Football Manager Scouting Guide to Finding the Best Hidden Gems: Wonderkids & Newgens
Welcome to a brand new Football Manager scouting guide! Today we got our Youtube and Stream partner The Reckonist aboard who will talk about how he finds the best hidden gems; wonderkids and newgens in Football Manager 2020, in additional to a few scouting tips of my own, which may come in handy to finding the best wonderkids in Football Manager.
Some of these tips is a plain transcript from his latest scouting guide video, which you can watch in full below, others are my personal tips.
Continue reading to get some additional tips on how we use the scouting system to find the best wonderkids and newgens in FM20 and reveal some of our best scouting tips, that may come in handy once the youth intake has arrived somewhere between January and April, either in the start of your save or in the future when the game is filled with newgens.
Our aim with this scouting guide is to help you discover the best talents with the highest potential that can become an eminent addition to your squad, now or in the future.
Setting Up Scouting Assignments
When starting a new save, there are some tasks I’ll immediately complete before I advance in the game. One of them is to set up scouting assignments to ensure you’re able to locate the most promising talents and hidden gems.
In fact, my entire scouting team is organized around locating the best under-23 players. How I set it up depends highly on the transfer philosophy I prefer in that save and the scouting policy at the club. While I normally have a specific transfer policy in mind, such as buying youngsters for the future, my board may have another vision. This will be revealed in the brand new club vision. An overview of the clubs club culture and future plans will give you an insight to how much freedom you’ll have in terms of transfers and scouting.
While the approach of mainly buying homegrown players and scouting your nations and leagues will be perfect in one save, it might not be enough to take your club to the top when competing for major trophies. It’s here the importance of setting up the scouting assignments according to your transfer policy comes in. And as you will see, there are many different ways to find players that fit your tactic and your club philosophy. Below we’ll reveal some of the shortcuts you got to help you find the best wonderkids and newgens in Football Manager.
#0 Take Control of Scouting
When starting a new save, scouting is often delegated to the chief scout. Once he’s in charge of scouting you can only select between general or short term scouting focuses, which instructs the chief scout and the scouting team to look for specific types of players according to their age, playing style (leader, technical, intelligent, physical or creative players), fits your tactic* (according to player roles and its key characteristics) and finally availability.
This option would be good enough if you don’t want full control on how your scouting network shall work. But if you’d like to benefit from our tips and ensure you locate the most promising talents as quickly and early on as possible, you’ll need to take control of scouting yourself!
* The ‘Fits Tactic’ is a brand new feature for Football Manager 2020. We’ll talk more about it in a later scouting guide.
In order to ensure you’re able to do so, please go to the;
Scouting Centre < Scouting Responsibility < View Assigning Scouts < Click 'Take Control'
By taking control of scouting yourself, it will be a bit more work and things to keep tabs of, but the long term profit will be even higher!
#1 Setting Up Scouting Assignments
Once in control of scouting and setting up scouting assignments it’s important to get an overview of the scouts at your disposal and send the appropriate staff to attend assignments suited to his skills. By clicking the scouting pool under create assignment gives you the entire list of scouts at the club featuring their level of judging player ability and potential, as well as how many assignments they got. I recommend to assign them to no more than 2-3 assignments to make sure their focus and quality of their reports is as good as possible.
By clicking each staff you’ll get an overview of his scouting knowledge and which assignments he currently attends.
By clicking confirm you’ll be able to select the scout for creating a new assignment. Another option, is to create an assignment directly from his staff profile by heading to:
- Staff > Scouting Team > Reports > Assignments > Create New Assignment
In order to receive as accurate reports of wonderkids and talents I make sure to select the staff with firstly the best level of judging player potential and secondary judging player ability. For this example I’ll select one of my favorite scouts, John Steen Olsen, who got world class ratings in JPP, excellent rating in JPA and superb rating in ‘Adaptability’.
His scouting knowledge reveals he got full knowledge of Denmark, Sweden and Holland, and above half knowledge of Norway. He’s an ideal candidate for me to roam Scandinavia for Under-21 talents or due to his excellent ratings in JPP to track down the most promising under-18 talents.
Personally, I prefer to send my scouts to nations where they got full knowledge of. This ensures that the reports will start to be delivered immediately, as the scout does not need to get accustomed to the nation and its culture.
