There’s a reason why you occasionally see Sean Dyche perched in row Z of Carrow Road on a Tuesday night, and it’s not because Mrs Dyche is bored of his cartoon dog voice. It’s because you can’t rely on scouts to do all of your scouting. If you want to find the best players to sign in FM22, you’re going to have to do some scouting yourself.
FM does give you the option to attend other games, and I’ve done that a few times when weighing up a big signing, but that is seriously hardcore. There are less time-consuming ways to find gems, which I’m going to run through below.
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Raid the academies
f you’re on the lookout for the next Conor Gallagher, you’re going to have to risk getting your collar felt by the local constabulary and start hanging out at the school gates.
Dive into the U-19/U-18 squad listings of clubs with excellent youth recruitment (you’ll find those details on the club’s profile page) and see what you can find. Look for the players with the highest average rating and, if you haven’t got full details of the players’ attributes, send the scouts to watch them to complete the picture. Passion4FM has a strong list of clubs with excellent academies here. The youth squads of international sides are also worth scouring.
A good time to strike is around youth intake. The timing varies from country to country, but if you can poach a hot young talent before his club have got him fully nailed down on a pro contract, you’re laughing.
Keep an eye on social media
I don’t mean actual social media. That will rot your brain faster than a double Coke and chips. I mean the in-game social media, which you’ll find under Inbox > Social Feed, which among some typically twotish feedback from fans contains some great nuggets of information on potential transfer targets.
The social feeds will often reveal if players are unhappy at clubs, rumours of players being scouted by your rivals and titbits about players with release clauses (see separate section on this below). It often also reveals details of Player of the Month winners for various leagues, which is a great way to keep abreast of players who are bang in form and ripe for picking.
Filter player searches for release clauses
You’ve reached the January window. Your striker’s out for six months with ankle rot, your back-up forward couldn’t hit a wheelie bin with a baseball bat, and you’ve only got £10m to sign a Premier League quality forward.
Your best hope at this stage might be to search for players with dead cheap release clauses. In the Player Search menu (Scouting > Players > Player Search) hit the pink Edit Search button. Under Additional Conditions, select Add Condition > Contract > Clauses (Release). Now you can look for players for have a minimum fee release clause that matches your maximum transfer budget.
That same menu can also be used to find players with active or forthcoming relegation release clauses, which is a top way of picking the meat off the bones of relegated clubs at the end of the season.
Check club descriptions for the best players to sign
You don’t have to spend hours scanning squad lists to work out who the best player and best youth prospect at each club is – the game will tell you.
Click on the name of any club in the league table, then click Overview > General and you’ll be shown the Key Player and Hot Prospect, which is basically the kid with the most potential ability. It’s a good way of picking off players from lower-ranked teams who don’t have the financial muscle to fight you off.
Scour the league stats
Finally, don’t forget the league stats, which can help you identify gems in your own and other leagues.
On a competition’s home page, click on Stats > Player Detailed. Then click on the Average Rating stat on the left-hand side to see a list of the 50 players in the league with the highest average rating. You can filter those players by position if you click on the link in the top-right of the page.
This is a bloody good way of finding players who are playing beneath their level. If you’re an English Championship club, for example, and someone is ripping up League One with an average rating of 7.68, you can be pretty sure they’re going to be good enough for your league too.