We all have a tendency to develop somewhat of a love affair with our most successful players on Football Manager, well I do, and I certainly hope I’m not the only one.
From the days of Cherno Samba and Freddy Adu to Your Tielemans and Gabriel Barbosa, the cult heroes of Football Manager have become icons in their own rights, but it is often players who have more of a personal resonance with you that mean more.
Zach Clough has been exactly that for me and the Bolton youngster has proved to be a class act on numerous saves across FM15 and FM14 for me. Unfortunately, young Zachary doesn’t have quite the impact on the game as his name-sake, Brian, but you can have your hands on an utterly wonderful little talent if you can develop him correctly.
As ever, Clough is one that you should see as a key member of the England squad within a few seasons and he is most comparable to your very own English Messi. On my current save, Clough is assisting and scoring at a mouth-watering rate and has been creating chances for Saido Berahino to benefit from along side him.
The tricky thing you may find with Clough is how to fit him in.
Naturally, someone so suited to playing a false nine would want to have inside forwards running off of him, but I have always found that Clough is best as playing with another striker alongside him who he can slot through and use as a decoy when in the final third. In my current partnership, Clough is dropping off to accompany the 10 as a secondary playmaker whilst Berahino stretches the defensive line and only looks to contribute with the tap ins.
The relationship that you build with a player who has been such an overwhelming success, as in my current save, is one that you cannot begin to put in to words to non-FM fanatics. The genuine horror when one of your most loved FM stars is seen to be dropping in form or, god forbid, is hit with a long-term injury, is an emotion that I should probably not be opening up about over a simulation game on my laptop.
Once you’ve found Clough’s little pocket to play in your side, be prepared to begin your love affair. As he rockets up through the assist table and creates chances like a fully-firing Mesut Ozil, Clough will become a key component in your side and you might struggle to resist the urge to sign him on every single career you play. We’ve all had our favourites who you can’t help but signing and I can assure you that you don’t want to get hooked on the drug of Zach Clough as your false nine.
I’ve experimented with my dearly beloved Bolton man in other roles and it caused fractures in our brief love affair. Pop him in as an advanced forward and he will be mediocre, he can operate as a ten, but its not really worth it, so once he’s held the false nine role he is instilled as my hero on my save and an icon at my club.
Just to let you know, this isn’t a one-sided love affair, Cloughy as me listed as one of his favoured personnel as well.
Featured image: All rights reserved by dan.westwell