Youth Scouting is one of the coolest features of career mode in Fifa, it adds realism to the game and allows you to go on and build a dynasty for years to come, think Fergie at Man Utd. As well as being a way to build for the future, just like in real life, many lower league clubs with low budgets rely on their young products to come into the first team to offer squad depth.
Recruiting good Scouts
Let’s start with the scouts themselves, it is integral to your whole setup that you find the best scouts you can. You can find scouts in the ‘Youth Staff’ section of your career mode menu. They have just two ratings, which are done on a one to five star basis, Judgement and Experience. What do they mean?
Judgement – This rating means how likely your scout is to find the best young players in the region when on scouting missions, a scout with a good judgement rating will find more of the best players and bring back less deadwood players who will never be good enough.
Experience – This rating relates to looking for a specific type of player. If you set your instructions to look for a certain type of player such as technically gifted, then experience will make the scout better at finding that type. If you’re just looking for quality players of any type, experience won’t matter.
Spotting a Good Player
This can be a little deceptive. The scout reports which are brought back are not exact, so you will get an overall rating estimate (50-64 for example) and a potential rating (74-84 or something along these lines). It is easy to get tempted by a decent overall rating, but what we are really looking for is the potential rating. A high potential rating means that the players will improve quickly, and soon overtake a player even with superior overall rating but lower potential.
Improving in the Youth Squad
Unlike in the first team, you won’t get monthly updates on the squad report where you can see if the player’s attributes and ratings have improved, but over time the information you see on your youth products does become more detailed, to the point where you will get a very good idea of how good a player will be (61-65 for example), though you won’t know exactly until they are in your first team squad. Players do get better in your youth system if left there for a while.
Scouting in Numbers
The best way to make sure there are plenty of young players coming into your system is to use the maximum of three scouts looking in different parts of the world to unearth your gems. This can be costly, but some areas of the world, just like in reality, are more affordable than others, so scouting in Asia, for instance, can be a cheap way to bolster a lower league squad, and you can still find some gems.
Where to Scout
The amount of quality players coming out of a country largely reflects real life on Fifa. Some countries are football mad, and will always produce footballing talent, whilst others won’t necessarily have any golden generations! Countries that you would normally associate with football such as Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Italy and England are always good shouts for sending your scouts to.
How long to Scout Players For
The longer you scout a player for, the more detail your scout will have on them. I usually recommend at least two months of scouting to make sure you don’t have a dud, but sometimes if a player comes back that you are excited about you can sign them straight away, this avoids them getting snapped up by a rival, which is a very real risk!
If money is tight you should also be sure about the players you are signing, scouting them for a few months is a wise move to ensure that you are bringing in genuine quality.