Scouting in Football Manager can be a straightforward affair but by immersing yourself with scouting and recruitment, it will give you long-term joy and success. Whether you are scouring through the world for wonderkids and talents or searching after a new star player, how you scout will be essential to success!
Our definitive guide to scouting in Football Manager 2021 let you get a closer insight into the different methods of scouting and its main objectives, as we guide you through how to scout in Football Manager. Here’s everything you need to be successful at scouting, recruitment and expanding your scouting network to spot more players!
To improve your take on scouting and make it more enjoyable, more knowledge about how scouting in Football Manager works, together with specific scouting tips, can lead to more successful results when you shall search for potential targets or identify future stars on your own. Our guide to scouting aims to give you everything you need in one place!
I know the length of this scouting guide is massive but feel free to use our table of content to jump around to the sections that interest you the most.
This article is aimed at both FM novices and veterans, as it’s packed with information and tips on how I approach the scouting area. It’s the first post in a wider series relating to scouting in Football Manager. Get a full overview of the other scouting guides here!
Football Manager Scouting Guide – Table of Content;
- 1. The Objectives of Scouting
- 1.1 The Club Vision’s influence on your Scouting Program
- 2. The Scouting Centre
- 3. Recruitment Team
- 4. Scouting Knowledge
- 4.1 What’s the benefits of improving the scouting knowledge?
- 4.2 Setting up your Manager Profile
- 4.3 Recruitment / Scout Packages
- 4.4 Scouting budget & Scouting Cost
- 4.5 Scouting range
- 5. Scouting Responsibilities
- 6. Setting up Scouting Assignments
- 7. Scouting Priorities
- 8. Conclusions
Other Scouting Tips
How to approach scouting in Football Manager 2021?
It’s easy to relate the success of a football club to tactics and what’s been done at the training ground. In reality, much of the success can be related to the hard work and effort put into scouting and recruitment. Often the key to success isn’t whether the right tactical instructions were given in the 80th minutes to take home the victory but through a long-term plan of signing the right players for your tactics.
Scouting is as essential as training or tactics and enables you to take your team to the next level by recruiting players that fit your system. Your set up of the scouting and recruitment team, how you look to expand your reach or how you send out scouts on a mission to get more knowledge about the teams and players around you can be a contributing factor to long-term success.
Today I’ll take a closer look at how to approach scouting in Football Manager 2021 by looking at the different areas related to scouting and recruiting. You’ll perhaps get some useful Football Manager scouting tips to take with you into your own save, or get a deeper insight into how scouting and its underlying features works.
Our guide to scouting in Football Manager provides an overview of the different areas relating to scouting and its terms. Basically, we can divide scouting in Football Manager into two main parts.
- Everything you do to affect the organizational structure (e.g how you set up your scouting network)
- Specific scouting activites and how you scout for players
1. The Objectives of Scouting
Creating a foundation for all scouting activities starts by understanding what your missions are. Getting an insight into the objectives of scouting helps to better set up an efficient scouting program that provides long-term results.
In order to fully grasp how to set up the most efficient scouting program, it’s important to understand why you should take scouting seriously. The reasons for scouting might seem simple, but by clarifying the main objectives it may be easier to set up an efficient scouting network or scouting program which delivers great results.
Having a clear idea about why you should put effort and time into setting up a scouting program will make things easier when approaching the different methods of Football Manager scouting. By getting an overview of the different areas the recruitment team is responsible for and what options at hand, it will be easier to set up appropriate scouting assignments, search filters and shortlists according to your ambitions.
There are basically eight different objectives with scouting. These objectives basically summarize everything relating to scouting and recruitment, and will affect how you intend to approach scouting in Football Manager. It literally summaries and connects all of our published and coming scouting guides together, clarifying to us the overall mission of why we scout players and set up assignments.
- Improve the squad with suitable targets for your tactical system
- Increase competitiveness by improving the squad depth
- Learn more about the next opposition’s strength and weaknesses
- Improve the club’s financial situation by selling for profit (short-term and long-term objectives)
- Replace aging players or players not good enough for your system.
- Provide tactical options or more versatility in systems used
- Consistency in performance (back-up and/or rotation options)
- Improve the overall performance level in regard to statistical data.
- Modify the squad dynamics to improve player’s performance by making changes to squad personality, morale and interpersonal relationships on and off the pitch (aka player partnerships).
The way you set up your scouting program must revolve around these objectives. After all, the aim of scouting is to be better prepared for situations where you need to improve your squad, either it’s due to long-term injuries on key players or not able to get the most out of squad players, for whatever reasons.
Your take on scouting and recruiting is all depending on the situation within your squad. There’s no such thing as a ‘good or bad’ approach to scouting but it helps to have an overall mission relating to how you approach it.
The key to scouting is to get to know as much about the player and how he fits into your team. You want to learn as much as possible about the player to make more informed decisions relating to the final recruitment.
1.1 The Club Vision’s influence on your Scouting Program
Setting up a scouting program will determine the club’s overall recruitment focus, whether it’s for the short- or long-term. My preference is always to think long-term and be strategic with how I scout players in Football Manager.
Your recruitment focus and how you set up your scouting network should adhere to two important aspects within your club:
- It must link to the Club Vision relating to recruitment, which can be described as your club’s transfer policy
- It must fit the playing style and football philosophy (e.g. fit your tactical system(s) and club DNA!).
Most often when entering a new club it already exists an established club culture relating to the recruitment and development of players. They got a way of doing things that have either worked successfully in the past or which the Board (and the fans) believes will take the club to success. The club vision can be seen as the club’s mission statement. What’s stated is simply the preferences and expectations the club has on your managerial achievements. Here you’ll see specific recruitment philosophies – the transfer policies within the club.
Despite you’re not forced to follow the established cultures relating to scouting and recruitment, the preferred club vision relating to recruitment can act as limitations for yours leeway. It can both increase the challenge level for your save and intensify your focus in all scouting matters.
In some ways, the influence of club vision for your scouting program must be taken into account when setting up assignments. Whether you keep full focus on it or not, throughout the save, doesn’t matter. There will be times where you simply must sign a back-up player due to injury crisis or you’re forced to pay more attention to recruiting more experienced players since most of your starting XI wants to play at a higher level and will soon be out the doors. Perhaps a larger fraction of your squad is not good enough to play at the level you want to take the club to, either.
In Football Manager 2021, there are eight club vision’s relating to the recruitment focus – which should affect how you scout for players.
- Sign Players Under X age for the future (e.g. under the age of 21)
- Sign Players Under X age for the first team (e.g. under the age of 30)
- Sign players based in a specific nation (e.g. homegrown players in the same country you’re managing in)
- Sign Players of a specific nationality (e.g. of Senegalese origin or only Basque players)
- Sign Players of high-reputation
- Sign players from lower levels of Domestic game (e.g. a good percentage of recruitment’s must come from divisions lower than yourself)
- Sign Players from Domestic Rivals
- Don’t Sign Players over the age of X (e.g over the age of 23)
These club vision’s provides you both with restrictions and possibilities in regard to how you set up your scouting network and the way you scout for players. Most importantly it affects the level of recruitment packages you need and the scouting range necessary to live up to the club’s expectations according to the scouting knowledge.
For one, it’s not necessary to scout the regions of Asia or Africa if you got a transfer policy of only recruiting homegrown players under the age of 23. Likewise, it’s not necessary to ask your scouts to provide reports on players over the age of 30 if your transfer policy is to buy young players for the future. It’s always about putting attention to your recruitment focus. At least it’s for me!
