FOOTBALL MANAGER 2022 BARGAINS

CHEAP DEALS FOR EXCITING YOUNG PLAYERS

We cover youth football and we love Football Manager. On this particular page, we’ve combined both to find some of FM22’s best bargain buys. We’ve tried to cap the prices at €5 million so they’re accessible to most teams.

If you’re looking to buy Football Manager 2022, use this link and code SCOUTEDFTBL for 10% off – and it gives us a little kickback too. You can find more in-depth player reports in the Scouted Football Handbook, our quarterly magazine.

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LAST UPDATED: JANUARY 12, 2022

GOALKEEPERS

GIORGI MAMARDASHVILI

POSITIONS

GK

CLUB

Valencia CF

NATIONALITY

Georgia

VALUE

€650,000 – €3 million

BARGAIN

4/5

SUITABLE FOR

Anyone that can get him – he could be a starter for a lower-level club, or a back-up prospect for better teams

Similar to Yusuf Demir at Barcelona, Giorgi Mamardashvili seems to be a good young talent on loan at a club with an option to buy that never gets picked up by the loaning club. In this case, it’s Valencia, on loan from Dinamo Tbilisi.

Their loss should be your gain. Given that he returns to a low-level league, it’s pretty easy to pick the young international up out of Georgia. If you’re a top club, it makes plenty of sense to grab him as soon as you can. You can then loan him out to continue his development or keep him as an talented understudy.

For everyone else, Mamardashvili is already a good sweeper ‘keeper that is capable of playing to a strong standard. His skillset is especially suitable for teams that want to hold a high line in defence and build from back. All for the bargain fee. Act quick because this deal won’t be available after the winter update.

CENTRE-BACKS

ANEL AHMEDHODZIC

POSITIONS

RCB

CLUB

Malmö FF

NATIONALITY

Bosnia-Herzegovina

VALUE

€1.8 million – €5.3 million

BARGAIN

5/5

SUITABLE FOR

Everyone! He has Champions League potential – if you can get him, get him

Anel Ahmedhodžić is (once again) one of the best affordable defensive talents in Football Manager. A quintessential “modern” centre-back, he starts with a very well-rounded skillset that makes him a first-team-ready first division defender.

He has everything you want in a centre-back – tall and athletic, he is intelligent in his decision-making and is a comfortable operator in possession. In fact, he’s more than comfortable, he’s excellent. Ahmedhodžić is a really good progressive passer out from the back, as refelcted by strong pssing, composure and vision attributes in-game.

Ahmedhodžić will set you back somewhere around €5 million, the top of our price range, but the deal with Malmö can be structured quite favourably. Given his reputation as an excellent defensive prospect, you will have a lot of competition for his signature. That means you have to get in on him early.

ISMAËL DOUKOURÉ

POSITIONS

CB

CLUB

Valenciennes

NATIONALITY

France

VALUE

€950,000 – €2.9 million

BARGAIN

4/5

SUITABLE FOR

Lower-half Ligue 1 or Bundesliga clubs, looking for the next Ligue 2 bargain

Ligue 2 is a hotbed of talent. Every year, another exciting players emerges from the second division of French football to impress at higher levels, be it in Ligue 1 or, as is increasingly common, Germany’s Bundesliga.

Ismaël Doukouré could do exactly that for your club in FM22. Already a regular in Lugue 2 with Valenciennes, he will represent good value for clubs at the lower ends of the top-five leagues or the stronger cohort in Belgium, Austria or Switzerland. He should cost no more than €2 million, especially if you hold off and let his contract run down.

Perhaps a little undersized for a centre-back, he could easily be developed into a ball-winning midfielder that’s comfortable on the ball or a solid right-back that can contribute to every phase. He has a good base of mental attributes – see his aggression and concentration – as well as a talented technial suite. Doukouré may not be a world-beater, but he can help your modest club side grow.

ANDREA PAPETTI

POSITIONS

CB

CLUB

Brescia Calcio

NATIONALITY

Italy

VALUE

€1.4 million – €4.1 million

BARGAIN

3.5/5

SUITABLE FOR

Lower-half clubs in top divisions, particularly Serie A – loan him out if you don’t have space for him

An FM21 icon returns. Andrea Papetti starts your save at Brescia in Serie B with a couple of years left on his contract. If you’re a lower-to-middle table top division team, especially in Italy, Papetti should be a high-priority target on your shortlist.

