So, guys, I need your advice. I am currently starting to wrap up the Hinrunde of my 2nd season and I was just hit with a 3 month-long injury to Ribery. My current cover for that position is Alaba and I do not want him playing 2 games a week 3 months straight at his age (could screw up his development). So I decided that I will make a big-money move for a world class player in the winter for once. I have 10 million in the bank and 20 million (hopefully) coming from the sale of Alderweireld. That's 30 million I can play up front, and around 10 more that I feel good about paying in installments about (sold Gustavo for 20 in installments and bought Nainggolan for 10 in installments in the summer, so I don't want to break that balance). Basically I have 40 million euros for a big purchase. The player needs to be able to play on the left flank and, very importantly, be a long-term option for either CAM or ST. I narrowed my options down to five candidates, with positives and negatives about them. You help me decide.Right-click and "View image" to see the whole picture.
* Definitely the best player available.
* Natural striker, so able to provide much needed competition to Gomez.
* Good with both feet, which is an extremely valuable trait.
* 45 million as his release clause is a sum that I am willing to pay, but really do want to avoid. Especially considering that...
* ... he also has the biggest wage demands. In all likelihood I'd have to make him a Key Player to even get him aboard, and would need to offload Ribery in the summer to balance out the wage budget.
* Not proficient enough at LW to play there regularly, instead he'd enable Müller or someone else to play there, which isn't exactly the best option.
* The kind of playmaker that my team is frankly lacking.
* Natural in the LW and CAM roles, which solves a long-term problem very well, also fairly competent in the ST and LM positions, giving me a lot of versatility.
* Has European citizenship which helps in cup competitions.
* 40 million as his asking price is better than Agüero's price, but still a lot.
* Wage demands are still pretty big and would require a Key Player spot.
* Not a natural winger a la Robbery, which might create me problems when playing against certain sides.
* Natural LW and CAM.
* Still quite a bit potential to grow into.
* Absolutely superb technical qualities.
* Probably demands smaller wages, perhaps I could even get away with offering him a First Team as opposed to a Key Player role.
* European citizenship.
* Low determination is an automatic turnoff, especially since he's too old to be tutored.
* Asking price of 40 million.
* Too specialized as a dribbler, meaning that he is awful defensively and poor at finishing, leaving me with little room to improvise and doesn't fit in my quasi-Total Football style of play.
* Absolutely insane pace, which is basically the most important stat in FM.
* Seems to have the work rate and stamina to keep up with my high-pressing style of play.
* Would demand a low wage, perhaps would even be content with a Rotation slot and a not a First Team place.
* Has a fair amount of future potential still left in him.
* 35 million seems like quite a lot for a player who is not as good as the first three.
* Not a natural LW, so he'd have to be retrained for the role, which rules out one of the reasons to buy a player anyway.
* Lack of good Preferred Moves.
* Young and has a whole lot of potential left in him.
* Costs only 24 million, an amount that I could pay straight up front and have a little bit left for other purchases.
* Also a tiny wage that I can easily fit into my wage structure.
* European citizenship.
* Currently a long way off the caliber of the other four despite his huge potential. In fact I don't think he is better than Alaba at the moment.
* Strictly left-footed, which I'm not a big fan of.
* No other natural position except LW which is a problem for team versatility.
So, guys, what do you think? I'm basically torn between Agüero and Mata, willing to pay the huge amount of money for a top class player. If Agüero could play as LW, I'd choose him automatically. On the other hand, if Mata was better with his weaker right foot, he'd have the edge.