Leicester City - Foxes become Lions

zacram

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Nov 11, 2014
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Leicester City

So as the title vaguely outlines, I have decided to start a new save with Leicester City with the addition of a single rule, which is that I will only be able to sign English players.

Fortunately Leicester have a large number of first team players that are English so have a pretty secure foundation for the save. I did think about trying to sell all our foreign players straight away but figured it was going to be a rather manic opening transfer window, so have just decided to gradually sell them on as I begin to bring in replacements.

Leicester City really shot to fame on the global stage following the incredible 2015/16 season, crowning them Premier League Champions

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Key Players

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Jamie Vardy -
The club's talisman, who leads from the front and one of the few regular starters that that was part of that title winning season. At the age of 32 he is now in his prime years and may only have a few seasons left in him leading the line. However, he is still an integral part of this squad and will be hoping his goals can bag as a European spot come the end of the season.


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James Maddison - The newly capped attacking midfielder will be pulling the strings for us in midfield. He will undoubtably draw a lot of attention from the so called "Big Six" so will have my work cut out to keep hold of him but is a player I will be looking to build the team around.


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Ben Chilwell - The young leftback is a product of the clubs academy and despite being only 22 appears to be the number one contender for the England shirt. He is another player that is constantly being linked to the "Big Six" but again will not be for sale at any price.


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Harvey Barnes - He is one of my favourite players at the club and another to graduate from the academy. He is still a way off the England radar but his pace and direct style of play cause him to be a real threat down either wing.


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Hamza Choudhury - He is the third highly talented youngster in the first team squad that has worked his way up from the academy. He's a ball winning midfielder that is largely an understudy to Wilfred Ndidi at present, but will soon be a first team choice in that role i'm sure.




Full Starting Squad Overview

So we currently have just 10 English players in the Senior Squad, which means I have a lot of work cut out. We should eventually be able to generate some decent revenue from the sales of players like Ndidi and Tielemans but as we all know the Value of English players on the transfer market is massively overpriced, so bringing in similar level replacements wont be easy.


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zacram

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Nov 11, 2014
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Pre - Season

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Our pre-season training camp had already been arranged in Hong Kong by the assistant so didn't really come up against any kind of opposition apart from PSV and Braga at either end of the schedule. We had a rather depleted squad as some players had extended holiday, but we did rather well implementing a couple of different tactics.

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Here are the transfers made since I joined the club, obviously a few others were included on this list as those real life transfers for players such as Tielemans and Perez.

I struggled to find some English players that weren't massively overpriced or were affordable but didn't really add much quality to the team, so ended up buying a couple of youngsters. (Bunting was signed by Head of Youth Development and is nothing special).


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Nathan Ferguson - We currently have no English CBs in the first team so Nathan Ferguson looks to be a really good acquisition for the future at a very reasonable price. I decided to loan him back to West Brom for a season in the Championship which will hopefully prepare him for a next season in the Premiership.

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Lewis Dobbin - He was honestly a bit of a deadline day panic buy as both Vardy and Iheanacho were injured in pre season and only really had Perez who could play up front. To be fair though he didn't cost a huge amount and has potential for the future and with the injuries we already have may get a couple of opportunities this season, but is clearly a long way off Premier League quality.

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The Bookies predict us to finish in 7th place this season and hopefully grab the last Europa League spot (Cups depending), which is essentially my target for the season. Secure a place in Europe for next season.

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zacram

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Nov 11, 2014
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August & September


I didn't originally set out to make this into an FM Story so had already completed up to the end of September hence the rather brief opening.

Generally it has been a good start to the campaign, getting some comfotable wins over both Chelsea and Spurs as well as a draw at Old Trafford. Unfortunately the wheels looked to come off a bit in our last couple of games losing 1-0 to both Bournemouth and Arsenal. Looking at the match stats we deserved at least a point in both games but our inability to convert chances let us down. We desperately need Vardy back fit and firing ASAP.

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We manage to progress to the 4th Round of the EFL Cup despite a bit of a scare away to Rochdale in the 2nd Round. I have been heavily rotating the squad for these games but was very happy to see JJ score a goal on his debut from RB. Another good English prospect in the squad and will be getting plenty of gamer time this season.


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A home tie against Burnley stands in our way of a cup quarter final. Surely a winnable game for this squad.

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Injuries have been a problem early on for us and we are currently joint highest in the League at the end of September. Vardy will unlikely make his first appearance of the season until November so will need Iheanacho to step up to the plate in his absence.