If you’re well-stocked at centre-back, don’t be afraid to send him back to Brescia, who will likely ask for him to be loaned back anyway. Papetti will likely set you back somewhere in the vicinity of €3 to 5 million – a lot of money in the short term, perhaps, but it’s a worthwhile investment for a player that has the potential to lock down a key role in your defence over the longer term.

He begins the game with top-level mental attributes for a young defender, and he is a really well-rounded athlete too, with 14 pace, acceleration and jumping reach, plus 13 strength. S0lid marking and passing attributes make him a good defender that’s comfortable on the ball for the future.

FULL-BACKS

CHRISTIAN BORCHGREVINK

POSITIONS

RB

CLUB

Vålerenga IF

NATIONALITY

Norway

VALUE

€650,000 – €3 million

BARGAIN

3.5/5

SUITABLE FOR

Strong teams in the Belgium and Netherlands, like Genk and Feyenoord

Vålerenga IF are a historic Oslo club with a proud history of developing young talent. Their current group of players – even after being raided by better teams in bigger leagues this year – includes a number of high-level talents. Christian Borchgrevink is the one that could play at the highest level currently.

After a couple of seasons as a starter in Norway’s Eliteserien, Borchgrevink is ready to make the leap to a higher level league. Belgium and the Netherlands makes sense, but you could even phase him into a lesser top-five league side.

For no more than €3 million, you’ll get a 22-year-old solid right-back that can more than hold his own in defensive phases. More importantly, he excels on the ball as a passer and crosser from deeper areas, not dissimilar to Trent Alexander-Arnold in style and skillset. He represents good value for clubs looking to quickly clim the ladders.

DEEP MIDFIELDERS

MAX BIRD

POSITIONS

DM, CM

CLUB

Derby County

NATIONALITY

England

VALUE

€2.3 million – €6.8 million

BARGAIN

3.5/5

SUITABLE FOR

High-end Championship clubs or low-end Premier League clubs

Max Bird has the potential to be a good pick-up for clubs somewhere between the Championship and Premier League. You’ll need a bit of patience, in terms of getting the deal done and developing him, but it can be worth it.

Derby County are in a practically impossible position, burdened with a huge points deduction that will almost certainly relegate them in your first season. When they go down, you can swoop in for Bird. It shouldn’t take more than €5 million to get him, especially with a year less on his contract.

He’s a very solid deep-lying midfielder: quite tall, solid technically, two-footed, he can screen your defence adeptly and move the ball on intelligently. He fits best at an upper-Championship team, but he would be a sensible signing for Premier League clubs looking to add immediate depth and future upside. Even if he doesn’t become a surefire starter, he’ll be a good squad option.

CAMERON DEVLIN

POSITIONS

DM

CLUB

Hearts

NATIONALITY

Australia

VALUE

€400,000 – €1.4 million

BARGAIN

4.5/5

SUITABLE FOR

Promotion-chasing teams in England’s Championship

Cameron Devlin moved to Hearts in the summer of 2021 and has made an immediate impression in the Scottish Premiership.

His ball-winning ability leaps off the screenshot: not only does he possess high-level attributes in terms of tackling, bravery, aggression and work rate, he has the sharp mobility and natural fitness to match. If you can improve his stamina, you have a great ball-winner that can go all game, week after week. He’s decent on the ball too, perfectly capable of keeping the all moving in deeper areas with short, quick passing.

Given he’s only just landed in Scotland in-game, you’ll have to wait probably a year to be able to sign him, but he’s worth the wait. He fits the Championship in England – he could be the aggressive, mobile, hard-working ball-winner to anchor a promotion-chasing team’s midfield. It shouldn’t take more than €1 million to pick him up.

