Season 1, Episode 6

It’s never easy, and often quite nerve-wracking, preparing for a season in a new division following a promotion. There’s almost an element of venturing into the unknown.

Which players are good enough? Who can go to get some extra transfer funds?

In this article we’ll look at:

  • Player performances last season
  • How players out on loan did

As the goalkeeper situation was a good one last season I won’t go into any further than Regis Gurtner played well and should be the starting option going into the new season. I do need to recruit a backup who can eventually replace him as the #1.


I’m happy with both starting fullbacks going into our Ligue 1 season. Unless bids come in for Mendy or Ring they’ll be the starters. 

As mentioned previously, their crossing output needs to improve and is something I’lll be monitoring as the season develops. Assogba performed admirably at right fullback when called upon but I don’t have a backup at left fullback as 18-year-old Kassoum Ouattara isn’t near good enough yet and will be loaned out. 

Central Defenders

I was lucky enough to have a settled centre back partnership throughout the season. Unfortunately, there’s a high chance the partnership will now be over. Opoku, the best of the bunch, is still refusing to sign a new contract. Therefore he might be shown the door if a good bid comes in. 

Abdourahmane Barry struggled with tackling and, like Opoku, his ratio of headers won doesn’t fill me with confidence when stepping up a division. If a central defender isn’t good at either tackling or heading he’s not the guy for me. Expect him to be replaced in the starting line up next season. 

Xantippe split some time at Left Fullback but doesn’t have the pace to be a realistic option there going forward. Another with a disappointingly low headers won ratio, he might be sent out on loan next season to develop, depending on what depth I can create. 

Defensive Midfielders

Four players split most of the available minutes in the defensive midfielder roles. The Ball Winning Midfielder position was filled by Mamadou Fofana (the elder) and he performed quite well. Only two players on my shortlist have better stats and I can’t afford either so his spot is safe for next season. His understudy, Owen Gene, is developing nicely and although better with the ball than Fofana, he’s still got to develop physically and win more tackles. 

Whilst Jeremy Gelin was dependable but not effective enough in the first half of the season at the Deep Lying Playmaker role, he proved his worth through his flexibility as he also filled in at Ball Winning Midfielder and Centre back when needed. In the second half of the season he was replaced at DLP by Mathis Lacheur in a bid to see how he performed and how he developed. His tackling improved to a 59% ratio but is still underwhelming and let’s not mention his heading. Whilst he looks to get the ball forward, he’s not doing enough from a defensive point of view, so I’ll be on the lookout for a starting Deep Lying Playmaker. 


Leautey took an early lead in being the creative force of the team, but a series of injuries which never allowed him to regain full fitness saw his stats decline. Despite this, he still plays the most open play key passes per game out of all our wide men. 

This meant he fell behind both Gomez and Bande, both of whom bring different qualities. Gomez loves to dribble at defences with pace, whilst Bande produced 9 goal contributions and wins possession well. Either of these 3 could win the starting spot on the left wing next season but the reality is, I don’t think any are up to Ligue 1 standards. 

The star of the show though was Gael Kakuta – 13 goals and 5 assists is a fantastic return from the 31-year-old. His position is safe and he’ll be heavily leaned on in Ligue 1 next season. 

Shadow Striker

If I was asked back in January 2023 to name the future of the Shadow Striker role at Amiens, I would’ve said Angel Jose Chibozo. Joining on loan from Juventus, I’d managed to sign him to a pre-contract agreement after a string of impressive performances. A couple of weeks later he tore a calf muscle which allowed his back up, Mamadou Fofana, to show what he can do with an extended run of games. What he’s done has given me a real selection headache going into the new season. 

Whilst Chibozo struggled with injuries and has also played some games at striker and both wing positions (which may affect his stats) his main bulk of minutes came at Shadow Striker. As you can see, Fofana performed better everywhere apart from the number of chances created per game. 

Both will get an opportunity to claim the starting spot next season. 


I had high hopes for the strikers available to me at the start of the season. Veteran Papiss Cisse is obviously going to score goals in Ligue 2 and once talented loanee Janis Antiste was fit I was sure he’d tear the league apart. Well… one of those happened.

