There are many clubs across Europe who have made a name for themselves as being masters of scouting, and one such club is Ajax.
For years Ajax have been heralded as an academy of football, signing often unheard of young players and building them into stars – before, unfortunately, losing them to bigger clubs.
But for some clubs out there, losing players that you have grown isn’t a negative, as it almost always brings a profit if you strike early and sell at the right time.
Whether that is your mindset, or you just want to get ahead of the game, it is worth paying attention to how Ajax scout for your own FIFA 20 Career Mode saves.
So how exactly do Ajax get the pick of the bunch when it comes to signing promising players, and how can you recreate this in FIFA 20? We’ve done our best to mimic the Amsterdammers’ plan….
The most important place to start for Ajax is the Youth Academy, as they often get so many of their stars young, before they’ve made any real first-team impact.
For this you obviously want the best Youth Staff you can get, with as close to five stars in both Experience and Judgment as possible – if your budget allows. The more experienced a scout is, the more players they will find, while better judgment will find higher quality players.
When you’ve got your scouts sorted, preferably two or three, you will need to assign them their tasks – and that’s where you’ll be able to really mimic Ajax.
You’ll need one to settle down in the Netherlands, preferably for nine months to keep the wheels rolling over the season. Naturally, this is to allow you to scoop up the young players from the country you’re based in – so you can change the nation if you’re not actually playing with Ajax. Now, the type of player you want them to look for is completely up to you.
You can try and get a wide array of talent by just keeping the Type as any, or you can be more specific and limit the search for one of the following: Technically Gifted, Winger, Physically Strong, Playmaker, Goalkeeper, Attacker or Defensive Minded.
Once you’re set up with the first scout, you’ll want to assign your second to Denmark as Ajax have scooped some young players from the Scandinavian nation over the years such as Christian Eriksen, Kasper Dolberg and Viktor Fischer.
Again, the type of player you search for is completely down to you, but for the real Ajax experience you may want to focus on Playmakers, Attackers or the wider Technically Gifted.
Set up youth scouts in Netherlands and Denmark. Ajax used to have a lot of Belgians as well, but that phase is over. So those two countries should provide you with enough talent.
Global Transfer Network
Moving away from the Youth Academy, you can also get the most out of the Global Transfer Network or, in simpler terms, your scouts.
Your first port of call will be to send a scout to one of the four South American countries available, Argentina, Brazil, Chile or Colombia.
Over past few years, the likes of Edson Alvarez, Lisandro Martinez, Lisandro Magallan, Nicolas Tagliafico, David Neres and Davinson Sanchez have all joined Ajax from South American clubs and have either gone on to taste success with the Amsterdam side or look set to in the future.
In most cases you don’t want to be signing the finished product, instead a player you can grow yourself, a little rough around the edges – to try and get the best price. To help with this, you’ll want to lower the age to between 16 and 23, and make sure one of the attributes you search for is Promising – so you’re not just signing any old player based on his age alone.
Like with the Youth Academy, the rest of the attributes and which position you look for is up to you, depending on what your side needs and keep in mind the most famous players in Ajax’s history have been technically gifted and positionally aware.
But following Ajax’s scouting plans isn’t just about looking for young players, you do need a few more experienced heads to fill the team – although still young enough to be worth your time and funds.
In recent years, the likes of Dusan Tadic and Quincy Promes have been signed to boost Ajax’s squads – players that weren’t exactly the subject of big transfer battles but who will add quality.
For this, you’ll want to look for players with First Team Quality as one of their attributes, slightly upping the age requirements to around 27 or 28. Again, other attributes and positions are up to you.
From this you’ll be able to get a number of good first-team players and handpick you who sign, potentially avoiding those from the bigger teams in a league as Ajax do – looking at the Southamptons and Sevillas.
They say never go back to an ex, but in football, many players do return to their former clubs with some success.
Ajax are a club that, over the years, have seen a number of their former players return whether it be towards the end of their career or at their prime.
Of their current squad, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Daley Blind and Ryan Babel have all previously left the club only to eventually return and all have played their role – although the latter’s brief spell has been hampered by injuries.
To copy this on FIFA 20 Career Mode it’s fairly simple, just keep an eye on the players you sell, if you feel they do still have room for improvement outside of your stewardship. Then, once they have improved and things open up for a return, welcome them back with open arms and reintroduce players who know the club’s ethos into a squad mixed with youth and experience.