Best Winger Traits in Football Manager

The position of the winger demands exceptional pace and acceleration to exploit the width of the pitch. 

Considered one of the most devastating tools of any attacking lineup, wingers are expected to possess specific traits to enhance their game. 

Winger traits in Football Managers can help the players improve their decision-making, movement, and execution. 

Depending on individual attributes and the team’s style of play, the recommended traits for wingers can vary from player to player.

That said, the best winger traits in Football Manager are: 

  1. Hugs Line
  2. Knocks Ball Past Opponent
  3. Runs with Ball Down Right/Left
  4. Gets Forward Whenever Possible
  5. Crosses Early
  6. Dribbles Down the Flank
  7. Beat Opposition Repeatedly
  8. Plays One-twos

In this article, we explore each trait and how they work in the game.

The Winger Role in Football Manager

What’s common between players like Adama Traore, Mohamed Salah, and Bukayo Saka?

Well, to start off, they are fast. And by fast, I mean untouchable!

They’re also incredible dribblers of the ball with exceptional flair and technique. 

But mostly, they’re wingers. 

The Winger in Football Manager is a role assigned to players who play in the wide attacking midfield position(AML/R).

Nicolas Pepe is a good example of a winger in FM24.

What makes this role deadly for defences is its emphasis on exploiting the width of the pitch with blistering runs and equally threatening crosses. 

While there are other roles Inside Forward, Inverted Winger, and Raumdeuter which can also be effective in specific situations, today, we’re strictly keeping it about Wingers. 

According to Football Manager – 

“The winger aims to beat his man on the outside and needs to be technically proficient as well as quick in order to do so. 
The winger hugs the touchline when the team is going forward, ready to surge into space and attack the sideline.”

With a Support duty, the winger’s job is to try to quickly get his man and get in an early cross for the forwards. 

As for Attack duty, the winger will try to run at the defence in the final third, aiming to cause panic and indecision prior to shooting or attempting to make through balls/cross to a teammate.

Attributes of a Winger

Wingers need to be fast. They also need to be adept in dribbling and ball progression. As one of the primary attacking outlets, the wingers require the technical skills to get the ball to the final third.

You must expect your Winger to be adept in the following attributes:

Technical Attributes

  • Dribbling
  • First Touch
  • Technique
  • Crossing
  • Passing

Mental Attributes

  • Anticipation
  • Decisions
  • Flair
  • Off the Ball
  • Work Rate
  • Vision

Physical Attributes

  • Acceleration
  • Pace
  • Agility
  • Stamina

Best Winger Traits in Football Manager

I’ve picked 7 winger traits in FM that can significantly improve the efficiency of the player. Each trait works on different aspects of the player’s games and will help to give him an edge over the opposition. 

Traits don’t necessarily improve a player’s overall ability. It simply focuses on maximizing the effectiveness of the player’s best attributes by developing tendencies to follow certain patterns of play.

Hugs Line

We’ll start off with the most basic one.

“Hugging the Touchline”. 

This trait ensures that the player will look to position himself in wide areas of the pitch whenever possible. 

Wingers with this trait position themselves close to the sideline when the team has possession. 

Instead of drifting centrally, these players stay wide and close to the touchline, creating width and making themselves open for passes into space.

The players also help to stretch the opponent’s defence horizontally if marked tightly by an opposition player. 

Hug the Line trait in FM24.
My Winger (Red 32) is positioned on the wide right side, hugging the touchline, ready for passes in front of him to run into.

By hugging the touchline, they aim to create space in the middle for their teammates to exploit and to provide options for crosses into the box.

Required AttributesPace, Acceleration, Off the Ball, Anticipation
Complementary AttributesWork rate, Stamina, Decisions
Effective AgainstNarrow, Compact Defense, Slow Defense
Contrasting traitsCut inside, Move into Channels
Complementary Tactical InstructionsWide/Fairly Wide attacking width, Stay Wider
Contrasting Tactical InstructionsNarrow/ Fairly Narrow Attacking width, Cut Inside, Stay Narrower

Advantages of the “Hugs Line” Trait –

  • Creating Space
  • Stretching the Defense
  • Crossing Opportunities
  • Exploiting Gaps
  • Counterattacking Threat

Knocks Ball Past Opponent

This is a rather handy trait for wingers who might not be the best dribblers but can beat the opposition with sheet pace. 

