Player Ability | Pros and Cons
Once a player has been scouted, either specifically or as part of a general scouting assignment, you are able to view a scout report for him on the Scout Report section of his Reports screen. It is important to use a player's scout report to help you to properly assess him and decide whether he would be a suitable signing for your club. A scout report contains information on player ability and various pros and cons.
You can obtain multiple scout reports on a single player and each report can be prepared by any of your scouts. You can access the different reports on a player using the Scout Report By drop-down. However, the information on each report is static and so may only be relevant as at the date shown and is only based on the player knowledge level as at that date. Therefore, you may need to obtain an up-to-date report before assessing a player. If you are scouting a player over a period of time or matches in order to increase the player knowledge level, as explained in the Scouting Assignments guide, then this will keep his report up to date.
You can view a list of all players that have been scouted by your scouts on the Scouted tab of the Scouting screen, while you can view a list of all players that a particular scout has scouted from the Reports screen of that scout.
Read The Nowhere Men for a fascinating insight into the world of football scouts.
The panels on the right-hand side of a scout report show the player’s ability star ratings, and a suitability analysis that displays the player's ability star ratings in different positions and roles and compares his star ratings to those of players in your squad in the same positions. Also shown is a scout summary that gives a brief overall assessment from the scout.
Ability Star Ratings
A player's current ability and potential ability star ratings are shown along with a recommendation star rating. These represent your scout's opinion of the player's ability. The recommendation star rating is simply equal to the potential ability star rating, as this is the highest possible current ability the player is expected to attain between the time of the report and the end of his career.
The accuracy of the star ratings given by a scout depend on his Judging Player Ability and Judging Player Potential attributes, and the star ratings given are fixed as at the date the report is gathered. Therefore, in order to get more accurate ability star ratings from a better scout, or more up-to-date ratings, you will need to request a new report. Uncertainty over a player's current and potential ability also affects ability star ratings, and this uncertainty is represented by black stars.
The higher the player knowledge level, the fewer black stars are included in a player's ability star ratings, as explained in the Scouting Knowledge guide.
It is important to understand that ability star ratings ignore many important factors that affect a player's performances, regardless of a scout's ability. Therefore, you should not base your assessment of a player's ability on ability star ratings alone.
The Player Ability & Performance guide discusses how current and potential ability ratings are determined, along with other factors that affect performance.
However, ability star ratings can be particularly useful in allowing you to easily filter out those players, typically those with a potential ability rating of less than two and a half stars, who are not likely to be good enough to be a useful member of your squad.
The ability star ratings of a scouted player are shown next to his name on the All Known Players, Scouted and Shortlist tabs of the Scouting screen.
Using the All Known Players, Scouted and Shortlist tabs to search for and shortlist players is explained in the Player Search & Shortlists guide.
The Suitability panel enables you to see at a glance the depth and quality of your squad in any of the positions for which the scouted player has at least competent position familiarity, as well as the player's supposed ability in each role. This can help you in assessing how he might fit into your squad structure based on his current ability, whether signing him or a similar player is necessary, whether the player's estimated cost and wage demands are appropriate considering this and whether another player in the same position already in your squad will need to be sold to make way for the new player.
However, you should not rely on the ability star ratings given for a player in each role. Instead, you should form your own opinion of whether a player suits a role by looking at his attributes and also his preferred moves.
The Roles & Duties guide suggests useful preferred moves for each role, along with the key attributes.
The scout summary is largely based on the player's ability star ratings, although it may refererence other information that the scout has assessed. For example, it may say that the player is not interested in joining your club.
Although you can use the scout summary to help to guide you, you should form your own opinion of a scouted player based on your own assessment of his ability and other considerations, as discussed below, in addition to the ability star ratings provided by your scouts.
Pros and Cons
A scout will assess various different points about a player and include any that are noteworthy in the Pros and Cons panels of his scout report.
The number of points assessed depends on the player knowledge level, as discussed in the Scouting Knowledge guide.
Some of the possible pros and cons that may be shown in a scout report, along with other factors that you should consider when assessing a player, are discussed below.
Current Ability (Division) - An indication of the division (within your club's national league) that the player could play in, and how good a player he would be in that division. This is based on his current ability star rating as assessed by the scout, discussed above.
