FM 2012 player profile – Axel Witsel

FM 2012 Central Midfielders

written by Darren Smith

Axel Witsel

Age: 22

Position: MC

Club: Benfica

Nationality: Belgian

Value: £6.25 million

Price tag: £18.75 million (in patch 12.2)

Axel Witsel’s profile in 2011 (after starting new game, patch 12.2)

Axel Witsel’s scouting report from Ryan on Man Utd

Axel Witsel’s profile aged 27 in the year 2016

Axel Witsel’s career history until 2016

 This FM 2012 player profile of Axel Witsel shows one of the most versatile players in FM 2012. Witsel starts the game with some nice attributes and develops very well. He excels with his knowledge of the game and mental attributes that lead to mega consistent and reliable performances. While the Belgian has good technique and good physical attributes he doesn’t shine in any one area and this can lead to him dimming around more flairful and audacious players. What I am saying is that while Witsel is brilliant and a great buy, he will never be man of the match over the likes of Hazard, Pastore and Neymar etc etc.this kids quality comes with small touches and reliable passes but not a lot more. Every team needs this sort of player but £18.75 million may be a little expensive.

Best buy rating: 8/10

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  • comment avatar Pedro Silva February 4, 2012

    A lot of talent in the Belgium national team. Too bad that it seeams that they can’t translat that to results in real life. Maybe it’s the coach.

    Courtois, Kompany, Vermaelen, Vertoghen, Witsel, Fellaini, Defour, Hazard, Lukaku, Mertens showing up in PSV.

    Individually, they’re probably on of the best european squads. Also in FM2012.

    Witsel is been playing really well in Benfica this year, Hopefully, he’ll get a rise in FM2013, in tackling, marking, and especially strenght.

  • comment avatar N. Loureiro February 4, 2012

    Teams need players like Witsel, Box-to-Box midfielders that go on about their work unnoticed and occasionally produce a flare of pure geniality. Witsel, Kwadwo Asamoah, Alex Song Sergio Busquets, Ramires and Marouane Fellaini are the type of players that get their teams ticking but hardly reap the rewards because some of their team-mates include Pablo Aimar (Witsel), Di Natale (Asamoah), Robin Van Persie (Song) or Iniesta/Messi/Xavi/Fabregas in the case of Busquets.

    Oh and Pedro, nice to see a fellow portuguese around these parts :D

    Don’t mean to pry but you also forgot Nacer Chadli, Jelle Vossen and Toby Alderweireld – all young and talented.

    Switzerland also has a nice crop of players, Shaqiri, the Xhaka brothers, Sommer, Benaglio, Ricardo Rodriguez, Kassami, Sebastien Freis to name the most prominent. oh yeah, Rodriguez will be a game-breaker in the Bundesliga for Wolfsburg.

  • comment avatar Matt Skeer February 4, 2012

    Hey Pedro what training schedule do you use to get your players this good ?

  • comment avatar Heresy February 4, 2012

    I still remember Witsel’s horrific tackle on Wasilewski. I’ve had some strong prejudice against the wonderkid since then. He does look good though. Only concern would be his tackling and perhaps stamina. And of course his price as well. There are better players out there available for less.

    Also, why does he have so few league appearences?

    • comment avatar Darren Smith February 4, 2012

      I couldn’t say, but Pedro may be able to answer that. I assume he was used mainly in Europe and rested in the league, obviously the career stats only show league matches.

      • comment avatar Heresy February 5, 2012

        It may only be the case with my buggy and unpredictable game, but somehow cup and european appearences don’t count much towards gametime. I’ve had so many young players in my arsenal save that I’ve decided some will be used more in the league and some more in other competitions. And those that didn’t compete much in the league (but still had 25+ appearences) had their progress stalled because of too few games played.

        So that’s why I’m asking about the appearences and I’d love Pedro to explain how he managed to bypass this issue.

    • comment avatar Pedro Silva February 5, 2012

      That tackle was blown out of proportion. From what I’ve seen here in Portugal (and we the fans of Benfica, were afraid of that side of Witsel) he’s not really an agressive player. I actually think he sometimes should be more agressive in the tackling.