Whilst Cisse notched up 16 goals, Antiste was abysmal. So bad I looked to a 16-year-old to fill his spot on the bench and eventually finish off the season with a run as a starter. George Ilenikhena scored 9 goals in 20 appearances and has a great future ahead of him.

Despite his promising start, he’s still too young and under-developed to start for the team in Ligue 1 so I’ll be on the lookout for someone to take the starting slot whilst young George develops behind him.


It’s not clear I need to fill the following gaps in the squad:

Goalkeeper (Backup)

Left Fullback (Backup)

Left Central Defender (Starter)

Deep Lying Playmaker (Starter)

Striker (Starter)


Now we know where the gaps are, were there any players out on loan who could fit the bill?

Mostly, no. Alious Badji had a decent season at divisional rivals Bordeaux, mostly coming off the bench. He also scored the goal which gave us our first loss of the season. He could certainly help the team out next season with his physicality but he seems more of a bench option. 

We do have one very intriguing player returning to the club, though. Amadou Ciss is exactly the kind of striker I’m looking for in this system. Strong, quick, good in the air and good feet. Scoring more than a goal every 2 games in Cyprus I think I may have found my striker…


Whilst there’s no players ready to make the step up into the first team squad, the Under 19s had a great season, winning their division ahead of PSG. Unfortunately they lost the Playoff Final to FC Nantes. The future’s bright though and I intend on paying a lot of attention to ensure there’s a lean playing squad to ensure any bright youngsters don’t have their development blocked. 


I was delighted to see a transfer budget of just under £3.5 million. It should be more than enough to plug the holes in the squad. I DO need to be careful about the wage situation though as I went against the grain and put a big strain on the club’s finances last season. With such a limited scouting range I was frustrated with the lack of reports coming in so I chose to scout a lot of players outside the range, which comes with an extra cost. 

Therefore I’ll very probably put some of that transfer money back into the wages and try to remain under budget through the implementation of a strict wage structure (and you have no idea how excited this makes me!)

I’ve lowered the transfer budget to £3m and it’s now giving me £112k per week for wages. Splitting this out across a first team squad of 20 leaves me with the following:

Luckily, I’m currently £20k under the wage budget – but so far I only have one player, Amadou Ciss, earning more than what he should be. He’s currently listed as a regular starter and is on £7k per week, which from looking above you can see is over the £5,140 limit. 

It’s still early days and these figures may go up or down depending on finances needed to bring in new players. 


The transfer merry-go round started for Amiens on the 14th June with a central defender joining the squad. 

Saad Agouzoul joined for £1.1m from Ligue 2 side FCSM, who finished 5th, and chose us ahead of some serious competition. As you’ll notice, I seriously smashed the wage structure to bring the former Lille player to the club. He was by far the best defender in my shortlist and according to FM Stag’s What does good look like, performed very well in a number of metrics. He’s certainly an upgrade and, according to my scouts, is already operating at a Ligue 1 standard. 

Joining the team next is a bright prospect at Right Fullback, Darlin Yongwa. Coming from FC Lorient for £1m, he’ll be back up to Sebastian Ring. He’s got electric pace and is a good crosser, so he should fit the attacking fullback role well. He also has the added benefit of being able to play anywhere down the left so will be a good option at the left wing position too. 

Limited to just 716 minutes off the bench for Lorient, he’s already got Ligue 1 experience and I’m hoping he can develop nicely. 

I’d initially told the Director of Football to spend a maximum of £850k on Yongwa but I wasn’t too bothered about the extra £150k as Osasuna had made a £2m bid for Opoku (still refusing to sign a new contract) so I’d have the extra cash anyway…

The only problem being that when the Opoku to Osasuna deal went through, the board only put £150k back into the transfer budget…. Sigh. This put a serious dent in my recruitment plans. 

What is it with Amiens and drama?!

