Scout Reports & Assessing Transfer Targets

Once a player has been scouted you can view all scout reports on him from his Reports tab. To see older reports and reports by different scouts you can use the drop-down menu on the top-left of the report card. You can also access a list of all players that one of your scouts has scouted from the Reports tab of that scout. This will allow you to use the search filters to more easily find and compare the particular types of player you are looking for, while the Player Search screen will list the players found by all of your scouts, along with other players in the knowledge range of your scouting network.

The ability star ratings given by scouts are very useful in allowing you to quickly assess the quality and potential of a scouted player, and particularly in filtering out those players, typically with a potential ability rating of less than two and a half stars, who will never be good enough to play a role in your team. However, it would not be wise to base your judgement on a player simply on these ratings and your scout's recommendation, as they do not take into account a lot of other important information, some of which is contained in the report card and some elsewhere. In particular, you should also consider the following factors:

  • The player's and the squad’s personality.
  • How well the player suits the role and duty you wish him to play, in terms of both his attributes and preferred moves, how comfortable he is in the position you want to use him in and the need for a new player in this position and role.
  • The cost of the player in terms of both the transfer fee and his wage demands. You should consider the cost in terms of your remaining transfer and wage budgets, and your club's overall finances, as well as the player's remaining potential and therefore his potential resale value. Also, look on his Contracts tab to see if he has a release clause.
  • Any hidden attributes mentioned in the Attributes panel, and other clues to hidden attributes such as from the player's injury history, accessed from his History tab.
  • The player's ratings in the important mental attributes for all positions, namely Anticipation, Bravery, Composure, Concentration, Decisions, Determination, Teamwork and Work Rate, and also the Technique and Creativity attributes for attacking players.
  • The player's ratings in attributes which cannot be trained using individual training focus, that is Aggression, Anticipation, Bravery, Concentration, Creativity, Decisions, Determination, Flair, Influence, Teamwork, Work Rate and Natural Fitness, in particular Aggression, Bravery, Determination and Influence which cannot be trained at all.
  • How strong the player is on each foot, particularly in the case of wide players. This is shown on the Information section of his Overview tab.
  • The languages spoken by the player and your current squad members, as shown on the Information section of their Overview tabs.
  • The age of the player and therefore how long he will be able to play a part in the team or how useful he will be in providing tutoring to younger players if your squad is lacking in more experienced personnel.
  • The time it may take to integrate him into the squad, particularly in the case of older players, or foreign-based players without good Adaptability, and whether it would instead be preferable to retain your current players in that position temporarily whilst developing a younger player, possibly brought in from elsewhere, to replace them.

Current Ability and Potential Ability Star Ratings

The panel at the top of the scout report gives the scout’s opinion on the player’s current ability in his best position, the scout’s opinion of the player’s potential ability in this position and a recommendation of whether you should sign the player.

The ability star ratings are both given relative to other players in your squad at the time of the report and give a basic assessment of the quality and potential of the scouted player. They are expressed as ratings out of five silver or gold stars. The silver stars are used to more accurately compare the current ability of those youth players who would otherwise be given a single gold half-star rating, whereas those youth players with better current ability will be rated using gold stars.

The ratings are based on the scout’s opinion of the player’s current and potential ability ratings, and will be more accurate the better the scout is in Judging Player Ability and Judging Player Potential. The potential ability star rating is also based on the amount of time that the player has left to reach his potential. Whether a player reaches this ability rating depends both on the accuracy of the scout’s opinion and on the player’s development (as well as on how the relative ability of your squad changes). Generally, at smaller clubs with poorer training facilities this potential rating will not be reached. All other things being equal, the potential ability rating will often drop slightly on a player’s birthday due to him having less time left to reach his peak.

The Recommendation star rating is based solely on the potential ability star rating and the player's age, with the recommendation star rating being lower than the potential ability and current ability star ratings for older players to reflect the fact that their current ability is likely to decline. This rating corresponds to the description underneath where the scout gives you his conclusion on whether you should sign the player. It is important to understand that this ignores many other important factors that should be considered, as explained above.

Transfer Information

In the Transfer Information panel your scout tells you how interested the player is in moving to your club, whether on a permanent transfer or on loan. This will give you an initial indication of how difficult contract negotiations may be and whether the player would even be interested in talking to you at all. Your scout also provides you with an estimated cost, which gives you an indication of how much you may need to bid in order to be permitted to start talks with him, along with the wage demands likely to be requested by the player if he is interested. If no estimated cost is shown then this is because the scout does not believe the club are likely to want to sell the player to you, and therefore you are unlikely to be able to obtain him.

