This post is written by our very own DrOtterMan, jumping into the series to shar with us his interesting Irish players to sign…
As soon as Dan started this guest post series off, I knew I wanted to make my own little addition to it with regards to Irish players. Not usually bless with an over abundance of talent, the Republic of Ireland does have a host of players coming through the ranks at clubs in Europe which could be worth you looking at during your saves. The talent is there, but if they follow the paths or Robbie and Roy Keane, or those of Declan and Jack, the eternal traitors, is anyone’s guess.
Gavin Bazunu – GK – Southampton
Probably the current best talent with Irish blood coursing through his veins, Gavin Bazunu maybe not a shock to some people at the top of this list, having already managed 10 caps for his country at the age of 20, he has everything people look for in a modern day goalkeeper, Bazunu represents the very idea of a sweeper keeper, confident in one on one situations, and good with the ball at his feet, all at the age of 20, Bazunu could stand between your posts for the entirety of your FM23 save. Don’t expect to be picking him up on the cheap though, as you can see above he’s currently listed at $46m, but if you’re a team on the rise that needs talent between the sticks, Gavin could be your man.
Nathan Collins – CB – Wolves
Second up on our list come 21 year old Nathan Collins out of Wolves, Nathan is likely to be the player on this list best known by most football fans, with his ability as a defender already giving him 2 moves in as many seasons, going from Stoke, to Burnley and finally ending up at Wolves. Nathan comes budding with Prem experience, having already played 19 times in a heavily organised Burnley side. As we can see from his stats, Nathan is growing into an all-round brilliant central defender. If you bring Nathan in, again he will likely cost a pretty penny as he has only just moved to Wolves, you will also be faced with an early decision on the final part of his development, the base stats are there, if not a little underwhelming, for him to play as a ball playing defender, especially with the ‘tries long range passes’ trait attached to him, but without the development of his passing skills, he could quite poor at it. So do you focus on improving them? Or look to cut the trait…
Evan Ferguson – ST – Brighton
At 17 years of age, and with bags of development potential, Evan Ferguson comes in next on our list. A Young striker currently playing in Brighton, looks like he has a number of stats to help fit into everyone’s favourite Gegenpressing tactics. His physical stats show him as a quick, strong and endurance-based striker, whilst also boasting the teamwork and tackling attributes to be the first line of your attack in FM23, whilst his final third attributes also so he has a keen eye for goal when those chances are presented to him. His poor dribbling and crossing attributes mean its probably best to not look for too much free roaming from Evan, but he does have the passing ability to be able to help in the build up play for your team. Being in the Brighton squad means you could likely look to bring Evan in on loan if starting lower down, while his transfer value remains fairly low if starting higher up, to bring him in and develop him for later.
Kevin Zefi – LW/RW – Inter Milan
The first player on our list to not be playing in England, Kevin Zefi made quite the storm when starting his career in Shamrock Rovers II, being the youngest player to score in the League of Ireland at 15 years of age. The season after, European giants Inter Milan came knocking, and the whole of Ireland felt he has born for stardom. Zefi scored a hattrick for the Inter youth team not long after joining, and Ireland waits for the day he can lead their line to glory. In football manager terms, Zefi hold the technical ability to causes defences troubles as he runs at them, his technique, dribbling, flair and agility make for a lovely looking addition for running inside off the left wing. Zefi does come with some weaknesses in his game, His positioning and movement attributes can really let him down and see him drift out of games, coupled with some very average attribute for the final third, and there is plenty left to work on with Zefi, but if you can get your hands on him early, and develop him moving forwards, you could have a jewel for your team, as well as a future star of the Irish national team.
Sam Curtis – RB – St. Patricks Athletic
This list could never be complete without a player who calls the emerald isle his home. Sam Curtis starts FM23 at 16 years of age, with some pretty handy attributes across the board, a right back who enjoys travelling forwards with the ball to break the lines of play. Sam may not have the ability to push on to be one of the best right backs in the world, but he could be more than a solid addition for any teams just below that top tier looking to bring in a young cheap option to help sure up their back line. Sam is as comfortable with the ball at his feet as he is in making a tackle, and he finds himself with a more than reasonable transfer fee at the beginning of the game. He can naturally play at either right back or centre back, meaning he would be a very solid addition in 3 at the back systems, a very solid option to come in as your wide centre back on support.
Some of these players may not be able to match the pure quality of some of the biggest nations, but there will be many out there who need that extra player, who classes as homegrown to add into their team, and some of these lads could be perfect for that. Maybe someone fancies their chances at restoring the Republic to a nation that contends for major tournament qualification, if so, this is a very good based of player to look for.
Some great players to pick up for your save, thanks for the contribution Otter!