Creating a foundation for all scouting activities
Before you can have any hopes of having regular success with scouting and recruitment it’s important to lay down the foundation for an effective scouting program. It’s a matter of creating a wide-reach scouting network that finds the right players for your club – those players who with their status, personality and skills can get the most out of his teammate and make each other better both on the training ground and on the pitch.
In your quest to identify potential targets, it is important that your approach to scouting is both strategic and methodical.
It’s a matter of setting some guidelines to follow that will limit your leeway in all your upcoming scouting activities. How you set up your scouting network depends on your objectives and football philosophy. Learn more about how I set up my scouting network in Football Manager here.
2. The Scouting Centre
The Scouting Centre in Football Manager is the go-to place in all matters relating to any scouting activities. From here you’ll able to manage your entire scouting project; from setting up assignments and responsibilities to flicking through scout reports and recommendations. Even though identifying potential signings is a huge part of the Scouting Centre, as player recommendations take up 90% of the screen, it includes valuable information about your Recruitment Team, the current level of scouting knowledge and scouting budget.
The purpose of the Scouting Centre is to be a one-stop place to find a collection of potential signings your Recruitment Team has identified and which they believe you should be aware of. It includes players scouts or analysts have found from specific scouting focuses, such as scouting priorities you’ve set in Recruitment Meetings.
The scouting centre features literally everything we’re going to talk about in this guide, whether it’s more related to managing organizational purposes that helps you manage the foundation for any future scouting activities or more actionable steps to take. For instance, setting up your scouting assignments or scouting focus.
This overview gives you an insight into how we can divide the different aspects of the Scouting Centre in Football Manager 2021;
- Scouting assignments
- Scout Reports / Analyst Reports (of Individual Players or Next Opposition)
- Player Search – Basic, Quick and Advanced Methods
- Basic Scouting Focus on Player types, roles or according to club vision
- Quick Searches (player status and availability)
- Advanced Player Searches (Filters and Shortlists)
* The different scouting activities will be covered in our upcoming article about how to scout for players in Football Manager.
2.1 A Closer Insight to the Recommendation Panel
The recommendation panel features Reports from the Scouting Team, Analyst Team or Recruitment Meetings, in addition to files and offers sent from Agents, Affiliates or players who get directly in touch with you. These reports are often collated by the person in charge of providing feedback on scouting assignments. They are delivered according to your current transfer strategies and preferences relating to how you want these reports filtered.
For instance, it may include players you have little to no knowledge of, since an Agents wish to bring attention to one of his players, or may include unattached players, who get in touch with you. It can even include players that your Scouting team will suggest at an upcoming Recruitment Meeting or players who have been identified at these meetings.
Most of the players in the recommendation panel are just suggestions on potential signings the Scouting or Recruitment team believes you should take further actions on, as the recommendations are collated from your ongoing scouting assignments or Analysts reports.
The Scouting Centre ensures you never miss out on potential signings that could be a perfect match for your team!
The benefits of the Recommendation panel is to make you aware of players for positions the Scouting and Recruitment believe you lack depth in. They may take into account current transfer interest, transfer status, abilities, age and performances and link their recommendations to your wishes and demands specified in Recruitment meetings and through specific scouting focuses.
In some ways, it summarizes your current transfer strategy by collating scout reports of players who best fit your current scouting instructions into a list which are handed to you at Scouting Meetings.
How do you want to see the reports?
The reports compiled to the Scouting Centre can be seen in two different ways; Cards or List view. Both views have their benefits.
The List View simply collects all the recommended players in one view. It includes a fairly brief report about basic information such as positional abilities, age, Recommendation rating and star ratings (CA and PA) in addition to the scout’s opinion about the maximum asking price and wage demands.
The Cards View enables you to focus your attention at individual players, getting access to more information about each. You’ll get a more detailed report about the recommendation, his transfer interest and an opportunity to read the scout report featuring pros and cons or check his attributes, position and role suitability or fitness level.
By using Recommendation Cards you get the unique ability to sort the reports by a number of factors. You may want to show the players who are most interested in a transfer first, by how fresh the reports are, by Knowledge level or Estimated Cost. You can even sort them by their potential ability or the player’s age.
2.2 How to Set up Recommendation Filters to Reduce the Number of Recommendations Delivered?
A major part of the Scouting centre is to let your Chief Scout sort through the number of scout reports and deliver the most useful recommendations to you. As you receive reports and offers from players, agents and your scouting and recruitment team, the Recommendation panel may feature a whole lot of players out of your interest. By all means, there might be some handy players there, but going through hundreds of reports from 15+ scouts will take time.
The Scouting Centre features several options to limit the number of reports and recommendations sent to you, either it’s players to discuss in the Scouting Meetings or scout reports and feedback sent to your inbox. Let us take a look at how you can set up your recommendation filters and preferences to receive the reports that matter the most to you!
Show All vs Specific
Whichever view you prefer, Football Manager enables you to show only recommendations from a specific department, whether it’s from the Scouting Team, Recruitment Team, Analyst Team, Agents, Players or candidates to discuss at the upcoming Recruitment Meeting, which your closest staff believes would make a good fit for your squad. By displaying only players from a specific department within your club you can focus your attention to these recommendations without having to deal with offers on players most likely out of your ability level.
Filtering the Recommendations
Football Manager enables you to decide which type of recommendations you want to receive and where you want them to be delivered. The recommendations can be delivered in different ways, all according to your preferences:
- i. Don’t receive.. You reject to be notified about recommendations or offers. Personally, I tend to use this option for Free Agent Offering his services and for Agent offers.
- ii. Show in Scouting centre. You want these reports to be delivered only to the Scouting Center, from there you can take further actions.
- iii. Forward to Inbox. The person in charge of collating and providing feedback will forward the recommendation to your inbox when it happens. I find it useful to be informed about when scouting assignments or individual scouting trips are finished, suggestions on upcoming competitions, potential hot prospects and suggestions the Recruitment Team and Analyst have. It can even be used to get information about when players you’ve scouted are out on the transfer or loan list enabling you to take actions immediately!
- iv. Mixed Delivery which will vary where the recommendations will be sent – all depending on the Scouting rating, cost, transfer availability and how he fit your transfer policy.
Minimum Recommendation Levels
It’s not only which types of recommendations you receive and who you want to receive from which will affect the number of Recommended players in the Scouting Centre. You can even ask the Scouting Team to filter away any scout reports under a given minimum recommendation level.
When it comes to receiving these recommendations from the scouting team I prefer to receive reports with a scout rating of 60+ delivered to my inbox. It means I might have to pay attention to the Scouted Players and the ongoing gathering of Reports from my scouts and Analyst to keep track of other players that they have identified.
For a full overview of Scouted players go to either;
Scouting > Players > Scouted
Assignments > Reports
Clicking Players Analysed will let you see which player’s your Analysis team has gathered Analyst Reports of featuring their own Analyst Ratings.
2.2.1 Taking advantage of Advanced Filters
A major part of scouting is to receive feedback from the scouts whenever they got something to report. It may be players they have spotted whilst out on a mission, when a player has been transfer listed or other events happening around the world.
Setting up the advanced filters relating to scouting can provide the feedback you need to stay informed. Here you can decide when you want email notifications delivered straight to your Inbox and when certain news can be sent to the Scouting Centre. Since you don’t want to be flooded with hundreds of Inbox messages you can tailor the filter to not receive notifications about certain items.
Personally, I find it very valuable to receive inbox messages about players the Scout has spotted out on another duty that he can recommend. Similarly, I like to get a reminder from the Scouting team when competitions they can suggest to scout is about to start.
With a range of possibilities, you can instruct the person in charge of providing scout feedback to deliver the notifications that are most relevant for you. Perhaps you’ll even spot a few bargains or cheap transfer targets as you get valuable information as soon as it happens!
