Jack Butland has become the latest in a growing list of Football Manager 2012 wonderkids to play football at Manchester United in 2023.
David de Gea was already at United when the game was released all those years ago, as was Phil Jones, and he has since been joined by Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw, Casemiro and Christian Eriksen – among whom All must be purchased at FM12.
United also had Rafael, Fabio, Paul Pogba, Adnan Januzaj, Revel Morrison, Danny Welbeck and Federico Machida on their books at the time, making them a true powerhouse in the virtual world all those years ago.
Club scouts are clearly scouring their old copies of FM12 for inspiration, who else could they sign in the days of Adrian, Welington Neme and Bojan?
Alvaro Morata was a definite hit on FM12, and these days, he ain’t half bad.
Then at Real Madrid, Morata has been on a real journey since then and now finds himself on the books across town with Atletico. He’s been a reliable source of goals wherever he’s been… just don’t ask Chelsea fans for vouchers for him.
United need a striker to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, could Morata be the guy?
Speaking of Ronaldo, he has only been linked with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nasr alongside Vincent Aboubakar, but there are rumors that the Cameroon international could be on his way to Old Trafford instead.
Back in FM12, a 19-year-old Abu Bakr was coming through Valenciennes, and was destined to become one of the world’s greatest strikers.
In real life, he has been calling out Mohamed Salah, claiming he is as good as the Liverpool man but is limited to smaller stages. Where is his mouth when he puts his money?
At just 16 at FM12, Mike Mignon was a star in PSG’s youth set-up and scouts around the world all knew he was going to be a superstar… apart from PSG itself.
Sent to Lille for money in 2015, Magnan is now one of the best goalkeepers in the game with AC Milan, who have made FM chiefs proud to recognize the potential his own club refused to acknowledge. done.
United are in the market for a goalkeeper and could do a lot worse than turning the calendar back to 2012 and going for Mignon.
A 19-year-old Stephen de Vrij was the stuff of dreams at FM12. He will soon be moving on from Feyenoord and you always want to make sure you are at the front of the queue for his signature.
Lazio were the lucky side to land De Vrij in 2014 and he raised his game even further in 2018 with a big move to Inter, where he established himself as one of those reliable, top-class defenders. Consolidate positions that will always have plenty of suitors.
Erik ten Hague, a fellow Dutchman, will know all about De Vrij, whose Inter contract expires at the end of this season. It all makes sense.
Be honest. You didn’t know the pronunciation of his name then, and you still don’t.
Nevertheless, we managers convinced ourselves that Sime Vrsaljko was our next big thing and however we were pronouncing his name in our heads, it was right. Of course it was, we were smart and brilliant managers.
In real life, Vrsaljko flirted with superstardom when he played for both Atletico Madrid and Inter, but now, aged just 30, he finds himself looking for a new club. A quick fix to Ten Hague’s left-right problem, right here.
Ah, the last time you were able to sign Neymar on FM. good times.
Santos Wizkid certainly lived up to the billing as he excelled for Barcelona and is currently enjoying one of his most disastrous seasons on the books at Paris Saint-Germain, but there are suggestions that the French capital I may be running out of time. .
As we learned again on FM12, you’ll take any chance you get to sign Neymar, because you never know when that chance will come around again.
It’s actually not legal to talk about FM12 without mentioning the Mexican machine himself, Carlos Ferro.
You hadn’t heard of him back then and you’ve still never seen him play a game in your life, but you’d be lying if you didn’t think Farrow was the greatest shoemaker ever. The number of goals he scored for you was just silly.
In real life, Ferro never made the big money move to Europe we’d expect, his only switch outside of Mexico being a temporary stay in San Jose. Still only 28, he could be the answer to Ten Hague’s prayers for attacking reinforcements – and I have plenty of saves to prove it.