FILIP RØNNINGEN JØRGENSEN

POSITIONS

DM

CLUB

Odds BK

NATIONALITY

Norway

VALUE

€1.3 million – €4 million

BARGAIN

4.5/5

SUITABLE FOR

Strong sides in Scandinavia or clubs in mid-level leagues, like the Pro League

Filip Rønningen Jørgensen will be no surprise to the astute Football Manager, especially those of you that played the game last year. He was a favourite on FM21, a bonafide bargain, and that’s still the case this year.

He’s a very solid young prospect that can develop into a very solid defensive midfielder at the higher levels. His player profile already has a number of good anchor points given his age. His mental attributes (coupled with his resolute mentality) are ver impressive for someone of his age. He has good qualities in his technical skillset, not least his ability to pick a pass with 14 passing, 14 vision and an exciting combination of ‘dictates tempo’ and ‘tries killer balls often’ traits.

You’ll have to move for him pretty quickly, as the bigger clubs (like Borussia Dortmund) are often interested. He’d be an especially excellent signing if you’re managing one of the big Nordic clubs.

CENTRAL MIDFIELDERS

WILLIOT SWEDBERG

POSITIONS

CM, AM

CLUB

Hammarby IF

NATIONALITY

Sweden

VALUE

€850,000 – €2.6 million

BARGAIN

4.5/5

SUITABLE FOR

Lower-level top league clubs or stronger sides in mid-level leagues

One of the rising stars of the Allsvenskan, Williot Swedberg has the potential to develop into a Champions League-level starter in FM22. But it will take a little bit of work, and you’ll do best to pick him up as a lower-level top league team or a stronger side in a smaller league. Watch him grow as you make push up the table.

The best part is, the spindly Sweden is dirt cheap. That means you’ll have to get in early, because the big teams will come fishing – Borussia Dortmund often make a move for him in our saves. Nevertheless, despite the big club interested, a measly €2-4 million should be enough to get him in.

When you do, you will have a set-and-forget star, that can play at every level of midfielder, with a special “model citizen” personality, a balanced physical profile, and strong technical stats in the right areas: dribbling, passing, technique and first touch. Big potential.

THORBEN RHEIN

POSITIONS

CM

CLUB

FC Bayern München

NATIONALITY

Germany

VALUE

€1.9 million – €5.6 million

BARGAIN

4/5

SUITABLE FOR

Second-tier clubs in Germany, or stronger sides in Austria & Switzerland top-flights

Thorben Rhein‘s top value estimate comes in at a little over our price cap of €5 million, but we’ve included him because of that all important expiring contract. If he runs it down, you can steal a gem from Bayern München’s pocket.

An established starter for Bayern’s B team in the Regionalliga, Rhein is a very technical number 8/10. Almost perfectly two-footed, the 18-year-old is an intelligent and creative link player between lines. The ‘shoots from distance’ trait can be problematic, but he has the skills to be a threat from range.

He would be an excellent pick-up capable of playing regular minutes for any club in Germany, Austria and Switzerland – except for the likes of Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig, perhaps. If you’re managing in the 2. Bundesliga, try to Niklas Dorsch him. Make him the lynchpin of your push to Germany’s top division.

XAVI SIMONS

POSITIONS

DM, CM, AM

CLUB

Paris Saint-Germain

NATIONALITY

Netherlands

VALUE

€240,000 – €750,000

BARGAIN

4/5

SUITABLE FOR

Stronger sides in mid-level leagues, like the Eredivisie and Pro League

We’ve been hearing about Xavi Simons for years, but is he actually good? The answer is yes. Not as good as the hyperbole unfairly whipped up around him some years ago, but he is a legitimate talent.

Now starring as a fluid playmaking striker in the UEFA Youth League for Paris Saint-Germain in real-life, Simons is limited to playing in deeper centreal areas in FM22 – but he is a cheap buy with the potential to develop into a good option for a top division club.

At the base of midfield, he looks best as a deep-lying playmaker with good technique and passing range, as well as strong mentals that should allow him to command the midfield well. Equally, his technical quality could see him used in a more attacking role as a mezzala or advanced playmaker to good effect; all for less than a €1 million as his contract enters its final year at the start of your save. He’d be perfect for a club in Belgium or the Netherlands.

