With the game now released – many people are ready for another year of procrastination, pain and sporadic doses of pleasure – the attention will turn to how players are rated. Like them or loathe them, the ratings require a great deal of studying and deliberation to create the greatest football management simulation on the planet. And going by the judgement of assistant manager Ruben Cousillas, here are the highest rated Manchester City players in the game...
Yaya Toure (Central Midfield) – Four and a half Star Rating
Notable attributes: Work Rate 18, Balance 18, Strength 18, Passing 17, Stamina 17
Toure is the driving force of the City midfield in real life, and it's the same case in Football manager, with high ratings in strength, stamina and work rate. Toure can play throughout the spine of the time, from central defense to attacking midfield, but anyone playing as Manchester City will likely use him either in central midfield of in a holding role in front of the defence.
David Silva (Attacking Midfield) – Four Star Rating
Notable attributes: First Touch 19, Technique 19, Creativity 18, Flair 18, Dribbling 18
Silva has established himself as one of the finest playmakers in British and World football, and is represented as such in football manager. With incredibly high ratings for the his technical ability, Silva will be a primary creator in the City midfield and his ability to play on both sides – as well as in the middle – will allow some tactical versatility.
Sergio Aguero (Striker) – Four Star Rating
Notable attributes: Flair 19, Agility 19, Dribbling 18, Technique 18, Acceleration 18
Aguero is one of the top strikers in the Premier League, and is by far City's best striker on Football Manager. Edin Dzeko, Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic are all rated at two and a half stars, which is some way behind Aguero, so finding the perfect partner for the Argentine may be a process of rotation. With high finishing and long shots, expect Aguero to be in the goals should you play as City.
Vincent Kompany (Central defender) – Three and a half Star Rating
Notable attributes: Heading 18, Tackling 18, Bravery 18, Leadership 18, Positioning 18
Kompany is the best City defender, though Matija Nastasic has the potential to be just as good, if not better. With high attributes in bravery, leadership and positioning, Kompany is the undoubted leader of the team and the best candidate to be team captain. At just 27 years old, Kompany should be the lynchpin of the City defence for years to come.
Jesus Navas (Right Winger) – Three Star Rating
Notable attributes: Acceleration 19, Dribbling 17, Agility 17, Pace 17, Technique 16
Navas is the only one of Manuel Pellegrini's summer signings to make the top five, but is the third midfielder, making it the strongest position on the team. With his pace and dribbling, Navas will be one of the top wingers in the Premier League on Football Manager 2014, and should be the primary supply source for the strikers.