You can try and do things your own way with so much of Football Manager 2021, but inevitably you will want to find the next generation of unknown world-class talent without having to spend the big bucks poaching talent from the big teams that were already five steps ahead of you (good luck signing Mbappe with your Belgian 2nd-division team). They might have even read this guide before you for all we know. Well, scouting the next Messi is easier than you may imagine in FM21, although, as is the case with modern football, you’ll find it easier to get wonderkids if you have more money.
Know Where to Look in FM21
Wonderkids can usually be found in countries where the game is most important while having a decent infrastructure. Looking at the big European nations is a nice bet, but South America is the FM community’s go-to scouting spot for good youth ratings and value for money. What sets countries like Brazil and Argentina apart from Europe in FM21 is that those nations have poorer clubs that will be willing to give you their youth prospects at a fraction of the cost of their European counterparts for example. The problem is, you may have to deal with waiting, as South American nations don’t let their players leave until they turn 18, and even then, you will likely have to deal with work permits and the like.
Separating the Wheat From the Chaff
With all the players within FM21‘s database, it helps to filter down to a few clubs that you will look at from time to time and see if they’ve produced any wonderkids of note. The top Brazilian clubs like Corinthians, Santos, or Fluminese are good bets, and with all of them you want to select all of the players in the under-18’s and hit “get scout report”.
They will then get back to you with updated reports either in your inbox or your scouting shortlist. The higher the number, the more your scouts believe that they will be a great addition to your team, although the best opinion is always yours. Have a look at their stats and particularly their determination and work rate – the higher the value, the faster they will reach their potential with good performances on the training ground and the pitch.
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There’s so much more to figure out with Football Manager 2021, and there’ll be more guides coming. Until then, let me know if you manage to find anyone particularly good, and where you found them! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to play more of this remarkable game.