2.3 Notification Preferences: How often to receive notifications & email Recommendations?
There’s no use of handling scouting if you don’t care about going through the scout reports. Receiving recommendations and reports about the players your recruitment team has identified on their missions is an important part of scouting. In the scouting centre, you’re able to decide how frequently you want Scouting Meetings to occur and how frequently email recommendations and notifications about the ongoing scouting activities shall be delivered to your inbox both during and outside transfer windows.
The scouting preferences enable you to decide how many entries you want to take actions on. Fewer entries mean a larger sorting has happened leading up to the sending of the email.
Your preferences to this depend on your needs and what you require at that moment. It may be more useful to have these emails sent to your inbox more frequently during transfer windows than outside.
3. The Recruitment Team
The recruitment team includes personnel responsible for both scouting, recruiting players and analysing performances, whether it’s about your own team and players, players outside your club or an upcoming opponent.
A wide-reach recruitment team includes six different staff roles;
- Director of Football; normally handles ‘all’ ingoing and outgoing player transfers in addition to negotiating contract extensions.
- Technical Director; is responsible for handling all affairs relating to recruiting backroom staff no matter if it’s hiring or firing personnel to the scouting team, medical team or coaching team, both for your senior and youth teams. He can even decide who should undertake coaching courses and thereby decide the overall development of coaches qualifications and abilities.
- Chief Scout; is originally responsible for managing the scouting team and its assignments, and is the link between the scouting pool and you.
- Scouts; perform assignments and identify potential targets by delivering scout reports-
- Recruitment Analyst; assesses the performance of players outside your club and potential targets by using, gathering and analyzing statistical data to compare their playing level to the league and your club.
- Loan Manager; will focus his attention to track the development of, and performance of, players out on loan. He will track their happiness and form whilst even being able to suggest player’s who can aid on loan moves.
How you set up your recruitment team depends on your finances and playing level. It even depends on how much control you’d like within your club and what you can delegate away.
In our guide on how to find the best scouts in Football Manager, you’ll learn more about the different types of scouts and their most important staff attributes. It even looks closer at the chief scout’s responsibilities and his role in your scouting team.
All in all, the most important thing is to focus your attention to bring in more and more scouts whenever you can to expand the current scouting knowledge. How to assign the scouts will be covered in our guide to setting up a scouting network.
You can ask your board to increase the number of scouts allowed by making a board request. Whether this item is in the list depends on whether you’ve reached the maximum allowed in your Recruitment team. The allowed size of Recruitment team is displayed in the
Staff > Overview > Recruitment Team. There you can also compare your current average levels of key attributes compared to your league level.
Making a board request to increase the scouts allowed;
Club Vision > Make board Request > Staff > Scouts Allowed
Making a board request can also let you increase the scout wages or increase the allowed size of staff for any other staff position. for a lower league team that climbs the ladder, it might be a question of asking the board the permission to sign a Technical Director by allocating the funds necessary for it.
3.1 Required Staff Atributes for Scouting
What’s required of the personnel within your scouting and recruitment team will depend on their job and overall responsibilities. While I cover this topic more specifically in pieces about each of the staff roles we can broadly speaking say they need;
A) For Scouting:
- Judging Player Ability; describes the ability of a Staff to estimate the current standard of a given player or team.
- Judging Player Potential; describes the ability of a Staff to estimate the potential future levels of performance of a given player or team whilst taking into account several other factors that could influence on the outcome.
- Adaptability; describes the ability of a Staff to settle in at a new country, new role or at a new club. It determines how fast the person is able to adjust to cultures and new working environments. Higher ratings means the person will be able to quicker deliver reports once entering a new nation to gain knowledge of.
B) For Analysing Players/Teams:
- Analysing Data; describes the ability of an Analyst to comprehend data of a player or a team and interpret it in a manner useful to the Manager.
- Tactical Knowledge; describes their level of experience in the game. His knowledge of a certain tactical style or formation may affect how accurate reports about certain teams are.
- Judging Player Ability
C) For Recruiting players:
- Negotiating; shows how good the staff member is at negotiating transfer deals and contracts. A lesser skilled person will more likely agree to less favorable contracts and transfer packages, whilst a person with higher ratings will be more skilled and seek better financial deals for his club or a player.
4. Scouting Knowledge
A club’s scouting knowledge is made up of the knowledge level the non-playing staff have over nations and regions, in addition to further knowledge and information the club gains from affiliates and partnership links with other (foreign) clubs. Every non-playing staff, together with the Human Manager and key persons of your Affiliate clubs, will influence on the Club’s overall scouting knowledge; split up in World, Regional and National knowledge, as seen in the Knowledge overview of the Scouting Centre.
NB! If two backroom staff has an identical level of knowledge of a nation, the one with the highest Current Abilities and Reputation is displayed in the Knowledge overview.
The level of scouting knowledge of a nation or region will have a huge impact on your knowledge of players within that nation/region.
Which regions or nations you prefer to gain knowledge of comes down to your own preferences. Our overview of the different scouting regions and nation’s youth rating gives you a better insight into nations and regions beneficial to scout.
Non-Playing Staff Regional Knowledge
The level of knowledge of a given nation depends on the experience the non-playing staff have gained throughout his career. He may have had a past playing career in Argentine, or have worked as a youth coach or assistant manager in China before moving to your English club. The length of his spell within a specific nation or region will affect his individual scouting knowledge.
You can learn more about how to find the best scouts in Football Manager in this guide.
Acquiring senior affiliates that are either financial or just mutually beneficial can help to increase your scouting knowledge since both clubs will share scouting knowledge.
This means that for any affiliate links where your club has first option to buy players from a second club, or where the other club can send their players to train and develop, will let you profit from the knowledge the minor club has gained from the presence within a nation and/or region and specific members world knowledge (e.g. their managers or director of football’s scouting knowledge.
It’s not only a non-playing personnel’s past career history which influences the knowledge score. Sending the staff (typically a scout) out on assignments to a specific nation or region will enhance the knowledge of that particular area. The more time spent within a nation, the better knowledge. The better knowledge, the more information revealed about the players within that nation.
A scout out on a scouting assignment will gain first and foremost knowledge of that particular nation but also about neighbouring or nearby countries. How effective and accurate he is in delivering reports and recommendations of players, depends on his Adaptability and his abilities to settle in quickly, his Judging Player Ability (aka JPA) and Judging Player Potential (aka JPP).
The non-playing staff’s Current Abilities together with how long he’s been stationed in a nation/region and how good is it at his job will affect how fast he can accumulate knowledge of a nation.
Setting up an efficient scouting network should go to expanding the club’s regional knowledge by setting up scouts assignments and improving the scouting team with scouts with knowledge of nations or regions outside your current regional knowledge.
Your Regional or National Scouting Knowledge will impact on the degree of individual player knowledge. It will affect who’s visible in Player search and what’s visible within a player’s profile. With greater knowledge comes a more complete picture of the player’s capabilities and a higher detail level of the players based in that specific nation/region.
4.1 What’s the benefits of improving the scouting knowledge?
The main objective of scouting is to enhance your knowledge level of players and teams around you. With more information about the evolving world around you, you’ll able to make better decisions both in terms of recruitment but also about what to do when facing the player in upcoming fixtures. As you increase your scouting knowledge, hidden bargains, potential future stars and likely key members for your future squad may be revealed to you.
Basically, when we refer to scouting knowledge we can divide it into what you know about; individual players, teams, competitions, nations, regions and continents.
