I’ve spent the last couple of weeks tucking into EA Sports’ FIFA 14, and with the summer transfer window now complete, it’s interesting to see how key transfers have the ability to alter a team’s style in virtual form.
Whether it’s the presence of a destroyer in a previously lightweight midfield, the addition of a superstar name or the extra firepower brought in to bolster attacking ranks, the upcoming title tasks gamers with asserting their footballing style in greater depth than ever before.
If you’re reading this, it’s highly likely the FIFA 14 demo has taken over your life since its release on Sept. 10. The full game arrives on Sept. 24 in North America and Sept. 27 in Europe, but as a sneak preview before then, let’s take a look at three summer transfer window signings you must try.
Marouane Fellaini, Manchester United
Manchester United fans knew it, David Moyes knew it and the entire world knew it. The Red Devils had been hankering for a midfield monster across the past seasons, someone who is capable of blasting through the opposition like they are made of Michael Owen’s legs.
Marouane Fellaini may have been a late arrival on transfer deadline day, but his bulldozing style dramatically changes Manchester United’s effectiveness on the latest game. The Belgian behemoth’s physicality frees up Michael Carrick, whose control and distribution is absolutely top notch in the game.
EA have upped the importance of muscle this year. Finally, gamers don’t have to worry about the continuous threat of pace, as players such as Fellaini have the weight to knock opponents off the ball, hustle to retain possession and perform defensive duties that are valued in real life.
The former Everton man takes up intelligent positions, is immensely useful at sticking a foot in and finally gives United’s midfield an aerial presence. Oh, and he can score excellent goals. Don’t be fooled by his 80 overall rating, his key statistics underline a player of real quality.
Gareth Bale, Real Madrid
The immediate problem with using Gareth Bale at Real Madrid is simple: Where the hell do you fit him in?
Playing him close to Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria, it almost feels like a cheat to utilise the Welshman. Ultimate Team and online players must get used to facing Real Madrid squads that offers endless pace and power in the final third, something that is likely to frustrate.
Bale’s added power gives him a more direct threat than Gonzalo Higuain, Kaka or Mesut Ozil ever managed on FIFA 13. Considering he is both speedy and strong, he plays like a slightly undeveloped Ronaldo.
Taking control of Madrid with an interchanging, short passing style is the way to go here.
Romelu Lukaku, Everton
Everton’s attacking talent hasn’t translated well to FIFA games of years gone by. The likes of Nikica Jelavic and Victor Anichebe naturally slowed FIFA 13’s play down, but there’s plenty for Toffees fans to enjoy this season.
Namely, Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian powerhouse—who enjoyed a terrific season on loan at West Brom last year—has seen a decent stat increase up his physical presence. His combined pace and ability to keep hold of the ball has a greater impact on this year’s title and allows supporting wingers to aid his position in the lone striker’s role.
Midfielders such as Gareth Barry and James McCarthy are excellent at winning back possession on the game. After performing a neat tackle, it’s effective to direct the ball straight toward Lukaku in the centre. Seconds later, expect Kevin Mirallas and Steven Pienaar to bust a gut down the wings, freeing up the 20-year-old striker to head for the middle.
Which newly transferred players do you think will make a difference to their clubs on FIFA 14? Let me know in the comments section below and be sure to chat all things football with me on Twitter: