With the dropping of the FUT Future Stars this week many of the TOTW18 players have been neglected more than Pro Clubs the past three editions of FIFA. Of course De Gea, Suarez, and CB Fabinho are got some love; but the rest were largely forgotten to the sands of time. With this in mind I had to take a look at someone I felt could be one of the premier super subs available in FIFA 19. Of course on an endless budget subs change from manager to manager… and yes there are numerous managers bringing Flashback “ICON” Ibra off of the bench … but for the FUT Manager on a budget there are only so many coins that can be spent on substitutions. It was my hope that TIF Nicolas Pépé would fit the mould and offer an additional threat this Weekend League coming off of the bench.
In the end I played Pépé in 25 matches throughout the weekend at no more than 45 minutes per match. Pépé either came on at halftime or around the 60th minute as a pace injection into the squad to cause tiring defenders a headache for the remainder of the match. I decided to go with the MARKSMAN chemistry style for the added Shooting, Dribbling, and Physical boosts. At the end of the day, I had the most success with Pépé playing him in the 4-2-2-2 formation as the right ST & CAM. Anyone who has read my FFS Aouar review will recognize the squad picture below. Pépé came off of the bench this weekend in this team subbing primarily for Depay. Pépé was the last minute maestro coming off of the bench in the following squad:
Pace & Passing
I normally do not connect these two statistics in my reviews but it just felt right this time around. The pace on this card is more than enough and does not need to be touched with a chemistry boost in my mind. Standing 183cm (6’0) & 73kg (160lbs) soaking wet, Pépé is a gazelle out on the pitch and just strides past defenders while sprinting. 94 ACCELERATION seems high based on how he feels in game, while on the other hand 86 SPRINT SPEED seems low based on the rocket fueled speed merchant I was using. Perhaps this had to do with tiring defenses? I don’t know, and I don’t really care because I was reaping the benefits regardless. I added passing into this category because Pépé actually finds a great deal of excellent short passes in and around the box. His long passing is atrocious, but in close I was really impressed with the link up play he was capable off. I feel like his pace gives him the extra space to find and complete some of these passes and this category combination is a result of that.
Pace Rating: 9.4/10
Passing Rating: 7.8/10
Shooting & Dribbling
The MARKSMAN chemistry style comes into play in this category and beyond the Pace that Pépé possess, you can add Shooting and Dribbling as additional weapons in his arsenal. 96 FINISHING, 96 SHOT POWER, 93 LONG SHOTS, & 94 CURVE all combine to an absolute rocket heading into the top bin… as long as you shoot with this left. It am not sure if this is a FIFA thing, or my problem, but unless left-footed players have 4 STAR WEAK FOOT or higher I find their right foot is just for standing on. Honestly Pépé’s 3 STAR WEAK FOOT is so bad he doesn’t even need a proper boot on his right foot. Thankfully, as the volley in my video suggests, he will contort his body like a Cirque du Soleil performer in order to primarily use his left foot. Speaking of performances, the dances this man can do on the ball are out of this world. 4 STAR SKILLS and a BASE STAT of 99 AGILITY allow Pépé to spin in and out of challenges and create the space for his potent left foot. The only downfall here is that Pépé does not come out of his dribble as fast as his acceleration stats suggest and he can be a little sluggish for a second before the afterburners kick in and he is gone.
Shooting Rating: 9.0/10
Dribbling Rating: 9.0/10
Physical and Defending
There were times this weekend when I thought about employing Pépé in a full time squad in the future. He was everywhere and really does cause havoc in the final third. But then I am reminded of this section and the idea quickly evaporates. Everything that makes Pépé a lean, mean, goal creating machine eventually hinders him in the Physical and Defending department. 71 STRENGTH after the MARKSMAN boost feels like a 55 at best and Pépé goes flying into the crowd with the slightest gust of wind. 91 JUMPING was not evident either and for a 183cm (6’0) lad he did not have much of a presence at all. Yet, in the end it is the 81 STAMINA that would be the biggest issue as a starter. For some reason I have had players with 80 stamina who last a whole match no problem in the midfield, yet when I brought Pépé on in the right CAM in the 45th minute he was still showing signs of slowing down near the 90th minute mark. It was in the CAM position that I also experienced the horror of Pépé trying to win the ball back. Like a limp noodle he flailed around attackers and at times would get lucky and come up with the ball, but not very often. Maybe not enough data to give him a rating defensively, but if I did it would not be pretty.
Physical Rating: 6.5/10
Defending Rating: N/A (4/10)
Final Rating: 8.5/10
I will start of by saying that my rating is obviously as a super sub and not in comparison to a player who is going to play a full match and influence the game for 90 minutes. However, having a competent super sub who you know can come off of the bench and create some magic is a huge psychological bonus. I would go into matches at half down 1-0 and be thinking… “You just wait mate, hellfire is about to rain down on you.” Unless of course they had TOTY Varane and Maldini at the back… then I just lost 2-0 trying to push forward, but you get the point. Cheers for reading.