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Our late wobble has seen us slide down to 5th in the League. Still sitting above our predicted finish of 7th and only a point off 2nd. Still very early days but a decent start to the campaign.

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zacram

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October


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The game exploded into life in the second half as we looked like we were about to throw away a 3-0 lead against a Sheffield United side struggling at the bottom of the table. It was a game where Ayoze Perez really introduced himself to the Leicester fans in a MOTM display consisting of 2 goal of the month contenders.


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Woeful finishing really cost us 2 points against the Canaries. Despite our lack of possession we created numerous chances, hitting 13 shots on target but just lacked the composure to beat the Norwich Keeper. Improvements needed for next week.


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A change of formation and personnel for our trip to Turf Moor proved to be decisive. Dennis Praet opened his account for the club and Iheanacho finally got himself back on the scoresheet. Our wingers struggled to get into the game yet again and had to rely on the creativity of our central midfielders.


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Just 4 days later and we host Burnley for a rematch in the EFL CUP 4th Round. We both rotated rather heavily and had to grind out 1-0 victory thanks to a solid defensive display. Barnes has been struggling to rekindle his early season form before his injury and is something I will need to address as he is going to be an integral part of this Leicester Team moving forwards.


We host Arsenal in the Quarter-Final and will be seeking some revenge following our 1-0 defeat at the King Power last month.



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Just 2 points dropped in the League this month and we find ourselves up in 2nd place. It's already starting to look like a strange season with no side stamping their authority on the League Table. Both Liverpool and City have dropped a hefty amount of points considering the quality they have and European spaces may therefore be very competitive this season.

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zacram

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Nov 11, 2014
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November


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Despite going a goal down we managed to bounce back with 3 unanswered goals thanks to a masterclass display from James Maddison. He pulled the strings in midfield all game and even got himself a goal of the month contender in the process.



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Harvey Barnes continues to struggle for form and am now going to have to drop him to the U23s for a couple of games to try rebuild some confidence. On the other hand Maddison continues to prove he's worth the hype and guides us to tricky victory over Villa.


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Jamie Vardy managed to make the bench for the first time this season following a hip injury and managed to single handedly inspire a second half comeback for a draw at Anfield. Just shows what we've been missing up front this season.


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Another 3 points on the board but the result was a lot closer than it should have been. We dominated proceedings but again lacked the clinical edge in the final third, but still cant really complain too much with the performance.





We top the table after another unbeaten month in the League. I have no idea what has gone wrong at City for them to be down in 8th but imagine Guardiola will be getting the sack by Christmas unless he can turn it around - Something I never thought I'd be saying!


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zacram

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December


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Jamie Vardy steals the headlines after bagging himself a hat-trick in only his second start of the season. He has been in scintillating form since his long injury layoff and already our joint top goalscorer of the season!



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An early strike from Demarai Gray was enough to secure the 3 points at the Ethiad against a City side short on confidence. It was a cagey game throughout and constantly thought they'd have the quality to score at least a goal, but considering their poor start to the season maybe not a shock result.


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We had to go toe-to-toe with Everton after they pegged us back twice in the game, but a clumsy challenge in the area gave Vardy the opportunity to score from the spot and in his form was never likely to miss.



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Arsenal get a double over us at the King Power this season and send us crashing out of the EFL Cup at the Quarter Final stage. I did rotate the squad quite heavily which included a first start for Matty James following his most recent long injury lay off.



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We quickly put the disappointment of our cup defeat behind us and bounced back with a resounding win over Southampton at St Marys. Tielemans ran the show from midfield as we completely bossed the game.



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A quick fire double from Pereyra in the first half really had us on the back foot and we struggled to get into the game. We created a few chances in the second half to equalise but in truth Watford deserved the 3 points.



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That makes it 3 wins out of 3 against Burnley this season in all competitions and finishes the congested festive period off on a high.




Ryan Bennet had a clause in his contract to make the loan deal permanent for a fee of £5M should he feature in 5 games this season. I was a bit hesitant to activate this but he has been performing well for us this season and is a low transfer fee and salary for an experienced English defender that fits my club ethos. So come the end of May he will be a permanent signing.



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We remain top of the table despite some reordering beneath us that looks somewhat closer to the pre-season predictions. It looks as though teams are starting to find form so will still be a monumental challenge to stay top come the end of the season.

