Finding Lothar – Ten Years After, Part I

Now it´s time to take the hat off and truthfully evaluate my skills as a clairvoyant. It has been 10 years since we looked at the players I chose to push for the next Matthaus and now it is time to have a look, what have those 10  hopeful achieved in the world of Football manager during that time. I have to admit that some of my choices proved out to be very good and somewhat accurate, some were a bit off, ok maybe not just a bit and there were some surprises I didn´t  anticipate at all. Like I wrote in the previous post, these were my choices to compete for the spot and I did leave out players that maybe had a bit more clear path to greatness but one can hope right?? I´ll drop these players in the same order they were introduced in the original post and I am well aware, as should you that while simulating some of the advances of not having a non-ai manager might affect the final outcome. 

#10 Atakan Akkaynak (PSG)

So our buddy from Leverkusen has progressed to the PSG. He made a couple of stops along the way however.

Still on his way at the age of 27, he has already seen clubs like FB Red Bull Salzburg,  Wolfsburg(both loan deals from Leverkusen) and Hoffenheim on his way towards the very top of European football. What actually amazes me is the fact that Leverkusen didn´t find him any suitable role in their team over the course of 6 seasons before eventually selling him to the achtzehn99. The fee was a very modest 11.75 million €. Attaynak wore the white and blue jersey for 109 matches, scoring 13 times, having 21 passes, posting a 7.26 average rating over the course of 4 seasons in Hoffenheim. Being their captain he also became Hoffenheim´s record sale when PSG greeted them with a whopping 43 million € offer in January 2024. So far he has played 72 games for PSG scoring 7 goals, dishing out 10 assists and posting 7.14 average rating in two and half seasons with the Frech giant. Overall he has played 238 matches, scoring 23, having 36 assists and 7.18 average rating.

Akkaynak has managed to bring in some silverware also. He has won the Ligue 1 and Coupe de France twice. I don´t think if we would progress this save, those would be the last before the end of his career.

At the start of my simulation, Akkaynak was a german national but eventually chose Turkey for his national side. He has scored for Turkey 8 times in 39 appearances.

If having plans of getting Akkaynak, be prepared to pay since Leverkusen seems to value him at the start of any save. If you wait a couple of seasons he might be a bargain that point.

As we can see he is a very good player but could he be the next Lothar??? Maybe not entirely.

#9 Danilo Cataldi (Roma)

Danilo was one of the players I really thought would come through and challenge for the spot. He looked really good on paper when I started the save and for me he was destined to success on every level. Let´s see how it went.

In my save, Cataldi played one season for Lazio and was sold to Juventus in the summer window of 2017. What Juventus bought? The same thing I was looking for since Cataldi spelled promise all over at the start of this save. The sole Lazio season produced one goal and 6.58 average in 23 matches. He played for 3 matches with 6.45 average before he was offloaded to La Vecchia Signora for 17 million € at the start of 2017/18 season. Totalling 2 assists and 6.46 in 29 matches he was sold to Glasgow Celtic by measly 4.7 million €.  Actually, his time in Scotland proved out to be the best so far for him. Playing for a total of 33 matches for a little more than a season he posted 7.32 average with 2 goals and 7 assists.

Summer window came calling again on 2020/21 season and Cataldi shipped back to Rome to have a go on the other side of town with AS Roma. Celtic eventually got some profit since I Giallorossi paid 5.5 million € for Cataldi. I Lupi proved out to be the homestead for Cataldi and so far he has spent 6 seasons in the yellow and red outfit. So far he has scored 8 times, had 27 assists and has posted 6.79 overall average. So far the only accolades he has received is the UEFA Under-21 Championship from the summer he switched to Juventus.

Looking at the stats and attributes this guy has  I was actually surprised how uneventful career he has had and I refuse to believe he wouldn’t be a superstar in a human managed team. But for the purposes he had a poor race in this competition.

Also somewhat surprisingly he never wore the Azzurri jersey in his career so far.

#8 Fredrik Aursnes

This 20-year-old Norwegian showed promise and I thought him as more of a wildcard since he was already 20 and not too high on the physical side to be a real dominant force in the midfield.


After having a solid season in Molde he switched east to play for Malmö in Sweden. Proving out to be a star for Allsvenskan with 7.65 average in two seasons,  he was lured to Turkey to play in the Spor Toto Süper Lig with Başakşehir. Turkish side paid 2.5 million € in the 2018/19 summer to acquire his services. Aursnes spent 5 seasons in Başakşehir posting a 7.04 average during that time and scoring 13 goals and having 25 assists. This didn´t go unnoticed since Galatasaray moved in with 2.5 million to have him switch to Aslanlar. In his 3 seasons with them, he has posted a 6.79 average with 2 goals and 9 assists. Now the 30-year-old Norske looking to add to his 1 league and several cup titles in Turkey.

The National team has not found any use for Aursnes and he has been in exile for his whole career.

Obviously not a contender but maybe something to have a look if managing a lower echelon team in Europe.

On the next part, we go over some more players who I thought would compete to be the next Lothar.


Author: Rousty

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