Welcome back to season 3 of my Brescia Calcio FM24 save.

When we left off we entered January in 8th position, having switched from a 3-4-2-1 to a 3-5-2. Whilst this saw performances on the pitch improve, if not results, it left us a little unbalanced in terms of depth in certain positions, as well as players becoming unhappy at playing out of their agreed position (thanks, Joachim Low!) as was the case with pre-season signing Alvaro Sanz. 

We’d also fallen foul of the common issue for over-achievers… bigger clubs suddenly want your players.

Goalkeeper Sergio Herrera attracted interest from Saudi Arabia and wanted to chase the money, eventually moving to France instead, where he joiner Montpellier for £3 million. Everton, OGC Nice and Anderlecht are all rumoured to be ready to trigger Star Left Wing Back, Zagaritis’s £6.5m release clause and numerous teams are also sniffing around the likes of Defensive Midfielder, Fabbian, Donny Van de Beek and striker Flavio Bianchi. Central Defender Vogliacco will also move to Atalanta United after they matched his release clause.

This meant my shopping list seems to be:

  • Starting Goalkeeper to replace Herrera
  • Starting Left Wingback to replace Zagaritis
  • Back up Striker (assuming I can keep hold of Bianchi)
  • Back up Central Defender to replace Vogliacco

Let the Transfers begin

Central Defenders:

The first player to leave was Vogliacco, who signed for Atalanta United in the MLS for his release clause fee of £525k. Signed two seasons ago from Genoa for just £135k, I’ve certainly had my money’s worth. He’s safe on the ball but not adventurous enough for what I want in a Wide Central Defender. He lacks aggression in his defensive duties so he’s unable to play in the middle of the back three, so I’m not sad to see him leave. 

My initial plan was to recall Andrei Motoc back from his impressive spell in Serie B with Benevento… but I forgot to add a recall clause so he’s there for the remainder of the season. 

Vogliacco won’t be the only Central Defender to leave it seems. Massimiliano Mangrativiti has been placed on the transfer-list.

After a match rating of 6.2 in a 0-5 embarrassment at the hands of rivals Hellas Verona (spoiler alert!), I questioned his defensive performance and he challenged back, saying he thought he’d played fine! He’s been a disruptive element a few times already over the last couple of seasons. He’s performing better this season than he did last, but like Vogliacco, he’s very very conservative with and without the ball. A short while later he confirmed his move to Monza for £2.9m, of which £2.4m will go back into the transfer kitty.

So, thats two Central Defenders I now need. 

My first move in bringing in new blood to Brescia, was to trigger the release clause on Turkish 20-year-old Efe Sarikaya. Costing £2.3m from Goztepe SK, Efe is a left footed Wide Centre Back who, as you can see from the below pizza chart, excels at winning possession and wins 5.2 headers per 90, at a 68% success rate. His ball progression isn’t ideal but he’s young and should be able to improve here. 


Just a couple of days layers, another Central Defender joined. Costing £950k, Andres Ferro joins from Bologna. He’s a good, progressive passer which should fit our style very well as we look to push the ball into the midfield trio. He’s barely played in a year, but had a stellar season for Metropolitanos in Venezuala which earned him the move to Serie A. 


Wing Backs

As expected, OGC Nice met the £6.25m release fee for Zagaritis. What a player he became in a short time! And I’m truly gutted to see him go.

He was great as the attacking Complete Wingback since joining for £1.9m from Parma and averaged 7.21 this season. Obviously, I’ve prepped for this and have a shortlist drawn up so will be making moved very shortly. The issue is, my main target is on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt to Augsburg and isn’t getting much game time, so for the first time in my FM career I’ve made a request to take over the loan deal. 

Next came a completely surprise. Out of the blue, Plymouth Argyle matched the £3.2 million release clause for Alexander Jallow! I’m a fan of Jallow. He always out performs his attributes and he’s very dependable. Being able to cover both wings means he provides good depth and his two footedness means he’s a nightmare for opposing fullbacks as he can go either side of them. 

My attempt to take over the loan of the Eintracht player has been accepted and comes with an optional fee of £1.3m up from and £1.5m over three instalments, which could end up being an absolute bargain if the players turns out to be as good as I think he can… Coming in to replace Zagaritis is ex-Everton player Nkounkou.

