With being down to just one review per week moving forward it was important to take a look at a more affordable, potentially OP, sought after option from the latest Ligue 1 Team of the Season. Thankfully, Jonathan Bamba ticked all of these boxes as the Frenchman was rewarded with a TOTS card for his contributions to the Lille Ligue 1 championship season. Bamba has had a handful of different cards this FIFA and it is important to note that I have had some real experience with this man throughout the cycle. Every time I was in the market for a left sided French option this year, it seemed like Bamba had just recently received an upgraded version to test. The Headliner is the most recent addition to my squad, and one that did not last long after failed performances. With that in mind, the only thing I could see looking at TOTS Bamba was a huge red flag written all over his statistics… I was expecting a fraud and like all of my card predictions, I was absolutely, unequivocally, wrong! On a weekend where connection issues, dynamic events and extremely suspect opponent tactics plagued my experience… I deep down enjoyed myself, and Bamba played a key role in my entertainment. While I also reviewed Ben Yedder, Di Maria, Clauss & Aouar over on YouTube: MaeNine … it was Bamba that really led the way as the stand out performer in terms of both quality and value. In the end, I tried Bamba as both a ST and RAM in my 4-2-2-2 formation in an attempt to see what suited him best… while the MARKSMAN chemistry style was a lot easier of a decision to make. Bamba was the diamond in the rough all weekend in the following squad:
Pace Rating: 9.5/10
Dribbling Rating: 9.5/10
Shooting Rating: 9/10
Passing Rating: 9/10
Physical Rating: 9/10
Defending Rating: N/A
Lovely combination of statistics with this card that work together brilliantly in game. The question with all of the new TOTS cards for me is always, “will they perform at or close to their listed statistics?” Two of the key trends I have noticed are… 1) cards feeling slower than then labeled pace… 2) cards not having the Finishing and Shot Power that they should. At a time when there are just so many 99 rated categories, it takes a really special card to actually perform better than the competition surrounding them. For me, Bamba performed admirably and really showed a versatility that could come in handy for many FUT Managers.
Main Statistic - Dribbling
Shooting Rating: 9.5/10
Physical Rating: 9/10
Height: 175cm | 5’9
I have mentioned this a few times in the past and this review provides yet another piece of evidence towards the fact that 5’9 strikers are my favorite in FIFA 21. The size is perfect when looking for the combination of a quick, agile and then powerful dribbler. With Bamba, this was the case as the 96 AGILITY & BALANCE made me feel like the ball was on a string and glued to his feet. The 96 BALL CONTROL & DRIBBLING also meant that you could utilize Bamba’s very healthy dose of pace without ever feeling like he was out of control or unable to react to incoming defenders. Maybe even better, the base 99 ACCELERATION & 99 SPRINT SPEED feel scary close to those numbers in game as Bamba can torch defenders for Pace. But of course, defenders will eventually lay a hand on you and with the size and Bamba’s relatively average 84 STRENGTH he was still able to hold off challenges and manage efforts towards goal consistently throughout the review.
Main Statistic - 4 STAR WEAK FOOT
Shooting Rating: 9/10
Weak Foot: ****
9/10 might actually be a little bit low in the end, but a few misses across the 20 matches has me just playing this one on the cautious side. One thing is certain though, there is nothing being held back when you look at the insane statistics with this card. 94 POSITIONING, 99 FINISHING, 99 SHOT POWER & 99 LONG SHOTS… It doesn’t get much more potent than this and Bamba filled the net during this review. The first 10 matches at ST resulting in 7 goals and 10 assists, while the following 10 matches as a RAM ended with an even more impressive 7 goals and 4 assists. Overall, a fantastic return from a card that scored some excellent goals across the review.
Value/Coins & Good vs. Bad
Value/Coins Rating: 5/5
Good vs Bad Rating: 5/5
As I said, we wanted a TOTS version that would be in a more affordable range and man am I ever happy we settled on Bamba. A revelation compared to his previous cards and for 500k as of this writing, I am not at all afraid to say that I think he is a steal. I would love a red Bamba in this week's rewards… of course, I wouldn’t say no to Neymar, Mbappe or Ben Yedder… but in the ‘more likely to happen’ category I would say that Bamba would rank really high on my list. Especially with the addition of Euro cards on the horizon, I would say that Bamba could continue to be that ‘left sided French player’ that I have needed in the past… and in this case, he can not only fill a role but contribute at a high level.
This is becoming a trend. Cards with not many/if any weaknesses, but zero stand out qualities to really take them above and beyond other options. Bamba will not blow the doors off of a game and win it single handedly … but at the same time if you watch the video of his goal contributions you will see that he is no slouch in the finishing department and he scored some crucial goals throughout the review. With 92 SHORT PASSING, 84 CROSSING & 83 LONG PASSING the wing play was also superb and much like TOTS Mason Mount I just felt like I got a bit more contribution from the wing with Bamba operating as a RAM. True, you can hide a slightly weaker option in these positions… but when they are performing and contributing as Bamba did, the overall quality of everything you do in attack can only move in a positive direction.
Maybe not a card that you will have high on your ‘to purchase list’… and like I say Bamba has been an afterthought for me throughout the year and filled gaps moving forward. However, this card isn’t just a placeholder and can truly contribute to the overall quality of most squads. While the 500k price tag probably has more to do with the improved 5 STAR SKILLS. than anything… it is worth doubling down on the fact that this card was worth every coin in my opinion. He might not have his name up in bright and shiny lights like some of the other Ligue 1 options… but he truly was a shining star across my Weekend League. While I don’t think there are many, “I have to try Bamba” FUT Managers out there… There are certainly going to be moments when a left sided French or Ligue 1 player will complete your squads… and for those moments I say, Better Make It Bamba. Hoping you are safe and well. Cheers for reading.