As Football Manager 2021 takes the summer window into account when giving teams transfer budgets, most clubs don’t start with much cash. This is especially true if you choose to take on a Championship club budget, or any other side outside of the top tiers.
So, if you’re nearing the end of your transfer budget or simply don’t have much to use from the start, you’ll want to sign one of FM 21’s best-rated cheap players or one of the top free agents.
On this page, you’ll find some of FM 21’s cheap strikers to sign to your club, offering decent ability and goals in exchange for a low transfer fee and wages.
Finding the cheap strikers of FM 21 worth signing
The value and asking price of players in Football Manager 2021 are swayed by several mechanics, including the player’s team status, the level they’re playing at, the club enquiring, the player’s ability, and their age. As such, encountering a cheap striker that’s worth signing can be tricky.
To narrow down to the FM 21 cheap strikers worthy buying, this selection is only made up of players available at the start of the game – so, it doesn’t include on-loan players or recent signings. Instead, all cheap strikers on this list have a current ability (CA) of at least 125 CA, wages below £15,000 per week, are at least an 18-rated striker, and can be signed for not more than £4 million.
As a way of giving some perspective to the lowest CA-rated players in this list of cheap strikers, we’ve found some strikers who commence FM 21 with an exact 125 CA. All of the forwards here have the same or a greater CA rating than Watford’s Andre Gray and João Pedro, Colombian sharpshooter Radamel Falcao, and the highly-rated former Liverpool prospect Rhian Brewster.
On this page, the cheap strikers of FM 21 are ranked by their CA, with a full list of cheap STs to sign to your club at the bottom of the article. As everyone’s experience of the game is different, we’ve attempted to close in on players who will be cheap and meet our criteria for most managers.
Juan David Pérez (129 CA, £700k-£975k)
Team: América de Cali
Transfer Cost: £700,000 to £975,000
Best Attributes: 15 Aggression, 14 Flair, 14 Pace
Juan David Pérez has played for nine different clubs in his decade-long professional career, moving across Colombia, to Mexico, and back again. His most recent switch came on the first day of 2020, transferring from CF Pachuca to CD América de Cali having just finished a loan spell to a different Colombian club, Millonarios.
Now 29-years-old, his opening spell with América de Cali saw Pérez deployed across the frontline. Used mostly as a substitute, and averaging around 42 minutes per game in 15 appearances, the Colombian was held to one goal. With game time, the Montelíbano-native could turn into a reliable scorer, seeing as his best spell came in his 18 months leading to July 2018 with Celaya FC, which saw in 15 goals in 53 games.
Pérez is somewhat of a hidden gem in FM 21, as well as a top cheap striker to sign. His 129 CA stands him among the best of these low-cost goalscorers, but his 145 PA could send his value far above the mere £700,000 to £975,000 estimated cost. Furthermore, his wage demands are expected to max out at around £14,000 per week.
Capable of playing to the best of his ability at AML, AMR, or ST, Pérez’s attributes make him a well-balanced forward. His 14 pace, 14 acceleration, 14 flair, 15 aggression, 13 dribbling, and 13 finishing make him a dangerous attacker around the goal, but more can be done to develop the Colombian into a potent goalscorer.
Dentinho (129 CA, £210k-£300k)
Team: Shakhtar Donetsk
Transfer Cost: £210,000 to £300,000
Best Attributes: 17 Technique, 16 Flair, 16 Penalty Taking
Born in São Paulo, Dentinho made the prized move to Europe via the well-trodden path of a transfer to Shakhtar Donetsk in 2011. Signing for the Ukrainian club for £6.75 million from Corinthians, the striker was used fleetingly through 18 months at the club, and so, he was sent on-loan to Besiktas.
An injury derailed Dentinho’s short spell in the Turkish Süper Lig early, with the loan not helping him to earn a place in his parent club’s matchday squad. Playing in the middle of the park and on either wing for the next few seasons, the Brazilian struggled to breakthrough until the 2016/17 season. Finding the back of the net six times in 33 games, he established himself as a form of utility attacker, and has now eclipsed 175 games, 25 goals, and ten assists for the club.
He comes into the PC game as one of FM 21’s cheap strikers to sign, starting with a decent 129 CA for Dentinho’s £210,000 to £300,000 estimated cost. While he hasn’t got much room to grow, the staring attributes of the striker do make him a useful player to have at your team’s disposal.
Headlined by 16 flair, 17 technique, 16 penalty taking, 15 first touch, 14 finishing, 15 dribbling, 14 acceleration, and 15 pace, you certainly get good value for your money if you sign this cheap striker. Shakhtar’s bit-part player also won’t have much of an impact on your wage bill, either, asking for up to around £7,500 per week.
Jorge Aguirre (128 CA, £22k-£30k)
Transfer Cost: £22,000 to £30,000
Best Attributes: 14 Dribbling, 14 Stamina, 14 Off the Ball
Jorge Aguirre commenced his professional career way back in 2004, being promoted from Envigado’s youth teams to the first-team. From there commenced a long career in the professional ranks of Colombian football, playing for Envigado, Leones FC, Rionegro Áquilas, Junior FC, Independiente Santa Fe, Atlético Huila, and Atlético Bucaramanga.
At the start of 2020, the 5’5’’ forward returned to the club that gave him his first career start, Envigado, adding another 15 games and one assist to his record last season. Aguirre’s best scoring record for a team came as a part of the Junior FC squad, from 2014 to 2018, which saw him net ten goals and tee-up eight more in 55 appearances.
Clocking in with £1,600 current wages and a 128 CA, Aguirre’s £30,000 maximum transfer fee looks like a bargain – even among these cheap strikers in FM 21. However, at 33-years-old, the versatile Colombian forward won’t be able to maintain that CA rating for long, despite his 130 PA.
