AZ & Ed – Part 2 – Key Players

For the second installment of this blog series (now I’ve done 2 it classifies as a series right?) I wanted to focus on AZ’s squad and give readers a breakdown of the key men that I’ll be looking to utilise to maximum affect in the seasons to come.

In Part 1 I briefly touched upon the team instructions I’ll look to be using in line with how (I think) AZ would set up in real life. I’ve settled on a formation to start the season with below. I won’t be going into detail on this within this post, you’ll just have to wait for part 3 for that babe.

I have some concerns over how this will play out (i.e. the wider central midfielders operating in similar spaces to the inside forwards when attacking) but look forward to rolling it out

I’ve included the above image as it also shows you my anticipated starting XI for the first game of the season. So let’s have a quick look at my standout players I hope will have a big impact for me this season:

Wijndal will be operating from left back as a wing back on attack duty – his natural role. One of the dangers of playing during the beta is that I had originally taken a screenshot a few days ago, only to see that in an updated version of the beta, he’s now a slightly improved player. Lovely.

With Idrissi playing as an inside forward ahead of him I’ll be wanting Wijndal to provide plenty of width down our left side. He has the player traits to do this with ‘gets forward whenever possible’ & ‘hugs line’ – plenty of overlaps and cut backs please.

He’s only 19 so has a great future ahead of him, the only risk, as ever, will be whether we can hold onto him. Something I’m probably going to repeat again in this post at least once more.

Described as an enthusiastic young centre-back but I see Teun’s future in midfield. I love versatile players and no doubt he may feature at centre back should injuries require it but otherwise I’ll be playing him in the centre of my midfield three (at least, that’s the plan…). Great work rate, teamwork and solid technical attributes. At 21 he’s a huge future ahead of him.

It’s not just the young players who’re going to be key for AZ but also the more experienced heads. One of two Norwegians in the squad, Fredrik will play one of the two supporting roles in the midfield three.

Boasting great mental attributes I hope he can complement the more technical players around him – despite his £9m value he’s not the most amazing player but hopefully will provide us with valuable experience in midfield.

My initial plan is to have him as a central midfielder on support, he has a few player traits though I do wonder if he has the technical attributes and flair to pull them off.

Stengs is one of the more well known players at AZ and it’s easy to see why. Just 20 years old and arguably my best attacking player. Quality first touch, flair and vision I’m already considering switching him from an IF-A to an AP from the AMR position. He has the potential to be my most creative player and has a couple of nice player traits.

I want Stengs to find the half-space between centre back and left back, allowing my right back to overlap. I want Stengs to find the ball in space and be able to turn, run and pick a pass to those ahead of him. Yep, definitely an AP-A over an IF-A for me.

A rising star in real life Boadu is probably one of those who will be a star in FM21 (heard it here first folk) but also hopefully age into a cracking player with me at AZ. Quick, determined and a good spread of solid attributes he’s definitely the player in the first team squad I’m most excited about.

I hope he can make the sole striker role his own though appreciate he is very young. He’ll be starting life as an Advanced Forward in my main tactic and possibly a Pressing Forward in a more cautious, counter-attacking setup. I’m sure his pace will be his key asset as he progresses over the next few years.

So now you’re as up to speed as I am on AZ’s key men for the season ahead. The AZ squad has some exciting players in it’s first team squad but we are some way behind the likes of PSV & of course, Ajax. Yet we do have a plethora of young talent in our development centre. I hope a future blog post can introduce you to a number of them.

Until next time!

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