Date:Saturday July 28 2012
Blues of the Future Could Save Champions Millions
The academy of Manchester City has produced some wonderful talent over the years, creating Blues legends in the process. However, the next generation of City superstars are going to have to go one better than the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips if they're going to break into the current starting eleven. Micah Richards is the only academy graduate in and around the Champions starting eleven and even he is finding it difficult at times. In the run up to the title, even with such a great season under his belt, Micah had to settle for a place on the bench.
Micah had a great season overall and his quality hasn't gone unnoticed, with many of Europe's elite being linked with bids for the Team GB defender. Micah's achievements with the club are well worth highlighting to any aspiring young Blues and if they can acquire half of his love for the game, I am sure they too, will be a credit to the club.
In this article, we take a closer look at some of the players that may be able to match Micah on the field and possibly save The Blues a small fortune in the process.
The first player, on the list of potential City superstars, is Karim Rekik. Karim is a 17 year old, Dutch defender, who was signed from Feyendoord, in 2011. The Dutch team where hugely disappointed by Karim's decision to join The Blues, as he was considered a huge prospect for the club. However, with interest from the likes of Inter Milan and Juventus his future probably wouldn't have been at Feyenoord anyway. Since joining City, Karim has gone from strength to strength and is now an under 19 regular for the Dutch national side.
His appearances for The Blues however, have been rather limited, with only two league cup cameos to his name. Only time will tell if this young Dutchman can make a name for himself at City. In the meantime, let's just hope this season can provide him with a little more experience in competitive games.
The next gen on our list is 19 year old Abdul Razak, from the Ivory Coast. The former Crystal Palace youngster joined the Champions in July 2010. After settling in, Razak put some good performances in for the EDS side and was subsequently rewarded with a place in Mancini's first team squad. Razak has a bit more experience to his name than Karim Rekik, as he has featured for The Blues a handful of times. Although Razak has only appeared as a substitute for The Blues in the league, he started league cup games against Birmingham City and Wolverhampton Wanders. Abdul has also featured heavily for City in pre-season, playing alongside fellow countryman Yaya Toure in the middle of the park. The young midfielder has shown he has got the potential and perhaps with the rumoured departure of Nigel De Jong; he my get a chance or two, to stake his claim.
The most successful and arguably the most promising player in City's EDS Squad is Denis Suarez. City fans are already enjoying watching a Spaniard light up the Premier league on a weekly basis. However, they could be watching two Spaniards embarrass opposition defences in the not to distant future. Denis had a particularly good summer for an 18 year old, as he was part of the Spanish under 19 squad, crowned Champions of Europe at this summer's competition. His goalscoring abilities were also showcased at the competition, with goals against Estonia and Vincent Kompany's Belgium. Since joining The Blues in 2011 from Celta Vigo, the Spaniard has continued his development with the EDS squad. At this year's award ceremony, he picked up the Manchester City's young player of the year award. The Financial Fair Play rules are obviously something the Champions are keen to adhere to and if Suarez's development continues as planned, City may have saved themselves a small fortune.
The last (but by no means least) name on our list is a 16 year old Portuguese Midfielder, of Brazilian decent; Marco Lopes. Lopes signed for the Blues from Benfica last season and has been impressing the City staff ever since. At 16 Lopes is without doubt the youngest player at this year's pre-season tour, however, he has looked extremely confident and extremely capable featuring in every game. City invested heavily in Lopes and are rightly looking for some sort of return. City's David Platt told the clubs official website:
"We have not brought Marcos out just to make the numbers up but because everything we have seen and been told from within the club suggested he could cope at this level."
Whatever happens with City this season, one thing is sure; the future doesn't just look bright, it looks brilliant. CTWD.
all times East Manchester
Mon 30 Jul 13h45 Malaysia Select XI, Kuala Lumpur, Friendly (ESPN TV)
Tue 31 Jul 19h45 Oldham Athletic, Boundary Park, Friendly
Sat 04 Aug 20h30 Wolfsburg, Volkswagen Arena, Friendly (ESPN TV)
Sun 05 Aug 19h00 Limerick, Jackman Park, Friendly
Sun 12 Aug 13h30 Chelsea, Villa Park, Community Shield
Sa 18 Aug 15h00 Southampton, The Etihad PL
Sa 25 Aug 15h00 Liverpool, Anfield PL
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FIXTURES:
The draw for the 2012/13 Champions League Group Stage will take place in Monaco on Thursday, 30th August. The opening round of games will kick off in the week commencing Monday, 17th September.
Date:Saturday July 28 2012
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