ATTACKING MIDFIELDERS

YURIEL CELI

POSITIONS

AM, LW

CLUB

Cantolao Peru

NATIONALITY

Peru

VALUE

€180,000 – €550,000

BARGAIN

4.5/5

SUITABLE FOR

Spain’s second division would be perfect, or leagues at a similar level

Yuriel Celi should be a go-to option for many FM saves starting their season as a lower-level first division club, a better team in a mid-level league, or even a strong second division side. Available on a free transfer at the start of every save from his club in Peru Cantolao, Celi is a versatile midfielder or left wing option that has the potential to play at a good level. His skillset is remarkably well-rounded for a 19-year-old, which a great ability to deliver balls into the box already.

Again, he’s one of those that should grow with your club as you progress up the levels. Eventually he should settle as a start for a Europa League-level team, or a squad player for a Champions League club, although some of this depends on the randomness of dynamic potential.

As a low wage and practically no cost option – with good sell-on value and an immediate asset to your team – it’s well worth investing in Celi.

YERSON CHACÓN

POSITIONS

LW, RW

CLUB

Deportivo Táchira

NATIONALITY

Venezuela

VALUE

€45,000 – €130,000

BARGAIN

4/5

SUITABLE FOR

Like Celi, the Spanish second division or Portugal makes the most sense

You’ll face competition to sign Yerson Chacón, but, at no more than roughly €300,000, he’s an exciting talent to supplement a lower-level side. But with Arsenal one of the teams interested in signing him, it won’t be an easy deal to pull off.

Chacón will be effective either as a winger on the right or as an inside forward off the left: 14 dribbling, 13 technique and 12 first touch are good for a tricky wide player, while he has some reasonable physical attributes too. Get senior minutes into him and he should develop quite rapidly. Crucially, his mental attributes are already quite strong for an 18-year-old, while his technicals should improve quickly.

The key issue is his nationality; the fact that he is from Venezuela will mean we will take up a non-EU position for a lot of teams, so he would be a good option for teams in leagues/countries who don’t have those restrictions.

HUGO FÉLIX

POSITIONS

AM

CLUB

SL Benfica

NATIONALITY

Portugal

VALUE

€1.1 million – €3.4 million

BARGAIN

3.5/5

SUITABLE FOR

A lower-level side in Portugal’s Primeira Liga, or even a second division team in Spain

Yes, Hugo Félix is the younger brother of João, and yes, he is good. If you’re a lower-level side in Portugal or a second division team in Spain, for instance, that can afford a €2-3 million fee for a young prospect you will be able keep with you as you push up the division(s), then Hugo is a good option.

Félix is a very technical player with excellent passing; a perfect advanced playmaker from midfield or attacking midfield. He also has that ellusively high rating for flair, a natural ability that can be developed in-game. His physical attributes are okay as well, suitable for a lower level, and important aspects of his mental game are good as well.

Be wary, though, as he is likely to demand a release clause when you sign him, but try to negotiate that out of his contract when you try to extend his deal later on. He needs a lot of time and care, but Félix can be worth it.

KASTRIOT IMERI

POSITIONS

AM, CM, LW

CLUB

Servette

NATIONALITY

Switzerland

VALUE

€1.4 million – €4.1 million

BARGAIN

4/5

SUITABLE FOR

Mid-table clubs in Ligue 1, Bundesliga, or Serie A

Kastriot Imeri is a really interesting player in real life, and that much is reflected in game. He can play a multitude of different roles – from attacking eight to inverted winger off the left – and does so in an energetic style and technical skillset.

He’s made a significant leap in his development this season, which will be reflected in FM22’s winter update, but he’s still a solid talent in the current database. His versatility throws up a lot of options – you can develop him as a tricky winger off the left or try to shape him more as an attacker from deeper areas, breaking forward with and without the ball to involve himself in attacks.

He’d be a good option for clubs in Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga especially, as well as Serie A. It’ll probably take around €4 million (at most) to sign Imeri, which is a good price for the options he offers. He has the potential to develop into a regular international.

WINGERS

AKINKUNMI AMOO

POSITIONS

RW

CLUB

Hammarby IF

NATIONALITY

Nigeria

VALUE

€850,000 – €2.6 million

BARGAIN

4/5

SUITABLE FOR

Clubs in Belgium and the Netherlands – the final step before the big leagues

Akinkunmi Amoo has put together a breakout season in Sweden. After breaking into the Hammarby team, he’s shown his exciting style and higher-level potential.