He was the most Zagaritis-like player in my left Wing Back shortlist and as you can see, I think I’m getting a better player. Whilst Zagaritis was better defensively, in a 3-at-the-back system that’s not as large of an issue. The added firepower going forward should help get us to the next level.

My spirits were raised even more when Jallow rejected Plymouth’s contract offer and will stay with Brescia – this meant I had to quickly cancel my transfer bid for Sampdoria right Wing Back, Alessandro Zanoli. £4.5m I can spend elsewhere!


Sanz had a plethora of teams to choose from and ended up with a transfer to Monza for an initial fee of £4.1m, which will rise to over £5m, plus 50% of any future profits. As he’s only 24 and still progressing I’m hoping he does well to and will be picked up by a larger team soon. It’s a shame he’s moving on as he’s performed well, as you can see from his stats so far this season. He’s in the top 95% of midfielders for pass completion and ball progression and wins back the ball well. 

This leaves me with a midfield of:

  • Van de Beek
  • Pereiera da Costa
  • Besaggio
  • Olzer
  • Fabbian
  • Bisoli.

I’m tempted to leave these six to see out the season and let Patrick Amoako Nuamah carry on his productive loan spell with SPAL in Serie C, where he’s got 4 goal contributions from the centre of midfield in 17 games. I feel he really needs to kick on so I’ll make sure I keep on his back for the rest of the season. At 20-years-old, I feel he absolutely needs to be able to contribute to our first team squad next season, otherwise I fear he’ll never make it. You’ll see from his stats that he’s excelling in winning and retaining possession, as well as the number of aerial duals he wins each game. Despite not scoring too many, he’s getting a decent amount of shots per game (which is half the battle). 

I’ve also managed to secure the future contract of a very promising youngster. Ciro Vetrini is a very sought-after 17-year-old and he’ll join at the end of this season. Already an impressive ball winning defensive midfielder, he’s got excellent physicals and can progress the ball. He’ll join from Serie C side Arezzo.  


I’ve used the term “attackers” rather than Strikers because I’ve picked up a young Winger from River Plate. Signing for £73k, Uriel Funes is an inverted winger who I think can develop to a decent level and I can make some money on. My scouting staff think he can develop into a Serie A player so he’ll go out on loan and see what he can do.

I also bought in what could be a really good striker. I didn’t want to just sign someone to back-up Bianchi and Feiertag, I wanted someone who could genuinely replace one of them in the starting line up. After scoring 18 goals in Serie B last season, on loan at Lecce, Dion Drena Beljo couldn’t find regular minutes in the Bundesliga for Augsburg as has been deemed surplus to requirements. I’ve bought him in on loan with an optional fee of a staggering £29m! So clearly he’ll only be here for a few months. Hopefully he can make a big impact and the standard won’t drop when he’s rotated in to the team.


At 6’5″ he should provide plenty of issues for opposition defenders. He’s a high volume shooter and scores at a decent rate. He’ll come straight into the line up in a couple of days against Juventus in the Coppa Italia, so Feiertag can be rested. 

A new number 1!

I left the Goalkeeper section until last as it was a real rollercoaster and I thought I’d never bring anyone in!

My #1 target was Malmo ‘keeper Oliver Christensen. I have a bid of £2.5m accepted but we were unable to agree terms as he wanted £37k per week which is way over what I’m willing to pay.

My second choice was Ivor Pandur from Fortuna Sittard but I’ve been told by the agent, and then the club themselves that he isn’t for sale!

On to option 3… 

Seeing as Atalanta poached my defensive stalwart, and vice-captain Andrea Cistana, I figured their players are fair game. Starting ‘keeper Kacper Tobiasz has been having a terrific season so far, so I lodged a cheeky bid of £10.5m split over three payments. The bid was surprisingly accepted and we agreed an acceptable contract for both parties.

Happy days!

Or not… as my bid was leaked to the press and other bids kept pouring in… after what seemed to take forever, he eventually decided to sign with Wolfsburg instead… which apparently was a very easy decision for him to make according to an interview with the press… charming!

I wasn’t the only one now panicking as TEN players – lead by captain Bisoli – came to my office stating they were concerned with the lack of depth in goal. Me too boys, me too. 

A rotated team got battered by Juventus, 1-4….. two of which were basically tapped in from Plizzari’s feet. A new ‘keeper is 100% a requirement.

I was back to square one and really wanted to test Fortuna Sittard’s resolve on Pandur. So, I dangled £6.5m in front of them and they soon changed their minds. A few days later he was a Brescia Calcio player! …And relax!