While he does boast 13 finishing, 13 penalty taking, 14 flair, 14 off the ball, 13 acceleration, and 13 pace, the spread of his attribute ratings would see Aguirre lean towards being more of a winger than a striker. This is supported by his 14 dribbling, 14 stamina, 12 crossing, 12 teamwork, and 12 vision.
Artem Gromov (128 CA, £1.9m-£2.8m)
Team: Zorya Luhansk
Value: £2 million
Transfer Cost: £1.9 million to £2.8 million
Best Attributes: 17 Aggression, 15 Finishing, 15 Natural Fitness
Having made his way through the Vorskla Poltava ranks before his 20th birthday, Artem Gromov was initially eased into the team, being given mere cameos at the end of the 2009/10 season. In the following campaign, however, he was given a lot more game time on the right and left wing, tallying 27 appearances and an assist in his breakthrough season.
Gromov was invited to the Ukrainian national team by Mykhaylo Fomenko in September 2014, aged 24-years-old. He featured in both games of this initial call-up, which was earned by his six-goal, four-assist showing in the season before. A couple of years after his international debut, Gromov was signed by Dynamo Kyiv, but shifted to Russia’s Krylya Sovetov Samara and then Zorya Lugansk in the space of 13 months. Playing on the left wing and as the striker this season, he’s already notched five goals in 14 games, including a goal in the Europa League.
Capable of playing in the AML, AMC, or ST role on FM 21, this cheap striker could prove to be a reliable goalscorer if played upfront. The Ukrainian’s 15 finishing, 17 aggression, 14 pace, and 13 acceleration alone make his low transfer demand and relatively cheap wage demands seem like a bargain if given the right tactical support from savvy playmakers.
Among the more expensive of these cheap FM 21 strikers, Gromov more than warrants his £1.9 million to £2.8 million estimated cost, as well as his meagre wage demands of up to £9,750 per week. However, given that he’s already 30-years-old and, despite his positional flexibility, is a very one-dimensional player, a short-term deal would be optimal.
Javi Puado (127 CA, £3.6 million)
Transfer Cost: £3.6 million, plus add-ons
Best Attributes: 16 Off the Ball, 15 Agility, 15 Acceleration
Born in Barcelona, Javi Puado found himself joining the youth set-up of local La Liga outfit RCD Espanyol, with it taking him just two years to break into the senior ranks of the reserve team in 2016. In the 2018/19 season opener, as a 20-year-old, the young forward was given his La Liga debut for Espanyol, going on to feature in 15 league games on either wing.
Used sparingly around an ankle injury by Espanyol in the early stages of 2019/20, Puado was sent out on-loan to La Liga 2 side Real Zaragoza. While his parent club unsuccessfully battled against relegation, the loanee fired for five goals and five assists for Los Maños. Back with Periquitos in the second tier of Spanish football, the local lad is gradually securing a starting XI place, netting five goals and four assists through his first 20 appearances of the 2020/21 campaign.
This cheap FM 21 striker is quite a novelty amongst the highest CA players on this list for one main reason: his age. Puado is only 22-years-old at the start of the game, boasting a decent 142 PA to grow into from his starting 127 CA. Scouts report that the Spaniard would cost between £3.9 million and £5.75 million, but by accepting the so-so additional terms, you can land him for around £3.6 million.
The one key area in which the cheap striker is a bit lacking is his 13 finishing. However, given his age and PA, the right training programme can quickly scale up this essential attribute. In the meantime, Puado will be able to create himself plenty of opportunities thanks to his 13 dribbling, 14 technique, 16 off the ball, 15 acceleration, 15 agility, 14 pace, and 14 composure.
All the cheap strikers of FM 21 to sign
There are plenty of strikers that you can target with low transfer fees, low wage demands, but a decent CA rating. Find the table of all of our cheap strikers in FM 21 to sign below, none of whom will cost you more than £4 million to sign.
|Juan David Pérez||29||£700k-£975k||£4,900||129||145||América de Cali|
|Artem Gromov||30||£1.9m-£2.8m||£1,552||128||128||Zorya Luhansk|
|Javi Puado||22||£3.6m, add-ons||£5,500||127||142||Espanyol|
|Henry Martín||27||£900k-£1.2m||£8,250||127||132||CF América|
|Branimir Hrgota||27||£1 million||£7,010||127||132||SpVgg Greuther Fürth|
|Michael Rangel||29||£800k-£1.1m||£5,500||127||130||CD Popular Junior|
|Håvard Nielsen||27||£235k-£325k||£5,608||127||129||SpVgg Greuther Fürth|
|Cristian Martínez Borja||32||£500,000||£3,900||126||137||LDU Quito|
|Mauro Quiroga||30||£3 million||£6,250||126||131||Atlético San Luis (CF Pachuca)|
|Carlos Peralta||30||£38.5k-£54k||£800||126||129||La Equidad|
|Emanuel Herrera||33||£120k-£170k||£1,200||126||128||Cristal SA|
|Maximiliano Salas||22||£2.4m-£3.3m||£7,500||125||143||CD Necaxa|
|Fernando Aristeguieta||28||£1.7 million||£4,700||125||132||Mazatlán|
|Feiver Mercado||30||£95k-£130k||£3,400||125||130||AD Pasto|
|Bernardo Cuesta||31||£60,000||£250||125||125||Puebla de la Franja|
|Fabian Klos||32||£825k-£1.2m||£7,005||125||125||Arminia Bielefeld|
|Pablo Vegetti||31||£4m, replacement needed||£6,500||125||125||Club Atlético Belgrano|
Whether you need a cheap forward to boost your promotion bid or one to work as a low-cost investment, see if any of the FM 21 cheap strikers above suit your needs.