17 teams we can’t wait to be on Football Manager 2017
1. Everton (Premier League)
After such a dismal 2015/16 for the Toffees, the only way is up. Expectations are perfectly achievable with your current squad: to finish in the Europa League and reach the FA Cup quarter-finals. But with a £45m transfer kitty and £106k per week left to play with for wages, you can add to an already-talented bunch and perhaps even surpass what the board are expecting of you.
2. Leicester (Premier League)
What on earth is a good season for Leicester? Really, it’s all about how far you can take them in the Champions League on this save – but unfortunately for you, it’s unlikely you’ll be pulling out Porto, Club Brugge and Copenhagen like the Foxes’ kind real-life draw. The board aren’t expecting you to progress and only want a top-half finish in the league, so with the £9.5m you’ll get to spend on new faces (plus £109k free on the wage bill) you can’t really go too far wrong.
3. Burton (Championship)
Like a challenge good? There’s a reason Burton’s board only care about you staying up: because you’ll have your work cut out with the Championship’s lowest wage budget by far (that £67k per week is 17 times less than Newcastle, for example, and about the same as Portsmouth’s in League Two). You’ll need to use the loan market well.
4. and 5. Leeds, Nottingham Forest (Championship)
Many managers have tried and failed to restore both of these former giants to old glories, mainly thanks to madcap ownership and a distinct lack of patience. So now it’s your turn to try. You’ll get better resources with Forest – a £500k transfer budget and £339k-per-week wage budget that you start £14k under; at Leeds, there’s £100k to spend on players but no wriggle room for incomings unless you shift folk off the payroll. Your first job is convincing the likes of Charlie Taylor, Souleymane Doukara and Alex Mowatt to extend their current deals – or risk losing them for peanuts.
Next: The hardest challenge in English football?