February is here, meaning that another January transfer window is in the books. As clubs scrambled to sell off excess weight and bolster their squads, it’s time to take at look at the winners and losers in FIFA 19 from this past silly season.
Despite taking one on the chin versus Bournemouth, the Blues had a fairly successful January window starting with the purchase of US International Christian Pulisic from Dortmund for roughly $73 million. While he will stay on loan until the end of the current season, Pulisic (78 OVR with 86 POT) will add some much needed youth and pace to an aging Chelsea side. Also arriving at Stamford Bridge is Gonzalo Higuain (87 OVR, 87 POT), on loan from Juventus. While he’s getting up there in age (31), the Argentinian striker who spent the first few months of this season on loan at AC Milan is no stranger to Manager Maurizio Sarri’s style, and will look to replicate his Napoli form when he tied the Serie A record for goals in a season with 36. One of the most interesting additions was not an actual transfer, but instead holding onto highly promising youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi (70 OVR, 87 POT). The 18-year-old prodigy was heavily courted by Bavarian giant Bayern Munich, and even handed in a transfer request, but Chelsea was unwilling to part with him for $45 million.
To make space for Higuain, Chelsea sent out-of-form striker Alvaro Morata (82 OVR, 84 POT) to Atletico Madrid on loan, where he will join ex-Chelsea striker Diego Costa who has been battling injuries all year. Additionally, fan favorite Cesc Fabregas (82 OVR, 82 POT) departed for AS Monaco to team up with then manager and former teammate Thierry Henry. Lastly, a few squad players departed on loan, with Victor Moses (78 OVR, 78 POT) heading to Fenerbache, and Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi (80 OVR, 83 POT) terminating his loan with Valencia and heading back to London to join Crystal Palace
In desperate need of some attacking help, AC Milan bolstered its attack by procuring the services of young Polish striker Krzysztof Piatek (76 OVR, 81 POT) from Genoa for about $35 million. After lighting up Serie A with Genoa, Piatek looks to be the real deal after scoring a brace in his full debut versus Napoli. After getting a striker, Milan went out and acquired Lucas Paqueta from Flamengo for roughly $40 million. The highly rated and promising attacking midfielder (79 OVR, 89 POT) is composed on the ball and has the physical traits to succeed in any league.
With Piatek arriving, Milan sent the aforementioned Higuain back to his parent club Juventus, who then shipped him to West London. With a much younger and pacier center forward leading the line in the San Siro, AC Milan is a great club to use in FIFA 19 if you want the challenge of bringing a traditional superpower back from the ashes.
Fresh off a trouncing of Chelsea, Bournemouth splashed some cash this winter, signing a former Chelsea youth academy product Dominic Solanke (70 OVR, 84 POT) for about $27 million. Solanke looks to replace Jermain Defoe (on loan at Rangers) who is getting up there in age. Out-of-favor Liverpool right back Nathaniel Clyne looks to get his career back on track with much needed minutes at Bournemouth. Lastly, highly rated Championship defender Chris Mepham (70 OVR, 80 POT) looks to make the jump in competition, albeit with an $18 million move to Bournemouth from Brentford. While not enough to put them in serious contention for any titles or European competition spots, these moves should be enough to help you keep the Cherries up and in a respectable mid-table position.
With injuries to Harry Kane and Dele Alli, the Spurs are currently trying to keep their head above water by depending on veteran striker Fernando Llorente for goals up top. Instead of signing an attacker, either long term or on loan, Tottenham decided to stand put with their only move being sending winger Georges Kevin N’Koudou (75 OVR, 80 POT) out on loan to Monaco. While they’ve been shrewd spenders over the years, the Spurs did splurge last January for Brazilian winger Lucas Moura, a move that has given them some much needed depth even if he hasn’t managed to lock down a spot in the first eleven. When their nucleus is fit, the Spurs are a very talented team with a mixture of players in their prime (Harry Kane, Vertonghen, etc.) as well as youngsters who will most certainly improve in Deli All (90 POT) and Harry Winks (85 POT) — the latter taking over for the departed Moussa Dembele who will now ply his trade in China.
Major League Soccer
Even though the Major League Soccer season doesn’t fully align with the European schedule, it seems that clubs from across the pond are now poaching MLS clubs with increasing regularity. Canadian international Alphonso Davies (72 OVR, 87 POT), once of Vancouver, has finally completed his move to German giant Bayern Munich for roughly $13.5 million. Not to be outdone, Newcastle FC looked to bolster its attack by purchasing Atlanta FC’s Miguel Almiron for $27 million. Additional departures like NYCFC’s David Villa and Toronto FC’s Giovinco will hurt those respective clubs in the short term, but with both of them getting up there in age, the time to move on as clubs and players was most likely the smart decision. With the MLS Super Draft occurring a few weeks ago, clubs are looking to replace their departed stars with a mixture of young talent and proven veterans.
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG)
PSG are no strangers to splashing cash. After breaking the bank for Neymar and Mbappe, PSG is one club that remains constantly linked with big names and top young talent. This January was no different as PSG dealt with a potential long-term injury to superstar Neymar. Trying to replace a player of that magnitude is always a challenge, and PSG failed to do so as the move for DC United’s Luciano Acosta (77 OVR, 79 POT) fell through. Also linked with Chelsea’s Willian, PSG had already sent out young US International Timothy Weah (69 OVR, 85 POT) and former Real Madrid winger Jese (76 OVR, 79 POT) on loan to Celtic and Real Betis respectively. PSG also missed out on Everton defensive midfielder Idrissa Gueye (83 OVR, 83 POT) but did manage to secure the services of Leandro Paredes (80 OVR, 85 POT). While Ligue 1 should still be a cake walk for the Parisians, their hopes of lifting the elusive Champions League trophy might elude them for another year.
The January window isn’t as glamorous as it once was, even just a few years ago. Huge January purchases like Fernando Torres and Coutinho seem to be going away as clubs are more reluctant than ever to sell their best players in January. Luckily, strengthening your squad in FIFA 19 during this time is much easier and more fun. What have been your best January window transfer buys?