It's that time of year once more, ladies and gentlemen: the delightfully festive period just before Halloween when SI Games drops the BETA for the latest chapter of Football Manager into all of our Steam Accounts (assuming you're smart enough to pre-order it, anyway), and all other priorities mysterious disappear.
Now, while the developers want us to feel like the BETA gives us all an opportunity to play the game early (and help find any bugs as we play), they should also know that the early access means we can steal a march on everyone else. With multiplayer games already planned and new footballing dynasties at their blueprint stage, this gaming "pre-season" allows us all to find out the best exploits.
If you're quick, you can start to pin-point wonderkids, find contract clauses that make for stunning bargains and know where to look in the market for first day gems. That obviously includes free agent players - a market that is both frustratingly varied and brilliantly valuable if you look in the right place.
And luckily, we have the inside gen on just those places - or more specifically, on the free transfers you need to consider in Football Manager 2018 straight away.
Disclaimer: This list is based on the BETA version of FM 2018.