When Spain won the European Championship in 2012, they had to do it without star striker David Villa – who was injured – and despite still having Fernando Torres, Alvaro Negredo, and Fernando Llorente, they went into the final without a recognised striker. In the final, a group stage game, and the quarter-finals, Spain opted to play without a striker and instead have Cesc Fabregas up top, presumably to aid in their over-the-top possession game.
Particularly in the final, Spain were hailed for the successful use of their ‘false nine’ formation, but Fabregas’ play didn’t mimic that of a man atop this setup. Instead of dropping deeper, the then Barcelona midfielder played very high up, darting around the Italian defence.
Fabregas effectively transformed himself from a central midfielder into more of a striker, very similar to that of the Football Manager role of the trequartista.
The trequartista is a favourite for use in a strikerless formation, as the player is allowed to exploit the pockets created, often bringing about goals. The role is quite gung-ho, involves very little defensive responsibility, and thus keeps the player ready to attack.
Troubling ‘Trequartista’ Situation on FM
Coming into Football Manager 17, there aren’t very many natural, 10/10 trequartistas to pick. When it comes to key attributes in the role – finishing, first touch, passing, technique, anticipation, composure, decisions, flair, off the ball, vision, ability – very few natural trequartistas hit 13 or above ratings in all areas.
So, maybe it’s best to take on a player who already possesses the right skills for the role and train them into it. Here are some of the best players with which to do so.
Top ‘Trequartistas’ in FM
Marek Hamsik – Napoli
Starting off in Napoli, Marek Hamsik is a great option. The Slovakian attacking midfielder hits or excels 14s in the key attributes and moves into channels – a key preference for a trequartista. He’s an 8/10 for the role and excels in the attributes department.
Despite Napoli coming third in Serie A and Juventus winning the league six years on the trot, they have a very good squad and will demand a king’s ransom for Hamsik. However, they are unlikely to win Serie A next season either. In the football betting, Napoli are 5/1 to win Serie A, so do Hamsik – a player of tremendous ability – a favour and bring him into your squad, train him to be a trequartista, and win your league; he deserves it.
Marek Hamsik is a driving midfielder, energetic and creative. Although he does not thrive as a natural goalscorer, he certainly is capable of scoring a fair few goals. His positioning and timing often bring him in finishing positions and he will contribute to the team’s cause with goals and assists. Unlike many trequartista’s, Hamsik is not a selfish player.
Alex Teixeira – Jiangsu
Another good choice for the role is Alex Teixeira, who has been a part of the Chinese Super League revolution – moving to Jiangsu for an inordinate fee of £42.50 million. Like Hamsik, he’s a natural attacking midfielder and excels in the key trequartista attributes. On top of that, he runs the channels and tries killer balls often, making him a great choice for remoulding.
Texeira was identified as a special talent from a very early age at the Rio de Janeiro club. By the time he was 14 Teixeira had represented every age group at youth level, including a number of appearances for the Under-18s.
When the Brazilian reached the age of 18, reports had reached England that a wonderkid with quick feet, and a maturity beyond his years was drawing a growing crowd of admirers from across Europe’s top leagues. He eventually joined Shakthar Donetsk but continued to attract attention from some of Europe’s finest. A transfer to one of Europe’s top clubs never materialised and he moved to China.
In FM, this diminutive play-maker is comfortable in any attacking position, leading the line upfront or, or just behind the main striker on any side of the attacking three. He is fast, dribbles very well, has decent vision, really good finishing ability, can hold up the ball well and finds space extremely well. The only downside would be the fact that he is very expensive.
Antoine Griezmann – Atlético Madrid
Finally, a player who has the world at his feet, Antoine Griezmann is not only a natural attacking midfielder, but he’s also very close to being a trequartista at 8/10. His ratings in the key attributes and many others make him a hot property in Football Manager 17, and he likes to run with the ball through the centre as well as move in channels.
He is very technically sound, with panache and a lightness of touch that is both elegant and nifty, though can veer towards lightweight at times. Super quick, a bundle of energy and a real threat in wide areas (he would suit a counter-attacking style team perfectly) Griezmann is also very dangerous in front of goal. His left foot has laser-like precision, he’s tricky, direct, vivacious and, for such a slight lad, pretty good in the air too.