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crestofadave

Help me solve my A. Madrid Midfield conundrum

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This may have fit better in a "should I buy/sell" thread but I couldn't find one. So here we go; let me start with brief background.

Took over Atletico Madrid to try and further break the duopoly of Real/Barca and first two seasons went okay, finishing second in Y1 but no silverware to show. Y2 was a different story, after an excellent first half of the season which had us well in control, a complete collapse led to a fourth place finish and a second round CL knockout. After a £77 million pound bid for Koke was automatically accepted, I decided to reshape the squad.

The standard players are still there, Oblak, Godin, Gimenez, Theo Hernandez, Savic, Gabi, Saul, Griezmann, Gaitan, Carrasco, Oliver, Kranevitter, Vrsjalko  - but have also added Lukaku, Berardi, Tielmans, Aspas, Jorge Mere, Kessie, Mallo and Raphael Guerreiro. And a couple more (see below).

Finally to the issue - in the summer after Y2 (the great collapse), I switched to a 5-3-2, while also maintaining a 4-3-1-2 (for when I need to go hell for leather) - Both formations have a 3 man midfield so central midfielders were key. I brought in Tielmans and Kessie, Gaitan is retrained as a CM, and Saul and Kranevitter make up the major players. Gabi is more ambassadorial now, and gets a game here and there.

I also brought in Mahammoud Dahoud on a free transfer. Dahoud has been a backup but has done extremely well. However we are now in the January window of Y3 and Bazoer became available for less than 15 million. He is a definite starter IMO and I couldn't turn it down (was also his preferred move). Now I have way too many midfielders and Dahoud seems to be the odd man out as he is worse than most of what I have, and has the least potential. I also have Cataldi coming in at season end on a free transfer from Lazio (which I will admit is basically a money making endeavour). I have had a 15mil bid for Dahoud from Mainz and I think I might accept but it seems a waste. I know he would always be a strong backup and could potentially develop into something much better. I would like to keep him but I simply don't have the space for him. One other slight wrinkle, Monaco are sniffing around Saul and may sooner or later trigger his 56 mil release clause. 

Soooo.... Dahoud - sell now for 15mil (after only 6 months)? Keep in the team, with fewer starts and try and loan out later to increase his value? Sell someone else instead?

Any advice is much appreciated.

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From personal experience I know Dahoud has huge potential so it may be worth keeping hold to see how he develops. You may want to look towards a loan move and see if there are any teams in European Competition that can offer him regular games in order to allow him the game time he needs. That way, he's off your wage bill for 1/2 seasons and also will ensure his stock is kept high enough for you to get a bigger return should you choose to sell him after all.

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Thanks! I don't think there is anyone currently interested in a loan currently but hopefully he'll be happy to sit in the stands until the end of the season. I can't see any scenario where I'm getting less than 15 mil then unless something goes horrifically wrong!

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5 hours ago, crestofadave said:

This may have fit better in a "should I buy/sell" thread but I couldn't find one. So here we go; let me start with brief background.

Took over Atletico Madrid to try and further break the duopoly of Real/Barca and first two seasons went okay, finishing second in Y1 but no silverware to show. Y2 was a different story, after an excellent first half of the season which had us well in control, a complete collapse led to a fourth place finish and a second round CL knockout. After a £77 million pound bid for Koke was automatically accepted, I decided to reshape the squad.

The standard players are still there, Oblak, Godin, Gimenez, Theo Hernandez, Savic, Gabi, Saul, Griezmann, Gaitan, Carrasco, Oliver, Kranevitter, Vrsjalko  - but have also added Lukaku, Berardi, Tielmans, Aspas, Jorge Mere, Kessie, Mallo and Raphael Guerreiro. And a couple more (see below).

Finally to the issue - in the summer after Y2 (the great collapse), I switched to a 5-3-2, while also maintaining a 4-3-1-2 (for when I need to go hell for leather) - Both formations have a 3 man midfield so central midfielders were key. I brought in Tielmans and Kessie, Gaitan is retrained as a CM, and Saul and Kranevitter make up the major players. Gabi is more ambassadorial now, and gets a game here and there.

I also brought in Mahammoud Dahoud on a free transfer. Dahoud has been a backup but has done extremely well. However we are now in the January window of Y3 and Bazoer became available for less than 15 million. He is a definite starter IMO and I couldn't turn it down (was also his preferred move). Now I have way too many midfielders and Dahoud seems to be the odd man out as he is worse than most of what I have, and has the least potential. I also have Cataldi coming in at season end on a free transfer from Lazio (which I will admit is basically a money making endeavour). I have had a 15mil bid for Dahoud from Mainz and I think I might accept but it seems a waste. I know he would always be a strong backup and could potentially develop into something much better. I would like to keep him but I simply don't have the space for him. One other slight wrinkle, Monaco are sniffing around Saul and may sooner or later trigger his 56 mil release clause. 

Soooo.... Dahoud - sell now for 15mil (after only 6 months)? Keep in the team, with fewer starts and try and loan out later to increase his value? Sell someone else instead?

Any advice is much appreciated.

kind of depends on what roles you have for your midfield 3

you have Kessie, Saul and Kranevitter and Bazoer, who are cable of doing a defensive job with Cataldi coming in to cover that as well

while you have

Gaitan, Tielemans and Dahoud to do the attacking roles (while Saul can play that role as well)

I'll take that you like to play at least one attacking player in midfield since you retrained Gaitan to play there

In that case I would opt to play Saul, Bazour and Kessie - with Kranevitter, Cataldi and one of Tielemans and Gaitan as back up

so yes, I would accept the offer to strengthen other areas of your team, as you already are (as you say) packed with midfielders

 

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19 hours ago, DKB said:

kind of depends on what roles you have for your midfield 3

you have Kessie, Saul and Kranevitter and Bazoer, who are cable of doing a defensive job with Cataldi coming in to cover that as well

while you have

Gaitan, Tielemans and Dahoud to do the attacking roles (while Saul can play that role as well)

I'll take that you like to play at least one attacking player in midfield since you retrained Gaitan to play there

In that case I would opt to play Saul, Bazour and Kessie - with Kranevitter, Cataldi and one of Tielemans and Gaitan as back up

so yes, I would accept the offer to strengthen other areas of your team, as you already are (as you say) packed with midfielders

 

In the two formations there are a defensive type midfielder (usually Bazoer or Kranevitter). In one, I use two BBMs (either Kessie, Saul, Tielmans (not his ideal position but it works)) and in the other I use 2 CMs on attack (either Tielmans, Saul, Gaitan).

Luckily after a couple of weeks of zero offers, Leverkusen came in offering 700k to loan Dahoud as a key player, with a recall option in the deal. Literally couldn't have asked for a more suitable deal.

 

Edited by crestofadave

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