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zacram

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Nov 11, 2014
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January - Transfer Window


So as things have been going better than expected in the League I decided that now would be the time to transfer list all the non English Players in the Squad and go about sorting replacements. So needless to say it has been a very busy month in the transfer market.


So below is a list of the outgoing transfers in January for a total combined fee of £240 Million! Some of this is going to be coming in instalments over the next couple of years but still is a massive sum of money to receive. Was a bit gutted to let the likes of Tielemans and Pereira go, but is all part of the challenge of this save.

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So I guess the bigger question is how have I reinvested the money.....

Five new players join the squad for a combined fee of £150.75 Million, which again is spread across instalments in some cases. I think the fans may be worried that they lack some of the immediate quality of those players sold, but all are up and coming English players and will play a big part in this clubs future.

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Jude Bellingham (£20M) - Has been billed as one of Englands brightest current prospects having made his professional debut for Birmingham at the age of just 16 years and 38 days! Despite only having 28 professional appearances under his belt and still aged just 16 I think he is definitely worth the £20M price tag, which will undoubtably skyrocket in the next few years.

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Coniah Boyce-Clarke (£7.75M) - Another 16 year old prospect that will hopefully have a massive future at the club. Although he still hasn't made his professional club debut he has already been capped at U20 England level. So following the sale of Danny Ward, Boyce-Clarke becomes my second choice keeper at the tender age of 16 - No pressure then.

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Rob Holding (£11M) - Found himself on the transfer list at Arsenal and for a price-tag of £11M and will be an immediate replacement for Jonny Evans. Has Premier League experience and has been knocking on the England door in the past, so with regular game time and come consistent form may find himself an England Cap in the near future.

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Jack Grealish (£57M) - The newly capped Englishman becomes the clubs record signing. He has been in terrific form for Villa this season and his versatility is a massive reason behind my decision for this big money deal. He can either play on the wing or in the centre of midfield and will be expecting big things moving forwards.


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Mason Greenwood (£55M) - Nothing like a massive deadline day signing to get the heart racing. Following the late sale of Iheanacho to Palace I needed to bring another striker into the squad as a replacement. He may only be 18 years old but has incredible finishing stats for a teenager and has made numerous appearances for Man Utd already. He will mostly be Vardy's understudy to start with but looks set to be his long term replacement.

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So here is an overview of the current squad.

Both Morgan and Fuchs are leaving the club at the end of the season when their contracts expire, so only really have Schmeichel, Ndidi and Soyuncu to sell in the Summer (plus players loaned out this season). Unfortunately I could secure deals for the above players that met my asking price so will be pushing them again come the end of the season.


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Financially we have slashed the wage bill at the club and also generated over £56 Million profit for the month of January. The squad may be a little thinner in areas than I'd hoped but assuming we complete top 4 we should have a very healthy budget in the summer to bring in some new faces.

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zacram

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January


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As the transfer window opens up across Europe we manage to focus on the task at hand and secure an easy win over the Blades. It's never easy with all the speculation flying around particularly with all the transfer listed players at the squad but was a commanding performance under the circumstances.



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It was a debut to remember for new, teenage signing, Jude Bellingham who etches his name into the history books by becoming the clubs youngest ever goalscorer. Vontae Daley-Campbell also made his professional debut from RB.



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We should probably be thanking David Luiz for finally getting a result over Arsenal this season. Despite playing 10 men for the majority of the game we still struggled to break them down, but thankfully Demarai Gray managed to get one effort through to secure the 3 points.




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A very poor performance at Carrow Road resigned us to our first defeat of 2020. They were clinical in front of goal and we spurned some decent chances.



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A strong response from last weeks disappointment as we got revenge on our defeat earlier in the season. Rob Holding also made his debut off the bench following his signing from Arsenal.



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Everton gave us an early scare in the FA Cup 4th Round, going a goal down inside 6 minutes but the team rallied with 3 unanswered goals to send us through to the 5th Round where we travel North against Championship outfit, Middlesborough.


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Just 3 points dropped in the League as we hold on to top spot, but is clear to see the form of the clubs below has really improved and both Manchester United and Liverpool are starting to rein us in.


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zacram

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February

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Mason Greenwood rescued us a point, making his club debut off the bench alongside Jack Grealish. Despite the decent result at Stamford Bridge, Jamie Vardy is likely to be ruled out for the remainder of the season with a broken foot, so will be a lot of pressure on our new 18 year old prospect.



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Manchester United have really picked up form in the past month or so and proved far too strong for our transitioning squad. We struggled to get into the game and we were essentially outmatched. Unfortunately injury-prone, Matty James picks up yet another serious injury and will be joining Vardy on the sidelines for the rest of the season.



