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What Does The Future Hold For Cole Palmer And James McAtee At Manchester City?

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What Does The Future Hold For Cole Palmer And James McAtee At Manchester City?

With reports suggesting that Manchester City could lose both Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus this summer, Pep Guardiola’s attacking force could be set for an overhaul.

Central strikers Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez will both join the club for the upcoming season, giving the Catalan manager tremendous options down the middle.

But as Guardiola could potentially lose two of his key wingers to fellow Premier League clubs, he may need to rethink his options out wide. 

Quality on the wing will not be much of an issue for the Premier League champions, as Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden, and Jack Grealish will still be around.

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However, as Manchester City tend to go deep in all four competitions on offer, a lack of depth could cause Pep Guardiola a headache in the latter stages of the season.

As a result, a pair of City youngsters could be set to see their first-team minutes increase in the upcoming campaign. 

James McAtee (PA Images / Alamy)
James McAtee (PA Images / Alamy)

Cole Palmer, 20, and James McAtee, 19 - two of the hottest prospects to come out of the Manchester City academy system in recent years - will likely step in to fill the slots potentially vacated by Jesus and Sterling, according to a new report from the Athletic’s Sam Lee

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As per the report, the Etihad club were not hesitant to let former Manchester City forward Ferran Torres leave for Barcelona in January of 2022.

This was due to the fact that they reportedly believed Cole Palmer has a higher ceiling than the Spaniard in a wide position after the youngster’s stellar start to the 2021/22 season.

While there were some rumblings within the club that Palmer’s development path could be at the false nine position, it has become clear that his future at the club will be on the right wing, compounded by the fact that the club has now signed two centre-forwards. 

For McAtee, his future at the club looks to be in an attacking midfield role.

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However, Sam Lee reports that his introduction into the first team will likely be from a wide position, like fellow academy stars Palmer and Phil Foden before him. 

James McAtee is attracting lots of loan interest ahead of the new season
James McAtee is attracting lots of loan interest ahead of the new season

While there is a laundry list of clubs that have been keen on snatching up McAtee on loan in recent seasons, with Leeds United registering their interest in signing McAtee on a permanent basis this summer, the report indicates that Manchester City expect the teenager to remain at the Etihad and receive more first-team minutes this season.

Elsewhere in the Manchester City academy, two other players on the verge of breaking through into the first-team set up regularly are attracting interest.

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Romeo Lavia and Liam Delap are two further names that could see themselves elsewhere in the Premier League, or in the Championship next season.

The former is understood to be holding offers from Belgium and England, with Leeds and Southampton both keen admirers.

The latter are also interest in Liam Delap, and as part of their new focus on recruiting young talents, the Saints may wish to take a gamble on Delap.

It is however likely that a number of youth players will be given one opportunity to impress Pep Guardiola, during the club's pre-season tour of the United States this summer.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Alamy

Topics: Premier League, Manchester City, Manchester City Transfer News & Rumours, Transfers, Football

Adam Booker
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