Of course, it’s standard practice that in Amiens, drama is never far away. A few days after Opoku’s departure, Barry comes to my office demanding a new contract and to be an important player. Bearing in mind he didn’t perform amazingly well in Ligue 2 and I was doubting his ability to make the cut in Ligue 1, this isn’t a good demand for him to be making. To cut a long story short, we fell out. He was valued at a maximum of £725k but I managed to get £1m from FC Dijon. Again, I only get a small fraction of this to spend.

The drama continued when veteran keeper and stalwart of the Amiens defence for the previous nine years, Regis Gurtner, tore an abdominal muscle in training and would miss 2-3 months just a few days before the first preseason game. Marvellous.

Luckily, I’d already been running through my shortlist of goalkeepers as part of my search for Gurtner’s backup. 

Already better than Gurtner and projected to develop into a decent Ligue 1 goalkeeper, Kjetl Haug joins us on a season loan from relegated Toulouse. After which he’ll become an Amiens player thanks to a £105k mandatory fee… he could be a real bargain!

The search for a creator

With midfielder Traore failing to impress on loan in the national league, he was deemed surplus to requirements and left to play in the Championship for Stoke City for a £300k fee. This helped the situation slightly of freeing up a little money to recruit a new Deep Lying Playmaker.

Due to lack of funds, I was unable to replace the departing Barry at centre back, meaning Jeremy Gelin would have to slot in alongside the newly arriving Agouzoul.

My thoughts that Lachuer wasn’t yet ready for Ligue 1 was backup by his coaching report which sees him only as a decent Ligue 2 player. 

I thought I was onto a winner… With Toulouse being relegated, they released Branco Van Den Boomen. Wow. I immediately offered him a month’s trial whilst I tried to free up any money I could to afford his wages. Naturally, this would smash the wage structure wide open, but he’s so good he’d be a large part in keeping us up.  

Having performed magnificently in three friendlies, we finally agreed a wage of £14k per week. It was only a matter of time until he signed on the dotted line and we had ourselves a star. And then, at the last minute, Serie A side Monza swooped in and stole him away with a larger wage. Oh, what could’ve been. 

The rest of my options are slim. However, with Lachuer having the potential to develop much further it meant I only needed a player to start ahead of him for another year, maybe which meant I could look at a veteran who hopefully wouldn’t cost as much.

It also means a loan option would be viable. 

Which is exactly what I did. Bringing in Valencia youngster Alberto Del Moral

The 23 year old, whom my scouts believe could turn into a leading Ligue 1 player, joins on a season long loan with a £2.6 million option to buy. A very technically gifted player with lovely passing and vision as well as a host of other skills. He could fill both my midfield roles and excel in each. 

Let the season commence

Now I’ve got my squad complete it wouldn’t quite be the same without one last bit of drama. Left winger Leautey came demanding a new contract (the man who could barely stay fit last season and is only deemed a good Ligue 2 player) and was swiftly refused. He demanded to be played on the transfer list which I was happy to oblige. He then lasted 2 minutes in the final friendly of pre-season before suffering torn knee ligaments which will put him out for 3 months. 

So, here’s the squad as we start the season:

Oh, and we’re predicted to finish bottom of Ligue 1 with 600/1 odds of winning the league. 

And we’re the worst in the league in 75% of the team comparison screens. 

It’s going to be a long season. 

The press think 35 points will be enough to keep us up… but any hopes for a good start might come unstuck with a tough opening few games, starting with local rivals Stade de Reims. 

7-8 points would be a good start.

Wish me luck…



  • Daniel Gear

    Dan Gear is a vibrant member of the Football Manager (FM) community, renowned for his engaging content and insightful tutorials. He illuminates complex FM concepts on "View From The Touchline" and shares engaging narratives through his unique European Journeyman save reveals. Dan's collaborative spirit shines in partnerships with fellow creators like FM Stag, unraveling new FM features. He's a co-host of the engaging "Grass N Gear" podcast, making the FM experience more enjoyable for many. With a blend of humor, expertise, and a knack for community engagement, Dan Gear's contributions significantly enrich the Football Manager community, making him a cherished figure among enthusiasts.

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