Improving the knowledge level of a region or nation will basically increase the number of players visible in the Search and add more real players to teams around the world, both senior and youth players. The higher knowledge level of that region or nation, the more information available to you, especially about the player based in that area.
Improving your scouting knowledge of specific teams will give you more information about the way they play both relating to tactics and systems used, but also give you an insight to key players, strong partnerships together with form and statistical trends. With more information about the team’s strength and weaknesses, it will be easier to make decisions relating to how you want to counter their threat. For instance, in the likes of applying certain tactical instructions or using specific systems or strategies that might make you victorious. It enables you to work on specific weaknesses or strength in training that increase your chance of a favourable result in the upcoming fixture, such as set-piece routines.
The most essential part of improving the scouting knowledge relates to learning more about the players around you, whether they are part of future opponents, potential signings or just peripheral player’s based in your country, that could be likely targets in the future.
By improving the player knowledge, more information within the player profile will be available to you, which would be valuable when facing the player and you need to set up opposition instructions. Similarly, the information you get can enable you to make better decisions in recruiting players.
In addition to enabling basic information to you, such as his current and potential abilities, positional abilities, increasing the player knowledge by compiling scout reports will go to assessing four aspects of a player’s profile. This overview will let you see some of the benefits of improving the scouting knowledge of players:
Basic Information & Development
- Comparison of squad players
- Current Abilities
- Potential Abilities
- Positional Abilities
- Media Description
- Media Handling Style
- Favoured Personell
- Hidden Attributes *
- Player Style
- Player Attributes (Strongest & Weakest)
- Positional Abilities
- Role Suitability
- Player Form
- Games played in position
Personality & Dynamics
- Indvidiual Personality
- Player Happiness (Positive & Negative)
- Dressing Room; His figure in the Social groups
- Future Plans (long-term & Short-term)
- Agreed Playing Time
- Availability e.g Transfer & Loan Status
- Minimum/Maximum Asking Price
- Clauses (e.g. Minimum Fee Release Clause)
- Estimated Cost e.g Agent Fees
4.2 Setting up Your Manager Profile | Specific Scouting Trick to Enhance National & Player Knowledge
Every non-playing staff have the potential to influence the club’s scouting knowledge no matter they are a scout, Performance Analyst, Coach or U23 Manager. It’s not only the current backroom staff which can affect a club’s scouting knowledge.
You have the potential to affect it as well!
Besides signing non-playing staff with knowledge outside your current scope you can set up your Manager Profile in a way which enhances both the knowledge of specific nations as well as senior and junior (Under-23) players. There are two important sections when setting up your Manager Profile that will affect both your knowledge of players and potential influence on the club’s scouting knowledge.
1. Nationality and Second Nationality
One way to improve a minor club’s scouting knowledge is by setting your Nationality (and/or Second Nationality) to one outside the nation you’ll be managing in. Whilst your primary nation will give you full knowledge of that particular nation, a second nationality will give you widespread knowledge (50-80%) of your second nation.
Without the required scouting scope or suited scouting package, your knowledge through Nationalities can actually increase the number of players visible in the Player Search.
Attribute Masking makes certain attributes not visible to the Human Manager as FM assumes the manager will not know everything about every player in the world. It’s one of the advanced options when selecting active leagues and game start date.
By ticking the box you’ll disable attributes masking and make attributes and personality visible to you. It will increase your general knowledge of the players. Disabling attribute masking will remove the effect of the points allocated to Youngster or Player Knowledge when setting up your Manager’s attributes.
The second way to improve your knowledge of players can be done when setting up your Managerial Style. I’m talking about using some of your points to boost the mental attributes ‘Player Knowledge‘ and/or ‘Youngster Knowledge‘.
While Player Knowledge will affect your knowledge of senior player’s player attributes, Youngster Knowledge will do the same by affecting your default knowledge of Under-23 player’s attributes.
With Attributes Masking ‘ON’, a player’s attributes are either displayed as ranges or not revealed at all – meaning you reduce your knowledge of the player’s within your database size. The only way to gain knowledge of these players is by scouting them for a longer time or interacting with the player. Information about him may also be revealed through matches or as part of a team in the same division. As a result, it may be beneficial to boost Youngster and Player Knowledge to increase your default knowledge level of players around the world.
Disabling Attributes Masking will make you less dependant on the level of the Youngster or Player Knowledge within your Manager Profile as attributes and basic player information is visible by default.
4.3 How Recruitment Packages & Database Size Relates?
Scouting is a widespread process where the recruitment team scour through thousands of prospects to identify targets that fits your tactics, the club DNA or the club vision. To refine the massive pool of players, you have scouting or recruitment packages, which limit the search results according to the database size.
The database size determines the approximate player count and is influenced by the number of nations and leagues loaded. It takes into account whether you opt for an advanced, large or minimal database size when setting up your save. As you know, Football Manager enables you to load all players from a continent, region or nation within the advanced function as well as letting you select the playable nations and leagues.
Do remember, the number of players and backroom staff loaded will partially affect the speed of FM together with the number of active nations, leagues, and the ‘Detail Level’.
It’s important to consider which active nations and leagues you should load according to the transfer policy and club vision you want to incorporate with your team. It may be beneficial to load neighbouring countries and nations with a similar reputation level as the club you intend to manage in, in order to be able to sign players at a similar level, both financially and in terms of player’s ability levels.
It’s wise to consider the pool of available players right from the start when setting up your career.
There’s no use of loading all players from Asia or from Asian countries if you’re looking to do a youth development save in France – aiming to develop players from your own academy. Similarly, it may be smart to load all Scandinavian nations or nations like Poland, Croatia or Serbia if you’re managing in Holland or Germany due to the club’s finances and availability in signing affordable players.
Another aspect, is to consider nations with high youth rating and features club’s with great youth academies if you restrict yourself to a transfer policy of mostly signing players under the age of 21.
Yet again, you’ll see the link between club vision, transfer policy and your objectives and challenges with the preferred save.
4.3.1 The Different levels of Recruitment Packages
The Scouting packages will basically increase or decrease the number of players available in the ‘Player Search’ and will affect how many players you have access to when searching and filtering for potential targets. A higher package will increase the pool of players to as close to the maximum amount of players and staff determined from the selected database size (see approximate player count when setting up your new save).
You can select a recruitment package in:
Player Search > Players > Recruitment package
Let us take a closer look at the different levels of scouting packages and which privileges they give you. The scouting packages from worst to best are;
- No package; covers only players known by the club’s staff (e.g. their specific scouting knowledge). This package has no monthly costs and is often linked to lower league clubs with poor finances and less available funds.
- Divisional; covers only players from the same division as your team (e.g. the Vanarama National League North/South).
- Divisional Plus; covers players in and around your team’s division (e.g. when managing in Sky Bet League One you’ll have players from Sky Bet League Two and Championship available in your scouting pool).
- National; covers players within the same country as your team. It will unlock all players of that specific nation (e.g. Austria).
- Regional; covers players from the scouting region of your managing team (e.g. Eastern Europe, South America West or Middle East). Scouting cost: €394K (33K per month)
- Continental; covers players within the continent of your managing team (e.g. Europe, South America or Asia). Scouting cost: €591K (49K per month)
- World; covers all players from the entire globe. Scouting cost: €788K (65,5K per month).
Apart from increasing the available pool of players you can scout, will the scouting packages affect the knowledge level and player role visibility of the players each level covers. This means that you might need a more extensive package to make certain players outside the scouting scope visible. In fact, the knowledge level may increase/decrease with as much as 10% just by having national knowledge compared to regional knowledge, which means you might need to scout the player for a longer time to get full knowledge.
