Football Manager 2021 has been released for a while now, but that doesn’t mean a new game can’t be fired up at any point, with glory awaiting users who master their tactics, man management and, of course, recruitment.
One of the best aspects of FM 2021 is trying to build that team of superstars who you believe can lead your club to glory. A fantasy XI that will defeat all-comers – and one that would probably be unlikely to happen in the real world!
READ MORE: Football Manager 2021 best players: All the top forwards, midfielders, defenders and goalkeepers
READ MORE: Football Manager 2021 wonderkids: All the best young goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards
READ MORE: Football Manager 2021 free transfers: Best goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards
However, before you manage a club with the big bucks, you’ll need to show you can be a wheeler and dealer, you’ll need to show you can pick up cheap FM21 signings.
From there, you can unearth an unlikely new star, and even better than that, sell them for a significant profit!
Recruitment can be a minefield at times, but FootballTransfers has you covered.
Players have been ranked using the FMScout rating system as a guide, and to make things simple they have formulated a rating based on metrics like value, attributes, position suitability and age.
Football Manager 2021 best bargain goalkeepers
|Ivan, 22, PON||£2.8m||86|
|Esteban Andrada, 29, Boca||£3.9m||85|
|Sebastian Jurado, 22, Cruz Azul||£1.3m||84|
|Javier Belman, 21, Fuenlabrada||£1.2m||84|
|Ivan Villar, 22, Celta||£4.9m||84|
|Alexandr Maximenko, 22, Spartak||£5.5m||83|
|Mattia Perin, 27, Genoa||£2.8m||83|
|Ivo Grbic, 24, Atletico||£5.5m||83|
|Alvaro Montero, 25, Deportes Tolima||£0.37m||83|
|Adrian Semper, 22, Chievo||£3.3m||83|
One of the best bargains in the entire Football Manager 2021 game is goalkeeper Ivan from Ponte Preta, who can sometimes be available for as little as £2.8 million – if you can get a work permit.
He is only 22, also, so you could potentially be gaining a goalkeeper for the next decade.
Esteban Andrada is older at 29 but still represents another good South American option.
Mattia Perin has notoriously been one of the better keepers in the game and he eventually does so with age in FM21, but he is with Genoa at the start, so you might be able to get him.
Football Manager 2021 best bargain centre-backs
|Amir Rrahmani, 26, Napoli||£5.25m||83|
|Facundo Medina, 21, Lens||£4.4m||83|
|Roman Yevgenjev, 21, Dinamo Moscow||£5m||83|
|Aissa Mandi, 28, Betis||£6.5m||83|
|Mert Cetin, 23, Verona||£3m||82|
|Lisandro Lopez, 30, Boca||£3m||82|
|Marc Muniesa, 28, Al-Arabi||£3.7m||82|
|Erik Sviatchenko, 28, Midtjylland||£1.3m||82|
|Julian Chabot, 22, Spezia||£4.2m||81|
|Mykyta Burda, 25, Dynamo Kyiv||£4.7m||81|
At the start of the game Napoli have Kostas Manolas and Kalidou Koulibaly as their first-choice centre-backs, which means you have the potential to swoop in and steal a backup in the form of Amir Rrahmani.
There are some older heads in the list like Marc Muniesa and Lisandro Lopez, but you can really get some top, young talent for cheap(ish) too like Roman Yevgenjev of Dinamo Moscow and Facundo Medina of Lens. Just watch out you don’t get involved in a bidding war!
Football Manager 2021 best bargain full-backs
|Danny Rose, 29, Tottenham (LB)||£3m||85|
|Federico Ricca, 25, Club Brugge (LB)||£3.2m||84|
|Faouzi Ghoulam, 29, Napoli (LB)||£7m||83|
|Toni Lato, 22, Valencia (LB)||£5.75m||83|
|Jordan Amavi, 26, Marseille (LB)||£3m||82|
|Sam Byram, 26, Norwich (RB)||£5.25m||85|
|Elseid Hysaj, 26, Napoli (RB)||£5.5m||83|
|Lewie Coyle, 24, Hull (RB)||£1.1m||83|
|Nathaniel Clyne, 29, Crystal Palace (RB)||£5m||82|
|Tin Jedvaj, 24, Leverkusen (RB)||£5.5m||82|
Danny Rose’s omission from the Tottenham squad in real life has translated to Football Manager as you can usually get him for a knockdown price of around £3m. He is still young enough and has good enough attributes to be a backup or even a starter for a smaller team.