The “Knocks Ball Past Opponent” trait increases the chances of a player looking to beat his man for sheer pace and athleticism by knocking the ball past him and running onto it. 

Wingers with this characteristic are very good with their First touch and are skilled at using a burst of pace or a sudden touch to push the ball beyond an opposing player, creating separation and gaining an advantage in a one-on-one situation. 

It does a great job of hiding the player’s lack of flair, technique, and dribbling.

List of player traits of a winger in FM24.
Required AttributesPace, Acceleration, First Touch, Agility
Complementary AttributesDecisions, Work rate
Complementary TraitsMove the ball to the strong foot, Dribble Down the flank
Contrasting traitsBeat Opposition Repeatedly
Effective AgainstSlower opposition, Narrow Defense
Complementary Tactical InstructionsWide attacking width, Dribble More, Counter
Contrasting Tactical InstructionsDribble Less, Hold Shape

Advantages of “Knock Ball Past Opposition” trait.

  • Beat slower opponent
  • Creates Space for Early Crosses
  • Enhanced Dribbling

Runs with the ball down Right/Left

This is a hybrid of the “Dribbles down the flank” and “Hugs Line” traits.

Players with the “Runs with the ball down right/left“ trait are more likely to move wide to the flank and dribble after receiving the ball. Depending on their respective side of the pitch, this trait can benefit either the right wingers or the left wingers.

Even if they receive the ball in a central position, the first instinct of the player will be to drift wide to either flank of the pitch to stretch the play.

Run with the ball down right trait in FM24.
My winger is drifting towards the wide areas of the pitch after receiving the ball near the half space.
Required AttributesDribbling, First Touch, Pace, Acceleration, Agility, Flair, Technique
Complementary AttributesDecisions
Effective AgainstCompact Defensive teams
Complementary TraitsDribble Down the Flank
Contrasting traitsRun with the ball down centre, Dribble centrally
Complementary Tactical InstructionsRun wide with the ball. 
Contrasting Tactical InstructionsCut Inside

Advantages of the “Runs with the ball down right/left” trait: 

  • Stretches the defence.
  • Uses the full width of the pitch.
  • Creates space for teammates to make runs into the channel.

Gets Forward Whenever Possible

In Football Manager, the “Gets Forward Whenever Possible” trait indicates a player’s inclination and tendency to push forward and join the attack whenever the opportunity arises.

Wingers on support duties usually don’t look to venture further up the pitch. 

It’s mostly due to not possessing the Workrate and Stamina to keep constantly running up and down the pitch. 

The “Gets Forward Whenever Possible” trait makes them proactive in supporting the team’s offensive movements by making frequent forward runs and getting involved in attacking plays.  It also helps both inverted wingers and inside forwards to be a more effective presence in the final third.

Get forward whenever possible trait in FM24.
My winger Doughty gets forward in the wide space, making himself available for a pass from the target man.
Required AttributesWork Rate, Stamina, Pace, Acceleration, 
Complementary AttributesOff the Ball, Anticipation
Effective AgainstStretched defences.
Complementary TraitsMove into channels
Contrasting traitsStay back
Complementary Tactical InstructionsRoam from the position, Get further forward
Contrasting Tactical InstructionsHold position

Advantages of the “Get Forward Whenever Possible” trait are:

  • Creates overload in the final third.
  • Runs into channels.
  • Increased attacking support.

Crosses early

The “Crosses Early” trait in FM indicates a player’s tendency to deliver crosses into the box as soon as possible.

Rather than waiting for the ideal moment or getting closer to the byline, players with the trait prefer to cross from a deeper position.

When a player has the “Crosses Early” trait, it means they prioritize delivering crosses early in order to catch defenders off guard, exploit gaps in the defence, and provide opportunities for their teammates to score. 

