Time to reflect on another season at the helm of Nantes, Brittany’s most reputable club! Yes, after a slight uplift to our reputation (4 stars), we now find ourselves the highest ranked club from the regions, as Rennes are on a decline (3.5 stars).




My initial fears of finishing in fifth place were unnecessary, we ended up closing the 2024/25 season in fourth place, missing out on UEFA Champions League qualification by the single point.




The outcome could have been different if we were able to secure a victory against Monaco in the Ligue 1 penultimate fixture. However, after drawing the fixture, our fate would be in the hands of FC Metz on the last day of the season.




We did our part, dismantling Montpellier by five goals, a result which meant they would have to navigate the Ligue 1/ Ligue 2 Playoff, which they failed to do, seeing Havre AC return back to the top tier.


Unfortunately, Monaco matched our result, securing Adi Hütter’s team a well deserved place in Europe’s best club competition.




OGC Nice have provided us all with the faith that the impossible can be achieved, Francesco Farioli’s side have managed to score in 30 consecutive games, outperforming their expected points tally by 19 points to secure the title.




As you can see from the above, our final position is fair and justified. PSG opted to part company with their manager Luis Enrique and have decided to call upon the services of José Mourinho.




The standout individual performances in Ligue 1 were dominated by PSG, Kylian Mbappé scoring 35 goals in 34 games is his highest league scoring total in his career.







And it was all yellow! A victory over Ligue 2 side Angers in the Coupe de France Final meant that we lifted our second trophy in as many seasons. Angers completed the unthinkable in the Quarter Final defeating PSG on penalties, followed by a Semi-Final 2-0 victory over Toulouse.


Our route to the Final could have been stopped short in the Quarter Finals, fortunately we navigated the luck of the penalty shoot-out against LOSC Lille, the result was followed up with an easy victory over Marseille (3-1).




Looking at the above, you will see that the outcome was never in doubt with Nantes securing the vast amount of attacking momentum. Moses Simon had a day to remember, scoring a brace, whilst Nicolas Cozza was the stand out player, playing eight progressive passes, aiding our fast transitions.









Time to compare some of the standout metrics from this campaign, against those from 2023/24.


Attacking stats to note


  • Goals 69 (2nd) plays 67
  • Expected Goals 61.49 (3rd) plays 59.45
  • Shots 461 (3rd) plays 432
  • Chances created 125 (5th) plays 147
  • Shots on target 45.34 plays 42.36
  • Dribbles completed 18.85 (2nd) plays 16.71
  • Conversion rate 14% (4th) plays 15%


The attacking statistics are very much, a much of a muchness when comparing our outputs across the two campaigns. We created a higher expected goals value in 2024/25, scoring more goals, taking 30 more shots. However, when looking at the expected goals per shot, the value only dips by 0.01, which shows we weren’t compromising the shot quality in those additional strikes.




This is highlighted in the above image, showing that 82% of our goals stem from inside the opponents area, all which has been achieved without ‘Work Ball Into Box’ being selected.


defending stats to note


  • Conceded 23 (3rd) plays 24
  • Expected goals against 33.81 (4th) plays 30.65
  • Clean sheets 16 (4th) plays 15
  • Fouls made 412 (3rd) plays 462
  • Shots against 276 (3rd) – Exactly the same as 2023/24
  • Opposition PPDA 4.66 (3rd) plays 4.66
  • Final third passes against per game 45 (3rd) plays 44


All of this was achieved with 47% possession, three percent higher than the last campaign.





Time to look at a few players who made their breakthrough season into the first team, all have stemmed from within the Nantes Académie.


Stredair Appuah Owusu




The 20 year old winger secured 1,400 minutes of first team football across the campaign, contributing with four goals and three assists. His creative statistics are the ones which stand out the most, Stredair has demonstrated his ability to create a high number of expected assists (0.33 per 90). The winger is racking up 4.63 dribbles per game, using his pace and close control of the ball to progress play and create chances.


With Moses Simon approaching his 30’s, Stredair is the natural successor to hold Nantes width down the right-flank.


Junior Diaz




The introduction of the 21 year old into the first team only arose due to Eray Cömert suffering a pulled calf muscle and Jean-Charles Castelletto having to sit out a game due to a ban. Diaz snatched the opportunity with both hands, and to be frank, I have never looked back. At 6’4 Diaz has a high jumping reach (16) and is physically imposing (strength 15), which ensures he is successful in the majority of his aerial duels (75%). This presence has led to him scoring three goals in 11 games (our highest scoring central defender), lets hope he continues to impress across 2025/26.





The usual visualisation showing the spread of minutes played vs age for the 2024/25 season.




