What the title fails to emphasize is that while TOTS Mertens blows the best LM/LW's out of the park by a longshot, he also has the best Free Kicks in the game. If you are honest with yourself, and learn how to properly take free kicks from any angle, yes, including a direct attempt at goal from a corner then, you will not miss a single free kick with Mertens.
90 Pace / / / / Very fast, can beat Abate on a good day however not on a bad one. Felt faster than NIF Bale at times, and easily outpaces Shaarawy TOTS and Lens TOTS. One player he cannot match is TOTS Reus whose 95 pace is above anything else I have ever witnessed, bar Walcott. Card stats feel about right, perhaps 91 would do justice though. If you enjoy pace, forget it... you are going to be frustrated... until you learn how to properly keep possession and conserve your pace.
88 Shot / / / / 94 FINISH || 90 LONG SHOTS || 94 SHOT POWER || 99 FREE KICKS || 95 CURVE || -- Not only his free kicks which blow Ronaldinho's SIF out of the park, but his long shots (90LS + 94SP) from cutting in on the left are epic. Scratch that, they are legendary. TOTS Reus has one of the greatest shooting stats on paper, however they are utter shit in-game, flying over the bar or ricocheting off the post, barely ever scoring. Mertens has a feels like component that ranges in the high 90's when it comes to both his finishing and his long shots.
(I have used so many TOTS that on paper record a 99/99 Long-Shot/Shot-Power ratio however nearly every last one of them feels like mid 80's. Mertens is leagues above all of the Hazard/Reus cards. His finesse shot is superb, he can score unlike 99% of the players, unbelievable curlers from an acute angle 20+ yards out. Perhaps he can give Ronaldo a swing for his money as even he can't finish like this demi-god.)
83 Pass / / / / Perhaps his crosses are the highlight here (89) as they feel superb and on-point all of the time. Mertens can produce the most bizarre and accurate crosses from the strangest angles while battling it out with your opponents RB. His short passes are quite good, very much on target, however when he is completely spent on Fitness, they will feel like little baby passes moving slower than a slug on sunshine acid. Long passes fall victim to the consistency effect. Some will be brilliant, some will falter to the climate in which the pass was initiated.
88 Dribble / / / / Mertens > Hazard, I cannot emphasize in this category how much quicker and more agile Mertens feels than the latter. Just look at those numbers... 99 Agility, 99 Balance, 94 Reactions, 89 Ball Control, 90 Dribbling... near Messi-like... certainly feels like his dribbling is on par with my TOTS Gotze @ 94 DRI. 4 star skills are flawless. I encourage you to utilize his dribbling as much as possible, don't constantly try to sprint past full-backs and the like as Mertens has 45 strength and can be pushed off the ball quite easily, however if you simply cut through defenders, I promise you... you will either score, or win a spot kick.
Don't defend, and don't even think about jumping up to get a head on the ball with this guy.... he's utter shit at both... although I have noticed that when my CB failed to catch my opponents RW, Mertens automatically tracked back to catch up to him and successfully blocked a few crosses.
TRAITS = SPEED DRIBBLER, FLAIR, FINESSE SHOT, DIVER.
WORK RATES = High/Med, Location Location Location... he knows very well where you want him to be.
I have used him in a 451 and most recently a 352, and he excels in both formations... I also tried him up front and as a CAM in game and he scores wicked goals.... surely one of the best buys, and certainly better than all the other LM/LW TOTS that I have tried, considering the money... wait, not even he's simply better.