Here is the protocol that I use, as manager of FC Saxan, for acquiring strikers.
- Check the personality. If unsatisfactory (e.g. ‘low self-belief’), abort.
- Check whether the player possesses a threshold level of determination. If not, abort unless both of the following conditions apply: (a) the player is young (say 16-17) and (b) the club possesses players suitable to tutor the youngster.
- Check the injury record. If dodgy, abort.
- Check the career record, focusing on the goals per game. Interpret the record in the light of the teams they have played for: the weaker the team, the lower the scoring expectation should be. If the record is unsatisfactory, abort – at least unless the striker will play only in a supporting role.
- Assess how likely it will be, if the player gets into a scoring position, that he will convert the chance. Check first-order attributes, namely (a) finishing, (b) first touch, and (c) composure. If unsatisfactory, abort. If satisfactory, consider second-order attributes, namely (a) technique, (b) heading, and (c) balance. If unsatisfactory, abort. If satisfactory, consider third-order attributes, namely (a) long shots, (b) penalties, and (c) free kicks. If unsatisfactory, abort – at least unless the striker will play only in a supporting role.
- If the player emerges well from the above steps, offer a contract. If undecided, review the above steps and seek to get off the fence.
- If still undecided, assess how likely it is that the player will create assists. Consider (a) the career record, (b) distribution (passing, crossing, heading) and (c) general qualities – principally teamwork and work rate.
- Make a decision.