Potential Ability (Division) - An indication of the division (within your club's national league) that the player could potentially play in after he has fully developed, and how good a player he would potentially be in that division. This is based on his potential ability star rating as assessed by the scout, discussed above. For developed players it will instead state that the player is unlikely to improve, while for almost developed players it will state that the player could improve by a slight amount.
Preferred Foot - Whether the player is particularly strong or weak with his weaker foot. A strong weaker foot can be useful for all players, but particularly attacking players who are more likely to run with the ball, and players who play on the opposite side to their weaker foot.
A player's strength with each foot can be viewed on the Information section of his Overview tab.
Strongest Area of Game - An indication of a group of related attributes that the player has relatively high ratings in. This helps you to highlight one of his main strengths so you can decide how he could be best utilised to make the most of this strength.
Strongest Attribute - An indication of a particular attribute that the player has a relatively high rating in.
Weakest Area of Game - An indication of a group of related attributes that the player has relatively low ratings in. This helps you to highlight one of his main weakness so you can decide how he could be best utilised to cover for this weakness. You may also want him to work on these attributes in his individual training.
Weakest Attribute - An indication of a particular attribute that the player has a relatively low rating in.
It is also advisable to consider the following factors when assessing a player's ability:
How well the player suits the role and duty combination or combinations that you wish him to play, as well as how well he suits your team's tactical style and whether the intended role and duty itself is suitable for your tactics. His suitability is determined by his attributes, his preferred moves and how familiar he is with the relevant position. For younger players, training can be used to an extent to mould them for a position and role. It is also possible to teach a player to learn or unlearn preferred moves, but this may not be successful.
The need for the player based on his abilities and your current squad structure. For example, you might consider the players you already have in your squad who can play in the same position and role, their ages, abilities and squad statuses, and the likely squad status that you would give to the scouted player, while you may want to give preference to a player who is suited to more than one role to aid the role versatility in your squad.
The Squad Building guide discusses further how to build a balanced squad structure.
Mental and physical abilities are explained in the Attribute Combinations guide.
The player's ratings in those attributes which cannot be trained using an individual training focus. These are Aggression, Bravery and Determination, although Determination can be improved through tutoring by a suitable player.
The player's ratings in the fitness related attributes Natural Fitness and Stamina (as well as Injury Proneness and Professionalism).
The following points give an indication of the player's rating in a hidden attribute. They are only included if the attribute rating is particularly high or low.
Adaptability - The hidden attribute Adaptability is an important consideration for a player who has never played in your club's nation before, especially if he cannot speak the language. If he has good Adaptability then he will be more likely to settle in well.
Competitive Streak - This refers to the hidden attribute Dirtiness.
The effects of each of the hidden attributes are explained in the Player Attributes guide.
You may want to avoid signing a player with a poor rating in one of these attributes, or only sign him if there are no preferable alternatives available, while in contrast you may want to favour a player with good ratings in these attributes over a similar alternative whose hidden attributes ratings are poor or unknown.
You can also judge a player's hidden attributes by assessing relevant stats. For example, you can judge a player's Injury Proneness by looking at his injury history on the Injuries section of his History tab, or his Consistency, Dirtiness and general performances by looking at his bookings and match ratings on the Stats and Form sections of his Reports tab. However, you should bear in mind the effects of other factors on these stats. For example, team performances affect a player's match ratings.
Communication - How well the player (if he is of a foreign nationality) knows the language of your club's nation, or whether he would need to learn it. If he does not speak the language then you should consider whether he shares a language with any of your current players who could therefore help him to settle in.
Happiness - Whether the player is unhappy at his current club or has requested to leave. If either is the case then signing the player may be easier and cheaper.
Individual Personality - The player's personality description. For a young player this can be improved through tutoring if necessary, although a good initial personality is still preferable. For a more experienced player who you wish to use as a tutor a positive personality, and preferably good Determination, are particularly important.
It can be advantageous to sign players with similar, positive personalities, as discussed in the Squad Building guide. The Player Personalities guide discusses personalities in detail, along with the squad personality. The effects of tutoring on personalities are explained in the Player Tutoring guide.
