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We 'signed' Marcel Sabitzer for Tottenham in summer transfer window to see how Spurs fared

How good a signing could RB Leipzig midfielder Marcel Sabitzer be for Tottenham next season. To find out, we used Football Manager 2021 to gauge the Austrian's potential impact.

With his contract RB Leipzig due to expire next summer, midfielder Marcel Sabitzer is being heavily linked with a move to the Premier League this summer.

Both Tottenham and Arsenal have been linked with a move for the Austrian, who has been a key player for the Bundesliga side since joining the club from Rapid Wien in May 2014.

It is believed that Spurs boss Jose Mourinho is a big fan of Sabitzer's and was left very impressed with the midfielder after he scored twice in Leipzig's 3-0 win over Spurs back in March 2020, a tie in which Mourinho's side lost 4-0 on aggregate.

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With the 26-year-old out of contract next summer, it looks increasingly that Sabitzer could be sold by Leipzig this summer, especially if they wish to avoid the risk of losing him for free in the final year of his deal.

All of this transfer talk got us thinking, what kind of impact could Sabitzer have at Spurs next season?

We used the popular football management simulation game Football Manager 2021 to have a bit of fun and find out how Spurs could perform with Sabitzer in their squad next season.

We 'signed' Marcel Sabitzer for Tottenham in the summer of 2021

To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2021 editor to arrange for RB Leipzig midfielder Marcel Sabitzer to join Spurs on July 1, 2021 and then used Football Manager 2021 to run our simulation.

The Football Manager database currently contains data on more than 800,000 individuals and 45,000 active clubs, with data sourced from their international on the ground scouting network which numbers roughly 1,000 people, among their ranks are some who are involved in football in professional capacities, including scouts and coaches.

In addition, each annual iteration of Football Manager has built-in algorithms which check for outliers and data discrepancies. Data accuracy is further ensured by input from contributors who are active within the professional game (players, agents etc.) who provide regular feedback.

This is what Sabitzer's player profile looks like on Football Manager 2021 as of July 2021.

Marcel Sabitzer's profile on FM21

We then simulated the 2021/22 Premier League season to see what sort of impact Sabitzer could have at Spurs next season.

Before we go through the summary of our simulation, in addition to the manual signing of Sabitzer, Spurs also signed Callum Wilson (Newcastle United), Weston McKennie (Juventus) and Marek Rodek (Fulham).

Also, Bale's loan wasn't extended!

This is what happened!

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Marcel Sabitzer's season with Spurs in 2021/22

Interestingly, Sabitzer's place in the first team wasn't guaranteed, because despite making 34 appearances for the club throughout 2021/22, only 27 of those were starts.

Sabitzer's stats in 2021/22

But when he did play, he made an impact, with the Austrian scoring seven goals and registering seven assists, including three goals and four assists in just eight Europa League appearances.

Although Sabitzer didn't rank particularly well against his teammates in terms of goals or assists, he did at least rank well when combining these stats.

Here's how Sabitzer compares to his Spurs teammates in goals and assists.

Sabitzer compared to his Spurs teammates

Only Heung-Min Son, Harry Kane and Giovani Lo Celso registered more assists, with only Dele Alli, Son and Kane scoring more than the Austrian.

At the end of every season, FM21 work out the best eleven of every team, based on a number of key metrics.

This is how Spurs' best performing eleven, as decided by Football Manager 2021, looked at the end of the 2021/22 season.

Full Spurs best XI: Lloris; Doherty, Dier, Alderweireld, Reguilon; Sabitzer, McKennie; Lucas Moura, Alli, Son; Kane.

Spurs' best XI in 2021/22

So, how did Spurs actually perform in the Premier League with Sabitzer in their squad?

Well, Spurs secured an impressive third-place finish in the league.

Here is how the final 2021/22 Premier League table looked in our simulated season.

The predicted 2021/22 PL table

In fact, Spurs finished just seven points behind eventual champions Liverpool, with Mourinho's side winning 80 points in 38 games.

But despite having one of the strongest squads in the Europa League, Spurs were knocked out at the quarter-final stage.

Ligue 1 side Lille beat Spurs on penalties, with Sabitzer missing the decisive penalty!

Spurs lost to Lille in the Europa League QF's

Overall, this simulation predicts that Sabitzer could be a good signing for Spurs next season, with the midfielder capable of chipping in with his fair share of goals and assists.

But because of the quality already at the club, and the addition of McKennie, he may not be first choice for the entire season at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

As always, this is just a bit of fun, but it's interesting to see what kind of impact FM21 suggests Sabitzer could have at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium next season.

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*Football Manager (FM) is the world’s leading football management simulation title. The latest edition of the game, FM21, is out now on PC, Mac, Mobile, Touch and Xbox.

The Football Manager database currently contains data on more than 800,000 individuals and 45,000 active clubs, with data sourced from their international on the ground scouting network which numbers roughly 1,000 people, among their ranks are some who are involved in football in professional capacities, including scouts and coaches.

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