We've all been there, sitting and watching football and yelling at the television screen, shouting at what substitutions the manager should make. That's what makes FIFA 19's Career Mode so beautiful, as we can all live out our dreams as a football manager.
However, the job isn't as easy as it seems. If you're new to the mode, everything can feel a little overbearing at first.
Not to worry, however, as Goal have compiled the ultimate Career Mode guide to turn you into Pep Guardiola overnight.
How transfer windows work on FIFA 19
The transfer window is the best part of any Career Mode save, though it can be frustrating if you miss out on your first-choice target because you tried too hard to get a bargain. Introduced a couple of years ago, any negotiation will take place in two cut scenes - one where you agree on a transfer fee with a club and a second where you agree on a contract with a player and his agent.
During the first stage, you will meet with a club official and attempt to agree on a transfer fee, with the option to add a player and/or sell-on fee if you want to sweeten the deal. The club will then either accept the offer, or you will be given the chance to counter – unless your bid is so low that the club official storms out of the room and refuses to hear out any more negotiations from you for a while.
Next, during the contract negotiations, you will need to agree on the contract length, weekly wages, squad role, goal scoring bonus, clean-sheet bonus and release clause. The bonuses and release clauses aren't always required, but some players may demand to have them in their contracts. Successfully navigate through both these scenes and the player will join your club.
However, you don't have to go through these scenes if you don't want to. Instead, you can simply delegate the transfer to your assistant manager, giving them a maximum transfer fee or wage to agree on. This is a quicker method but slightly riskier, as you have less control over the deal.
FIFA 19 Career Mode transfer tips
As mentioned above, become too greedy and you could miss out on the player entirely. After a failed negotiation, you will be made to wait a couple of weeks before you can approach that player again. That is why it is so important to use the in-game scouts to fill in a full report of your main targets so you know players' transfer value and current wages.
One simple piece of advice is to include a sell-on fee if you have no intention of selling the player. The club will be more willing to accept a lower transfer fee, and you won't lose anything in the long run. However, be careful not to include a release clause in this players' contract because if that clause is met, you won't have any choice but to sell.
Player-swaps are also another excellent way of bringing down the price, especially if it allows you to flog a fringe player who you don't plan on using much. Not only will this bring the transfer fee down, but it will also free up some of your wages for when it comes to the contract negotiations.
On the other hand, when it comes to selling your players, always try to counter-offer. Your assistant manager will give you a transfer fee range to give you an idea of how much the player is worth. This is dependant on the player's overall form. You can quickly counter to ask for more money, which will either be countered or accepted. Beware though, if you send a counter-offer, you can't go back - so if the counter is accepted, that player will quickly leave.
How to scout players in FIFA 19
Scouting is a crucial component to Career Mode and there are a few sneaky features that you need to be aware of. When you first look at your scouting network, you will see that all scouts have two ratings: judgement and experience. The better judgment a scout has, the higher the quality of players they will find. The more experienced a scout is, the more players they will find in their reports.
It's also important to realise that Career Mode has an extra player statistic which is hidden in-game: potential. Potential decides what overall a player will be able to reach after a few seasons, although players can, of course, exceed or fall short of this target. You can get an idea of a player's potential through little remarks on their scout report.
"Showing great potential" means a player has potential of 80-84; "an exciting prospect" means a player has potential of 85-89; and "has the potential to be special" means a player has potential of 90 plus. You may also see the comment "has that something special" – this remark just means that the player has the flair trait (more likely to perform heel-flicks) but has no bearing on potential.
While you can rely on your scouts to find you players, you can use your own footballing knowledge to find exciting, young players - the likes of Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden are just as talented in FIFA as they are in real life. You can also search online as there are plenty of websites, including this detailed guide on Goal, which will list players' in-game statistics and potential. Find those players in-game and add them to your shortlist before asking your scouts to look at the players so you will have a better idea of the player's transfer value and wages.
Best FIFA 19 Career Mode bargains
If you can't be bothered to search online for high potential players to sign, don't worry, as Goal has already done that for you as well. While there are plenty more options, here is a list of the stand-out bargains in the game.
Let's look at one of the most talked-about players this window - Chelsea winger and Bayern Munich target Callum Hudson-Odoi. While the young Englishman could cost Bayern Munich around £30 million, in FIFA 19 you'll only have to shell out around £3m in a ridiculous deal. His starting rating of 70 isn't too bad, and he has the potential to grow into an 87-rated winger. Considering he already has 86 acceleration, 84 sprint speed and 84 agility, his movement will be incredible once he reaches his potential.
The more expensive option for a winger is the aforementioned Jadon Sancho. The Borussia Dortmund man starts off at a much higher rating of 78 and also has an exceptional potential of 90 overall. On top of that, his in-game stats are excellent with five-star skills complemented by 88 acceleration, 87 spring speed, 90 agility and 87 dribbling. Despite all this, Sancho is still relatively affordable with a starting transfer value of around £17m. If you have the extra budget, he is well worth picking up.
As for the other side of the pitch, Alban Lafont is an excellent choice for those in need of a goalkeeper. Goalkeepers grow a little slower (if you don't use them in weekly training) so his starting overall of 78 is encouraging. The Frenchman has potential of 90 overall and only costs around £14m.
And finishing off with one more bargain, Sandro Tonali from Brescia is an excellent option if you're looking for a cheap defensive midfielder. The Italian starts off at 70 overall but grows all the way up to 90 due to his potential. He is also equipped with very balanced stats with all of his non-shooting attributes in the yellows and above - meaning you will have a near complete-midfielder at the end of his growth. All of this is available for a transfer value of around £3.3m, an excellent price.