Football Manager features are powered by feedback, from fans, those inside the studio and, vitally, people within the sport. This year Recruitment in FM has been refined thanks to some incredible insight from real players, managers and backroom staff at all levels of the game. We’ve introduced changes to the tools a manager has at their disposal and worked to better simulate the market they operate in.
FM21 modernises a club’s recruitment process bringing it more inline with the way things work behind the scenes in real life.
As the manager we bring you closer to your recruitment team than ever before to help not only identify and bring in your top targets but to continuously improve the squad and plan for the long-term.
New staff roles, meetings, and interactions all add to an updated, more realistic in-game transfer landscape to ensure that FM21 reflects the life and times of a modern manager in today’s market.
Here’s what we’ll be diving into, exploring how we’ve refined how transfers and recruitment work in-game. After all, it’s often who you bring in that changes how you play on the pitch, especially when overseeing a long-term project:
- Recruitment Meetings
- New Recruitment Roles
- Realistic Market
- Agent Interaction
In FM21 brand new Recruitment Meetings give you more control over the players that your backroom are looking at. Through this new interaction and meeting system, you’ll now head into the transfer window with better focus on exactly what you need, ensuring the crucial synergy between manager, scouts, and the board.
The meetings work by taking you to a brand new 3D environment alongside your club’s top decision makers, Director of Football, Chairman, and Chief Scout for example, to collaborate on scouting needs and assignments and to ensure your squad is always refreshed and improving.
Left-back on his way out? Deep-Lying Forward heading for retirement? Players available from your affiliate clubs? Players looking to leave? Your scouts will use this meeting to recommend focusing on addressing potentially weak areas of your squad in the upcoming window – ensuring that you always have one eye on the future. Communication is key so you don’t end up with a squad full of attacking midfielders… we’ve all been there.
Your first action will be to discuss recommended areas to look into, taking on board your scouts’ recommendations (or not) and letting you edit the plan before locking it in.
Once you’ve done this, your scouts will present you with some options, players already on your radar that could be looked at again to potentially fill the areas you’ve just agreed upon. After scanning through these it’s time to set new assignments, adding as much detail as you wish to find exactly what you need - toggling filters and selecting attributes to fit your club’s philosophy and achieve your team’s goals.
Recruitment Meetings occur around a month before a window starts, both pre- and mid-season, prompting you to remember that long-term vision amongst the myriad distractions of a hard-fought campaign, and there’s a catch up meeting the week before the window closes too.
You’ll also be invited to a recruitment meeting when starting a new job at a new club, so you can make sure you’re on the same page as those behind the scenes in your very first week.
Based on your responses in this meeting and the assignments you agree, your scouts will go to work and return to present their findings in a follow up. It’s here that you’ll get down to business, reading new reports on players you’ve not seen before and acting on them as you see fit.
This brand new process updates and adapts existing areas of Football Manager and brings them together in an elegant, realistic environment. The meeting not only brings you closer to your recruitment team but continuously prompts you to think about the future of your squad, your club and your developing story in the living, breathing game world.
New Recruitment Roles
Recruitment meetings and the refined recruitment process are aided by the introduction of a new role to your backroom. FM21 introduces a new analyst, responsible for turning raw data into digestible and informative reports delivered straight to your inbox. This new role means that analysts are now split into two – recruitment, and match, as they can have different skill sets - information we took on board after talking to clubs, managers and analysts themselves in the real world.
While scouts look at a player in the flesh and their overall ability, analysts will pore through data points, looking for key metrics that might help the club, highlighting any potential alarm bells before signing your next star.
Recruitment also sees updates to the transfer market that managers operate in. Due to real-life changes within an ever-adapting game, FM21 introduces these refinements to react to the financial uncertainty in today’s transfer marketplace world and new behaviours that are developing as a result – there will be more details about this in a future “in-game Covid effects” blog.
Something we can talk about today is one of the ways that loans are changing in FM21. Now you'll be able to agree future loan deals outside of transfer windows meaning that you can get those short-term deals signed and sealed well ahead of schedule. Of course, you'll need to wait for the transfer window to open before the loan player can link up with your squad but you'll have plenty of time to plan out how you're going to utilise them before they get there.
Ask Agent About Availability
Alongside changes to the market FM21 sees Agents come more to the fore. Not only has the market’s economy changed but so has how you interact inside of it, with more flexibility when it comes to approaching new signings.
This means you'll be able to speak to players through their agent before a bid is made in order to gauge their interest and discover what it would take to get them interested. This mechanic helps you plan your transfer dealings more efficiently by gauging wage expectations and budgeting bonuses before you speak to clubs and part with transfer fees – as well as knowing what you need to achieve to make a currently uninterested player interested in coming to your club.
Agent interaction in FM21 reflects the way that clubs and intermediaries interact in the real world in these modern times, making relationships between managers and agents much more important. All inspired by our team’s real-life research and insight from people close to us inside the sport.
The Final Word
Recruitment in FM21 introduces new features and refinements in many different shapes and sizes. Interaction with the existing roles in your recruitment team has changed, while a brand new Analyst joins the department too. We see, now more than ever, that clever recruitment goes a long way, particularly in these uncertain times for many clubs. Your team off the pitch will be vital in helping you ensure you’re always one step ahead of your rivals in the transfer market.
There are so many examples of clever modern day recruitment strategies… now’s your chance to create the latest one.