As you’ll also notice, his transfer value has skyrocketed to £15m. 

He’s been having a great season in Holland and I’m hoping he can carry on that form in Italy. As you can see, he’s not a huge improvement over Plizzari so fingers crossed, that will add some competition between the two of them and push each to develop quickly. 

Transfer Window Review

I’m very happy with the business done in this window. For a net spend of just £450k – lowest in Serie A – I’ve added depth in all areas. Whilst I would’ve preferred a statement signing for the starting line up I’ve had to address the issues faced which a few injuries caused when I was only able to name 5 subs from the 15 slots available. 

A few young players have gone out on loan where hopefully they can progress well.  First to leave is 17-year-old striker Robert Fiori, who was ripping the U18 league apart with 23 goals so far this season. He joins Ascoli in Serie C. 

Next our the door was new signing from River Plate, Uriel Funes who’ll see out the season at Virtus Verona

The final loan player leaving is attacker Mario Vilardi, who’s made a couple of first team appearances, scoring 1 goal. He’s off to Pontedera

With players now returning to fitness (Pereiera Da Costa, Sosa, Fabbian) I’m hoping i can get my best 11 out on the field for a run of games, rotating as necessary when I can, rather than being forced to.

With more options in attack, and much improved depth in defence, I’m hoping I can get the 3-5-2 firing on all cylinders, as I know it can.  

Current challenges are:

  • Getting Fabbian’s role perfected so he’s still a combative midfielder but drops deep enough alongside Van de Beek to form a 3-2 in build up… but also get forward enough to support the attacking left Wing Back in the final third.
  • Finding a way to get the right side functioning well. I need the Wing Back, Pubill or Jallow, working well with the right sided Centre Mid, Pereiera Da Costa so they can form overloads and leave Nkounkou in lots of space to exploit when the opposition has to shift over. 

Serie A action

January 2026

Whilst all this transfer-drama was unfurling, we’d been playing games.

Starting the year in 8th place after a 2-2 draw with Juventus, and then a disappointing collapse against Napoli lead to a 1-3 defeat to end December. 

For me, it was imperative to start the year well to keep our European ambitions alive. Our players, though, had other ideas…

With our best defender, Joaquin Sosa being sent home with flu, our defence was weakened which was further exasperated when Herrera’s head was turned due to transfer interest, meaning I needed to see what I had in Plizzari. Also missed was playmaker David Pereiera da Costa and Ball Winning midfielder, Giovanni Fabbian

None of this upheaval was ideal for a rivalry game against Hellas Verona, who absolutely destroyed us in a whopping 0-5 defeat. 

Plizzari is not the answer.

For the second game in a row we faced a bitter rival, this time our arch-nemesis… Atalanta. Again, they fielded a much stronger team than I have available and were well on top, taking the lead just before half time. At half time, with their left back Kolasinac on a yellow card I funnelled our play down his side and half was though the second half he bought down Marc Pubill and was shown a second yellow card. We clawed the initiative and pulled level through Flavio Bianchi. Full time, 1-1. A good point, considering… but we now hadn’t won in 5 games

One reason we’re struggling is that whilst youngster Michele Besaggio was great as an attacking midfielder, he’s really struggling as an attacking Centre Mid, despite being natural at the position. Pereiera Da Costa had been doing really well there as a Mezzala, but it’s not working for Besaggio at all. I’ve tried Central Midfielder and Advance Playmaker to no avail…

Our Coppa Italia run ended with a 1-4 defeat against Juventus, a game in which new signings Efe Sarikaya and Dion Drena Beljo both made their debuts. Despite having good possession and opportunities, we’re just lacking something! At least two of their goals were due to below-par goalkeeping from Plizzari… all this whilst the goalkeeping recruitment crisis was in full swing… imagine how desperate I was to get a new #1 onboard!!!

Despite the being far from over, the last game of this section was against Salernitana. We looked good but could only settle for a 0-0 draw. Truth be told, having conceded a massive 10 goals in the last 3 games, I was more delighted at a clean sheet than I was disappointed at not getting the win!

A sad state of affairs.

The Renaissance 

It’s clear something had to change. It wasn’t the formation, or the roles as they were all pretty much doing what I want of them. 

So what could it be?

Well, looking at our average positions from three previous league games there’s two things that immediately sticks out:

1 – How compact out formation is in the games versus Verona and Salernitana.