International Experience - Whether the player is a current international or has a lot of international experience.
You can view a player's personal information on the Information section of his Overview tab, while you can check your club's squad personality on the General tab of the Club screen.
It is also advisable to consider the following factors when assessing a player's suitability for your club:
- The age of the player and therefore how long he will be able to be a useful part of your squad or provide tutoring to young players.
The time it may take to integrate the player into your squad, for example if he does not have a similar personality to your other players or is a foreign player with poor Adaptability or no knowledge of the language, particularly in the case of older players who you want to provide an instant contribution. You may decide that it would be preferable to sign an alternative player or to retain a current player in that position temporarily while developing a younger player, possibly brought in from elsewhere, to eventually replace him.
Agent Ownership - The estimated fee that you will need to pay the player's agent to sell his stake in the player, if the player's agent owns a percentage of the player. You should add this to the estimated cost when assesssing how much you may have to pay to buy the player and whether the player is worth the expense.
Estimated Cost - The estimated fee that you will need to include in a transfer offer to the player's club in order for them to accept the offer, given as a range. This is also shown in the panel at the top of the scout report when it has been assessed, unless the player's club has a low interest in selling him, in which case you are unlikely to be able to buy him for a reasonable fee. Your transfer budget determines whether you can afford to buy the player. However, you should assess his estimated cost in the light of the importance of signing him, the player's ability and suitability, as discussed above, the squad status that you plan to give him and the estimated cost of possible alternative players. In addition, you should assess the estimated cost against the potential resale value of the player. It can be worth paying more for a young player with good potential if he is likely to play in your first team for several years or be sold in the future for a good price. However, an older player who is at or has passed his peak is likely to have his value fall in the future.
Interest In Loan - How interested the player would be in joining your club on loan. This can help you to rule out potential loan signings who are not interested.
Interest In Transfer - How interested the player would be in signing for your club in a full transfer. This can indicate how easy or difficult contract negotiations may be. If the player is not interested then you are unlikely to be able to agree a reasonable contract with him and may not even be able to discuss a contract at all.
Wage Demands - The estimated wage that you would need to include in a contract offer in order for the player to accept the offer, given as a range. This is also shown in the panel at the top of the scout report once it has been assessed, unless the player is not interested in a full transfer to your club. Your wage budget determines whether you can afford the player's wages. However, you should compare his estimated wage demands with the wages of players in your squad with the relevant squad status, and assess how the player would fit into your overall wage structure.
Work Permit - How likely the player is to successfully obtain a work permit to join your club, if he needs a work permit to play for a club in your nation. For example, if you manage in the UK then you will need work permits for all players from nations outside the EU. Players with international caps and those of higher ability or potential are more likely to be granted work permits, either immediately or upon appeal. If the scout does not think that a work permit will be granted then you may need to consider alternative players or instead send the player on loan to a feeder club where he can avoid work permit regulations and gain an EU passport after a few years. You can request a feeder club for this purpose from the Overview tab of the Board screen.
It is also advisable to consider when assessing whether and how to try to sign a player:
The length of time remaining before the player may become available to sign on an end of contract agreement, and how likely it is that the player will not sign a new contract with his club before this time. This is more likely to be the case if he is unhappy at his club, if he is good enough to attract interest from a higher reputation club or if his club is unlikely to be able to afford to keep him. If a player is available to sign on an end of contract agreement then you can discuss a contract immediately and sign him without offering his club a transfer fee, as long as you are happy for him to stay at his current club until his contract expires. If you think that there is a chance that he will become available on an end of contract agreement soon then you may want to wait, and perhaps try to unsettle the player, or alternatively you may want to try to buy the player in order to beat competition from other clubs and perhaps take advantage of the player being available for a lower transfer fee.
End of contract agreements and unsettling transfer targets are discussed in the Signing Players guide.
New Signing Philosophies - Whether signing the player would help you to meet any of your club's philosophies, as set by the board.
You can check your performance in your club's philosophies on the Confidence tab of the Board screen.
Fans' Perception - Whether the player is particularly liked or disliked by your club's fans.
You can view your club's legends, icons and favoured personnel on the General tab of the Club screen.