He’s a small, chunky, left-footed right winger that has an explosive change of tempo and loves to dribble with the ball. He plays with a lot of personality, almost toying with defenders in the way he beats them. In real-life, he’s made impressive developments to his general play that aren’t quite reflected in his FM22 profile yet. But he’s still an exciting prospect in-game, one that would suit the inverted winger role to a tee.

It won’t take much to steal him away from Sweden’s Allsvenskan (probably around €2.5 million) and you should do so quickly if you’re managing in Belgium or the Netherlands as clubs like Borussia Dortmund typically make a move for him. Williot Swedberg is another Hammarby talent to keep a very close eye on too.

ABDUL FATAWU ISSAHAKU

POSITIONS

RW

CLUB

Dreams FC

NATIONALITY

Ghana

VALUE

€16,000 – €50,000

BARGAIN

4.5/5

SUITABLE FOR

Clubs in the stepping stone leagues – Austria, Belgium, Scandinavia, Switzerland

Stick with us on this one, because he won’t be readily available in most saves, but it’s worth the effort. Abdul Fatawu Issahaku is a player you’ll be hearing a lot more from in the coming months.

You’ll probably have to load Ghana players (we would recommend loading all players based in west Africa) in the pre-game database to get your hands on him. Do that, and you can pick up a genuine bargain. Issahaku us rough around the edges but the raw talent is excellent. He’s a direct, tricky, dribbling winger that has game-changing athleticism and technical skill. His mental attributes need a lot of work, but that will come with experience at higher levels.

He’s perfect for clubs in the stepping stone leagues, like Austria, Belgium and Scandinavia – and it’ll only take a nominal fee to get him, if that. Broaden your horizons, load up the more obscure regions and bag some bargains.

ILAN KEBBAL

POSITIONS

RW

CLUB

Stade Reims

NATIONALITY

France

VALUE

€850,000 – €2.5 million

BARGAIN

4/5

SUITABLE FOR

Stade Reims’ Ligue 1 rivals, or clubs in lesser leagues looking for a difference-maker

Ilan Kebbal is a good example of the depth of talent that France has in its football system currently. He was playing in the French fifth tier back in 2019, now he’s a starter for a solid side in Ligue 1.

He’s a really tricky winger in real life. Small and slight, Kebbal has a darting change of tempo and a very nimble agility. He impacts games with his ball-carrying from deep, sharp dribbling in small spaces and creativity around the penalty area. His skillset in FM22 is fairly similar.

Kebbal is well-suited to the inverted winger role, receiving the ball in wider areas before driving inside to attack the box with dribbles, passes and shots with his deft left foot. Coming in at a maximum of €2.5 million, he’d be an astutue pick-up for a lot of Ligue 1 rivals, or clubs in lesser leagues looking for a difference-maker. He won’t develop much more, but he offers plenty as is.

FORWARDS

RANSFORD KÖNIGSDÖRFFER

POSITIONS

ST

CLUB

SG Dynamo Dresden

NATIONALITY

Germany

VALUE

€1 million – €3.2 million

BARGAIN

3.5/5

SUITABLE FOR

Any lower-half team in the Bundesliga, or stronger sides in Austria and Switzerland

Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer is going to be a Football Manager 22 icon – and he’s perfect for a lot of lower-to-mid-level clubs across Europe. Useful wide on the right or in his more natural position as a striker, he is a pacey player and his striking instincts are underpinned by 15 finishing, 15 technique, and 15 off the ball. He can easily be a 20 goal striker if you make him the focal point of your second division team as an advanced forward.

The 19-year-old can be prised from Dynamo Dresden for an affordable fee. Around €3 million should be enough to secure his signature, and that deal can be constructed in instalments, allowing you to bring him to your club even if you have a limited transfer budget to dedicate up front. He’s perfect for clubs in the lower tier of the Bundesliga, or those competing at the higher ends in Austria and Switzerland. Because of his skillset, potential and affordability, Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer will be one of the most popular players in FM22.

