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[FM21] Surpassing Dixie: The Redux


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Last year, during the first lockdown I set myself the challenge of trying to equal or better Dixie Dean's 60 league goals scored for Everton in a single league campaign. I attempted to complete this with Karim Adeyemi as he was a youngster with an extremely high ceiling - just as he is on this year's version. I didn't manage to continue the save far enough for Adeyemi to dethrone Dixie, he did hit around 49 which was as good as I could achieve by the time he hit 21 (3 years in). You could argue that he definitely had the capacity to hit 60 or more as goals were easier to come by on FM20 I felt. 

Karim Adeyemi's best strike rate on FM20

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However, a new challenger entered the fray in Yusuf Demir this year as being the standout wonderkid for me. Although not naturally a striker, I have had numerous saves now where I have trained him to become a world-class striker. Despite this, I didn't want to reduce the challenge to just one player this year and instead, I'd attempt it with a multitude of strikers in my squad. So yes, Demir will likely be in the best position to break this record earlier than any other forward I look to use as a couple of the other strikers are newgens. The other midfielder-come-striker I will be using to try and break this record is Arsen Zakharyan.

I currently find myself in the 2022/23 season and have been running the save by mostly using model citizens in order to pass on that personality to the rest of the Everton squad. This meant that I had to offload or loan out virtually the whole squad. Alas, it was a massive rebuild with golden oldies. Just as I did last year, I've used a 4-2-4 KNAP tactic in order to facilitate as many goals as possible.

To overview my efforts thus far, Demir hasn't really become a starter just yet but is on the brink. The moment that I decide to start him as much as possible, I will ensure that he becomes my free kick taker and penalty taker in order to try and maximise his output. Zakharyan was superb at Dynamo Moscow as a striker (I took control and holidayed), he won the European Golden Boy and NxGn award during the 2021/22 season with them. I applied the same principle that I will at Everton, I put Zakharyan on penalties and free-kicks too to maximise his effectiveness in front of goal. He managed 41 league goals in 27 league games last season with these principles applied which bodes really well for him. Albeit, he played in an inferior league by all accounts. Newgens Liam Edwards and Joakim Möller will also be options for me over the next decade no doubt, Möller is still at Malmö for now but has been progressing nicely, while Edwards is said to have 5* potential. They are all different in their own right which is what I find appealing about this challenge. There is even scope to have Demir or Möller as inside forwards on the right in my very attacking system.

Also, for what it is worth, Demir and Zakharyan are my two favourite youngsters on this year's game!

Yusuf Demir in 2022

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Arsen Zakharyan in 2022

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Liam Edwards in 2022

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Joakim Möller in 2022

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Edited by ShaunG95
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Posted (edited)
On 26/06/2021 at 21:52, john1 said:

Good luck :thup: I think Demir will come closer to it ;) 

He is certainly the best player out of the lot! I do anticipate the other three will be really good goalscorers too though. Möller will probably be the weak link but I do have an affinity to Swedish newgens when they come around as the quality of them does tend to be hit and miss so I'm really hopeful that he'll be a gem.

Edited by ShaunG95
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  • 3 weeks later...

So, the last screenshots were posted during the 2022 World Cup, fast forward a year in 2023 and this is the state of play for each player.

Yusuf Demir in 2023

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In total, Demir has 26 goals in 27 league games over the years he has been at the club. As he is considered the best player out of the four, I have him on free-kicks and penalties and he has repaid my faith with a tally of 20 goals in 13 games so far this campaign. He has had to miss a couple of games however because his natural fitness is on the lower side and he wasn't fully fit. Hopefully his natural fitness will increase over time, I'm not holding out for the massive jump that his concentration has had however, which has gone from 14 to 19 in a year which is a little bit crazy as concentration doesn't tend to improve that much usually. I would be amazed if he hit 60 league goals this season but it isn't beyond the realms of possibility. He isn't playing in domestic cup games at all but is featuring in the Champions League so I will monitor his fitness levels and award rests where I see fit.

Arsen Zakharyan in 2023

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At this moment in time, Zakharyan looks amazing but is yet to have a senior start or goal. He's not quite the finished article (surprisingly so) but isn't far off partnering Demir next season. The only reason he isn't already Demir's strike partner is the fact that I want his personality to eventually change to 'model citizen', I am a stickler for wanting to follow that model in my squads (no pun intended) and this save isn't any different. Once he has become a model citizen, he will be an automatic starter with Demir upfront. Andrea Belotti and Valere Germain are currently keeping him out of the starting lineup. I anticipate Zakharyan and Demir will each compete for Ballon D'ors with how good they both are.

Liam Edwards in 2023

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Personally think it is brilliant how much he has improved within a year. As you can see, I had his training focus as alternating between final third and attacking movement, which seems to have paid off considering the large increases. He is now working on his finishing. In many respects, he reminds me of what Yusuf Demir looks like at the start of a save. If his potential comes anywhere near as close to Demir's ability even now, I think he will find himself as a starter in the very near future. Edwards currently has 2 goals in 6 league games, all of which have been substitute appearances. He scored 8 goals from 8 sub appearances last season in all competitions which was really impressive, his pace is a real thorn in the side of team's defenses.

Joakim Möller in 2023

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What pleases me the most about Möller is how well-rounded he is. He doesn't have standout qualities that the other three have but he was an excellent goalscorer at Malmö. He was supposed to join us in the January but his transfer was cancelled as I had exceeded the under-21 foreign limit for the season. That was slightly gutting but afforded him more senior game time at Malmö. He is yet to debut at senior level but has been in lethal form for the u23s, scoring 29 in 17 appearances. I do see Möller as an inside-forward long-term at AMR. However, one concern is his low natural fitness. I am hoping that will naturally jump up with moderated game-time in the u23s side. Quite impressively, Möller is a fully-fledged Sweden international and has become a starter. It'll only be a matter of time before he makes that jump into being a starter for us I hope.

I forgot to mention in my original post, I will be chasing Dixie Dean's 349 league goal tally too. This will be incredibly hard to beat but as it stands:

Demir has 26 goals.

Edwards has 2 goals.

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On 30/06/2021 at 17:31, MattyLewis11 said:

Keen to see how you progress with this challenge, I am currently doing a SK Rapid save so will have an invested interest in the development of Demir. 

Overall, he's very good. I've had him on many saves. I prefer him as a striker personally but he can do a job in virtually any of the attacking positions on the pitch.

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