A higher package will also make more youth players visible within the search results that would normally be unknown to your club. It basically makes more players visible for you to filter through in Player Search and when setting up specific scouting and recruitment missions.
The recruitment analyst will use the number of players within the package selected to suggest potential signings. This means that the Recruitment Analyst is likely to find more player’s who fits the search filters you set up in the Recruitment Meeting.
P.S. Even though you are managing with a team in lower divisions, your scouting team will have a higher knowledge level of players of exceptional reputation despite a lower-end package. For instance, they have a greater knowledge of Kylian Mbappe just because of his reputation than what they know about Thiago Almada.
How to Increase or Decrease the Current Recruitment Package
Improving upon or lowering the current recruitment package is easy! From the Player Search tab, you’ll able to change the scouting package to match your ambitions. Selecting one of the higher-end tiers might make players out of your scouting scope visible in the Player Search whilst going for a lower-end tier might remove players outside the current package that the club has little to no knowledge of.
Scouting > Player Search > Recruitment Package > Select tier
A great money-saving tip!
You’re able to move between lower-end and higher-end packages whenever you wish to. It may be financially smart to decrease the recruitment package outside the transfer windows, or when you’re not searching for suitable targets, as you’re able to save money on a monthly basis. In fact, you can simply increase the packages to the maximum allowed in situations where you’re searching for players by using specific filters. It may be the case that you’re happy with the current squad or you’re not interested in looking for players outside your region/nation due to specific transfer policies or development plans.
4.4 How scouting budget, recruitment packages and scouting costs are connected?
Which level of recruitment package you can afford will depend first and foremost on your finances and on your available scouting budget. With the benefit of more players available in search results, comes the increased cost of upgrading to more extensive scouting packages.
The cost of these recruitment packages is broken down in monthly payments and will be deducted from the overall scouting budget at the start of each month.
Outside the recruitment packages will the budget go to pay for any individual scouting trips outside the permitted scouting range. The scouting budget will NOT go to pay for wages or creating scouting assignments. Wages relating to your recruitment team will be incorporated with Staff Wages, whilst the cost of scouting assignments will be detailed at;
Finances > Expensitures > Scouting Costs
The scouting cost will go to pay for the travel, other general expenses and accommodation for making that trip. A scouting cost can also be applied to any other individual scouting trips, despite they are within your allowed scouting range. The expenses of the trip will increase with the number of matches watched.
Asking your scouts to provide scout reports from hundreds of foreign players outside your scouting scope can make a huge dent in your scouting budget because of the cost attached to it.
You need to balance the risk and reward of sending scouts abroad to scout individual players outside the permitted scouting scope and select the necessary package according to your ambitions.
Should it happen that you spend more money on scouting than the budget allows, will the current recruitment package cease to exist – meaning you end up with a limited pool of players to search and filter from. As a result, you are then restricted to each individual staff’s national or regional scouting knowledge – meaning the player search will only contain the player’s the members within the club have already knowledge of. Meanwhile, scouting a player outside the scouting range may come with a ‘minor’ cost that’s immediately deducted from your available scouting budget once the trip is made.
How to adjust your scouting budget?
You are able to adjust the scouting budget easily under two circumstances. Your board needs to allow you to adjust the current scouting budget and you need money available within your transfer budget.
Football Manager enables you to adjust the scouting budget by allocating money from the current transfer budget, or vice versa!
Adjusting the scouting budget can be done within the Scouting Centre or the Player Search tab.
4.5 What’s my permitted scouting range?
The scouting range is decided by the club’s Board and determines which nations, regions or continents you are permitted to send scouts out on missions to. For clubs in lower divisions, you might be allowed to scout your own nation or surrounding divisions, whilst a top club will be allowed to scout the entire globe.
Whether you are allowed to scout entire continents or regions, or you’re restricted to scout your own nation, is determined by the Board. Without facts on my hands, I believe the allowed scouting scope relates to the reputation of the club and their playing level. It can also be a case of the boards level of ambitions and available funds.
Your permitted scouting range will vastly impact your approach to setting up scouting assignments.
The different levels of the scouting scope from the most limited to the most extensive are;
- Divisional (own nation): restricted to competitions within your nation
- Competitional (own region)
- Competitional (within your continent)
- Competitional (within all world)
- National (own nation)
- National (within the same region)
- National (within the contintent)
- Regional (own region)
- Regional (within the same continent)
- Continental (own continent)
- All World
There are two options to check your current scouting scope;
- Next to Create New Assignments in the Assignments tab.
- By moving the cursor over the Scouting Scope tree when setting up new Scouting Assignments
Just like you can upgrade the training facilities or cut back on the youth recruitment level can you upgrade or decrease the permitted scouting range. By interacting with the Board by handing in a Board request you’ll be able to influence on your permitted scope of sending out scouts on assignment.
How to decrease the allowed scouting range?
Club vision > Make Board Request > Networking > Decrease Scouting Range
How to upgrade the allowed scouting range?
Club vision > Make Board Request > Networking > Scouting Range
The board will then get back to you later that day or the next with their response.
5. Scouting Responsibilities
Like with everything else in Football Manager, you’ll have the options to take charge or delegate responsibilities to your backroom staff.
Whether you are more of a hands-on manager who likes to be involved in the smallest affair, or you prefer to delegate and spread responsibilities around, your decisions in this area will affect how involved you’ll be with any Scouting Activities. It’s a decision of going for a more basic approach, where you trust your scouts to find suitable targets that fit your system or rely on more advanced methods to search for players by scheduling assignments and use filters to both improve your overall scouting knowledge and identify more players.
The Scouting Centre gives you a quick way to manage your scouting responsibilities. In total there are six areas which you can take control of regarding scouting and data analysis, but it’s only the ones specifically aimed at scouting which you can take control over from the Scouting Centre. For managing responsibilities relating to analysis reports, you’ll need to head to;
Staff > staff responsibilities > Scouting.
The different scouting responsibilities are;
- providing scout feedback
- assigning scouts (e.g, setting up scouting assignments for your scouting team)
- handling scouting meetings
Apart from affecting how you scout for players, this area will decide upon how much feedback you’ll get from the scouting team and their recommendations.
Let us take a deeper look into the different responsibilities areas and what they do.
5.1 Providing Scouts Feedback
The person in charge of providing scouts feedback, normally a Chief Scout, Scout or Director of Football, will give feedback on the scouting assignments. He will sort out a list of Player Recommendations which the scouting team has gathered out on missions and send his feedback about the reports to you in your preferred way; inbox messages, emails or make them visible in the Scouting Centre.
Besides providing you with feedback about recommendations, the person in charge will notify you about when scouting assignments have finished, or when a scout starts/finish scouting individual players.
I tend to let my Chief Scout handle this responsibility as he will update you on everything concerned with your scouting program.
5.2 Assigning Scouts
Whoever in charge of assigning scouts will basically determine who will set up the assignments for your scouting team and keep your scouts busy with compiling reports and recommendations.
By delegating this area to either your Director of Football or Chief Scout, depending on which role you got, will mean scouting assignments are handled automatically by the staff in charge. He will then randomly decide which nations, competitions or matches to watch, meaning he will basically run your entire scouting program, regardless of your objectives.
He will keep track of how the ongoing assignments go and schedule new assignments once the previous assignment is finished without letting you have any influence on how scouting knowledge is improved. Instead, he’ll use his own judgement of favourable places to scout within the current scouting range and will literally manage the scouting team.
If you shall have any influence on the scouting program and establishing a specific scouting policy it’s of utmost importance to take charge of setting up scouting assignments yourself!
