Football Manager Guides

Best Regions to Scout for Wonderkids on FM24

The adage, “You can’t win anything with kids”, has long since been dispelled with clubs from around the world constantly searching for the best young talents for the future.

Real Madrid, Chelsea and Barcelona are all great examples of this in recent years with each of them spending millions on teenagers that could become stars of the future. Football Manager is no different. Much of the game’s excitement is built around finding and nurturing wonderkids.

The question is, where are the best places to look for these players? Below, we look at the five best regions to scout for wonderkids in FM24.

A Background on Youth in Football Manager

Before we dive into the best places to look for wonderkids, it’s important to understand what makes a good place to search. In FM, you have several different options for scouting. You can send a scout to look at an entire continent, a region within a continent or even a specific nation. Today, we’re focused on regions. Regions are usually made up of five or more countries, such as the UK and Ireland or East Asia.

FM has several important measurements that lead to the best production of wonderkids. Firstly, each country has a youth rating from 1-200. The higher the number, the more likely a nation is to produce a wonderkid. This scale ranges from countries like Bhutan and Somalia, who score just single figures, all the way up to nations like Brazil and France, who rank over 150.

Also significant is a nation’s game importance. This is how important football is to a country and again, if football is important, more wonderkids will be produced. Each nation is given a ranking from very important to unimportant. Again, nations like Brazil rank highly here as football is incredibly important in Brazil whereas in Singapore, it is ranked as unimportant.

Another factor is the facilities and reputation of a country. For example, a country may have an incredible youth rating but if the home league of the nation has a minimal reputation and the facilities are poor, then wonderkids from these nations will struggle to reach their potential. Just think, if Jude Bellingham were trapped in the Andorran league for the first few years of his career, would he be playing at the level he is now? Of course not!

Lastly, population is also important as countries that have a larger population have a greater opportunity to produce wonderkids. That is not to say countries like China and India produce more wonderkids than anywhere else but that if all other stats are the same, then the country with a larger population is more likely to produce a wonderkid.

Now all of that’s out of the way, it’s time to dive in!

5. Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, Romania and Serbia)

Number five on our list is Eastern Europe. Although it might not be the first place you think of when it comes to wonderkids, it is the perfect place to search for hidden gems.

Most of these nations are capable of producing wonderkids and even better, you can usually pick them up for well under £10m. That’s why Eastern Europe narrowly beats out the UK and Ireland in our top five.

4. South Europe (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Kosovo, Malta, Montenegro, San Marino, Slovenia)

Although not all of these nations are exactly wonderkid factories, South Europe does include a couple of heavy hitters in Croatia and Italy. Croatia in particular can be a great source of cheap wonderkids. Even nations like Bosnia & Herzegovina and Slovenia are worth a look with both nations likely to generate the odd wonderkid.

3. Central Europe (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland)

Central Europe is simply superb for when it comes to finding wonderkids with it offering both more expensive and budget wonderkids. Germany, for example, has the joint second-highest youth rating alongside France, although the reputation of the country can make wonderkids expensive. Belgium offers a nice middle ground in this group with both a high youth rating and more affordable players.

2. Western Europe (Andorra, France, Gibraltar, Portugal and Spain)

As much as it would be wonderful if Andorra and Gibraltar were the key producers of wonderkids in this region, we are obviously looking at the other three nations for our pool of wonderkids.

France, Portugal and Spain are three of the biggest footballing nations in the world and produce wonderkids constantly. Again, clubs in France and Spain may demand a high fee for their wonderkids but in Portugal, you have a chance of finding one or two cheaper options.

1. South America (South) (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay)

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, South America (South) is the best place to look for wonderkids. This region churns out wonderkids like they grow on trees. All of these nations represent great options but naturally, Argentina and Brazil will produce the most wonderkids. Brazil has the highest youth rating in the game so finding wonderkids there is no problem.

Many can also be bought on the cheap if you can find them early so be sure to get scouting there as soon as possible. There’s nothing worse than finding and scouting the perfect wonderkid just for PSG to blow you out of the water at the last minute.

Keen writer on all things sports and gaming! Big Arsenal fan, to my detriment, and one time Singaporean Premier League champion on Football Manager!
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