Transfer Listed: Or Why I Can’t Resist Stephen Quinn

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Though we can all agree that value for money in Football Manager is an essential driver of a smart transfer policy, the lure of the transfer listed section can be too tempting to resist. Here is George’s ode to the money he has mis-spent through the ages.

Stephen Quinn is a diminutive ginger temptress, dressed in orange and black stripes. Or at least he is to me when he’s put on the transfer list by Hull, even though he’s way below the standard of my QPR side.

But that doesn’t stop me spending money on him – oh no! With money left in the transfer kitty and an attractive red stripe slashed across his price tag, I can’t help myself as I dip into the market to buy a pint size left winger/central playmaker who I don’t need and who is, to be brutally honest, rubbish.

In fact, despite the promise I made to myself to take fiscal responsibility seriously on behalf of Mr T Fernandes (a process that sees Barton, Faurlin, SWP, Zamora, Dunne, Ferdinand, Green and Taarabt all leave within 12 months of me joining the club), I still end up splurging money on a player who has no role in the team and who I move on a year later.

And the thing that worries me is that this happens to me every single year with every single career I embark on in Football Manager. Every time I get given transfer money, I buy some idiot from the transfer listed section and end up feeling guilty as I dump him into the reserves within a matter of matches.

Sebastian Giovinco, the pint sized creator previously of Juventus, rocked up excitedly at Old Trafford under my watch and was then dumped at Everton a mere 6 months later. Andy Lonergan spent a decent 4 months in a Wolves first team I had in FM 2014 before suffering the humiliation of being sold to Crawley. And don’t get me started on the time I signed a washed up Mahamdou Diarra for Burnley – sheesh.

Yet I always come back for more. Like an agitated weirdo standing outside of a Black Friday sale, I can’t resist the temptation to dive in through the transfer listed doors in the hope of getting the footballing equivalent of a 32 inch smart telly. And the reason why this happens is simple: I am a weak willed and useless human being.

Engaging full cognitive dissonance and reassuring myself that the impact a transfer listed Jimmy Briand had on an Ajax side of yore means the transfer bargain bin is 100% effective, I dive headfirst into a fight I almost always lose. Convincing myself that the pretensions I have about adhering to Moneyball principles and engaging a long term strategy are true, the lure of the bargain draws me in and (nine times out of ten) nicks my wallet before dumping me in a side street. Confused. Hurt.

Simply put, I can’t ever stop thinking that there is a cheap player out there who will transform my side – even when I’m managing one of the greats. While once I could resist a cut price Djimi Traore, now I am fully addicted to buying players on the cheap. Gambling away my transfer income on what is little more than an international lottery of About Diabys, I realise I have become the in game equivalent of what I have most feared in my life: Harry Redknapp

So, dear reader, I am drawing a line in the sand. From this moment on, I shall not aimlessly enter the transfer market like a small boy walking into Woolworths with a dangerous pic ‘n mix addiction. I shall scout hard, find the perfect players to supplement my team and build a side without allowing the temptations of any of those cut price people to cloud my judgement.

And I will start that right now…after I’ve nicked Carl Jenkinson off Arsenal for only £1.5m. He’s perfect for the Barcelona first team, isn’t he guys?