By taking charge of it yourself, you’ll be able to set your personal mark on all scouting affairs and take advantage of advanced tips and tricks to identify likely prospects. You’ll have total control of every scouting activity as you can prioritize assignments according to your ambitions and objectives, or according to your preferred scouting philosophy and recruitment policy.
This is one of the few set and forget options. Changing the person who shall manage this in the middle of the season will cancel and delete every current ongoing scouting assignments. Despite the assignment is cancelled and all scouts are called back home, none of the compiled scout reports is lost, even though the shortcut of players found out on the mission is removed from the overall assignment page.
In addition to being forced to start from scratch, you’ll lose all progress made in improving the scouting knowledge. It’s not like the knowledge the scout has built up is deleted, but rather kept on hold. This can be devastating for your scouting program for a longer period as gaining knowledge of a nation takes a vast amount of time!
5.3 Scouting Meetings & Handling its Responsibilities
Scouting meetings provides you with a summary of Reports your Scouting Team recommends you to look at. You can look at these meetings as reminders that occur in intervals, and makes you aware of potential targets which you are encouraged to browse through and take actions on.
In some ways, it’s an extension of the Scouting Centre as it brings awareness to the recommended players from the Recommendation panel. To grab your attention about these players, the Scouting Team will forward an inbox message at specific intervals determined in the Scouting Centre Preferences. It enables you to get feedback on the determined scouting strategies and focuses decided in Recruitment meetings.
You can handle these meetings yourself, or delegate the task to the most suited person in the Scouting Team – most often the Chief Scout.
When handling these meetings yourself you’ll be provided with a list of players which you can take further actions on, either you want to keep scouting the player, acknowledge or discard interest, put him on a shortlist or the transfer target list, or formalize a bid.
The number of players which you can go through at Scouting Meetings depends on the number of scouting focuses you got, whether you are looking for a new goalkeeper, striker and a new defensive midfielder, or you got a scouting assignment set up to identify a specific player type for one position.
When handing scouting meetings to one of your Scouts, you delegate the responsibility of going through all the player recommendations. He will then take the actions he deems necessary, whether it’s to keep scouting the player, discard interest or notify you about the player.
This could be an option if you don’t want to browse through hundreds of players but simply receive inbox messages about the best players you should be aware of. This will reduce the amount of reports delivered but makes your involvement with Scouting more pinpointed in regard to feedback from assignments as you hand over some control to scouting.
Delegating the responsibility:
There are two ways to delegate the responsibility of handling Scouting Meetings to the Chief scout, or one in your Scouting Team;
Scouting > Scouting Responsibility > Handling Scouting Meetings > Delegate to (by using the drop down menu)
Staff > Responsibilities > Scouting > Handling Scouting Meetings
NB! You will find more options to delegate the responsibilities of your Analysis team relating to Analysis Reports in the Staff Responsibilities.
How frequent should Scouting Meetings be held?
The frequency of the scouting meetings depends on you, the situation within your team and how effective your scouting team is to find players and gather reports. It can be held from every day to once a month, no matter if it’s within or outside transfer windows.
How frequent they should be held is up to you and how important you deem it necessary to keep track of the ongoing scouting activities. My personal preference is to increase the frequency of when these meetings are held within transfer windows to avoid missing out on likely targets and great suggestions.
In fact, I tend to set the frequency to once a week at the beginning of the pre-season or transfer window, increasing it to every second day if I’m in desperate need of strengthening my squad in the latter stages of the transfer window. This means I like to handle these meetings myself. During transfer windows, I like to reduce the number of reports delivered to me to a maximum of 20 entries per meeting.
Outside transfer windows I want these meetings with the scouting team to occur on a monthly basis featuring as many as 100 reports to be delivered. It lets me get a better picture of the efficiency of my scouts and enables me to judge their job while browsing through scout reports of potential signings.
To be provided with more reports than what you basically need has its pros and cons. Besides requiring more time making a judgement on the player, whether to keep the report for future use or not, more reports enable you to get aware of players that would normally miss the cut. The only way you might have discovered them is by browsing the list of Scouted Players, check upon the Reports in the Assignment page or through manually searching the database using filters.
Actionable Steps to take at Scouting Meetings
As you browse through the reports either in the Scouting Centre or in Inbox messages, you’ll have several options to take further actions for each individual. There are eight different types of actions you can take.
- Discard: Signals you have no interest in the player what so ever. clicking the button will inform the Scouting Team that you don’t want the player to be recommended or appear in any future player searches. Basically, you dismiss the report and removes him from any future suggestions.
- Acknowledge: means no further actions are required on this player and simply wnt to remove this entry from the Scouting Centre.
- Get Analyst Report: If the report card hasn’t been provided by an Analyst, you can request that a member of that department files a full statistical report on the player.
- Scout Player: Will look to scout the player at the length of time determined in the Scouting Centre Preferences.
- Keep Scouting: Add the player to your scouting assignments to generate a full Report Card.
- Make Offer: Immediately begin negotiations to sign the player.
- Offer Trial: Formalize an enquiery about trial according to the specified length of time determined in the notifications preferences relating to action buttons.
- Agent Availability: Lets you get in touch with the Player’s Agent to monitor the player’s interest in joining your club. It opens a remote chat with the agent which let you get information about what it may require from the agent or the club to come to an agreement. The agent may describe some of the player’s needs or the cost relating to a potential transfer.
In addition to these actions, you’ll also get the option to:
- add the player to the Shortlist
- add as a transfer target puts the player on your wishlist and gives your Director of Football to formalize a bid.
He will then make an offer based on the instructions you’ve given to him if any. If no instructions are given, he will proceed with a transfer offer according to his own preferences; what he deems necessary to successfully sign the player.
- Declare as Top Targets will notify the club and media about your interest. You are only limited to declare one (1!) Top Target, which means you should carefully consider whom to pick. You can take further actions about the priority of the transfer and which other preferences you got relating to the overall transfer cost (e.g. maximum wage and transfer offer amount) – giving your Director of Football specific instructions when making an offer.
If your club possesses a Director of Football, he will automatically handle all incoming transfer activities relating to players on the transfer target list. You can find your current list of Transfer Targets at:
Transfers > Director of Football > Transfer Targets. You can set specific instructions for your DoF when handling offers on potential targets such as setting the maximum cost, clarify the agreed playing time for any contract negotiations and set an expiry date of the offer.
At this screen, you can even let the Director of Football suggest his own transfer targets. You can ask the DoF to suggest potential transfer targets according to position and role according to the four different transfer statuses and scenarios; Transfer, Loan, ‘End of Contract’ and ‘Free Transfer’.
6. Setting up Scouting Assignments
The next step on the agenda is to look at how you can set up scouting assignments in Football Manager and the different types of assignments you can take.
When setting up new assignments you’d like them to conform to your overall transfer policy and philosophy decided in the club vision, along with the overall objectives detailed in the first section. Your assignments will feature a mix of short- and long-term missions which may have been decided upon Recruitment meetings or according to what works best for your ambitions.
When writing this, I take into account you handle scouting assignments yourself since it will be most effective to spend some extra time assigning scouts yourself rather than letting your Chief Scout or Director of Football randomly scout nations, competitions, teams or players. See Scouting Responsibilities.
How you assign your scouts must coincide with why we need to focus on scouting as much as training or tactics. The reason is simple; to improve our knowledge level of players, teams, competitions, nations and/or regions to further identify more potential signings!
The number of assignments you can set up will depend on the size of your scouting team, which means a team in the lower leagues with less available funds and a more limited scouting scope will need to scout for players quite differently than a top club.
How to set up scouting assignments?