Ghoulam has been one of the best left-backs in the game over the past few years, and although his form has dropped at Napoli, he remains a good prospect.
Toni Lato in some games can develop into a world-class talent, and could be available cheaper than you think as he is effectively the backup to Jose Gaya at Valencia.
Tin Jedvaj can play anywhere across the backline, though more naturally as a full-back, and represents a good addition to the squad due to his adaptability.
Football Manager 2021 best bargain midfielders
|Wilmar Barrios, 24 Zenit (DM)||£6.75m||83|
|Mauro Arambarri, 24, Getafe (DM)||£4.4m||82|
|Stephen Eustaquio, 23, P. Ferreira (DM)||£5.25m||82|
|Albin Ekdal, 30, Sampdoria (DM)||£3.4m||82|
|Jonas Meffert, 25, Holstein Kiel (DM)||£0.42||82|
|Simon Tibbling, 25, Emmen (CM)||£4.7m||86|
|Joao Mario, 27, Sporting (CM)||£6.5m||85|
|Nabil Bentaleb, 25, Schalke (CM)||£6m||84|
|Patryk Dziczek, 22, Salernitana (CM)||£3m||83|
|Roberto Gagliardini, 26, Inter (CM)||£5m||83|
|Lucas Fernandes, 22, Portimonense (AMC)||£3.1m||84|
|Hany Mukhtar, 25, Nashville (AMC)||£4.4m||84|
|Kieran Dowell, 22, Norwich (AMC)||£7m||84|
|Nick Powell, 26, Stoke (AMC)||£2.5m||84|
|Yunus Malli, 28, Wolfsburg (AMC)||£4m||83|
Wilmar Barrios has been an excellent player within FM for a few years now, and when he moved to Zenit it broke the hearts of many a game player as he has before been available on the cheap from Boca.
Of the central midfielders, the best playmaker on the list is Simon Tibbling of Emmen, and he is very affordable too so should be high on your list also,
As for players who can feature just behind the striker, Lucas Fernandes of Portimonense looks the best bet both in ability and in price.
Football Manager 2021 best bargain wingers
|Viktor Fischer, 26 Copenhagen (AML)||£0.6m||89|
|Javi Ontiveros, 22, Huesca (AML)||£5.25m||85|
|Yacine Brahimi, 30, Al-Rayyan (AML)||£5.25m||85|
|Pione Sisto, 25, Midtjylland (AML)||£2.6m||84|
|Inigo Cordoba, 23, Athletic (AML)||£6.5m||83|
|Eduardo Salvio, 29, Boca (AMR)||£7m||83|
|Jordi Mboula, 21, Mallorca (AMR)||£6||83|
|Ignacio Laquintana, 21, Defensor Sporting (AMR)||£4.2m||82|
|Valentino Lazaro, 24, Gladbach (AMR)||£3.5m||82|
|Eirik Hestad, 27, Molde (AMR)||£1.5m||82|
It seems that nobody in the real world is taking the hint with Viktor Fischer.
Every year Football Manager gives him fantastic ratings and makes him available at a bargain price, but the makers must know something nobody else does as he is still plying his trade for Copenhagen. You’ll need to be quick to snatch him up.
Pione Sisto is an interesting one as he got his big move to La Liga previously with Celta only for it to not work out, so hopefully you can be the manager to bring the best out in him.
Lower down, you can see Jordi Mboula – definite future star at just 21.
Football Manager 2021 best bargain forwards
|Saido Berahino, 26, Charleroi||£1.1m||87|
|Stevan Jovetic, 30, Monaco||£7m||86|
|Borja Mayoral, 23, Roma||£3.6m||85|
|Renat Dadashov, 21, Grasshoppers||£5m||84|
|Fedor Chalov, 22, CSKA Moscow||£6m||84|
|Dani Gomez, 21, Levante||£3.8m||84|
|Jonas Wins, 21, Copenhagen||£3.7m||84|
|Davie Selke, 25, Werder Bremen||£4.7m||83|
|Andrea Pinamonti, 21, Inter||£4.6m||83|
|Vincent Janssen, 26, Monterrey||£4.1m||83|
There is a very recognisable face at the top of this list as English football misfit Saido Berahino is available at a very decent price should you decide to take a punt on the former West Brom youngster.
Stevan Jovetic is still a good performer within FM21 but his wages at Monaco may prove to be a stumbling block depending on who your club is.
If you’re looking for longevity, the two best shouts on the list are probably Renat Dadashov of Grasshoppers and Dani Gomez of Levante, both of whom became excellent in the last game and so likely will again as they get older.