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Five Gareth Bale transfer alternatives for Manchester United to consider this summer according to Football Manager


Manchester United‘s transfer policy has been very clear so far this summer, the club are looking for young, hungry players who could potentially grow into world-class talents.

So, despite all the speculation around the future of 30-year-old Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, it’s clear that the Welshman is not someone who fits with United’s transfer policy, no matter how good of a player he is.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, United’s two signings so far this summer, are both exciting young talents who have the potential to be at Old Trafford for a decade or more, as Ole Gunnar Solksjaer plans for the long-term.

So, who could United target as an alternative to Bale this summer? Players with similar attributes, but younger?

We used the highly respected Football Manager 2019 database to find out.

Gareth Bale alternatives

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Gareth Bale’s future at Real Madrid continues to attract intense speculation.

To find alternatives to Gareth for Manchester United, we need to use Football Manager 2019’s ‘similar players’ function, which can be found by going on the the relevant player profile and using the comparison tab, under the compare with option.

The game then selects a few of the player’s best attributes and uses the database to search the world for players who have similar values for these attributes, thus allowing us to see similar players.

Normally, your search is restricted by the strength of your scouting team, but we’ve used the in-game editor to unlock all the players in the search, so that we can provide the four best realistic alternatives.

Current Ability: 182/200

Potential Ability: 186/200

Age: 30

Best attributes: Long shots (19), heading (18), pace (18), stamina (18), off the ball (18), finishing (17), free kick taking (17), strength (17), flair (17).

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As you can see from Bale’s profile, he has some great attributes.

In the player search, we inputted that they had to have a strong left foot, are an attacking midfielder and with attributes of at least:

Long shots – 14

Technique – 15

Finishing – 14

Off the ball – 14

Pace – 15

 

Using this search, here are the five players who have similar attributes to Bale, according to Football Manager 2019.

Why do we use the Football Manager database?

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The Football Manager database currently contains data on more than 800,000 individuals and 45,000 active clubs, with data sourced from their international on the ground scouting network which numbers roughly 1,000 people, among their ranks are some who are involved in football in professional capacities, including scouts and coaches.

In addition to the information on players, clubs and backroom staff, the Football Manager database also contains a wealth of information on many other aspects of the professional game, including data on competitions, cups, team and individual awards, weather, finances, officials and more.

The database also incorporates a wealth of nation-specific details such as currency, tax rates, national team records, histories in major tournaments and so on. All of this information combines to create an accurate representation of ‘real world’ football within Football Manager.

Football Manager use a query-based system of checks and balances designed to ensure that there are no statistical outliers within any particular club, division, league or country.

In addition, each annual iteration of Football Manager has built-in algorithms which check for outliers and data discrepancies. Data accuracy is further ensured by input from contributors who are active within the professional game (players, agents etc.) who provide regular feedback.

Sports Interactive (SI)      

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Sports Interactive (SI) is the world’s leading developer of football management simulations through the best-selling Football Manager series.

Created by football fans, for football fans, and available on computer, smartphone and tablet, Football Manager tops the charts in almost every country where football is played.

SI has ongoing relationships with some of the biggest names in professional football, including the Bundesliga, the League Managers Association, The EFL and many other leagues and national associations.

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Cengiz Under – Roma

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Current ability: 145/200

Potential ability: 169/200

Age: 22

The youngest player on this list is Roma‘s Cengiz Under, a Turkish forward who is making a real impact at Serie A at just 22 years old.

The former Basaksehir player is an exciting talent with some interesting attributes, including speed, crossing, finishing, long shots and set pieces.

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Roma winger Cengiz Under has been linked with a move to Manchester City.

Under has the lowest current ability of anyone on this list, but his potential is significant. He won’t be as good as Gareth Bale, but he could develop into a world-class talent.

Ousmane Dembele – Barcelona

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Current ability: 169/200

Potential ability: 185/200

Age: 22

Ousmane Dembele is one of the best players in world football, and he’s just 22 years old.

The French forward has some incredible attributes, with outstanding dribbling, finishing, speed, technique and he’s genuinely two-footed, so can plan on either wing. A unique talent.

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His current ability suggests that Dembele would be one of the best players at United if he moved this summer, but his potential suggests that he could become even better than Bale in the next few years.

Amazingly, speculation suggests that the former Rennes winger could be available this summer. If so, United shouldn’t hesitate to sign him, according to Football Manager.

Federico Bernardeschi – Juventus

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Current ability: 157/200

Potential ability: 168/200

Age: 25

Bernardeschi is a more well-rounded forward than Under, with a few more years under his belt, so much so that his attributes suggest he’s close to being world-class already.

His dribbling, finishing, first touch, passing, speed, long shots and flair attributes are all mightily impressive.

He will never be as good as Gareth Bale, according to Football Manager 2019, but he won’t be far off.

Florian Thauvin – Olympique Marseille

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Current ability: 154/200

Potential ability: 159/200

Age: 26

United fans may remember Thauvin from his disappointing spell at Newcastle, but since his return to Ligue 1, Thauvin has been in exceptional form.

His attributes are very similar to Bernardeschi, but his output in real-life is much better, with the Frenchman scoring 18 goals and registering nine assists in 37 appearances in all competitions last season.

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But, he’s currently close to his prime, so he’s not going to improve much further and he won’t able to reach the levels that Under and Dembele can, according to Football Manager 2019.

Son Heung-min – Tottenham Hotspur

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Current ability: 157/200

Potential ability: 159/200

Age: 27

Last but by no means least, Son Heung-min has proven to be a quality forward player in his time with Spurs.

Capable of shooting, passing and crossing with either foot, Son can also play in a variety of positions across the front line.

The South Korean’s finishing is his standout attribute, in comparison with the rest of the players on this list.

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Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur

The only issue with the ex-Bayer Leverkusen forward would be his age, as he’s just turned 27 and is at his peak now, which may not fit with United’s transfer policy.

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Best alternatives to Gareth Bale for Manchester United according to Football Manager 2019:

  1. Ousmane Dembele

  2. Federico Bernardeschi

  3. Cengiz Under

  4. Son Heung-min

  5. Florian Thauvin

According to Football Manager 2019, Dembele would be the best Bale alternative for United this summer and crucially, would fit in with the club’s transfer policy. The Frenchman has the highest potential and is the most exciting talent on this list, followed by Bernardeschi, Under, Son Heung-min (age) and Thauvin.





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