Your transfer and wage budgets will determine whether you can actually afford the player. However, you should assess the likely cost of the target in the light of the importance of the signing and the player's suitability and quality, as well as in comparison with the likely cost of other potential targets. You should also consider what squad status you are likely to give him and how his wage demands compare with the wages of those players with the same status already in your squad, and therefore how the player would fit in to your overall wage structure. You will be limited by your Board’s restrictions on wages for players with that status as shown in the Salary tab on the Finances screen, although this can be increased by raising your wage budget at the expense of your transfer budget on the Boardroom Overview screen.

Your scout also mentions in this panel how long you will have to wait until it is possible to sign the player for free on a pre-contract agreement. This is only relevant if the player does not sign a new contract with his club before this time, which is more likely to be the case if the player is unsettled or his club cannot afford to keep him, or if the player has an ambitious personality and wants to play for a higher reputation club. You can potentially unsettle a transfer target and increase the chances of him requesting to leave, particularly if he plays for a lower reputation club than your own, by occasionally praising him in the media so that you become one of his favoured personnel, as shown on the Information section of his Overview tab, and by making reasonable offers for him that are rejected by his club.

Finally, where relevant, your scout tells you how likely the player is to gain a work permit to play in your club's country. 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 your scout does not think a work permit will be granted then you may need to look elsewhere 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 Board Meeting section of your club's Boardroom tab.

Attributes

Strengths and Weaknesses

In the Attributes panel your scout gives you details of the player's strengths and weaknesses. The main strength and main weakness give an indication of which type of attributes the player is best and worst in. You can view the player's attributes for yourself on the player's Attributes screen if you do not have attribute masking enabled, but these strengths and weaknesses can still help draw your attention to specific areas of a player's ability.

The specific strength and specific weakness highlight particular attributes that the player has high or low ratings in. Crucially, these will sometimes be hidden attributes, such as Consistency, Important Matches and Injury Proneness, which you would not otherwise be aware of. This can be very useful in helping you to avoid signing players who are likely to get injured regularly or who often play below their full ability, while if a player tends to perform well in big games then you might want to put extra effort into your attempts to sign him.

Personality

On the right side of the Attributes panel your scout will give you a personality description based on the player’s hidden personality attributes. For details of what each description means in terms of these attributes see the Player Personalities guide. This description is also available for any player on the Information section of their Overview tab, regardless of whether you have scouted them. You should try to sign players with good Professionalism in particular, as such players will tend to improve more from training, can endure heavier training workloads and can have longer careers, in addition to signing players with other positive personality attributes such as Determination or Ambition. However, signing ambitious players could be counter-productive if you manage a low reputation club, in which case signing loyal players may be more beneficial.

A player’s personality description will give you an idea of how the player will need to be managed generally if brought to the club, such as when giving team talks and answering the media in press conferences. For example, if you have a player with high ratings in Determination and Pressure then you can be more demanding of him in team talks, while if many of your players have high Ambition then you will need to stay positive of your chances when talking to the press.

Below the scouted player's personality the report displays your team's personality, which can also be viewed on the General section of your club's Information tab. This can be useful in helping you to sign players who will form good relationships with their new teammates more easily, which will help improve team morale and thus performances.

Position

In this panel your scout tells you what he believes to be the player’s best position, and provides a diagram showing the player's level of familiarity in all positions. Your scout will also suggest the best role and duty combination for the player. However, this is based only on his average ratings in the key attributes required for each role and duty. It would be advisable to form your own opinion on a player’s best role and duty by not only looking at his attributes but also considering the preferred moves that he possesses, as shown on his Positions screen, and whether these are beneficial or counterproductive for a particular role. You can use the Choosing Player Roles guide for detailed information on each role.

Generally, you should be looking for players who can play in the roles employed in your tactics or roles that you could easily incorporate into your tactical system. However, it would be advisable to try to sign players to cover a variety of roles in order to give you more tactical options, with preference given to players who appear to be suitable for more than one role.

Position Rating

The Ability comparison list in this panel enables you to see at a glance the depth and quality of your squad in the scouted player’s best position if you were to sign him. This should help you in assessing how the player might fit into your squad structure, whether signing him or a similar player is necessary, whether the cost of the player is 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.

You can also view a list for each of the other positions that the player can play in as long as he is accomplished or better in those positions.

Further Reading

Inverting the Pyramid - guaranteed to give you a greater tactical knowledge and understanding.

The Manager: Inside the Minds of Football's Leaders - learn how to think like a football manager

Will You Manage? - tells you the skills needed to be a great manager and gives essential tips for fantasy football success

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