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An XI Of Former Academy Prospects Produced By Manchester City

An XI Of Former Academy Prospects Produced By Manchester City

It would be fair to say Manchester City haven't integrated enough youth team players into their squad over the last few years, with Phil Foden the real shining light from the club's £200 million state-of-the-art City Football Academy.

But while City receive fair criticism for not blooding through youngsters, they do of course possess arguably the best squad in world football and it's inevitable that some players will slip through the net.

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Many have in recent times, so much so that you can field a pretty impressive starting XI of players who only made 92 senior appearances for City.

Goalkeeper: Angus Gunn

Sold permanently to Southampton for £13.5 million the summer, Gunn made his Premier League debut in January and was named Man of the Match in a 0-0 draw against Chelsea.

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He finished the campaign as Saints' No.1 and is expected to make his England debut in the near future.

Right-back: Kieran Trippier

Part of City's 2008 FA Youth Cup winning team, Trippier never got a first-team chance at the Etihad but rebuilt his career at Burnley and is now the first-choice right-back for Spurs and England.

Centre-back: Jason Denayer

The Belgian defender was at City for four years but spent most of his time at the club on loan with Celtic, Galatasaray and Sunderland before Lyon snapped him up permanently for a reported £12 million.

He showed City what he missed out on in September when he put in an accomplished defensive display in Lyon's 2-1 Champions League win.

Centre-back: Karim Rekik.

The Dutch defender made a solitary first-team appearance at left-back in a 1-0 win over Reading in the 2012/13 and has since forged a decent career in the game with Marseille and current club Hertha Berlin.

Left-back: Angelino

Having joined from Deportivo la Coruna as a youngster in 2013, Angelino made his City debut in a FA Cup three years later but only managed a further two appearances, spending time on loan at New York City, Mallorca and partner club NAC Breda.

PSV snapped him up permanently for a reported £5.5 million in the summer and he had an excellent second season in Holland, registering nine assists and being named Eredivisie talent of the year.

Centre-mid: Denis Suarez

The Spaniard started out his career at Celta Vigo before joining Manchester City for an initial £850,000 and was tipped to make the grade at the club.

However, he only managed two first-team appearances for the club, both coming in League Cup games and moved onto Barcelona's B team set-up in 2012.

He then spent a season on loan at Sevilla and won the Europa League with the Andalusian outfit before signing for Villarreal in a permanent deal but wasn't there long as Barcelona, impressed by what they had seen, exercised their €3.5 million buy-back clause back in 2016.

Suarez has played 71 times for the Blaugrana, winning five trophies. He was loaned out to Arsenal for the second half of the 2018/19 campaign but made just six appearances in all competitions before the temporary stint was cut short.

Centre-mid: David Brooks

Released as a 16-year old for being "too slight" after being with City from the age of seven, Brooks found his feet at Sheffield United and then excelled at Bournemouth in his first Premier League campaign last season, scoring seven goals and contributing further with five assists.

Named Welsh Player of the Year in 2018, he is now attracting interest from some of the Premier League's big boys.

Right-wing: Jadon Sancho

Offloaded to Borussia Dortmund for £9 million without making a single first-team appearance, Jadon Sancho looks like he could well be 'the one that got away' for Manchester City despite the club offering him a new contract.

He is now easily worth 10x what City sold him for and was in fine form for Lucien Favre's side in 2018/19, scoring 13 times and laying on 15 assists in all competitions.

Still only 18, Sancho has already been fast-tracked into the Gareth Southgate's England squad, with four Three Lions' appearances to his name so far.

Attacking midfield: Marcos Lopes

Having signed from Benfica, a 16-year old Lopes went on tour with the first-team in 2012 and shone for the club's youth sides before becoming the club's youngest ever goalscorer against Watford in 2013.

A year later and he made his first ever start, shining in a 3-0 League Cup semi-final second leg win over West Ham at Upton Park. The nifty left-footed attacker recorded two assists and deservedly picked up the Man of the Match.

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However, he was loaned out to Lille in Ligue One in 2014 and the following season, despite being promoted to the first-team under Manuel Pellegrini, remained in France, signing for Monaco in a £9 million permanent deal.

Left-wing: Brahim Diaz

Although he won a Premier League winners' medal after making the required five appearances in City's incredible 100 points campaign in 2017/18, Diaz returned to Spain in a £22 million move, with the aim of getting more game-time.

He's made 11 appearances so far, scoring once. Clearly Real see him as one for the future as they inserted a €750 million release clause in his contract, while City are entitled to a 15 per cent sell-on fee if he does move on.

Incredibly, City were also able to negotiate a clause whereby that fee would rise to 40 per cent should Brahim join "another Manchester club".

Striker: Kelechi Iheanacho

Promoted to the Manchester City first-team in 2015/16, the Nigerian notched 14 goals and five assists in all competitions under Manuel Pellegrini and notched a further seven a year later when Pep Guardiola took the reins.

However, it quickly became apparent that Iheanacho wasn't good enough to play in Guardiola's swashbuckling City and he was sold to Leicester for a £25 million fee in 2017.

Notable mentions: Bersant Celina (Swansea), Enes Unal (Villarreal), Olivier Ntcham (Celtic), Pablo Maffeo (Stuttgart), Rabbi Matondo (Schalke) and Bobby Duncan (Liverpool).

Topics: Football, Manchester City, Football News, Brahim Diaz, Kieran Trippier, Jadon Sancho

Josh Lawless

Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.

 

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