This is one of my historical feats in FM, something I am really proud of. My academy has seen 100 players bleed into the first team squad before, but in FM16 that took me until 2033 to reach this milestone. I have never ever reached the 100 player milestone so early in a game. So what is my secret, how did I get to the astronomical value of 100 as quickly as I did?
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So first of all, you must have the personality of a youth lover. You got to be very brave and courageous, you have to give these talented teens some opportunities to ply their trade, and you should be willing to sell your first team players if the right offers come. Of course, we all have crazy and illogical bonds with some players that we feel hard to sell. I had such bonds with players such as Angel Sanchez, Josu Larrazabal, Iker Bilbao and Chechu. So what we can do is we can sell the second string players, the rotational guys for them. If you do good in competitions, you can sell even the 2nd choice players for a big healthy sum.
First of all, set up a big scouting network in your league and region. If you are able to sell good first teamers, you should have a decent amount of cash to get the U18 or U19 players. It’s been said that English youths are overpriced. While that is true, it is the direct result of the amazing TV-deal and subsequent cash flow. As a direct result, many English clubs shop abroad, even at a youth level.
I am sure you can sell a lot of players for large sums of money to English clubs or the traditional hoarders of talent outside of the UK (Barça, Real, PSG, Bayern mostly). So all of it can be used for replenishing quality in your U19 and U21.
As you can see the two-star ability and five-star potential, they are the most prone to be promoted into the first team if any of the first teamers is unavailable temporarily due to injuries and suspensions or more permanently due to being sold.
So how do we setup the vast network of scouting?
First of all, we have to select the particular nationalities we want to find, we can send the scouts to find only English, only Basque or only French. We can also choose the country we want the players to be based in. Setting the Current ability and potential is critical because of the choice of players we can get. I am doing all-Basque so I can only aim for 16 years olds of French or Spanish descent (and hopefully with Basque roots). It also means I have to accept whatever I can find, there aren’t a great many Basque players out there, and if I want to develop the existing talent to its maximum potential, I have to cast a wide net concerning recruitment. When you are less restricted in your scouting, I would recommend you set the potential ability setting to three stars minimum.
As the tales players such as Cherno Samba, Freddy Adu, Tonton Zola Moukoko and Kerlon can confirm, getting the best youth players is no sure-fire way to guarantee your team is set for the foreseeable future, right?
Most youth players, no matter how talented they are, cannot waltz straight into the first team. They need to hone their skills in the U19 squad first and when they are still excelling there, why not loan them out a second division side to get a taste of first team football at a senior level. And trust me, if they are asked by second division clubs at the age of 17 or 18, they often develop into amazing players. Once their loan has ended and they have impressed during this loan spell, I give them a lot of game time. This can cause some trouble with the senior players who are now asked to sit on the bench, but you can rotate them with the youth in cup matches and league matches and also you can bring them on from the bench.
But a gentle reminder that you must ensure that the youth player has acquired all the necessary requirements for the role and positions before you put him in the first team. For example, a fullback of age 17 to 18 must have good basic tackling of 11-12 and then some passing and crossing ability. And for a defender, an average heading, tackling and marking about 11-12 too. You must check through their progress time to time when they are in U19/ B squad and also when they are out on loan.
For every first team players departure, you are able to replenish them with a player from U19 or B squad. Isn’t that fabulous? You might have got the youth player for 350k, and he is now in your first team playing in the place for a player who left for 50m! I have accumulated a good 727m by just selling most of the 2nd choice while keeping my team healthy and in shape for title assaults and UCL challenge.
Due to time constraint, I could not explain a lot. But you keep repeating the process slowly and patiently, you definitely can get to the point of 80-100 elite players. Many will say that doing this will bring fewer trophies, but I beg to differ because if you did the youth development right and give them a lot of chance, they can be amazing in short time and can make your team a winner in a consistent way in a relatively short time-span!
Any questions or doubt, feel free to message facebook.com/fmvoyage.