Manchester City have received criticism in some quarters for a lack of academy graduates breaking through to the first team. Jadon Sancho and Brahim Diaz are two of the more high profile youngsters to have left in search of minutes elsewhere, but Phil Foden is starting to show that it is possible with talent and persistence.
However, the academy’s job isn’t only to create first team stars, but to train players for good careers and make profits on them. And a new infographic by Catalan newspaper SPORT today shows just how much City have been making through sales of young players.
In recent years, it is estimated that the Blues have received €165.8 million in sales from academy players and several shrewd investments of younger talents.
Topping the list is Kelechi Iheanacho, who did break through under Manuel Pellegrini before Pep Guardiola decided to move him on, with the club receiving €28.1 million from Leicester, where the Nigerian has not made a huge impact.
The latest sale is Brahim Diaz, who has joined Real Madrid for an initial €21.9 million, with – as is the case with several of these players – more to follow in add-ons. Not a sale City wanted, but a good sum for a player soon to be out of contract.
England under-21 goalkeeper Angus Gunn left for Southampton in the summer for €14.9 million, a smart move for the club and player with Ederson firmly established as the long-term number one and unlikely to be dislodged.
Enes Ünal‘s €14 million move to Villarreal hasn’t worked out too well yet, with the Turkish striker sent on loan to Levante and Valladolid, but it was another hefty transfer fee for a player who hadn’t seen first team football.
Perhaps the most disappointing exit was that of Jadon Sancho, who joined Borussia Dortmund for a fee in the region of €10 million in the summer of 2017 – his value has now skyrocketed and of all the players on the list, it would be him City will have been most disappointed to lose.
The likes of Jason Denayer, Angelino, Pablo Maffeo, Rony Lopes and Karim Rekik were also sold, despite showing some first team potential, while sales of ‘CFG’ investments such as Aaron Mooy, Geronimo Rulli and Larry Kayode also added to the coffers.
It’s clear that Manchester City are producing some excellent young players – the only problem for those being that the level of the first team squad is so incredibly high that they have to be something truly special to break through – with Phil Foden currently setting an example, and Eric Garcia also showing the potential to become a regular in future.