Two Manchester City youngsters who could have a breakthrough season
Manchester City have made a solid start to their season. A comprehensive 2-0 win against Arsenal on the opening day was followed by a resounding 6-1 victory over Huddersfield Town. After starting the season on a high, Pep Guardiola should be quite optimistic about defending the Premier League crown.
City have got their name amongst the big cash-rich clubs in Europe since the multi-million takeover of the club by Sheikh Mansour. While City haven’t hesitated to splash the cash to assemble a formidable first-team, on the other hand, the club has progressed to great lengths in developing their youth academy as well.
Pep Guardiola has a reputation for fearlessly handing the youngsters a place in the playing eleven and City have benefitted hugely from this. While Manchester City have an almost impermeable first-team with very few places up for grabs, the squad is also enriched with a plethora of young talents.
Here are two youngsters who are expected to play a part as the season wears on.
1. Phil Foden
The Stockport-born prodigy has been a part of Manchester City’s academy since the age of nine and was promoted to the senior squad after some impressive performances at the youth level.
Last season, Foden became the youngest English player to start in a Champions League game and also made his Premier League debut. He also boasts of the record of being the youngest player to receive a Premier League winner’s medal as City won the league last season. Foden has also won several accolades at the youth level including the Golden Ball award at the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup.
A prodigious talent, Foden is primarily a central midfielder by trade by can operate as an out and out No.10. He has amazing close control and a wonderful vision for goal. The youngster is capable of linking the play with his teammates in the attacking third and tends to draw defenders before unleashing the killer pass. With a delightful first touch and ability to twist and turn with ease owing to his diminutive structure, Foden has all the qualities of a perfect playmaker.
Foden has already made an appearance this season, having impressed with an assist to Sergio Aguero in City’s FA Community Shield clash against Chelsea.
City have a packed midfield and the youngster has to work on his physical attributes. With Guardiola at the helm of affairs, the young Englishman will definitely get a taste of first-team action this season.
2. Brahim Diaz
The 19-year-old Spanish U21 international made his debut for Manchester City in 2016 as a 17-year-old. The youngster was also handed his Premier League and Champions League debut last season by Pep Guardiola. He has already made an appearance this season, having played a cameo in the FA Community Shield game against Chelsea.
The Spaniard has a low centre of gravity, which helps him to twist and turn his way past the defenders. He is extremely comfortable with the ball at his feet and possesses a few tricks up his sleeve to create that extra yard of space in the attacking third.
Even though he is primarily a right-footed player, Diaz is comfortable with his left-foot as well. With nimble elegance, the youngster has the ability to play incisive through balls, which makes him suitable for a variety of roles in the attacking third. He has the versatility of playing as an attacking midfielder and also as a forward in times of need.
Although he is still in the developmental phase of his career as a player, Diaz has shown maturity that belies his age. He has a good game sense which other players of his age can only envy.
With Kevin de Bruyne out after suffering a long-term injury, Diaz can certainly make his cut into the first-team for the domestic cup competitions.