The best football clubs have the best youth academies. They churn out young, skilled and superbly talented players… year in and year out. Manchester City is no exception.
Awesome facilities, a great coaching ethic and personnel committed to the cause have resulted in a steady stream of youngsters… primed and ready for the big league.
Then there’s the precocious talent that’s actively sought out and cherry picked from a pool of players who have already made an impact on the global stage. Huge amounts of money change hands and expectations are high… really high. These are the lads who have no free games. They have to perform – and perform consistently – or perish… it’s as simple as that!
So who are the young Turks of Manchester City who will turn heads, put bums on seats and reach for the silverware in 2018? Let’s take a look at 7 players who are – or soon will be – the top guns of the team:
Gabriel Jesus has already snatched a warm place in the hearts of Man City fans. Although only 20 years of age, the Brazilian forward has had a hand in winning the Copa da Brasil, claiming silver in the Olympics and scoring eight goals in 18 appearances this season so far.
He’s talented, versatile and super creative and with extra pace and great technical skills, Jesus is destined to light up the Etihad Stadium time and time again.
Brahim Diaz is an exciting and talented playmaker that has the world at his feet. He first made his mark in his home country of Spain at the tender age of seven. While playing for local side Tiro Pichon, he caught the eye of the Malaga football scouts who promptly signed him up.
A decade later and the rising young star made his Champions League debut for Manchester City… that’s despite the attentions of two of the giants of Spanish football, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
To date, Diaz has made two Premier League appearances for the club and is yet to open his big league goals tally. There’s no doubt the young midfielder will hit his straps soon.
Midfielder Phil Foden cemented his place in the team with a superb Cup performance against Manchester United. But even before the precociously talented 17 year old left Pep Guardiola momentarily lost for words, he was called up to the Champions League squad based on his stellar performance for the under 18’s.
The short though deceptively strong let footed playmaker made his Championship debut in November 2017 and had his first taste of the Premier League when he ran on as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur.
Foden’s versatility and ability to act as a link between attack and defence are tipped as his greatest assets… and all things being equal, Foden is expected to go very far indeed!
Manchester born and bred defender Tosin Adarabioyo has come through the ranks at Manchester City and is tipped as a future captain and possible replacement for Victor Kompany one day. The tall, lanky centre-back has already proved his mettle as a leader, having captained the under-18 side when he was just 16 years of age.
The 20 year old is known for his mature positional play and on the ball skills. Adarabioyo has represented England up to under 19 level and has made two League Cup and one Champions League appearance this season. He is yet to get a bite of the Premier League cherry but by all accounts, his league debut for Manchester City cannot be too far off.
Aymeric Laporte started his career at Athletic Bilbao where he made 220 appearances and scored 10 goals. He is one of the latest young Turks to join the Manchester City fold, having signed for the club in January this year for a £57 million fee.
The French centre back made his Premier League debut for the club against West Bromwich Albion and with a full arsenal of skills that include pace, intelligence and technical ability, the 23 year old is sure to make an indelible mark on the score sheet soon.
Winger Leroy Sané moved to Manchester City from local Bundesliga club Schalke 04 in 2016. Although he had an accomplished run in the first season with the club, he hit top form in the 2017-18 season and claimed the Premier League Player of the Month Award in October 2017.
To date he has scored seven goals in 22 appearances and is known for his power and strength with the ball at his feet. Instead of relying on raw pace, the 22 year old prefers to outmuscle his opponents to produce brilliant goals from the wing. The youngster is clearly enjoying his tenure under Guardiola and claims the Spaniard has taken his game to a whole new level!
Arijanet Muric signed with Manchester City in 2016 and has already made quite a name for himself. The 1.98 metre tall teenager from Zurich has impressed coaching staff with his work ethic and is one of a crop of Academy youngsters who has caught Guardiola’s eye.
To date Muric has played consistently well as under-23 goalkeeper and his towering height coupled with plenty of natural steel makes him a great prospect for Premier League keeper sometime down the line!