      Haven’t seen a bad tackle from him this year. He was quite young when it happened, probably left a mark on him.

      He’s very calm player in the field. He has an excellent ball control, extremely hard to get the ball away from him, uses his body wonderfully (sometimes he does this so many times that it stops the teams attack).

  • comment avatar Pedro Silva February 5, 2012

    Normally, Witsel is a starter player, so I play him on the harder games (Champions league, difficult first league games, etc). So for the easy games i use the backups. I like to give the same amount of minutes to my back up players that I give to my best players. So if Witsel has 1500 minutes, his back up will have around 1400 minutes. The only difference will be that Witsel plays difficult games, and the back up will have the easy ones.

    I think it is a good way to develop the youngsters.

    As they get better, they start to play Champions league games, and etc. When the backup gets as good as the starter, and I have another youngster, I sell the starter, and and the new youngster becomes the back up.

    I had Witsel, and Bertolacci. Now that Bertollaci has developed, and I have a newgen that’s starting to reach a great level, I sold Witsel for 20 something millions. He was 28 so it was the right time for me to sell him.

    • comment avatar Heresy February 5, 2012

      Thanks a lot for the insight!

      I know Witsel was just 18 or something when the incident happened and I’m glad he’s learned from his mistake. But still, both lower leg bones broken… and I’m Polish, so it’s only natural for me to take Wasyl’s side to this ;)

      And kudos to your development skills :) It’s great to hear that 11-17 league games is enough (with cup and european games it would probably be something around 30-35 appearences, right?).


  • comment avatar Marko February 5, 2012

    Can you share Darwin Quintero,Carlos Villanueva and Oussman Daraggi atributes,i had these in my Al-ain save, and they are brilliant!

    • comment avatar Darren Smith February 5, 2012

      Villanueva looks very good, I’ll take a closer look at him this week but I can’t see the other two in my saves.

  • comment avatar John S. February 6, 2012

    This kid could have been better than he is now irl. He had a major set back because of that tackle on Wasyl. He only got back to his best form 6 months before Benfica bought him. And like Pedro said the tackle was blown way out of proportion. It was his first red card in his Pro career. And truth be told this tackle only got on the internet because of the fact Wasyl broke his leg. Tackles like this happen a lot, fortunately they don’t have the same outcome most of the time. Look at Wasyl himself, before that injury he was one of the dirtiest tacklers in Belgium. He does seem more careful now. :-)

    • comment avatar Heresy February 6, 2012

      I never thought he meant to break Wasyl’s leg and I haven’t been following his career prior to that incident so I didn’t really know him. It was a very poor decision and an even poorer execution, it has to be said. Not much luck involved either. I don’t regard him as a bad player and I’m happy to hear he’s doing well. Both players learned from that experience which is a mild consolation. I just can’t seem to forget it’d happened and whenever I see Witsel, the tackle is the first thing that comes to my mind, and not his ability.

      Mind you, I couldn’t care less for Wasyl and for the majority of the polish squad ;)

      • comment avatar John S. February 6, 2012

        :-) I’m Polish but i have been living in Belgium for the majority of my life. One thing about the Polish squad i don’t like is that Germany seems to pick up their best players time and time again. Podolski, Klose, Borowski,… and so on!! Damn Germans!! :p

        • comment avatar John S. February 6, 2012

          Oh and if they don’t go shopping in Poland they’ll go to Turkey instead!!

        • comment avatar Heresy February 6, 2012

          Well, if Poland were performing better on the international stage, I’m sure we’d secure those players for our own squad. But all 3 of them have been living in Germany either their entire life or since they were kids, they were raised and trained there and it’s only natural for them to accept Germany’s call if they’re eligible and have potential to succeed with the team.

          I’m more disappointed with the Frenchies. The likes of Koscielny have little chance of making into the first national team for any meaningful matches and they still choose that country to play for.