Setting up scouting assignments are basically easy. You simply head to either;
Scouting > Assignments
Scouting > Recruitment Team > Specific Scout > Reports Scout Assignments > click Create a new Assignment
New scouting assignments are also created in Recruitment Meetings – all depending on whether you got scouts available to look for new targets.
This Assignment screen lets you see whether there are any restrictions in regard to your scouting range and which scouts are out on a mission, time remaining and how many reports they have gathered out on assignment. You’ll also see previous assignments they have done. By visiting the Assignment page fairly regularly you will have full control of your scouting network and track the progress of all your scouting activities.
Types of Scouting Assignments
Generally speaking, there are three different types of missions to assign scouts on, each with their own objectives; Players, Teams and Matches.
- Scouting for players using different filters and preferences that truncate the results. Here you have a huge range of different methods from searching for specific player types to positions and roles, according to transfer status or attributes.
- Assigning a scout to acquire reports about a specific team or the next opposition more focused on key players and overall strength and weaknesses relating to the team abilities.
- Assigning an analyst to get ongoing reports about the next opposition. These reports are more focused on the opponent’s recent performances relating to statistics, overall performance and trends in addition to how they play in an analytical perspective.
- Assigning scouts to attend specific matches to acquire knowledge of future opponent’s players or potential signings you’re highly interested in.
A functional scouting program will include the use of all these three scouting options throughout a season.
Let’s take a closer look at how to set up scouting assignments for players and teams and their specific benefits. A closer insight into the different conditions to select from when searching for players will be covered in our guide on how to scout for players in Football Manager.
6.1 What’s the cost of setting up scouting assignments?
No matter the type of scouting assignment you set, there will be a scouting cost attached to the operation. These expenditures go outside your scouting budget and will increase with how far the scouts travel, general expenses attached to the task, the cost for accommodation and the overall expenditures on watching the player. The cost will increase with the number of matches watched.
The cost of setting up scouting assignments within your permitted scouting range is visible in the Expenditures which Your financial reports will include a line called Scouting Costs which details the amount of money spent on scouting assignments.
6.2 Player Assignments
The first option when creating new assignments is the option to look for players. When assigning scouts, 90% of your scouting network will be tasked with undergoing Player assignments. This type of task looks to identify players using a number of different criteria. Here you’d like to identify suitable targets according to your current needs; whether it’s to find players to develop for the long-term or to simply identify first-team candidates that can take your club to another level.
When conducting player assignments you’ll be able to use a number of conditions to find the players you’re after. The more conditions you set, the more strategic and structured scouting will become. The end result might mean fewer reports and fewer players identified, but the players found will better fit your needs!
Likewise, may this approach, mean your scout may miss out on likely prospects. It’s important to not tick every condition there is, but use search filters afterwards to reduce the list of potential signings according to what fits your needs, ambitions and tactical system.
An overview of the different conditions and choices available when creating assignments
The player assignment screen enables you to take a wide range of options at hand in your quest to find the best players for your team and your tactic. A scouting assignment is basically divided into asking the scout to look for players who fit certain conditions. Most often we can split his task into three;
1. Types of Players related to squad status or transfer type, in relationship with…
2. desirable attributes such as specified player attributes, traits, age, current ability, potential ability, position and/or player role along with other more basic information about the player such as nationality or home-grown status.
3. Availability and Transfer Status
The last instruction is where to scout, whether the scout is restricted to a specific competition, nation or area of the world, e.g. the scouting scope.
Clicking the Current Assignment will give you a detailed scouting summary and description of his tasks. You’ll even get to see which teams, nations he has started gaining knowledge of together with matches watched. An overview of the scouted teams and number of times seen can provide you with useful feedback on how well the scout is working and whether or not you should focus his attention to acquire more reports faster.
Football Manager also enables you to set the duration of the scouting assignment according to the desired period. When starting a new scouting assignment it’s important to remember that the scout may take some time to settle in before being able to deliver reports of potential targets. This means that you should consider the desired duration according to the scout’s abilities (read Adaptability), current scouting knowledge (of a particular nation) and what you ask him to find.
The duration can range from 1 month to a year with ‘Ongoing’ and ‘Until Finished’ as additional options. You can for example set up short-term scouting focuses which priorities transfer statuses and availability, or more long-term focuses which look to increase your knowledge within an area.
Until finished, mean the scout has no specified time period of when his mission will end. In fact, it will not end until he has gained full knowledge of the nation, until the competition ends or until he believes he can’t find any more players who fit the bill. When he ends his task depends on how big of an area he roams. It may take 3 months to finish scouting a nation, whilst it may take a year to gain a broad knowledge of a region. It all depends on the scout’s Determination, his knowledge level and overall quality.
Ongoing means the scout will continuously roam the specific nation or area according to your conditions, no matter if he has built up full knowledge of the nation/region. If roaming a region or your entire scouting range, he will instead of finishing the assignment start all over by scouting a new nation within that region – always moving from one nation to another non-stop.
If you prefer to acquire knowledge of all players within a nation instead of seeing the scout “jump” from nations to nations, then you should select an ongoing competition assignment.
The only way to end his assignment is to manually delete it.
NB! It can be useful to keep scouting the same nations/regions as players progress and new players enter the area, either as newgens in youth intakes or from transfers.
Using templates to scout for player types
To help you on your way to set up player assignments you’ll have different templates at hand. These templates are pre-set conditions that you can use to save time setting up specific missions. Which assignments to use will depend on your recruitment focus and types of players you’re after.
There are four types of player templates that are available in Football Manager by default. Each with their own specific conditions that ease your job.
The First Team Player Assignment will focus the attention on players who can become valuable squad member by improving the current squad with his qualities and skills. The scout will scour the determined scope for players with at least ‘Good’ current ability rating (aka 3 stars). The scout who should take on these assignments requires first and foremost high levels of Judging Player Ability as the objects are most often players above the age of 21 and fully developed.
This can be an option if you got first-team player(s) who wants to play at a higher level or are wanted by another club, which increases the risk of him leaving the club. It can also be an option to use this task when got a player who isn’t performing at the required level (perhaps due to current abilities, weaknesses in attributes or severe injuries that has affected his game).
The Backup player Assignment will prioritize the focus on searching for suitable targets who might not require as much playing time, but who would agree on playing a second fiddle and come into the first team occasionally, either due to provide a cover for injuries or give necessary rest to your star players. The scout will search for players with a scouted ability of at least Decent (This relates to a 2-star rating for CA).
A Hot Prospect Assignment might be a great solution for any team focusing on youth development. This assignment might be the perfect option for teams with a club vision of signing young players for the future or to develop for profit. The scout will search for players that are 24 or younger and with at least Good potential ability (3 star PA rating). The scout who should undertake such assignments requires first and foremost high levels of Judging Potential Ability as the objects are not fully developed and require one who can evaluate the underlying factors that might hinder his future progress.
The Replacement for option lets you create an assignment that looks to find a player who can become a suitable replacement for a specific player within your team. In order to successfully set up this assignment, you need to refine it by selecting the position on the pitch and which player you want to replace. The scout will then use his knowledge about the player’s current abilities, potential and best attributes related to the position to identify targets who can be as good as the one you want to replace.
The scout you select to undertake these missions requires high levels of Judging Player Ability and JPP.
TIP! By using additional conditions like specifying specific attributes you can limit certain weaknesses related to the one you want to replace.
To search for players according to their availability you can decide on the type of transfer you’re interested in the scout should aim his attention at, whether he should suggest only players suitable for a transfer, a loan or only available to be signed at the end of the contract.
Apart from scouting for players according to specific templates you can assign scouts to competitions, travel nations, regions or continents. By specifying the scouting scope you can broaden or limit your search and specify the Scout’s focus on where to scout. You can either select where he shall travel manually or let him use his experience, knowledge and determination to scout a Nation of his preference.