It’s highly effective against a high defensive line system as it’s easy to get whipped crosses behind the defensive line. 

Wingers with the tendency to play one-twos can easily shake off their marker, opening them up for early crossing chances.

Required AttributesCrossing, Anticipation, Off the Ball
Complementary AttributesDecisions, Technique, Vision
Effective AgainstHigh Defensive Line
Complementary TraitsPlays one-twos, Hugs line
Complementary Tactical InstructionsHit early Crosses, Cross from Deep
Contrasting Tactical InstructionsCross from byline, Work Ball into Box

Advantages of the “Crosses Early” trait:

  • Catches Opposition’s Defense Offguard
  • Hard to Defend
  • Creates high XG chances

Dribble Down The Flank

That’s what wingers do! It’s their job!

Well, can’t hurt to have it ingrained in you, can it?

The  “Dribble Down The Flank” trait in Football Manager demonstrates a player’s ability and willingness to drive forward with the ball, hugging the touchline and looking to beat opposing defenders in one-on-one situations. 

The goal is to reach the byline to create crossing opportunities. Simple as that. 

Required AttributesDribbling, Technique, Flair, Pace, Acceleration, Agility
Effective AgainstDefenders with poor anticipation, tackling, and decisions
Complementary traitsTries tricks, Hugs Line, Run with the Ball down Right/Left, Beat opponent repeatedly
Contrasting traitsDribbles through centre
Complementary Tactical InstructionsRun at Defense, Be More Expressive
Contrasting Tactical InstructionsDribble Less, Be More Disciplined

Advantages of the “Dribbles Down the Flank” trait:

  • Draws defenders.
  • Creates space for teammates to make attacking runs.
  • Creates crossing opportunities.

Beat Opposition Repeatedly

Now this one is for the Neymar’s and Saint Maximin’s of the world. 

Wingers confident in their extremely terrific Dribbling, Technique and Flair can fully utilise this trait to their advantage to beat the opposition’s defence.

Two-footed players can be even more destructive with it. 

Highly unpredictable players are the best suitor for this. 

Players with this trait possess the confidence and skill to take on defenders in one-on-one situations, potentially creating goal-scoring chances through their individual brilliance.

This creates heavy confusion and panic among the defenders, forcing them to move from their position.

Defenders lacking Composure, Decisions, Anticipation, and Tackling are going to have a hard time dealing with such wingers. 

And that’s exactly the case with the top dribblers in the world!

Required AttributesDribbling, Technique, Flair, Pace, Acceleration, Agility, Anticipation
Effective AgainstDefenders with poor composure, anticipation, tackling, and decisions
Complementary traitsTries tricks, Hugs Line, Dribble Down The Flank
Contrasting traitsRuns with ball rarely
Complementary Tactical InstructionsRun at Defense, Be More Expressive
Contrasting Tactical InstructionsDribble Less, Be More Disciplined

Advantages of the “Beats Opposition Repeatedly” trait:

  • Advantageous in one-on-one situations.
  • Creates high attacking chances.
  • Allows players to showcase individual brilliance.

And that’s pretty much all the necessary traits that can benefit your winger in the game. 

If you want some more complementary ones, try tapping into these:

  • Likes Ball Played Into Feet
  • Likes to Try to Beat Offside Trap
  • Plays One-twos
  • Runs with Ball Often
  • Tries Tricks

Have a go at these!

FAQs

How do I train wingers in Football Manager?

Train your wingers in attacking duty on Football Manager and focus individual Endurance training to improve their workrate and stamina. You can also train them to improve their pace by doing Quickness training. 

What are the available winger roles in Football Manager?

The Winger role comes with two separate duties on Football Manager. The support duty where and the attack duty. 

Can wingers also play as full-backs in Football Manager?

You can play wingers in a full-back role in Football Manager if they have adequate Workrate, Stamina, Physicality, and defensive abilities. 

Parting Words

That’s all about the best winger traits in Football Manager. 

My search box has been pinged a lot lately after my coverage on the best forward traits in FM23 got popular. 

So had to do something about that!

Keep FM-ing! (Jeez)

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