Almere City sign England U19 international on season-long loan from Manchester City

Manchester City have sent another of their youngsters to the Netherlands with Almere City FC announcing the capture of Edward Francis on a season-long loan deal.

It comes a day after Wales international Matt Smith was sent to FC Twente, who like Almere City, play in the second tier of Dutch football, the Eerste Divisie.

Francis, a versatile defender, is very highly-rated at City and has represented England at all levels, most recently the under-19 side.

“I’m looking forward to playing for Almere City,” Francis told their official website. “My first impression is very good. Although the club is smaller than Manchester City, the ambitions are big.

“I get the chance to gain experience in another country and in the first team. This will be good for my development. My goal is to play as many minutes as possible and become important to the team.”

Technical director Robert Maaskant, who used his connections with City from his days at NAC Breda, said: “Francis is a player trained at Manchester City where he has played many games in their under-23 side.

“He is a lad with a great character and a huge winning mentality. Additionally, he can play in multiple positions. He’s a central defender, but he can also play as a left-back and holding midfielder.”

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