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Southampton Eyeing Swoop For Manchester City Head Of Academy Recruitment And Talent

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Southampton Eyeing Swoop For Manchester City Head Of Academy Recruitment And Talent

Southampton are set to swoop in for Manchester City recruiter Joe Shields, who is said to be the ‘guru’ behind the club’s roaring success in the youth ranks, as per reports.

Manchester City’s recruitment scheme since the Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008 has been lauded in recent years, wherein the Premier League champions have hunted for and developed talent across Europe.

As a result, the Blues' recruiting team have been a constant source of admiration for clubs around the globe.

St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton (Image: PA Images / Alamy)
St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton (Image: PA Images / Alamy)
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As per a report by Sam Wallace of The Telegraph, Southampton will look to overhaul their recruitment strategy by making an audacious swoop for Manchester City academy recruiter Joe Shields.

The 35-year-old has been at the forefront of the club's academy recruitment strategy, which has proven to be highly successful in recent years.

Not only have teams in the club’s youth ranks winning sustained silverware on the pitch, but off it, they have proved to be a key revenue source for the first-team.

St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton (Image: PA Images / Alamy)
St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton (Image: PA Images / Alamy)
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Shields’ role in this success has not been overshadowed, with many pointing to his pivotal role in recruiting the likes of Manchester United attacker Jadon Sancho and Crystal Palace’s Micheal Olise.

As a result, Shields has emerged as a leading candidate for the recruitment team at St. Mary's, with the south coast outfit looking to hire Manchester City's Head of Academy Recruitment and Talent as their new head of senior recruitment.

Southampton were recently taken over by Serbian businessman Dragan Šolak, whose Sport Republic Group are keen on replicating the recruitment strategy of City Football Group, with the conglomerate boasting a list of associated clubs.

St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton (Image: PA Images / Alamy)
St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton (Image: PA Images / Alamy)
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And as Joe Shields comes with an impressive and lengthy CV from his time at City, he is said to be the first major target for the new-look Southampton executive team. 

As a result of the links, a few of Shields’ young City recruits are rumoured to be heading to the St. Mary’s. Former City goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu has officially joined the Saints, with Romeo Lavia also being eyed by the Hampshire side.

The link between Joe Shields and Manchester City looks as if it could lead to a long spell of youngsters emerging through the academy ranks at the Etihad Stadium attempting to break through into the Southampton first-team.

Featured Image Credit: JEVGENIJA / Alamy

Topics: Manchester City, Southampton, Premier League

Adam Booker
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