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Football Manager 2021's big winter update has arrived

Lampard out.

Football Manager 2021's Main Winter Update is here, bringing the usual mid-season changes to player and staff attributes, updated squads after the main January transfer windows, and a cluster of smaller improvements under the hood.

The headline of course is the squad and attributes update, which shifts any players that might have made the switch since the game launched in November 2020 to their new clubs, plus new staff, too. That means exciting youngster Amad Diallo is now in the Manchester United squad, for instance, after his January arival from Atalanta, and latest guy-to-be-sacked-in-18-months Tomas Tuchel now in charge at Chelsea, replacing "Super" Frank Lampard.

Attribute updates - as in, changes to how good a player's individual attributes are - are always fairly low-key in the winter update, but Sports Interactive reckons there's been a whopping 3.7 million changes to the database this year, and there are always a few notable ones for breakout stars. Bundesliga wunderkind Youssufa Moukoko, for instance, who suddenly broke into the Borussia Dortmund first team this year when he was just 15, is now very much a wonderkid by FM 21's standards, too.

Cover image for YouTube videoFootball Manager 2021 | New Headline Features

The gameplay changes are small but welcome - there's now a bit more detail on assists, as well as goals, in the in-game engine's captions when someone scores for instance - but nothing large scale. We'll have to wait a bit longer for Overlapping Centre-Backs, as expected (although Sheffield United's struggles this season might make those feel a little less relevant come FM22).

There's also another winter update to come later in March, bringing changes from the Chinese Leagues, Russian Leagues, MLS, and EFL free transfers, as those are confirmed a little later than the majority of other transfers.

Here's a quick summary of the key updates, via the FM blog. You can view a full breakdown here on the Sports Interactive forums. Don't forget you can browse our list of the best FM21 wonderkids too if you're keen to track a few more future stars down.

  • Number of stability fixes and improvements
  • Further improvements to total player count and number of newgens generated in youth intakes
  • Re-enabled option to ask board for Reserve/U23 team
  • Improvements to staff given non-playing staff appointment responsibilities
  • Further balancing of player ratings across both full and quick match engines
  • Number of improvements and fixes to match stats, including key tackles, clear-cut chances and interceptions
  • Improved goalkeeper distribution when set tactically via instructions
  • Added assist details to the goal caption in matches