Scouting competitions will focus the Staff attention on a specific league, building knowledge of the players making an impact on that competition. You can let the scout compile reports from ongoing competitions of International championships and qualifications, European tournaments such as the UEFA Champions League or youth tournaments within specific regions or nations. Whether you prefer to scout senior or junior competitions or track down players who impress with their performances by asking the scout to watch matches within a competition is up to you and your objectives.
Scouting nations or regions are often used to build scouting knowledge of a specific country or area looking to acquire reports of players within a bigger pool of players. It’s essential that the scout has high levels of Adaptability to work most effective and quickly gain both a knowledge of the nation and deliver results.
When a scout is assigned to scouting a region or nation he will watch matches of senior and youth teams both of the National team and minor and major teams within that nation.
The last option under deciding upon the scouting scope is to let your scout travel within your scouting range to gather reports. When selecting this condition you’ll ask your scout to travel within your entire permitted scouting range. For a major club with no restrictions, it might mean the Scout will travel around the globe, which reduces his effectiveness as he will roam the region without focusing his attention to a specific country.
Most often you’ll weigh your priority on player assignments, but scouting the next opposition should not be underestimated as it can help your team to greatness. Let us take a closer look at how to set up team assignments and the different kinds of reports you can gather.
6.3 Team Assignments
Scouting in Football Manager is not only focused on faining knowledge of players, nations and regions. A major part of it is to compile team reports by setting up team assignments.
In difference to gathering reports on players and their strengths and weaknesses can you ask your scouts… or should I say Data Analysts, to compile reports about specific teams or ongoing reports about the next opposition. Gaining knowledge of teams around you has its benefits. By receiving reports on teams you’ll acquire a bunch of useful information you can take advantage of in a future encounter.
In reality, there are two types of team reports. One anyone within your scouting pool can carry out, and one which the Performance Analyst can undertake.
6.3.1 Report on Specific Teams
This assignment type looks to get reports on a specific team’s overall strength and weaknesses, squad depth and other useful information related to their stats. You’ll be able to identify key players and top performers as well as giving you the ability to conduct a squad comparison between the two, focusing more on attributes relating to general stats, positional areas such as goalkeepers, midfielders or attackers, or player attribute’s divided by physical, mental or technical abilities.
You can compile a team report of any teams within Football Manager. Simply type in the name of the team you like to get more information about and conduct a search. Then, select a scout with high ratings in Tactical Knowledge and Judging Player Ability to gather the most accurate report possible.
Once a team report is finished, an inbox message will be forwarded containing links to a more in-depth report. The full report is also available at;
Club Name > Team Reports > Scout Report.
6.3.2 Ongoing reports on next opposition
Ongoing reports on the next opposition will gather a similar team report as above. Instead of searching for a team to scout, you will ask a scout to report on the upcoming opposition.
These reports will be available under;
Team Report > Next opposition > Scout Report
This type of report is most often used in conjunction with analyst’s reports compiled by the Performance Analyst, or a member of your Analysis Team.
6.3.3 Ongoing Analyst Reports
One of the most important reports is ongoing analyst reports which together with reporting of the opposition’s strength and weaknesses compiles post-match analysis of your opponent and your own team. They will analyze statistical data about recent performances and trends. It enables you to get in-depth knowledge to goal analysis, formation analysis and expected tactical system and style.
A host of information relating to their tactic’s strength and weaknesses along with Stat Packs and Individual Match Analysis can be used to determine how you should counter them. These reports will be forwarded to you via an Inbox message a few days prior to the match.
When setting up an analyst assignment you can determine whether you want a specific Analyst to compile the reports and how many matches he shall analyze. You can decide whether he shall analyze the last one to three matches. More matches analyzed means a greater foundation for the analyst report. You’ll be able to see how your opponent set up their tactics home and away and when facing different opponents.
6.4 Attending Specific Matches
One of the most important aspects of scouting is to watch potential targets in action. Perhaps you’re highly interested in a specific target and you’ve gained full knowledge of him, but needs a better foundation to make the right decision.
Instructing a specific scout to attend a specific match will increase the knowledge level of the players featured in the match. You’ll get a full list of the matches played on that day, or upcoming matches, for all your playable leagues.
Visting the page will even let you see which scouts will attend which matches, displayed by a green magnifying glass together with the scout’s name. A match no one attends is displayed as ‘No Action’. Clicking the drop-down menu lets you select a scout to attend the match or edit the current setup.
Personally, I tend to visit this page just to control which matches are watched. For instance, it might not be highly likely to find a suitable target in a match between two clubs at a lower playing level which one of your scouts will attend. Then you can easily remove him from that duty and instruct him to attend a different match, perhaps the next day.
P.S. If you regularly want your scout to attend matches in a specific competition, I recommend you to scout that specific competition instead of frequently editing matches watched.
7. Scouting Priorities
The scout priorities page lists all requests you’ve made for players to get a scout report of. Here you’ll see all individual scouting trips you have going on.
With a huge scouting network and many players on your radar, there might be several scouting requests ongoing. Perhaps you have requested multiple scout reports of newgens at youth intakes or a number of players within a player search. These players are added to the scout priority list. Even with a huge scouting pool, the result is most often that the scouts can’t handle the workload as players you wish to get a higher knowledge of get queued up until an available scout can finish the assignment.
Trying to get multiple scout reports of players will apart from increasing the scout’s workload increase the await time.
The solution is to manage the scouting priorities!
By managing your scouting priorities you can easily arrange the order of scout requests, get an overview of the time remaining until the scout report will be delivered, cancel one or multiple scout requests or increase the priority of a specific request.
Changing the order of priority is easy. Simply click and hold over the priority button and drag and drop. If you want to move a player to the top of the priority list, then I recommend clicking the Prioritise Assignment which will change the priority to urgent and move him to the top of the list.
The list of scouting priorities is found at;
Scouting > Assignments > Scout Priorities
An equal page for analyst priorities exists as well, focusing on players you’ve asked to get analyst report of.
Scouting, like training or any other area of Football Manager, can be as basic or complex YOU want it to be. It’s all about understanding when to use the different methods in your scouting toolbox and when to take advantage of the specific scouting tips provided in our guide to scouting in Football Manager 2021.
For me, scouting is a long-term process where the focus can expand from using filters to identify players to more strategical methods where you aim to acquire knowledge of ‘valuable’ nations and regions known to develop great wonderkids and newgens.
Whether you are looking for cheap wonderkids to develop and sell for a profit or search for an immediate first-team signing, knowing as much about the player as possible is important! It’s here scouting comes into play.
The process of scouting and increasing your world knowledge is not done in a year. It requires time and full focus. Attention to details will let you come a long way together with trusting yourself in the given project. Even though you might be required to carefully read hundreds of scout reports to identify targets that fit your system, it will all pay off once you find your gem!
Our ultimate guide to scouting in Football Manager has given you a deeper insight into why you should take a hands-on approach with scouting by interacting with the recruitment team and why it is beneficial.
You’ll have learned how to set up filters to receive feedback and inbox messages that matter the most to you, how to set up your scouting team for the most purposeful function and gained insight into the different types of scouting assignments to take advantage of, to increase your scouting knowledge.
All in all, you’ve received everything you need to set up the foundation for an efficient scouting network. Now it’s time to put it into practice!
In the coming weeks, there will come more in-depth scouting tips looking closer at how I approach scouting in Football Manager 2021 and other related aspects. If you have any questions or got any specific inquiries about other Football Manager guides to write, get in touch!
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Until next time, thanks for reading!