UPDATE: A FIFA 19 relevant version of this guide is available here.
So you’ve scouted a player, assessed his potential and attributes, possibly even trained him – now it’s time to promote him into your first team squad. Here are a few tips to get you through this final phase – short TL;DR at the bottom of the page to summarise the key points.
While in your youth academy your players will have been earning £425 a week, affordable for most small clubs and a drop in the ocean for bigger sides. When you promote these players they’ll ask for around £550 a week. Not exactly going to break the bank is it? Wage progression with players that come through the youth scouting system seems to be broken as their wages are never in line with real players of the same overall rating/potential. This is very handy when you’re on a budget as you could fill all 52 slots in your first team squad for less than £30,000 a week. However this is one of the issues I have with career mode than mean over time, it becomes too easy – more on that later. One other bonus for those of you managing clubs with tighter purse strings – you don’t pay a signing-on fee with youth players.
Generally youth players will request a contract length of between 1 and 3 years. If your usual strategy is to lock players into 5 year contracts as often as possible you can of course try this but I don’t always recommend it, especially if you’ve already had the ‘Player Wants Out’ message – there’s a good chance you’ll lose the player. With real players I’d always go for a 5 year contract because it means I’m less likely to have another wage increase to deal with anytime soon. This isn’t an issue for youth players as their wage demands will always remain low, so feel free to stick them on a short contract to keep them happy – you can always give them a longer one later. In the past I have seen what I would call unruly youth players who seem to want a 0 year contract and won’t accept a contract of even a year. If this happens to you, either accept it and move on or pull a save & reload.
My rule of thumb with youth players is to give them ‘Future 1st Team Player’ as a squad role, it’s sets the expectation that they are one for the future and unlikely to get much gametime just yet. If you’ve managed to find a really exceptional youth player and his Overall Rating is 70 or above, I would offer them the ‘Sporadic 1st Team Player’ role.
Once you’ve promoted a player to your first team squad, you’ll no longer be able to view their potential range. Instead you have to rely on the presence (or absence) of the following statements on a players information card.
- Showing Great Potential – Potential to reach 80-85
- An Exciting Prospect – Potential to reach 86-90
- Has Potential to be Special – Potential to reach 91+
I go into these in more detail in this guide. A few other things worth noting when looking for these statements. Firstly, even if a player has high potential, the statement won’t appear until their OVR is at least 60. Seeing if they have the ‘high growth’ symbol in the training menu is always worthwhile but training them until they reach 60 OVR is your best bet. Secondly, these statements disappear usually when the player has gone past 80 OVR – they should still have high potential, you can always keep checking the training menu for the high growth symbol. The final point is that although all players have a set potential, it’s not a guarantee that they’ll live up to it (injuries, lack of training and good form from gametime can certainly hamper it). However, they can also exceed their potential as all players have a ‘potential modifier’ of up to 10, so even a player with a potential of 85 could still reach 95 (but don’t count on this).
This is the end of my FIFA 18 Youth Scouting Guide. Your player(s) are now in the first team squad and will mostly abide by the same rules as regular players – injuries and international call ups included. Now it’s up to you to do what you like with them, most enjoy seeing them grow to their full potential by playing with them, others enjoy selling them on for a tidy profit – the choice is yours!
- Wage demands of players generated through the youth scouting system are ridiculously cheap (Under £1k a week)
- Expected contract length can very but I advise meeting their demands and giving them a longer contract later
- Give your players ‘Future 1st Team Player’ unless they have an Overall Rating of 70+
- Monitor player potential through the statements on their player card or through the training menu