For this example, I’ve instructed John Steen Olsen to find players in Holland, but most preferably I tend to send the scouts to two neighboring nations at once (e.g Belgium and Holland, Spain and Portugal or Germany and Austria).
To track down the best newgens coming through in Holland for the entire future it’s important to select an ‘ongoing’ duration of the assignment and include the condition ‘Age is at most 17 yo’, which instructs the scout to focus on players younger than 17.
Remember to click start the assignment to send your scout out on the mission, which will instruct him to forever scout in Holland for players younger than 17.
P.S. If you’re out tracking for current wonderkids, you can increase the age to 19.
I then continue to set up missions for my other scouts according to their best skills and nations I need to improve the scouting knowledge of. If a scout has excellent ratings in adaptability, I’ll send him out to scout a specific region where he got the most knowledge of. If he has full knowledge of Germany, Italy and Spain (not very likely, but just an example), he will roam the region of Central Europe for players younger than 18.
If it should happen that a scout has low levels of adaptability, but you need to improve the knowledge of a certain country or region, the scout will spend a longer time in the country. If you select for example Gilles Grimandi with adaptability of 7 to scout Germany, which he has no knowledge of, he will get more and more efficient. The time spend on his mission will depend on his level of adaptability, which means that if you instruct him to go to Germany for a month, he might return with a very low response. It takes quite a long time to get knowledge of a country and the longer time he spends out in one particular country the better results.
#2 Locate Newgens by Youth Intake
Another option besides setting up scouting assignments is to find the latest newgens arrived in the annual youth intake from the other clubs. I’ll just go through it rather briefly;
- Select the world icon located to the top right corner.
- Click ‘World’ in the top menu
- Select ‘Transfers’ listed under ‘General’
- Click ‘All Transfers’
- Browse the list of ‘Youth Intake’ – normally a good option between January to April
- or check the ‘Youth Departures’
NB! you can also select a specific region instead of ‘World’, which lets you view the youth intake in Europe or South America.
The Youth departures list all players that have been released on a free transfer. Here you might pick up on some bargains (especially if you’re playing on a lower level than the club that released the player).
These two options will provide you with a monthly list of clubs who have had their youth intake, either the players are moved from the junior team to the youth sides (U18/U17) or are released as they did not get a professional contract.
You can further minimize the result by filtering and removing specific nations. Simply click ‘Filter’, which gives you a list of all nations in the world (or in a particular region) and untick the ones you’re not interested in.
Here you will get a list of the nations who have had youth intakes at the specific month and dates. In order to discover the exact date of the annual youth intake for all nations in the world please see our comprehensive table of each nation's youth intake (created for FM19 and most likely not valid for FM20).
#2.1 | How To Select Multiple Players At Once
When browsing through the list of players found within a search, or when browsing the list of youth intakes / youth departures, a handy tip may be to select multiple players at once. With a quick shortcut you can select hundreds of players at once and make an action.
Here’s how to proceed:
- Click on the first row or tick box
- Hold in Shift
- Tick a row further down
- Voila! Suddenly all rows between is selected
With X amount of players selected you can decide whether to scout them all, put them into a new shortlist, make an enquiry or follow them.
But do remember that due to the scouting cost, this type of multi scouting can cost your club a lot of money and totally ruin your scouting budget. We don’t recommend to use this method on more than 20 players at once.
#3 Scout Youth Tournaments & Under-21 Competitions
Another beneficial approach to find the best wonderkids and talents is to scout specific youth tournaments, such as the UEFA Youth League, Torneo di Viareggio or the Festival Espoirs de Toulon. In fact there are many international competitions that may be beneficial to scout at. The French Youth Invitational or the Toulon tournament is the perfect place for finding talents and great bargains.
To find the different youth competitions in Football Manager, go to;
Select World Icon > Locate Browser > Navigate to International competitions or Club Competitions
Select World Icon > Click Specific Region > Select Club or International Competitions
Then click the competition of choice and click ‘Overview’ and ‘Follow’ it. This will let you get information about what’s happening in the tournament delivered to you in your inbox.
Select Scouting Centre > Click Assignments > Select a scout > Create New Assignment with Scope - Competition*
* Select the competition of preference, either it’s the U19’s league in Italy or the Brazilian U20’s. Once the preferred competition is selected you can add additional conditions such as specific attributes, based in or scout by specific scouting potential. I’d like to limit the search results on these youth competition assignments by asking the scout to find players with at least good potential.