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Greenwood is showing that he is capable of replacing our talismanic striker and bags a brace against the Saints. That's 3 goals in 3 games now for the teenager and already becoming a fan favourite at the club.


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A poor performance at Goodison rounded off a poor month for us. It could easily have ended 4 or 5 nil but for some excellent keeping from Schmeichel.



In other news Soyuncu has been sold. Stupidly I thought this deal was going through at the end of the season so am now short a CB in the senior squad. Hopefully we can avoid any injuries for the remainder of the season.



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The board have also agreed to expand the stadium which is always positive moving forwards.

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After a tough month of results we slide down to third in the table. We're still in the title race but also have to be conscious now of the chasing pack and potentially missing out on Champions League qualification. This was always going to be a transitioning season as I overhauled the squad so a top 4 finish would still be above my original expectations.

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zacram

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March

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Between injuries and cup tied players I struggled to get 18 players together so had to dip into the development squad, which gave a debut to George Hirst up front and Boyce - Clarke in goal. Despite the selection issues I still thought we'd be able to get the result but really failed to create any clear chances and drop out of the FA Cup at only the 5th Round.



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Greenwood was available for selection once again and inspired us to a massively important victory over his once bitter rivals. This completes the double over City this season and is a big step in securing a top 4 finish.



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Another quality performance up front for Greenwood, scoring what proved to be the decisive goal over a battling Brighton side. They dominated large parts of the game so can count ourselves slightly fortunate to get all 3 points.





Unfortunately we have nothing to right home about in the way of future prospects as we get a look at the new players entering the Youth System. Amine Bendjelloul looks the pick of the bunch but even he may struggle to break into the first team in the years to come.


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Mason Greenwoods terrific form pays off as he becomes our 5th capped England player in the squad. Perhaps an outside chance of making the Euro 2020 squad.

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The League results somewhat cushion the disappointment of the FA Cup as we sit level with both United and Liverpool at the top of the table. With just 8 games to go it's going to be one **** of a run in!


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zacram

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April

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Newcastle deal us a major blow to our title challenge with a humiliating defeat at St James' Park. Schmeichel is usually such a reliable figure in goal but had an absolute shocker today with a rating of just 5 - Think that's the lowest I've seen from a keeper on this FM!


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Marc Albrighton finds a winning goal deep into injury time to keep us in the title race. The game looked destined to end as a stalemate until he found some space at the back post. Boyce-Campbell also made his first Premier League appearance in goal, keeping a clean sheet.



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It was a winning return to Villa Park for Jack Grealish. Another tight game but when McGinn was sent off in the 74th minute we found that extra yard of space to make the breakthrough.



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It was Virgil Van Dijk of all people that brought Greenwood down in the closing stages of the game to allow Maddison to equalise from the penalty spot. How is this result going to effect the title race...


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Mason Greenwood scores his first hat-trick for the club, taking his goal tally to 10 for the club in just 11 appearances! He has already proved to be worth the hefty fee paid as am sure Iheanacho wouldn't have been able to get the goals needed to replace Vardy in his absence. I think next season I'll need a formation with the 2 players upfront together.




So as we enter the last few games of the season we are back up to 1st place, although United do have a game in hand which means does give them the advantage. All we can do now is win our remaining 3 games and hope United lose at least 1 of theirs!



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zacram

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May

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Hamza Choudhury has been a prominent figure in the side since January and finally got his first senior goal for the club. Whilst he is predominately plays in a deeper role breaking up the midfield, it's always good to break your duck. Rob Holding also got his first goal since his move from Arsenal.



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A fitting farewell to the King Power for our Premier League winning, Captain Morgan. He managed to score the game winning goal in his final game at the King Power Stadium to send the title race down to the final day of the season.



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Whilst Morgan continues to marshal the defensive line, James Maddison scored the game winner.


Unfortunately despite our 100% record in May, our efforts were matched by United who edge the title by just 2 points. My expectations at the start of the season were to secure a Europa League spot and potentially challenge the top 4, so has been an extremely pleasing season. This was always the transitional year as I created a fully Home Grown side and can hopefully be challenging for the title again next year.




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zacram

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Unlucky not to win the Premier League but what a season! Absolutely love the layout of this one too, mind if I adapt it when I do a career on the 99/00 database?
Thanks mate - Just wasn't to be this season unfortunately.

