This article has been updated for Football Manager 2021: Find it here:
With the new installment of Football Manager, everybody wants to become the best manager of all time for club and country. That will naturally take time in game and requires lots of effort from players. These guides will help you to accelerate this process whilst we do the leg-work for you. In this guide we bring you the top clubs and countries to scout to have the best chance of finding wonderkids in your saves.
In Football Manager it’s fairly easy to find current wonderkids as most are fairly well known. Most websites (including our own) have lists for top players to sign in different scenarios. However this article is focused more on how to find the wonderkids (specifically newgens) rather than which ones are already good.
Say for example its 2025, all the starting wonderkids are at big clubs. They won’t budge for £50m + and likely won’t come to a smaller club. We need to look for the new generation of players coming through, but where do we start?
What are Newgens/Regens?
For those unaware, in Football Manager players will naturally retire due to old age in game. To compensate for this players are brought into each clubs youth academy on certain days each season. In older versions of the game the date was fixed but in later editions the date seems to fluctuate each year, for most European clubs its around early March. The players brought in are often referred to as ‘Regens’ or ‘Newgens’ due to their computer image. The top countries and clubs will naturally produce the best Newgens but some countries and clubs fly under the radar.
Whilst they don’t look particularly human…
the players will overtake the current series of players. The game generates players based on factors including country and club facilities. For countries, its one variable known at ‘Youth Rating‘. This is an integer between 0 and 200, with 200 being the best and 0 being the worst.
Top Countries to Scout
Keen-eyed viewers will notice that these values are exactly the same as last year! The above graph shows the top countries in the world for producing raw talent, regardless of clubs. Therefore if every club in the game had the same youth facilities then this would closely resemble the world rankings. (which they don’t)
However this raises some concerns; Egypt is significantly above England and Holland? Nigeria are above Portugal? Belgium have one of the best squads in the world and they are beaten by Japan? That is due to the other major factor: Clubs! This also explains why countries such as Sweden (Zlatan Ibrahimović), Ukraine (Andriy Shevchenko) and Wales (Gareth Bale) occasionally produce incredible talent with less consistency.
The fact that the results are the same as last year means I will be investigating further into how they have changed over the years. After international/club performances over the last year, I would have expected some nations (specifically England) to have improved their Youth Rating this year. I’m also fairly sure that Youth Ratings cannot be changed throughout the game.
Top Clubs to Scout
Again, the four factors affecting youth development for clubs are Youth Facilities (YF), Youth Coaching (YC), Youth Importance (YI) and Youth Recruitment (YR) Each of these variables for each club is an integer between 0 and 20. As part of these guides I will be looking into how the four factors affect youth development.
In game, the actual values aren’t displayed, but text is used. The general progression of Youth facilities are as follows:
Poor > Basic > Below Average > Adequate > Average > Good > Great > Excellent > Superb > State of the Art
Clubs with the best Youth Facilities are as follows:
Youth importance has been harder to exactly pin down what it does. Also I think that this is the only stat which cannot be improved in the same way as facilities, recruitment and coaching as all can be improved via board requests. As 1000’s of clubs have the maximum value for this stat, it wouldn’t make sense to list them as it is a trivial case.
Again the actual values aren’t displayed, but text is used. The general progression of youth coaching are as follows:
Minimal > Fairly Basic > Average > Adequate > Good > Excellent > Exceptional
Clubs with the best Youth Facilities are as follows: (20 = max value)
Unsurprisingly the actual values aren’t displayed, but text is used. The general progression of youth recruitment are as follows:
No (Youth Recruitment) > Limited > Basic > Fairly Basic > Average > Above Average > Established > Well Established > Extensive
This category is more common to have higher values, with over 150 clubs having the full 20/20. Here are some famous (and not so famous) clubs that have the max value for Youth Recruitment.
From this, you should be able to find some clubs that produce some good players, some clubs that aren’t on this list may produce better players, but these clubs will consistently produce the better players on average.
As I do more research into the youth development aspect of this game. I may revisit this article and update where I see necessary. Thank you very much for reading and I hope you learnt something new!