The Torneo di Viareggio is a cup featuring mostly Italian youth clubs and is due to start 16th March 2020.
You can get the real names of these competitions by downloading our Football Manager real names fix files.
#3.2 Utilize the Screen Flow Interface Option
The screen flow interface option (link to image) is one awesome tool to get information about a specific tournament or competition that’s taking place, perhaps outside any of the selected playable leagues.
The screen flow option can be found by heading to:
Click the FM drop down menu > Click Preferences > select Advanced > Screen Flow
From here, you can ask Football Manager to provide you with both basic and more detailed information about a specific tournament of your choice, delivered straight to your news inbox as soon as the tournament is taking place, either you want the news to appear on match days or at the end of the competition.
Below we’ve provided with just an example of major competitions and youth tournaments that may be proficient to scout.
While most of them looks at youth national teams, there are a range of other under-21 or under-18 tournaments and competitions that may be proficient depending on the nation of origin and their likeliness to produce the best talents.
Once set up, you can get stats and information about players or teams, simply get an overview of the competition before it begins or who are the award winners at completion. Then you can simply scout the players that looks the most intriguing to get more knowledge of the player.
#4 Scout Specific Clubs Famous For Their Youth Academy
The most simple and short tip possible; scout specific clubs famous for their youth academy and superb training facilities, either because of their history of producing excellent talents or due to their setup of coaching staff.
Sometimes you don’t need to be a genius to find players, sometimes you just need to know where to look, clubs with the ability to develop young players year after year, season after season.
A range of clubs with a famous youth academy can be mentioned in this department, but especially clubs with the best youth facilities should be looked at. These clubs may involve both current and future clubs with excellent youth facilities and state of the art training facilities, or a well-established youth recruitment which increases the pool of newgens in the annual youth intake.
For a closer look at the clubs we recommend to visit, please check out our ranking of the best youth academy clubs in Football Manager. Whilst it’s written for FM19, the historical feats and the facilities of the club has not changed too much, as they are all great at producing excellent newgens for the future.
#4.1 Scouting Specific Nations
As detailed in our guide to scouting regions and nations youth rating, there are specific nations that are more proficient to scout for wonderkids and talents compared to others. Mostly it’s because of the amount of football players in the country, the economic stature and the probability to generate more newgens with a certain current and potential ability level compared to another.
The top 10 nations includes;
Simply select a scout to assign them to the specific nation. The more scouts you got within your scouting team the better the network. It’s important that the scout has knowledge of the nation, or that he has superb rating of ‘adaptability‘ to generate scout reports immediately, due to him being accustomed to the language and the cultural difference in the nation. The scouting assignment may look like the screenshot shown under section Setting up scouting assignments above.
If you tick ‘Hot Prospects‘ instead of the conditions I’ve enabled, the scout will look for players under the age of 24 (normally players will not develop as much after turning 23) and scouted potential ability at least good. Since it’s an uncertainty factor in the scouts’ opinion of the player, it may be favorable to lower the scouted potential ability to fairly good as more likely targets will be found.
#5 Utilizing the Player Search
Another way to locate the most promising talents and wonderkids is to take advantage of the player search and filter by age to find hot prospects.
Here is just an example of how I narrow down my search to find the best youngsters. By including the scout recommendation is at least 50 (of 100) I keep tabs on the players the scouts has provided a scout report of.
You can futher tips on how to find newgens and promising talents in our guide on how to scout for players in Football Manager.
Filter By Media Description and ‘Wnt’ Status
If you like to find out more about the players you’ve got no knowledge of you simply remove the condition scout recommendation is at least 50 and instead sort by ‘Media Description’. By sorting by players with the highest value you’ll find the wonderkids within your scouting range. I also tend to scout players labeled with the term ‘Promising’. It may require some browsing through the list of all players found, but it may be worth it!
When browsing through the list of youngsters within your filtered search I also tend to look for players who got player status information as ‘Wnt’. This means that they are wanted by another club, and if there are big clubs targeting the player it may say something about his potential and it could be beneficial to scout the player to get more information about his potential relating to your club.
Search by Specific Attributes
The last tip I got is to simply set up a player search filter where you look for players with Determination, Work Rate and Team Work better than 10 for players between the age of 15 to 17. Using this approach you might discover some great hidden prospects who can become a great addition to your team, and who are better suited to reach their potential ability.