With FIFA 20 in full swing, FIFA 21 seems a while off.
However, with FIFA 20 Career Mode unlikely to receive any major updates, there are several features EA need to add to improve the offline game mode in the next instalment.
Customisable managers and the addition of team morale were a step in the right direction, but EA can't sit still on these improvements.
FIFA 21 is where the footballing title could really push on to make their offline game mode into a phenomenal sim.
There are five key changes that I think would massively improve the Career Mode experience, improving player immersion and increasing the popularity of the game mode.
In-Depth Transfer and Loan Deals
Career Mode's transfer system is much in need of an update - the current system merely allows you to sign players through offering a fee or player exchange, or loan a player by paying part of their wage.
This is far from the reality of the transfer market. Primarily, the ability to include add-ons in transfer deals would add another layer of immersion.
For example, rather than paying a flat fee, you could break down a deal in to instalments, and include extra payments if and when the player has made a certain number of appearances.
In terms of loans, being able to add an obligation-to-buy is an omission that I can't believe EA haven't rectified yet. It's a must-have in next year's game.
There did used to be an option-to-buy in previous games, but this was removed - it would be great to see this feature re-added also.
Active Youth Academy
Signing and developing new talent is crucial for long-term Career Mode success, especially if you're managing a smaller team. However, under the current system, you are required to essentially micro-manage your youth academy if you want to help players reach their potentials.
MICRO-MANAGE: Currently you have to manually train any young prospects
A revamped youth academy system could consist of delegating the training of the youth squad to a youth manager. Moreover, your youth squad could play in a simulated youth league, further aiding their overall growth.
I can't be the only player who has made a new signing, unaware that I had a player of similar position and calibre returning in the January transfer window.
A specific 'Loan Report' section would be a welcome addition to Career Mode. It could break down your players out on loan, players you've signed on loan and their loan expiration dates.
In addition, this 'Loan Report' could give you options to extend loans or negotiate permanent moves for any loan players.
Improved communication with the Board
Board objectives are sometimes unattainable or unbalanced. For example, there is no scope to inform the board that you'd rather focus on Premier League success, but you'll be sacrificing your FA Cup run to save player fitness.
ONE WAY STREET: Currently the board share their demands, but you can't respond
Also, transfer funds requests could be more in-depth, allowing you to promise certain achievements if the board were to allow you to sign a certain player.
Evidently, there are so many features that could improve board communications. FIFA 21 doesn't need to go after all aspects of it, but a step towards better communications with the board would be very helpful.
Increased Delegation Customisability
My previous ideas clearly point towards a more immersive Career Mode experience. However, there are aspects of the game mode that, frankly some players don't want to waste their time doing.
The ability to delegate certain roles to other members of the management team would allow players to focus on the areas of the game they enjoy playing. You can currently delegate certain aspects of player transfers and contracts (e.g. delegate contract renewal), however this is only for specific players in an individual scenario.
If you could assign all contract renewals to a particular member of management team for an entire season, it means you could rest easy that your players' futures are well looked after and you can focus on other aspects of the club.
Ultimately, these features would be conducive to an incredibly immersive Career Mode experience. After years of small additions being drip-fed into new instalments of FIFA, a complete refurb would massively improve Career Mode's enjoyment factor, and would lead to a massive buzz around the release of the new game. Over to you EA.