FIFA 23 Career Mode doesn’t solve big transfer problem for managers

David Purcell
pep guardiola in fifa 23

EA has announced a package of FIFA 23 Career Mode changes, but another year is going by with a huge missed opportunity.

The developers kicked off August with an official trailer for the mode, outlining a list of new features in a pitch notes blog post on their website.

Focusing on transfers, managers have an in-game analyst at their disposal. Just like a transfer committee in real football, the analyst will give you insight into the financial and squad impact of your business in the window.

With a new menu screen, more contextual information around squad depth, the status of deals for incoming and outgoing players, as well as promising players rising through the academy will appear.

Yet, there is nothing to solve a really frustrating issue for managers looking to make big moves halfway through the season.

Simple change would help managers in FIFA 23 Career Mode

The transfer element of the FIFA series has undoubtedly become more immersive over the years. Cutscenes with agents, transfer requests, player swaps, scouting networks, and now the analyst bring the experience closer to Football Manager. Not as detailed, although nobody is complaining about similar tools being added to our arsenal.

What FIFA 23 was absolutely crying out for, though, was a simple menu option to spot opportunities that are not yet on the market. By that, I mean contract expiry players.

Getting players tied down to pre-contract agreements is always a good way to flesh out the squad with high-rated stars without a transfer fee, but even years after adding the ability to exploit the Bosman rule, there is no database to improve the discoverability of those you could sign.

For those who don’t know the Bosman rule, it was created in 1995 and allows players who have run down their contracts to leave for no transfer fee to another club.

Right now, you either need to scroll players on-by-one, or wait until the end of their contract and they become free agents. Often, this only happens to really old footballers in-game.

Pogba in FIFA
Pogba left Manchester United this summer on a free transfer to Juventus.

The solution could be a simple list – almost like the Free Agents filter – or it could be more integrated into the global scouting network. Having a scout keep tabs on contracts expiring for top stars across a specific country or region would seriously improve your chances of finding coups before the window slams shut.

This would give you a chance to sign the next Georginio Wijnaldum, Sergio Aguero, Antonio Rudiger, or Robert Lewandowski – all of which used the Bosman rule to leave a club in recent years to secure a big move.

However, without any mention of the tool being added to the game in the pitch notes, it appears as if – for yet another year – Career Mode regulars looking for contract expiry players will have to search endlessly, club by club, player by player, on the off chance that they find one.

The amount of time you spend doing this really depends on what you’re looking for, but it is wasted hours that could go into progressing your season. Getting a few pre-contracts sorted in an easier way would help pre-season preparations and allow managers to build better teams faster.

Instead, managers are in a completely avoidable situation. Given the popularity of pre-contracts in the FIFA series, it would make for a simple yet highly effective change.