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Ahead of the ongoing 2022/23 season, a whole host of youngsters at Manchester City bid farewell to the club.
Instead of heading out on what could well have been another season-loan loan, Gavin Bazunu decided to bank on his talent by joining Southampton this summer.
As was on display during the Saints’ Premier League opener against Tottenham, the Irishman has already cemented his place as the side’s number one at just 20 years of age.
Similarly, Darko Gyabi took the major leap from coming off the back of his debut campaign with the Elite Development Squad to joining Leeds United.
CJ-Egan Riley is another name that has departed the Premier League champions in favour of a permanent switch to Vincent Kompany’s Burnley in the Championship.
Another player that also left the Sky Blues to become a regular starter elsewhere is now-Southampton defensive midfielder Romeo Lavia.
Signed from RSC Anderlecht in 2020, the teenage sensation has always been tipped to become City’s prime number six one day.
However, it had been reported that the club do not deem the 18-year old as ready to push Rodri for first-team minutes.
With Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men showing interest in the youngster, he decided to take the leap of faith and join the South Coast outfit.
While logic suggests that the opportunity of getting regular minutes was too good to turn down for Romeo Lavia, the teenager has himself explained why he decided to leave City.
“I looked at the culture of the club, the style of play with which they I was really impressed by when I was on the bench for City against Southampton. It was really exciting and that’s how it went”, he said, as quoted by Joe Bray of Manchester Evening News.
Lavia also gave an insight into his feelings after he made his debut for Manchester City against Wycombe Wanderers in the Carabao Cup last season.
“It was an amazing, amazing experience”, he summed up.
The midfield prodigy also went on to lift the lid on his relationship with fellow countryman Kevin De Bruyne.
“Now, he is a more than a teammate to me and when I can, I can go to ask for advice and just speak about anything. It’s crazy to think that I was playing and now I’m someone that is actually close to him”, he said.
The starlet added, “We keep in touch. He’s happy for me and he told me that now I need to show them what I showed him in training with the Manchester City first-team.”
With a reported £40 million buy-back option in place, Romeo Lavia could well be reunited with Kevin De Bruyne in Sky Blue one day.