KARIM KONATÉ

POSITIONS

ST

CLUB

ASEC Mimosas

NATIONALITY

Côte d’Ivoire

VALUE

€100,000 – €325,000

BARGAIN

4/5

SUITABLE FOR

Clubs in stepping stone European countries – Scandinavia, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland

You very probably haven’t heard about Karim Konaté, but you will do before long. A product of the esteemed ASEC Mimosas youth system, the 17-year-old has been scoring goals in senior football this season – so much so, he’s part of the Côte d’Ivoire squad going to this winter’s Africa Cup of Nations.

In real-life, Konaté is a well-rouned striker that can do a bit of everything. He can drop off to receive and turn, he stretches defences, he’s a robust athlete with a good burst. His FM22 profile reflects that; he has a strong base to develop from.

Konaté is perfect for established clubs in the stepping stone European leagues, from Austria to Scandinavia. Not only can he contribute straight away, he’ll cost no more than €500,000 – that represents tremendous value and huge upsale potential. Give him an opportunity in European football and reap the rewards.

WHAT ARE FOOTBALL MANAGER BARGAINS?

A bargain is obviously relative to the level of the players and clubs involved. They differ greatly from, say, Liverpool to Lincoln City. In the case of this particular page, we’ve tried to cap the maximum price at €5 million.

But essentially, a bargain is a player that is attainable for a value that belies their quality. Someone like Anel Ahmedhodžić i s a classic example – picking up a Champions League level talent for a tenth of his potential price. Bargains are the lifeblood of Football Manager.

HOW TO FIND BARGAINS IN FOOTBALL MANAGER 2022

Scouting is essential. Assembling a strong, diverse team of talent-spotters and establishing a consistent scouting model will make the process of bargain hunting much easier and far more effective.

Another tip is to browse through youth international teams, especially for some of the up-and-coming countries. Delve deep into Senegal’s U-20 team or Ecuador’s U-19 side and you’ll find great value, especially as newgens cycle into the game.

HOW TO SCOUT FOR BARGAINS IN FOOTBALL MANAGER 2022?

If you want bargains, you’ll have to think outside of the box. That means you will have to scout lesser-known markets and more obscure tournaments and countries.

If you have the infrastructure, send scouts to watch prominent youth tournaments and embed them in more remote regions like western Africa, eastern Europe and South America. The deeper you look, casting your net far and wide, the more bargains you’ll find.

HOW TO SIGN YOUNG PLAYERS ON FOOTBALL MANAGER 2022?

Squad planning is crucial. Check your depth charts, keep your shortlits updated, sort them by position even, and assess which areas you need to strengthen. Once you’ve done that, you can start signing young players that fit your demands.

Work to your budgets as well – don’t overstretch your club’s financial capabilities. If you’re a smaller club, future incentives and clauses (like fees after milestons, sell-on percentages, and even buy-backs) are a great tools to utilise.

HOW TO DEVELOP YOUNG PLAYERS IN FOOTBALL MANAGER 2022?

As always, pathways are paramount. You have to make sure that your youngsters have access to meaningful minutes at the appropriate levels. If you have a first-team ready talent, phase him into the team gradually, during pre-season ideally.

If your prospect needs a bit more polishing, the loan system is a valuable tool. But pathways to senior level minutes are key. Assess your youngsters on a case-by-case basis, decide what they need, and enact your decision.

HOW TO SELL YOUNG PLAYERS ON FOOTBALL MANAGER 2022?

Again, squad planning is key. Making sure your young players are playing, whether at your club or elsewhere, is important; more minutes increases their value. Sell at the right time too, set a defined policy and stick to it.

Don’t be afraid to sell young players too. If you haven’t got the right pathway for them, move them on (with a chunky sell-on percentage or accessible buy-back clause) to generate even more profits.

There are a few players that will become synonymous with being great bargains in FM22. One of them is Lorenzo Lucca at AC Pisa in Serie B. He has the potential to become one of the world’s leading striker’s in-game despite being available for less than €10 million on every save.

Scouting is essential – the harder you look, the more bargains you will find. Another tip is to browse through international youth teams and tournaments, especially as newgens cycle into your save.