With regards to the layout go for it man. I sort of got this style from reading previous stories etc. so adapt as you see fit :)
 

zacram

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End of Season 2019/20



James Maddison was awarded the Fans Player of the Season following 6 goals and 11 assists and was interesting to see the appreciation of the hard work done by Hamza Choudhury in midfield.

I was a little surprised to see that Rob Holding was regarded as our signing of the season considering Mason Greenwood scored 10 goals in just 14 appearances! I can only assume its because of the bargain price we managed to get for him.


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So just 3 players have been called up to the England Euro 2020 squad, with Jack Grealish just missing out on the final cut. A decent representation from the club, but at the 2022 World Cup i'll be expecting a few additional call-ups.

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France then went on to win Euro 2020, with England crashing out to Spain in the Quarter-Finals. Both Chilwell and Maddison were prominent figures in the side starting 5 and 4 games respectively, Greenwood only managed 1 substitute appearance.


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Despite plans already in place for a stadium expansion the board have further increased the project to accommodate a capacity 42,000 for the start of next season. Hopefully some Big European nights to come at the King Power.


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zacram

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Nov 11, 2014
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Summer Transfers 2020

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Here is a list of all transfers currently completed as of the start of the season (8th August) but still have until the end of the month before the Transfer Window officially shuts.

Clearly some big money signings in the list above as we look to solidify our position as a Top 4 side. I identified the 3 main positions of strengthening to be GK, RB and CB so made this my priority.

I did want to bring John Stones in but despite agreeing terms with City, he didn't want to open contract discussions. Reece James or Alexander-Arnold would have been my first choice RBs but couldn't justify the valuation unsurprisingly.

A mass clear out of players this summer as this radical English Player only philosophy is put in place. It does seem very Nationalist but assure you it is just for a unique FM challenge.


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Dean Henderson (£27.5M) - Although Pickford still appears to be the in-favour English keeper, i'm a big admirer of Henderson's and believe he has more to offer. His wage demands were also incredibly low, only £40k/pw compared to Pickford wanting around £130k p/w! I was really struggling to find a club for Kasper Schmeichel due to his high wage, so made the crafty decision to do a part player exchange to get him off the books and despite the additional £27.5M i'm saving around £90k p/w in wages!


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Ruben Loftus-Cheek (£13M) - As an English International he has been on my radar since taking over and after being notified that Chelsea had transfer listed him I took the opportunistic approach of signing him at a real bargain price. He's a strong, creative midfielder who will be a big addition to the side. Just need to hope he can stay fit!


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Ben Godfrey (£61M) - As mentioned he wasn't my original first choice and my decision came down to either him or Tomori but felt that Godfrey's attributes were better as a Ball Playing Defender. At just 22 he has plenty of time to develop and will hopefully be knocking on the England door soon enough.


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Max Aarons (£65M) - He becomes the latest club record signing as I continue to reinvest the transfer revenue generated through player sales. Arguably he is only the 3rd best RB in the country and will face a stern test to get ahead of TAA and James in the England squad. However, he is still very young and has incredible physical attributes to get up and down the pitch and just needs to develop his technical skills slightly.


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So here's the first team squad I've been playing around with for our pre-season.

It's an incredibly young squad with an average age of just 22.58 - Unsurprisingly the lowest in the Premier League which has an average of 26.06. How does that famous quote go..."You cant win anything with kids" and this squad is considerably younger than that of Fergies back in 1995.


With just 83 International caps shared between the squad we also have the lowest Average International Caps in the Premier League, although not too surprising considering the average age,



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Schnauzer

Member
May 21, 2013
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Great story so far and you've done really well to transition the squad to all English in just one season.

Really enjoy challenge concept stories so I will be following this one!

Only concern is that the squad is looking a little bit bare... Which players have you got your eye on to sign next?
 
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zacram

Member
Nov 11, 2014
839
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Great story so far and you've done really well to transition the squad to all English in just one season.

Really enjoy challenge concept stories so I will be following this one!

Only concern is that the squad is looking a little bit bare... Which players have you got your eye on to sign next?

Thanks mate, appreciate the feedback!

I know the squad is still looking a bit bare and have really gone for youth over experience at this stage. I've actually just confirmed 3 new signings signings before the end of the transfer window which will be in the August update. I did try desperately to bring in Jadon Sancho when I saw Dortmund transfer listed him for £90M. I Managed to agree a reduced fee with a lot of instalments but he just wasn't interested in discussing a contract unfortunately.
 
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