The release of new SBCs is becoming more frequent, leading to an increase in the price of fodder items needed to complete them. In light of this, we present the second and latest icon SBC featuring the highly regarded Laurent Blanc. This review aims to provide an overview of Blanc's card and recommend whether it is worth completing the SBC.
Blanc, a towering French player, was a relatively rare sight in previous versions of the game. However, with the introduction of icon chemistry and playstyles, as well as the availability of this SBC, Blanc's chances of being included in squads have significantly improved.The chemistry style is cliché and simple, with the Shadow chemistry style being the ideal choice. However, the formation for this weekend was not straightforward at all, as a complete shift to the 4-3-2-1 formation was anticipated... and I must say, it was a refreshing change.
Blanc was the dependable defender throughout the entire weekend in the following squad:
Overall Rating: 9/10 *
When it comes to using overpowered NIF center backs in the game, I have tried almost all of them. However, if I find myself in a situation where I absolutely need to win, my go-to choice would be Van Dijk. He is a must-have player in my squad. To complement him, I would then consider players like Rudiger, Tomori, or Kounde for the second center back position. While they may not possess the same level of dominance as Van Dijk, they bring their own strengths to the backline. However, with Blanc, it almost feels like I have replicated the abilities of the Dutch defender. This is the highest compliment I can give to the Frenchman.
Here are the main statistics for Blanc in terms of defending:
Defending rating: 10/10
Physical rating: 10/10
Pace rating: 9/10
Playstyles: Anticipate Plus, Jockey, Bruiser, Aerial.After this section, there will not be much else to discuss, but to excel in one aspect, the other must be equally solid, and Blanc delivered it all in one comprehensive and efficient package. EAFC offers various defending challenges, and being able to rely on individual players to execute your instructions alleviates some of the burden.
To clarify, Blanc's 84 acceleration and 88 sprint speed may not enable him to catch up with players like Leao when they are through on goal... by that point, it is already too late. However, these attributes allow Blanc to anticipate such plays and position himself strategically to work his magic.
Once in position, Blanc unleashes a barrage of playstyles on your opponents' forwards, with none more vital than his outstanding ability to anticipate plays. Blanc excels at making tackles and, as per his playstyle, excels at cleaning up loose balls and initiating counter-attacks.
Moreover, Blanc's 84 strength combined with his towering height of 192cm (6'4") and additional bruiser and aerial playstyles make him an unstoppable force that opponents must overcome before even getting the chance to score. Overall, his card is a defensive delight, impressively preventing the ball from finding the back of the net.
Blanc's Value and Performance Analysis
Value/Coins/Fodder: 4/5 *
This aspect is quite challenging, especially considering the rising cost of fodder. Comparing Blanc to Van Dijk, his market price of 400k is a tough sell when Van Dijk is priced at 200k. It's questionable if the amazing links are worth the extra 200k. The SBC price of 350k may be tempting, and you can also acquire the card for "free," but with so many other options available, the price tag still remains significant even for a fantastic card.
Good vs Bad *
Good vs Bad Rating: 5/5 *
We have extensively covered Blanc's defensive abilities in the review, but there is one other point worth noting.The aerial playstyle is increasingly becoming a favorite of mine when it comes to defenders. It not only gives me peace of mind knowing that they can win defensive headers, but they also pose a threat in the opponent's box during corners. Van Dijk has been a goal-scoring machine for me this year, and Blanc has shown similar potential with his two goals in seven matches.
That being said, there are a few minor downsides worth mentioning. In terms of passing, I have already pointed out the limitations in my previous review of EAFC24, and with Blanc, I mostly relied on simple passes to full-backs or midfielders. However, when attempting more intricate passes, his 56 vision, 79 short passing, and 80 long passing skills did come into play.
I wasn't expecting Blanc to be a speedy player who can outrun opponents with his dribbling skills, so his 69 agility and 68 balance didn't cause any major issues. However, it did make him slightly sluggish when changing direction.
Blanc has performed admirably as a defender, especially in the air. While there are some minor drawbacks in his passing and agility, they do not overshadow his overall effectiveness on the pitch.