While the FM database let me down a bit with United’s new Brazilian trialist, Alfredo, it appears to have a more fully-realized take on another forward trialist: youth US Nat Stefan Jerome. Though not all of his stats are defined in the database, most are, and that’s enough to provide us a reasonable picture of where he’s at now. I say “now” because, as previously mentioned, I do remember watching him playing a handful of matches for the U–17’s a few years ago.
Without further ado…
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Not terribly impressive, but then he is quite young, more of a project than the finished article, and seems to share many of the qualities that the sparse sketch of Alfredo laid out: pure forward, good pace, reasonable finisher, a little extra flair. I recall his smoothness on the ball making him stand out when I saw him as a youth player, but maybe that gap has eroded if he doesn’t stand out in the Czech league. The decision-making’s a worry, but again: he’s still young, so that’s to be expected.
A quick peek under the FM Editor’s hood reveals that his current ability is related below that of Alfredo, but their potential is the same. Given that I said the database rates Alfredo’s current ability as on par with Brettschneider, the following comparison between Brettschneider and Jerome should surprise no one (outside of perhaps the FO that let Brettschneider go)…
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Of course, given the gap in their ages, you’d expect Jerome to progress such that, by the time he’s 21, his ability graph will expand to match, if not exceed that of Brettschneider. Already, his speed provides a crucial differentiator. What is a little surprising is his size. I remember him being tall-ish as a youth player, but his weight suggests that he’s filled out a bit since then. Though his stats don’t suggest that he’s particularly strong, he seems to have the frame to become so.
With the glut of veteran forwards at United’s disposal, neither Alfredo nor Jerome are probably being looked at to pick up significant minutes, and, according to the FM database, that’s probably a good thing. Still, having a young gun with decent potential in the reserves as cover for international call-ups or the odd injury crisis is a sensible move, both for the immediate term and, given tutelage by four veteran forwards with diverse backgrounds and skill sets, for the future.
As detailed in the previous FM Scouting post, Alfredo was rated at –7. That’s also where Jerome stands: between Kitchen/Najar/Hamid at –8 (–9 is the highest) and Korb at –6. ↩
A comparison to Alfredo directly would be useless as Alfredo only has a handful of stats specified by the database, leaving the game engine to randomly generate the rest, thus providing an inaccurate picture of the player for comparison purposes. ↩