Manchester United are one of the most popular clubs in the world. They are also one of the most popular clubs in FIFA 18, with many gamers choosing to replace Jose Mourinho and take over at Old Trafford in Career Mode.
The Red Devils are an interesting challenge as they have high expectations in the Premier League and in Europe, but have a squad capable of competing for both. However, failure is not an option if you are United manager, and you need to do everything you can to ensure you succeed in meeting the requirements.
At the start of Career Mode (as in real life), there is plenty of strength in your starting XI, but also a few obvious weak points. Career Mode is also about building long-term success with a club, so many of the veteran players may help you in the first season or two, but will need replacing sooner rather than later.
Goal takes a look at who you should buy in FIFA 18's Career Mode as Manchester United manager.
Best Goalkeepers for Man Utd in FIFA 18
In FIFA 18, Manchester United's highest rated player is 26-year-old goalkeeper David de Gea. He is contracted to the club for the first two seasons of Career Mode, so tying the Spanish shot-stopper down to a longer contract is probably one of the first things to do when you take over at Old Trafford.
Only one goalkeeper has a higher rating that De Gea at the start of the game, but at 31-years-old, Manuel Neuer has reached his potential with Bayern Munich. Only Jan Oblak, and Gianluigi Donnarumma have a potential rating as good as De Gea's 93 score.
For long-term games, Donnarumma is an excellent signing, with the AC Milan goalkeeper valued at €27 million at the start of the game. United are given almost €150m to spend on new players, so can buy a world class back-up and still have change left over.
Toulouse's young goalkeeper Adrian Lafont has a rating of 77 at the beginning of the game, but can reach as high as 89 overall, and is valued at around €11.5m. Similarly, Lazio's Albania international Thomas Strakosha is also a great long-term signing for a similar amount with an 87 potential rating.
United's current substitute goalkeeper Sergio Romero has reached his potential of 81, while Joel Pereira has room to grow from his 71 score, but will never progress past 84 overall. Sam Johnstone and Dean Henderson are out on loan, but also are not long-term replacements for De Gea.
Best Defenders for Man Utd in FIFA 18
Manchester United's biggest problem area in FIFA 18 is their entire defence. They have some solid players in their back-four as well as a number of decent back-ups, but none of them are truly world-class defenders.
English centre-back pairing Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are almost as good as they'll ever get, despite both players being in their mid-20s. Eric Bailly has a higher overall rating than both at 84, and also can develop into an 89 centre-back. Finding a proper partner for Bailly is also crucial to ensuring long-term success with the Red Devils.
Many of the world's best defenders are already into or past their prime, meaning that it is worthwhile looking at some younger prospects such as Ajax's Matthijs de Ligt (76 -> 89) or PSG's Marquinhos, who will slot in straight away with an 84 rating and can potentially climb to 89 overall. Niklas Sule, Andreas Christensen and Jesus Vallejo are the best centre-backs age 21 or under, but are all new arrivals at their club and cannot by bought during the first transfer window.
|Matthijs de Ligt||CB||76||89|
|Stefan de Vrij||CB||83||88|
|David Alaba||LB, CB, CM||86||88|
|Joshua Kimmich||RB, CM, CB, CDM||83||88|
|Lucas Hernandez||CB, LB||77||88|
|Alex Sandro||LB, LM||86||87|
Left-back also needs improving immediately. Ashley Young is 31-years-old and lacks pace, while Luke Shaw is marginally better but can only reach 83 overall. Matteo Darmian will never get any better despite being 27-years-old, and Daley Blind is versatile but also is near his maximum score.
David Alaba and Cesar Azpilicueta will both cost more than €40m, but will each become the best left-backs in the game. At the start of FIFA 18, they are also far better than any defender at United, and can play in a number of positions including centre-back. Benfica's Grimaldo and Atletico Madrid's Lucas Hernandez are younger and cheaper but are long-term solutions and might not get into the starting XI in the first season.
Antonio Valencia is an excellent right-back, but will only last you a few seasons before retiring. Axel Tuanzebe has a potential rating of 84 so can become his successor at Old Trafford if developed correctly. Similarly, Timothy Fosu-Mensah is out on loan at Crystal Palace, but can eventually become an 83-rated right-back.
Real Sociedad's Odriozola is 78 rated to begin with, but can reach 88 overall and is valued at just €14.5m. Joshua Kimmich is twice that price, but the Bayern Munich star can slot in immediately and is also a very solid centre-midfielder or defensive midfielder.
Best Midfielders for Man Utd in FIFA 18
Manchester United are well stocked in the centre of the park, with record signing Paul Pogba potentially going from 87 to 92 overall. Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata have reached their potential, but are excellent centre-midfielders.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is in the United reserves, but is the highest rated attacking midfielder at 85, and should be promoted into the first-team in place of Jesse Lingard, whose FIFA 18 rating does not yet reflect his real-life form. Andreas Pereira is out on loan at Valencia, but can become the club's second best midfielder after Pogba, with Angel Gomes also having excellent potential.
|Yannick Carrasco||LM, RM||85||90|
|Saul||CM, RM, LM||82||90|
|Marco Verratti||CM, CDM||87||90|
|Youri Tielemans||CM, CAM||79||89|
|Christian Pulisic||RW, LW, RM||79||89|
|Ezequiel Barco||LM, CM, CAM||74||89|
|Dani Ceballos||CM, LM, CDM, CAM||78||88|
Money would be better spent elsewhere, with Gomes and Pereira also capable of playing on the left-side of the pitch, while Marcus Rashford is likely to become an 89 rated player capable of playing on both sides as well as up front. Someone like Thomas Lemar (83 -> 90) or Yannick Carrasco (85 -> 90) are excellent upgrades for left midfield, but will have to compete with Anthony Martial.
United's options at right-midfield or right-wing are less than impressive, with Mkhitaryan and Lingard the best options, but they may be used elsewhere. Gareth Bale has been linked with a move to Old Trafford in real life, but has reached his potential in FIFA 18 at 89 overall.
Ousmane Dembele will become one of the greatest players in the game, but could be hard to pry away from Barcelona after only signing in the summer.
Best Forwards for Man Utd in FIFA 18
Manchester United's summer signing of Romelu Lukaku ensures they have the perfect lone frontman in FIFA 18.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still a quality forward but lacks the stamina to play 90 minutes every game and is nearing the end of his career at 35-years-old.
|Player||Position||Current Overall||Potential Overall|
|Keita Balde Diao||ST||82||90|
James Wilson only has a potential rating of 76, so is not worth hanging onto. Lukaku will be United's long-term striker, but if you wish to play two up front, he will need a strong partner.
Gabriel Jesus and Kylian Mbappe will be difficult to sign, but Harry Kane could be available at the right price.
Mauro Icardi and Keita Balde Diao can both reach 90 overall, which is the same potential as Lukaku. Hamburg teenager Jann-Fiete Arp is currently rated just 69, but can improve by 20 points to become an elite striker.