Those of you without a social life will know that, once you get a good few years into a Football Manager save, the actual players begin to retire. Then, slowly but surely, reserve teams become filled with made-up ones to plug the gap in the game’s database. They get an animated face and everything. It’s basically the circle of life.
Problem is, the Football Manager engine has a finite amount of names upon which to draw, which means that – before long – the England national team begins to field players named Wayne Lampard, and Raheem Ward-Prowse. It gets silly, to be honest, and for serious players – those of us who suit up when we reach a Champions League final – it really detracts from the game’s realism, too.
Or does it? Take a cursory glance through an England youth team squad these days and some of the names that appear look almost as though they’ve been plucked straight from the virtual world. Here are some that you might have missed.
It's not just the Kluivert part - which he inherited from famous striker dad Patrick, who also turned out for Ajax - but Justin? Classic FM. Image source: Twitter
It's almost like his parents knew he'd end up playing right-back for a team which also has another right-back named Kyle Walker, and double-barreled it to avoid any confusion. Image source: Twitter
Yeah, the Wigan midfielder's parents actually had the audacity to name their son Max Power. We salute them.
Image source: Twitter
What's funny is that Fulham signed the now-Celtic forward in 2012 - the same year the original Mousa Dembele left. Is there a rule against having two? Image source: Twitter
Ryan Giggs + Stephane Sessegnon = Ryan Sessegnon? To be fair, if the hype is anything to go by, the Fulham left-back could certainly eclipse the latter. Image source: Twitter
The Chelsea youngster - whose brother Nathaniel will be familiar to some - is a regular in England's youth teams. And definitely not a regen. Image source: Twitter
By whom we mean: the Middlesbrough winger. Not to be confused with Monaco's Adama Traore, who is only about six months older. Image source: Twitter
To be fair, the Pompey youngster is Alex's little brother, but this name is dynamite - it's just the kind of the FM computer would throw up. Image source: Twitter
Having searched the internet far and wide, it's honestly not entirely clear whether the Wolves defender is related to Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who spent five years at the Molineux himself. Image source: Twitter
Honestly, we mainly put Diego's striker son in so we had another excuse to show that haircut. Image source: Twitter
SEE ALSO: Proof: Ajax’s glorious youth system
Whilst the line between Football Manager and actual football continues to be blurred, the increasing popularity of double-barreled surnames guarantees that Sports Interactive will always be one step ahead when it comes to super cool footballer names.
So here’s to seeing Harry Dier and Theo Loftus-Cheek combine for the winner in the final of your 2034 England World Cup campaign. Speaking of which, the frequency with which virtual England seem to win major tournaments is perhaps the game’s most unrealistic feature.