#4 – Utilizing Key Players & Bright Prospects in a Suitable Formation

After finally starting my FM21 save, it is time to look at the key players and bright prospects at the club. Going through the player’s profiles is the first thing I do once I have set up my savegame. I want to know who our best players are and what positions they play straight away. The key players will determine what kind of tactic I will deploy. 

From day one, I also want to identify the most promising talents at the club because that is where my focus will be; developing promising players! I want to do it the best I can which means that we can’t miss a day in the process, so starting tout de suite is crucial to me. I also want to know their best (potential) positions so I can deploy a tactic where they have a chance to play in, which should further boost their progress.

There is a whole list of other things you should do before hitting that continue button, but I am not going to bore you with my complete ‘Day One To-Do List’. I am sure you will find a detailed post about that around the web as most ‘fansites’ have written these. In today’s post:

  • Key Players at FC Twente
  • Bright Prospects at FC Twente
  • Utilizing Key Players & Bright Prospects in a Suitable Formation

This post is part of the ‘Twente’s got Talent’ series, other posts in this series are: 

FC Twente – Key Players in FM21

Joël Drommel is the first player on this list. Having a good goalkeeper can be a lifesaver sometimes. People always talk about players that can win you matches, and most of the times they are referring to attacking players. I belief Drommel is the one who will be the difference between a loss or a draw for us in the first season!

Drommel is only 23-years old and has still some room to improve. The goalkeeper is an academy product and with the club since 2014. I like to keep him at Twente for his entire career. He has been called up for the national team for the first time in real life recently, which is something I would like to see happening in my savegame as well.

FM suggests Drommel is capable of playing as a Sweeper Keeper, but I think he is more like a shot-stopper. His first touch, rushing out and acceleration are not good enough to be a Sweeper Keeper in my opinion. He will be our main goalkeeper and I will focus his development towards his mental attributes.

Wout Brama is the absolute leader in the team. The 33-year old midfielder is declining rapidly though, so I don’t know how many seasons we can get out of him. Brama is another academy product who played for Twente between 2005 and 2014 before moving to PEC Zwolle, FC Utrecht and Central Coast Mariners before coming back to the Tukkers in 2018.

I will use him as a mentor for some of the younger players and will play him in a deep-lying playmaker role in our tactics as much as I/he can. We have to be very careful, though, as he might have problems with injuries. His stamina is very low as well, which means we should look to find an heir to his legacy as soon as possible. Wout will not be able to play every match in his entirety.

We want to choose his matches carefully, but he needs to play as he is a real team-player, leader of the squad, a consistent performer, and he relishes big games. We have quite a young team, so I think Brama could still be of use.

Václav Cerný is one of my favourite players in the current FC Twente team. Being mentioned together with Nouri, Van De Beek and De Ligt’s potential at Ajax in the past, Cerný has still to prove what he is capable of. The young Czech could not live up to the expectations and never experienced his breakthrough. He moved to FC Utrecht when Ajax signed Neres, but could not become a regular starter in the Utrecht team.

His loan move to FC Twente is kind of his last chance to prove what he is worth. He is kind of revived by Twente in real life, and I hope I can do the same in my FM21 save.

Cerný is an excellent dribbler with flair and pace and I’m willing to give him the freedom that he needs!

Next in line is Halil Dervişoğlu who is another loanee in the squad. Still, he will be one of the key players in our team. The 20-year old Turk could play either on the left-wing or as a striker, and I am not sure where to play him yet. I like his flair and two-footedness, which makes him an unpredictable player.

He also has a lot of room to become an even better player and might be on the list to be signed permanently.

I do not want to make this list too long, so here is the last one: Kik Pierie. Pierie is a very promising player on loan from Ajax. The 20-year old can play as a left-back or central defender, but I think I will deploy him as a Ball Playing Defender.

Pierie might be the best player we will have in our team this season, so I expect a lot from him. He is a consistent performer, good in the air and naturally fit. I would love to keep him at Twente because we don’t have a lot of central defenders. However, Kik is not interested at this time. He wants to play his games, grow and then break into Ajax’ first team.

Other notable players

As you can see, there is a big challenge lying ahead of us. If we take the eight best players from our roster, something stands out. Five of them are playing for us on loan, so we will most likely lose them at the end of the season. Also, Wout Brama is one of them, who won’t be able to play all the matches for us due to his stamina, age and injury susceptibility. Brama will probably decline over the season and only be a stand-in next season. Worrying.

We will have to find replacements for these players and recruit them from either inside our club or sign players from elsewhere. Let us have a look at the players who are on the verge of breaking into the first team.