This time I have tweaked the squad profile, making some improvements to the visualisation, including the ‘Peak’ band which easily highlights the bulk of my squad are in the peak stage of their career. The segments either side are youth, and experienced, whilst on the topi of youth, I have changed the colour of players which have stemmed from the Académie.


I am extremely hopeful, that as we progress through another season there will be a few more Académie players included in this visual, ideally with the yellow dots becoming the minority. In 2024/25 it is pleasing to see that both Bastien Meupiyou and Nathan Zeze have progressed from their breakthrough season, firmly establishing themselves as first team regulars, both securing over the average minutes for the campaign.




The above is the Nantes All Time XI, wouldn’t it be impressive if I can populate this fully with Académie players. Now that would be something, although given where we are in the game cycle, I think it would be some kind of miracle.







First starting point, the transfer market, you will see that we moved on seven players from the club, all securing transfer fees below £10 million, the clubs record fee received £12.8 million for Diego Carlos, is safe for now.


Samuel Moutoussamy’s deal to Ipswich for £8.5 million was the most significant, despite Samuel playing less than average minutes, he was the club vice-captain, and an influence off the park. Secondly, with FC Copenhagen securing the services of our back-up goal keeper, there was a need to delve into the transfer market again.






Owusu-Oduro was signed from AZ for a package deal totalling £9 million (£4.5 million upfront and the rest in two instalments over the year). The 21 year old was happy to sign, knowing he will play back-up to Lafont, he is capped by the Dutch national side (2) and could develop nicely into a Ligue 1 standard player.


The second signing is that of Ryan Francisco (£3.7 million) who was identified by our scout in Brazil, the 18 year old has a bucket load of strengths, which he demonstrated for Sao Paulo’s youth side, scoring 38 goals in 47 appearances. Ryan will play his first campaign with the reserves, we will use this to establish his pathway compared to others at this level.




The above provides you a flavour of what is potentially to come, first choice players, their back-up/rotation, along with the best youth player available in third place.




Another affiliate has been added to our ranks, this time Bastia, who find themselves in the National league. This provides us with another outlet to send promising youth to gain experience a league above our reserves side, whilst the previous arrangement with Grenoble, enables us to send players to the second tier, ideally their final stage of development, prior to being involved with the first team.





@_Ben_ asked what my short, and long-term aims were for the save, I have previously covered what I want to achieve in the long-term in my review of season one, with three key objectives.


Become the leading French Académie


Given such an emphasis on the development of youth, it I want Nantes to become the leading pipeline for French talent. Now within this aim there are two foci, the first being that I would love to play a Ligue 1 game with a starting XI which have been harvested from the Académie. Secondly, it want my youth side to become the dominant force in youth football, not only in France, but on the continent.


We want to become multiple UEFA Youth League Champions, winning the domestic title is simply not enough ( a feat we have achieved in both seasons).




The above result was from the 2024/25 UEFA Youth League Semi-Final, we were in touching distance of the Final. Bayern ran out eventual winners, defeating FK Crvena zvezda Beograd Under 19s 1-0 in the Final.


*note to self send scouts to Serbia


Improve ‘the League of Talents’ coefficient


After last seasons drop in coefficients, France have moved themselves back into fifth place, picking up a total of 16.857 points (4th). We managed to fly the flag for France after our successful run in the Champions League, whilst Lens progressed all the way to the Semi-Final of the UEFA Europa League, suffering to a defat to Bayer Leverkusen.




This progress will provide French sides with a additional place in the UEFA Champions League from 2026/27.


Recruit talent from Africa


As previously covered, as we are drawing down more revenue, and in turn profit. We can look to expand our scouting team, ensuring we have extensive experience from different continents.




Currently we have 12 scouts out on assignments, two of which are on set to Africa. Unfortunately, the early signs haven’t been too promising with the recruitment focuses providing minimal returns. Therefore, I will next manually set scouts to view players from some of the key nations U20, and U19 teams.




Au revoir!


  • SteinkelssonFM

    SteinkelssonFM is a distinguished tactician in the Football Manager community, celebrated for bridging the virtual and real football worlds through meticulous analysis. His knack for recreating iconic real-world tactics in-game, like Mário Zagallo’s 1970 Seleção strategy, offers a nostalgic yet innovative gameplay experience. An active blogger on Medium and WordPress, SteinkelssonFM shares his football philosophies and FM adventures, enriching the community with guides on youth development and tactical masterclasses. His contributions extend to the official Football Manager website, affirming his position as a reliable mentor for aspiring virtual football managers. Through his content, SteinkelssonFM continues to blend historical football charm with modern-day FM gameplay.

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