Football Manager 2023 presents a world of endless possibilities, a world where tactics and strategy reign supreme. And within this world, there is a position that holds great power and mystery. A position that can strike fear into the hearts of defenders and bring joy to the hearts of managers. This position, my friends, is none other than the Shadow Striker.

Like the mysterious creatures that lurk in the shadows, the Shadow Striker operates as one of the team's main goal-scoring threats, striking when the opportunity arises. Coupled with another forward in support, the Shadow Striker aggressively pushes into goal-scoring positions as the ball moves into the final third. And when out of possession, they look to close down opposing defenders, always lurking and waiting to strike.

In this guide, we will delve into the world of the Shadow Striker, exploring their responsibilities, duties, and the attributes that make them a force to be reckoned with on the football pitch. We will also take a look at the best Shadow Strikers in FM23 and offer tips on how to find and sign them for your team. So, come along with us on this journey, and discover the magic of the Shadow Striker.

Understanding the Shadow Striker Role

The Shadow Striker is a unique and versatile position, possessing qualities of both a forward and an attacking midfielder. In order to fully understand the role of a Shadow Striker, it is important to examine their responsibilities and duties both on and off the ball.

On the Ball

When in possession of the ball, the Shadow Striker acts as a goalscoring threat, pushing up into the final third and making runs into space. Their dribbling and finishing abilities, as well as their vision and passing, make them a valuable asset in creating goal-scoring opportunities for themselves and their teammates. They also have the ability to play one-twos and make killer balls, making them a danger to the opposition's defence.

Off the Ball

When not in possession, the Shadow Striker performs defensive duties, closing down opposing defenders and putting pressure on the opposition. Their high work rate and determination make them an invaluable asset in winning the ball back and starting counter-attacks.

The Shadow Striker is a position that requires a unique combination of technical, physical, and mental attributes. A player in this role must possess excellent finishing abilities, have a high work rate and determination, and be able to make runs into space and close down opposing defenders.

In the world of Football Manager 2023, the Shadow Striker is a valuable asset for any team looking to create a dynamic and attacking style of play. Their versatility and effectiveness make them a popular choice for managers looking to exploit the opposition's weaknesses and score goals.

Key Attributes of a Shadow Striker in FM23

When it comes to the role of the Shadow Striker in Football Manager 2023, there are certain attributes that are vital to the success of this dynamic and attacking position. Understanding these attributes and identifying players who possess them is crucial to building a team that will be able to convert opportunities into goals.


The Shadow Striker is expected to be one of the main goal threats in the team, so having a keen eye for goal and the ability to convert chances is of utmost importance. A player with good finishing attributes will be able to find the back of the net more often and make the most of the opportunities that come his way.

Off the Ball Movement

One of the key aspects of the Shadow Striker role is to aggressively push up into goalscoring positions as the ball moves into the final third. A player with good off-the-ball movement will be able to make runs into space and get into dangerous positions more easily. This is particularly important when playing with a partner striker up front, as it creates space for both players to operate in.


The Shadow Striker is also expected to act as a playmaker, so having good passing abilities is crucial to the role. A player with good passing attributes will be able to link up with his teammates and create opportunities for others as well as himself.


In addition to passing, vision is also a crucial attribute for the Shadow Striker. A player with good vision will be able to see the bigger picture and spot opportunities for himself and his teammates that others may miss. This allows the Shadow Striker to be an effective playmaker and to create chances for others.

Work Rate and Determination

Finally, the Shadow Striker is expected to have a high work rate and determination. These attributes will help the player to press and win the ball back when out of possession and to make runs into space when in possession. A player who is willing to work hard and never gives up will be an asset to any team.

Player Traits for a Shadow Striker in FM23

The player traits of a Shadow Striker can greatly influence his effectiveness on the pitch. In the world of Football Manager, these traits act as tendencies for a player and can be learned through individual training or mentoring.

Likes to Beat the Offside Trap

A Shadow Striker with the trait of “likes to beat the offside trap” is more likely to make runs in behind the defence and be put through on goal by his teammates. This player trait can greatly improve the potency of an attacking unit, but the success of these runs will also depend on the player's top speed, anticipation, and off-the-ball movement.

Plays One-Twos

Playing one-twos with the striker ahead of him can make the Shadow Striker difficult to pick up by defenders while also progressing the ball towards the goal. For this player trait to be effective, the Shadow Striker should have strong passing and off-the-ball movement abilities.

Tries Killer Balls Often

As a key part of any attacking unit, the Shadow Striker is expected to create chances for his team. The player trait of “tries killer balls often” will enhance the player’s ability to make incisive passes and unlock defences. For this player trait to be effective, the Shadow Striker should have strong passing, technique, and vision attributes.

By selecting the right player traits, a manager can greatly improve the performance of their Shadow Striker and create a potent attacking threat.

Best Shadow Strikers in FM23

The realm of Football Manager 2023 is brimming with talented players, but only a select few are capable of performing the role of a Shadow Striker with the grace and skill necessary to be considered the best.

Characteristics of the Elite

What sets apart the best Shadow Strikers from the rest? A few key attributes that cannot be overlooked. Firstly, they must possess the technical ability to score goals and create opportunities for their teammates. This means excellent finishing, dribbling, and technique. They must also be able to effectively read the game and make intelligent runs, with high off-the-ball movement and anticipation.

The Cream of the Crop

While many players may boast some of these traits, only a select few can truly be considered the best. These players embody the essence of what it means to be a Shadow Striker and consistently perform at a high level, game after game. They are the ones who leave defenders reeling in their wake and bring a touch of magic to the pitch with their performances.

It is their combination of skill, determination, and passion that sets them apart and earns them the title of the best Shadow Strikers in Football Manager 2023.

Some Examples

  • Lionel Messi
  • Neymar
  • Marco Reus
  • James Rodriguez
  • Pedro Gonçalves
  • Joao Felix
  • Phil Foden
  • Julian Alvarez
  • Arsen Zakharyan
  • Florian Wirtz

Concluding the Shadow Strikers' Tale: A Journey to the Top of the Goalscoring Charts

In conclusion, the Shadow Striker is a role that requires a potent combination of technical and physical abilities, as well as exceptional tactical intelligence. Whether you're trying to exploit space between the opposition's defence and midfield, or simply hoping to create a more attacking style of play, the right Shadow Striker can make all the difference. With the right attributes, player traits, and instincts, your Shadow Striker can become a goal-scoring threat that will help you win matches and achieve your goals.

If you are looking to further bolster your attacking options, be sure to check out our guide on the Best Complete Forwards in FM23. In this article, we take a closer look at the most effective and dynamic forwards in the game and provide tips and strategies for getting the most out of your attacking players. So, whether you're a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to the world of Football Manager, this guide is an essential resource for anyone looking to make the most of their attacking options.

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