2 – The high positioning of Donny Van de Beek (#6) in the Regista role. Against Verona, he was almost up in-line with Fabbian (#8) and Besaggio (#39), and the defensive line is not far behind. Against Atalanta, a much more open game due to the nature of derby games and their red card, he’s still up in-line with Da Costa (#30) and finally, versus Salernitana, he’s up above both his midfield partners. 

What these mean is that when Van de Beek is on the ball, he’s got a lack of good passing options due to his progressive positioning and the vertical compactness of his teammates. 

By knocking the team mentality down from Positive to Balanced, it also dos the same to the mentality of the Regista role. This means that rather than try to be too aggressive and continually get up in those advanced positions, he’s now playing it a little more relaxed and, as such, giving a better shape to the midfield and the team as a whole and not trying to force as much.

From the below positions you can see how this has translated into the game.

In the first image, he’s taking his natural position at the base of the midfield triangle… and when he looks up he’s got both teammates ahead of him. In the middle image he had Bisoli (#25), this time in a defensive Ball Winner role, below him, but Pereira Da Costa is still in an advanced position. Finally, in the last image he’s once again at the base of a midfield trio. 

There’s another massive difference you’ll notice about the #6 in these new images….. much more space! And what’s the main thing we want for our playmakers??!? Exactly! 

In the 9 games before this simple change, his average rating was 6.75 and in the 9 Van de Beek has played since, it’s jumped up to 6.92.

And most importantly is what it’s done to the results:

The changes worked, and after six games without a win we went on a NINE game winning streak, before an injury and suspension hit team lost to lowly Palermo.

Included in this run were 2-1 wins over 3rd placed Lazio and then 1st place runaway leaders Fiorentina, despite us being down to 10 men after just 34 minutes!

Our striker partnership was electric during this run. Flavio Bianchi scored an immense 13 goals in 9 games and picked up Serie A Player of the Month, but then twisted his ankle in training the following day and will miss 4 weeks. His strike partner, Stefan Feiertag, got 2 goals and 4 assists in this time. Six goal contributions in 9 games is a good return from a Deep Lying Forward. He’ll have to step up in the coming week as he and loanee Beljo will be relied on to fill the hole left by Bianchi

This tactical switch has also helped the fortunes of Besaggio. As mentioned before, he was really struggling with the move back from Attacking Midfield into a Central Midfield role, but he’s really picked up his game and is now the same consistent threat as he was before. With 1 goal and 4 assists, he’s also putting up 1.57 key passes per game versus 0 goals, 1 assist and 1.14 key passes per game in the previous period. Meanwhile, Pereira Da Costa is struggling to maintain fitness. If he’s not injured he’s being sent home ill. But when he plays he’s also impressing. 

Learning lessons

I also learned a quick tidbit I want to share in case it helps anyone out:

If playing with two up top, as I am, if you’re struggling to build up play or are being choked by the opponent, dropping one of your strikers into the AMC slot can really help with this.

Luckily for me, Feiertag can also play as an Attacking Midfielder, so it’s easy for me to make this adjustment when needed. 

Back to the Action

The defeat against Palermo saw us drop from 3rd to 4th, but we’re in a good place as we face the final two months of the season.

There’s only one issue…

The Run from Hell… Part Deux

Remember the run from hell in the last update… well, its obvious we’d have to face that again.

Our final 7 games this season sees us up against Serie A’s big hitters and finish with a grudge rivalry game which now has EVEN MORE emphasis as we’ll look to atone for the 1-5 thrashing they gave us a couple of months ago!

With it being tight between our 4th place and 6th, with a 4 point gap to Napoli and then Roma, we could easily drop out of European contention if this run doesn’t go our way.

And our top scorer is injured. 

If I can get some point in the next three and then Bianchi returns for the final 4 games and can find his previous form, we might be able to dream…!

I can’t wait to get stuck in.

First up, Roma…


  • ThrowingCopperFM

    ThrowingCopperFM is known for unraveling complex FM strategies, often using Girona FC as a canvas to illustrate his tactical theories. Whether it's penning down comprehensive guides on mastering promotion in FM or sharing bargain player finds, ThrowingCopperFM's content is a treasure trove for aspiring managers. His active Twitter engagement further demonstrates his enthusiasm for football discussions beyond the virtual realm, making him a well-rounded and appreciated contributor in the FM community.

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