2nd September 2024

Transfer window closed and first few games of the new season played.
Let's see what's new in France.

Transfers Out

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Since the last post we were able to sell pretty much everyone I intended to sell.
The only players who I wasn't abel to sell were Appiah and Sissoko so they were reintegrated into the team for the season.


Transfers In

We had 2 positions we felt like needed to reinforcements and we went out and fixed them... sort of.
Janko Jevremovic - 1.1M

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For the RW place, we signed another Serbian who actually looks quite decent. However, you can see he is currently out on loan. That's because we signed another winger in the last days of the transfer window.

Marin Prekodravac - 500k

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Finally got a right footed CB for our team, but he will be our backup because the Turkish couple came in and took the defense to themselves in a heartbeat. Still a good looking player in the Croatian for a small fee as well.

Diego Callai - 2.5M (+2.5M after 50 games)

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Yet another player I signed last year but I have a feeling this time he will develop more since he will be used more. Already looks very good for his age but Green is still our 1st choice.

Vitalie Becker - 500k

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I couldn't find many options for the LB position but this German was the best I found and I must say he looks very good. Only needs to develop his mentals but he has a very good base in terms of his attributes.

Ousmane Camara - 100k

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The last player to join us was Ousmane Camara who cost us pennies and looks amazing for his 18 years of age. Even the overall report looks amazing and he can even play as a striker if needed.


Squad

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In terms of squad depth I think we are good. We also have a lot of young players in our 2nd team about to be ready for the 1st team and they are all registered in the league in case we need them. The worst position is the LB but I believe Becker will develop fast.

League Schedule and Table

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I have to say this start of the season in Ligue 1 has been very good. We beat Lille and Nice and we were so close to beating Lorient as well but a 93 minute own goal cost us the 3 points.


Let's see if we can keep up this good form in September.

Finances

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We still have a lot of money in the bank so we are chilling on the financial department.

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Very sad about the new owner not investing in the club though, but it is what it is.​
 
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