          It’s the lack of good scouting and youth development what makes out squad so weak. I remember, years back, the story of our international Tomasz Iwan. As a kid, he played for our sunday league team. Anyone who knew anything about football saw potential in the kid and tried to coach him as best as they could. It’s their contribution that enabled Tomasz to get noticed.

      • comment avatar Darren Smith February 6, 2012

        Thankfully I never saw the tackle and won’t be looking it up as to not ruin my opinion on the kid.

  • comment avatar N.Loureiro February 6, 2012

    All the turkish players and polish players (as well as Boateng, Khedira, Marin and Gomez) on the german national team are germans until said otherwise, and there are many reasons. 1)They were born in Germany. Some of them are second/third generation turks like Ozil, Ekici, Tasci or Emre Can. 2) I am lead to believe that Podolski, Klose and Trochowski are ethnically german – or maybe it’s just Miro, I dunno. 3) All of them grew up exposed to german society (rules, norms, values, etc) thus making them more german than their base nationality. Podolski himself says that Koln is his hometown. Their parents serve only as a link to a recent past but that’s most likely all there is to it. Human beings are constantly adapting so it would not be surprising if the parents adapted to german ways of parenting as well. 4) Khedira (Tunisia/Germany), Gomez (spain/germany), Boateng (Ghana/Germany) and Aogo (Nigeria/Germany) were all born to parents of different nationality. If I am not mistaken their mothers are german and their fathers are not although Gomez might be an exception because his father was a second generation Spanish immigrants.

    So, why I am so sure of what I wrote above? I am taking Sociologyi in College and I study these things. One of my areas of interest happens to be sports (mainly Football) and national identity.

    Also, I can back what I said with an on-line article just in case you require proof.

    Oh and I like the German national team as well, it’s a passion that I have had since 1998 – the year I really started watching football.

    • comment avatar Heresy February 6, 2012

      1 minor correction: both Klose and Podolski were born in Poland to polish parents (apart from Klose’s father who had German roots I think) but the parents took the oportunity and emigrated from the then-communist Poland. Both Klose and Podolski speak more or less fluent polish as well. It’s really up to the parents to breed the love for the country of origin into a young lad’s mind. I don’t suppose Klose nor Podolski were exposed to that much. I don’t want to say it’s a bad thing. Just stating a fact.

      And I understand their willingness to play for Germany as that team has a lot more potential to succeed. I don’t understand Koscielny’s decision however. Being a key member of an international squad is, for me, much more rewarding than getting a call up as the 6th or 7th alternative because everyone else is injured. In his denial to play for Poland, I feel there was more than a hint of contempt for the country, and that’s sad.

      Another thing, Jerome Boateng may have chosen to play for Germany but his brother still plays for Ghana. I don’t suspect the brother was raised separately ;)

      • comment avatar N.Loureiro February 7, 2012

        Like I said, huge germany fan here. While your assessment on Klose and Poldi seems spot-on, the Boateng Brothers is a different kind of mess. They were indeed raised separately seeing as how they do not have the same mother. Boateng Sr, first Married Kevin-Prince’s mother and walked out on them when the boy was a couple of years old to later start a relationship (marry) with mid-high class german woman, the mother of Jerome Boateng. The brothers were raised in worlds apart with Kevin-Prince being raised in a poor area of Berlin (think projects) while Jerome was brought up in a nice and cozy environment. The only apparent contact the brothers had was during their early days at Hertha Berlin. And after Kevin-prince lashed out at Ballack(who actually deserved it, seeing as how he can be a arse at times)they stopped talking to each other.

        As for Koscielny, what can I say? He seems the type that prefers to be a bench-warmer at highly-rated team than being a key-member of an up and commer. I am not really aware of his background but I imagine he was born and bred in France? If that’s the case I understand it. david Trezeguet chose France over Argentina (probably right seeing as how he would have to go up against Batistuta and Crespo).

        And yes, Klose’s parents are ethnically german.

        • comment avatar N.Loureiro February 7, 2012

          actually projects is not the proper word, more like a block like from the movie Attack the Block

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