A player’s value does not always go down. It is not an exact science, but there are a number of contributing factors you can control.
A player needs consistency in selection. He must be picked regularly, and used in a role that is right for him. If you have not yet done so, edit your team’s tactics. Whilst working within the overall team framework, try to optimise them for the individuals that comprise that team. What is good for left winger ‘A’ may not be good for left winger ‘B’. Look for those ticks. If you make new signings, check to see how the new boy(s) fit in. If a player is not happy with his role, his value will be more likely to decrease. Consistency in performance is another more obvious factor. I personally think there is more to this than just forwards banging in six goals every week or whatever. The way
you play is important too, almost as if there is an artistic merit award.
I suspect there are other calculations going on under the bonnet. (I remember AP’s preview of SWOS. There was a form indicator for each player in your team, represented by vertical bars, for the last five matches. Cool. It never made it to the final game though. I think they must have just made ‘form’ invisible to the player and left it to you to tell for yourself, like a real footie manager).
Anyway. Don’t worry unduly about a player’s ‘value’. The monetary value is only of relevance to the transfer market, and the club’s bank manager. It does not actually affect true ability one bit, for better or worse. The £15m barrier can be exceeded by a player in your team, by the way. I remember having an £18m Batistuta, for example.
As for scoring from free kicks – more info required, Ada. A screenshot would be great.