FC Twente – Bright Prospects in FM21

Three youngsters could potentially take over the Brama role, although, none of them will have the same leader capacities as he has. The youngest of our options is 17-year old Jeffrey de Lange. At seventeen, he already shows some encouraging technique, off the ball movement, work ethic and pace. While being the most promising player at the club, I don’t think he will be a playmaking type of player. He’s much more of an offensive threat, in my opinion, like a Mezzala. However, if his ‘natural development’ will favour the playmaking attributes, he would be much more of an Advanced Playmaker.

Next in line is 20-year old Godfried Roemeratoe (love that name), who is much closer to breaking into the first team and more well-rounded as well. But, he must improve his tackling significantly if we want him to be a Deep Lying Playmaker. He will get plenty of game time in the first season, so I am curious to see where his development will go!

Last but not least, we have got Zerrouki. The 22-year old offers quite a challenge. He could be the heir to Wout Brama with his excellent vision, technique and work rate. However, he lacks first touch, decisions, anticipation and balance. I don’t know how much more we can get out of him, but if we do, I want him to grow in these attributes.

With Zerrouki being such uncertainty, and De Lange being more of an offensive threat, I decided to make a move on the transfer market. We have some other youngsters who are potentially capable of playing in the centre of midfield, but they are way off first-team level or better suited to different roles. 19-year old Norwegian Sigurd Grønli made his move from Tromsø to Enschede for €1.2M. We have added another number to the pool of potential playmakers in our team with Sigurd coming in. He has to improve the physical aspect of his game.

We do not have an awful lot of central defenders at Twente. Kik Pierie, who’s on loan from Ajax, 28-year old Dumic and Pleguezuelo are the ones fighting for a first XI spot. Then we have 16-year old Michel Driezen, who could go far, as a back-up. I believe that Driezen can grow into a first-team regular, but as you can see, he has lots of work to do! Driezen has all the attributes in the right places but needs to grow overall. We can not expect him to be ready next season and take over from Pierie, who will return to Ajax after the first season.

I had to dip my toes into the transfer market once again and signed another Norwegian youngster. I was quite happy to sign Sigurd Grønli for a relatively small amount of money. However, signing Max Normann Williamsen made me dance! We only paid €2.2M for this promising centre back, and the 17-year old Norwegian should take Pierie’s place in the team from next season. I will hand him some matches during the first season to boost his development and will focus his training on his physical attributes to get him ready for next year.

I know, this might get a bit monotonous but there is one last player I want to show you! This guy is one of my favourites and he will be a starter from day one. 19-year old Jayden Oosterwolde will be our main left-back, and I expect him to grow rapidly. He already has what it takes to be a regular starter in Enschede and only needs to focus on becoming even better. This guy has the potential to become a star player for FC Twente, so I will monitor him closely!

With the signing of the two young Norwegians, we have got our team ready to go. At least for this season. There is still the challenge to rebuild the squad for next season, as there will be more gaps to fill. We need to look around for a right-back because Ebuehi (on loan from Benfica) will return to his club after the first year, and we have nobody who can take his place yet. There also will be vacancies on the wings as Cerný, Dervişoğlu, Lamprou and Pereira will all return to their respective clubs as well. Let’s get scouting!

Utilizing Key Players & Bright Prospects in a Suitable Formation

After looking at the key players and bright prospects, it is easier to come up with a plan of how I want to play. I need a formation where I can utilize our ‘star’ players while giving opportunities to our youngsters to bleed into the first-team. Some of them need match experience to progress after all. The next question is if our youngsters can play these positions to gain match experience to boost their development.

In the comparison below, you can see our Best XI and the prospects that will gain some match experience through the first year.

As you can see, both our key players and bright prospects should be able to play in this formation. The 4-3-3 DM Wide is perfect for developing youngsters because all the positions are covered. Once I get to the point of having too many strikers, for example, I could retrain them to play on the wings. If I end up with too many wingers coming through, I could easily retrain them to become strikers or wing-backs. This formation is excellent for bleeding in youngsters and planning for the future. It would be much harder to do if I would deploy a wingerless formation. Then you have to retrain all the wingers coming through, as with the 4-3-3 I have more room to pick which players I want to play in what positions.

I will end this post with a screenshot of our squad depth so you can get a clear picture of what our squad looks like. I am positive about our first season in charge, as we have quality players in every position and have a backup for every player. We should be able to exceed the expectations of fighting bravely against relegation!

As always, I want to thank you for reading! I enjoyed writing down this one as it helped me to get a better view of what players are disposable to me. In the next post, I will go deeper into our initial playing style (base tactic, if you will) and what I did to develop/maintain my tactic. Yes, my next post is a tactical one! Something to look forward to.

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Hope to see you next time!


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