Buying players in FM 2012 can actually be frustratingly tough. The addition of agents certainly makes the process tougher than it was before. The first thing to do is identify the roles you need. Don’t be swayed by your own desire to sign a top name striker if you don’t really need one. If you have a weak link in defence then it’s best to concentrate your resources there.
If you choose to play with player attribute masking on then you might get a more realistic experience, but it’s also going to be much tougher and you’ll have to rely on your scouts a lot. You should definitely get scout reports on any players you like the look of before you buy. Their advice won’t always be right so don’t follow it blindly, but it can reveal important considerations about mental attitude as well as physical ability.
Your player search will automatically be filtered to only show realistic possible signings which is a nice tweak. Before you put in a bid take a look at their wages as well as their value. A scout report will give you an idea of the likely fee because you’ll rarely get players for their face value. Checking their wages can also reveal that a player is going to be out of your reach. Few players will take a pay cut to sign for you so if their current wages, and probably a bit more, won’t fit into your wage budget then don’t try to sign them. If you sour your relationship with an agent in a failed bid attempt then you might find it impossible to go for that player again in the future when you can afford them.
Planning for a future signing can be a good idea and saying nice things about a player you want in the press might help when you try to sign them down the line.
The actual process of bidding and offering a contract is pretty straightforward. The agent will show you exactly what they want and if you can afford it then the simplest thing to do is agree to their demands. If you have a limit in one area you can sometimes shave money off and keep them interested by upping something else. Just remember that if you walk away they might refuse to talk to you in the future. You can also send non-negotiable offers, but most of them don’t respond favourably to that approach.
Try to identify the players you want rid of early on, but don’t transfer list them until you have a replacement lined up. If you sell too many players at once you might fail to sign replacements in time and then you’re in real trouble. You should also check for any team relationships. You might want rid of that goalie, but if your star striker loves playing with them then there could be a knock on effect if you sell. Remember that transfer listing a player is not going to be good for his morale and if he starts to moan it can have a negative effect on your team.
Selling at the right time is key for bringing in the most funds so keep a close eye on any clubs circling your players. Sometimes it can be worth moving on a star player because you can bring in enough money for a replacement and a couple of great prospects.
You can always offer your players to clubs although I’ve found this rarely works unless they are a great player (in which case why are you selling?) or you offer them at a knockdown price.
It’s obviously up to you exactly what approach you go for in terms of signing players, but I’d recommend thinking it out carefully. If you have the resources then try to sign players in their early twenties who have the skills and experience to slot straight into your team, but also have a few years left in the tank.
Like most FM 2012 fans I love to find wonderkids. Finding the best young talent before they hit the big time and bringing them through to become the superstars of tomorrow is immensely satisfying. With young talent like this you have to be careful about exposing them to enough football to help them develop, but you also have to accept that they won’t always do the business for you because they aren’t the finished article yet. Check out my list of the best young players in Football Manager 2012 to get started. The other great thing about bringing young talent through is that you can often sell them on for a big profit – this is great for smaller clubs. If you identify a young player you think will develop well then try to sign them up to a long term contract.
It can also be really enjoyable to find bargain players and free transfers who can slot in and do a job for you. In the lower leagues you’ll rely on signings like this to bolster your squad. If you’re at a top team then avoid signing older players, they’ll generally want big wages and you’ll struggle to get rid of them when they go into decline. If you do sign them then make sure you limit the contract length. For smaller clubs check out the free transfer list and transfer listed players to find bargains.
Loan deals can also be a great idea. If you have a young player and you want to get them some experience then loan them out rather than leaving them sitting in the reserves or youth team. It is also worth loaning players from other clubs at all levels. If you just want cover for a position then it is far cheaper to loan than to buy. Remember can you can include option to buy clauses in loan deals and this can be a good way to get a player when you can’t just sign them outright immediately. It also allows you to see whether they fit into your team or not.
In the next guide we’ll take a look at preparing for a match and team talks. If you’ve got any player signing or selling tips then please post a comment and share them.