Scouting is one of the three main aspects that I’ll be focusing on in my RBLeipzig save that I called out in my initial plan for FM17. Since the appearance of Moneyball style saves on Football Manager, scouring the globe for talent has become even more important than before. My RBLeipzig save isn’t a traditional Moneyball one, however I will be imposing their non-FM world restriction on aiming to bring in players under 24 years of age and looking to develop, and sell on talent within reason. The final two points there are things I’ll address in another post, but for today, here’s my approach to scouting on FM17 with RBLeipzig.
Scouting and Transfers Team
Since the emergence of the director of football role within FM, we’ve been graced with a scouting and transfers team. This year, they’re of course joined by our data analysts.
If you’re aware of the RBL story to date or indeed his work from previous clubs, you’ll be aware of the man at top of the screenshot there. Our director of football.
I kind of wish he was part of my coaching team with those attributes, and I could get him to take charge of signing players for us, but I want complete control over incoming transfers. So what is he getting paid just over £40k a week to do? In reality, not a lot. I’m treating him like a glorified scout at the moment, except he isn’t actually capable of going on scouting assignments. His role is to perform the adhoc scouting reports I need, whether that’s players I’ve spotted myself, or whether I need a second opinion on anyone my scouting team has spotted. Pretty pricey to say the least, but it’s all part of the Rasenballsport experience.
Anyway, back to my scouting and transfers team. Alongside Rangnick in the almost useless stakes is my chief scout, Johannes Spors. He isn’t in charge of sending our scouts on assignments (I’m in control here) but he does have 17/15 for JP/JA, so I’m very much just treating him like a regular scout. Our board currently only allows us to have 1 chief scout and 6 scouts, so it’s actually quite handy to have a chief scout for that additional scout to get on the staff. Ayala (13/17), Schuiteman (19/19), Almqvist (15/14) and Rajkovic (16/16) were all brought in to bolster the scouting team to the rafters.
It should be no surprise that the scouts that were brought in during the summer were of differing nationalities. This gave us a huge boost in our worldwide knowledge, and enabled us to specialise in each of their respective nations. However, I’d like to note that I’ve got absolutely no issue at all with sending a German scout with no knowledge of a country, to that country. Of course, if you can get a scout from every country under the sun into your staff, then I recommend you do that.
The scouting team is place, now it’s time to think about who we actually want them to be watching.
I’ve mentioned this already but I’ll only be signing players aged 24 and under for RBLeipzig. That makes that section of the assignment options easy.
I’m currently not putting any required attributes into the mix, and I don’t plan to either.
I normally do gravitate towards signing players on the younger end of that spectrum anyway, so I’m leaving the current ability star rating as is, and setting the potential star rating at 3 stars. This means that my scouts will only report back on players with that star rating or higher.
Like I said, if you manage to hire a scout from every nation you want to send them to, then who you send on the assignment is important. However, I’m pretty comfortable with sending any of my scouts to any nation. There are some obvious choices though, Ayala, Schuiteman, Almqvist and Rajkovic are all new arrivals to the team and will be sent to scout their respective nations, regions or area. This leaves my German nationals to battle it out for where they’ll be sent.
Again, it’s obvious but the depth of report you get back, in terms of number of players scouted, will be better the longer you send your scout on the assignment for. The duration of assignments I’ll be sending my scouts on will all depend on where they’re being sent to. For example, if I want a quick report on Germany, or an updated report on the country where one of our scouts is from, I may only send them for a month or two, at the most. If I’m sending them off to a region, it’ll be a minimum of 6 months. It’ll be 6 months minimum as well for ‘high potential’ nations too.
Once the scouts have started to send some reports my way, I like to have either Rangnick or my head of youth development, Thomas Albeck, to go and watch players who I really like the look of, but perhaps want a second opinion on. However, I’m in control here so the final decision on making a bid and offering players contracts comes down to me. How does that decision get made? I’ll take into account if there’s any position we need some strengthening in, but in all honesty, it comes down to instinct. If I like the look of a player, my FM intuition kicks in and I’ll put a bid in.
Where will I be scouting?
We’ve got the who, and what type of player they’ll be scouting, now it’s time to discuss where they’ll be heading to.
Schuiteman’s arrival was a necessity in my opinion. I always like to have a Dutchman on my scouting team, as there is an almost constant conveyor belt of talent being produced across the country. That reason, combined with the fact that the talent produced is often more than happy to leave to further their careers, makes it a no brainer to scout. When he’s not scouting the Netherlands, Schuiteman will be heading across the border to Belgium.
Almqvist is on the obligatory trip to the Scandinavian region. If the initial results aren’t great, due to time being spent in Iceland and Finland, I may decide to send him to solely focus on Denmark, Norway and Sweden individually.
Rajkovic is currently in his home nation of Serbia, but will be making his way to Croatia, Romania and probably Turkey as well. Think of him as our South-Eastern European scout. Croatia and Romania are two of my favourite countries to sign players from in-game, you can always find a quality young player or two. Turks have a long standing historical connection with Germany, so it’d be good if I could find one or two gems from there.
I wasn’t planning on venturing into scouting South America so early on in the save, but Mainz poached one of my scouts and I chose Ayala as his replacement. He’s currently scouring his home nation, and I’ll definitely be sending him over to Brazil as well. Once I’m allowed some more scouts, I’ll start expanding into other South American countries too. The same can be said for Africa too, I’d really like to spot talent in a couple of nations there too but just don’t have the staff numbers available yet to do so. I need to be finding the next Naby Keita before anyone else does!
That leaves us with my German scouts. Barth and Geiger will be tasked with scouting our nearby or neighbouring countries, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic and perhaps even Slovenia/Slovakia. It goes without saying that if they don’t find the next Lewandowski or Alaba, then I’ll not be happy! And finally, what will our head scout, Spors, be up to? Well his job will be to go to those bigger European nations and find us some cheap deals on young players. France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and even the UK at a push.
How do you set your scouting assignments? Do you think there’s any lucrative talent creating nations I’m missing out on? Let me know either in the comments or on Twitter @FM_Samo. Thanks for reading!