Football Manager 2013 has been released today, and as usual the fans are rushing to find the best bargain players to fill out the ranks of their favourite team. Luckily for you I've had my hands on the review code for a few days now, and I've been able to track down some of the top cheap players for you to keep an eye on. Unluckily for me I won't be able to use any of them, as my beloved Aston Villa have started the season with a transfer budget of sod all. Looks like it's all loans for the villains this year.
Alan Dzagoev - AMC
Anyone who watched Russia's 4-1 demolition of the Czech Republic back during Euro 2012 will remember Dzagoev. Russia's star playmaker was at the heart of the fantastic fast paced passing football they played that day. Russia may have disintegrated after that performance, but that hasn't stopped Dzagoev from maturing into one of Russian football's biggest stars, and in FM13, you can get him for nothing. When the game begins Dzagoev has only six months left on his contract, offer him a good deal and his services will be yours come January. The more impatient can get him right away for a mere £4 million, still a great bargain.
Craig Gordon - GK
Oh how Craig Gordon's star has fallen. Once the most expensive goalkeeper in England, the Scottish keeper's perpetual knee problems have seen him fall out of favour before ignomoniously being released on a free. Despite all this, he remains a solid and reliable player, so long as he stays fit, and for the grand price of £0, a great bargain.
Maor Melikson - AMRLC
This exuberant Israeli is capable of playing all across the midfield, using his prodigious dribbling skills to strike at the opposition from left, right and centre. Melikson is one of those great improvisers, all flair and technique, capable of creating a goal from nothing. Beware his poor stamina and work-rate however, which could see him fade away if the game starts going against him.
Libor Kozak - ST
Some footballers are subtle, intelligent, masters of passing and control. Libor Kozak is not that kind of player, he's the other kind, the six foot four behemoth whose game revolves around strength, size and determination. Kozak is out of favour at Lazio and transfer listed, meaning you can pick up the perfect target man for the budget price of £1.7 million.