Manchester City sent five young players on loan to partner club Girona FC last summer in an attempt to help the newly-promoted Catalan club survive and flourish in La Liga.
Besides the impressive Pablo Maffeo though, the City contingent have made little impact and it has been others who have helped Girona have a good season that sees them in 10th position, closer to 4th place Real Madrid than the relegation zone.
Maffeo has played 1,618 minutes in Spain’s top-flight, gaining valuable experience and putting in good performances up against the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. There is talk of the 20-year-old entering Pep Guardiola’s plans for next season.
Aleix Garcia, the midfielder who already has first team minutes at the Etihad, has featured for 526 minutes in La Liga, the second best of the loanees – but only 57 minutes in 2018 so far.
Of the other three, all have been dubbed failures in Spain. Marlos Moreno has already had his loan cut short and was relocated to Flamengo, while Larry Kayode was supposed to join Amiens in Ligue 1 on loan but his status remains unclear after a deadline day mess.
The final loanee is perhaps the most hyped of the bunch, given that Manchester City invested £10.7million last summer to acquire him from Vasco da Gama.
Douglas Luiz, the Brazilian youth international midfielder, was ranked as the 7th best teenager in the world by FourFourTwo, but with just 272 minutes in La Liga for Girona, is struggling.
Spanish newspaper Diario AS today said the 19-year-old ‘just hasn’t adapted’ to Girona and Pablo Machín’s way of thinking and playing.
Despite that, City decided not to switch him to another club in January, unlike Moreno and Kayode, and in the six games since Spain’s winter break, Douglas has made just two appearances off the bench, totaling 14 minutes.
In Girona’s last two fixtures, against Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla, Douglas didn’t even make the bench, and the signs are ominous for him at the Montilivi. He is already being branded a flop in Spain, despite his tender years, and City will have to think carefully about where he plays next season in order to help his development.
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