What league are you in?
Do you have leagues in countries like Germany and France loaded?
I'm in 2034 with Podbeskidzie (Polish Ekstraklasa). Nowadays I'm among the most reputable clubs, I'm the favourite to win the Champions Cup, while I pay my players around 1/6 of what clubs like Real Madrid pay their players, in big part due to my club using almost solely home-grown players (two guys in the current first team, which is composed of 40 or thereabouts players, joined me when 21).
My current situation is different from yours, but here is what it looks for me now: I have the top European and American football nations loaded, I scout the u19 competitions in these nations, along the senior competitions and occasionally nations (assessing their potential gets easier as they get older, good youngsters sometimes play in senior teams, scouting competitions means scouts can watch one player many times without the need for manual rescouting or roaming), most of my players are from Germany and France (nations like Spain, England, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico also produce great youths, but Americans can join clubs from the European Union only when they reach 18, and count as foreign), my scouts should have Judging Potential as high as possible, they should have "innate" knowledge of the nation they are responsible for and at this point they are generally responsible for one nation and its competitions, I try to get players as young as possible (because their salary demands grow with age, and I'm trying to let the best players reach their potential, while other clubs seem to fail at that), every now and then I scout with my best scouts players under 20 whose potential is known to me, those with the greater potential get scouted more often, I also sometimes sort by "Last Match Report" to see newly discovered players with good potential, I buy players who want to join me with potential of at least 3 stars, which is around 170 PA from my current point of view, when I can get them for a decent amount, which is usually 3-10M pounds, most of them don't want to join me or the clubs don't want to sell them.
When I was still a small club (Podbeskidzie is a relegation candidate IRL) I e.g. found a guy in some lower-league German club who cost me not even 100k pounds, IIRC (in compensation?), he played around 15 years for me, ended up the most creative guy in the world, he's still my greatest legend, I guess. In the same transfer window I got another 5-star player (as he appeared to me at that time) from Germany on the cheap, but he wasn't as good as the playmaker potential-wise, as it turned out.