Given Manchester City’s vast financial resources, the club are in the privileged position of being able to buy some of the best players in the world for large amounts of money.
Ultimately as a result of that it has been notoriously difficult for young players to break into Manchester City’s first team set-up during recent years.
Nevertheless that situation may now change, as Pep Guardiola appears intent on endeavouring to integrate some of the club’s most promising youngsters into his senior squad, just as he did for City’s penalty shoot-out victory over Borussia Dortmund in the International Champions Cup.
City’s promising youngsters
Whilst immensely pleased with winning that game, Guardiola will have been equally or even more satisfied with the performances of each of the young players he choose to field against Dortmund.
The 18-year-old centre half Tosin Adarabiyo performed superbly well throughout the game, as he was the only City player to complete the full ninety minutes.
Whilst Adarabiyo graduated from City’s youth academy, so too did the 19-year-old trio of Spanish holding midfielder Aleix Garcia, the Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho and Angelino Tasende, who is a Spanish left back, with each of those players producing assured displays against Dortmund during their time on the field.
The same compliment can be paid to Angus Gunn, since after replacing Joe Hart at half time, the 20-year-old goalkeeper redeemed himself for being at fault for Dortmund’s late equalising goal, by saving three times in the shoot-out. During that both Adarabiyo and Angelino showed great composure to score their penalties, with Angelino’s proving to be decisive.
Two other young players who staked reasonable claims to become members of Guardiola’s senior squad for the new season by performing well against Dortmund were the 19-year-old duo of Spanish right back Pablo Maffeo and Olesandr Zinchenko. Nevertheless despite attacking purposefully during the 45 minutes he played the Ukrainian internationalist, who played in each of his country’s three Euro 2016 group games, was the recipient of some stern words of advice from Guardiola.
Prospects of playing in City’s first team
As such on the basis of the impressive manner in which City’s young players performed in extremely testing conditions against an excellent Dortmund side, it is quite conceivable that they will feature among Guardiola’s plans for the 2016-17 season, particularly since the club will compete in not just the Premier League, F.A Cup and League Cup but also the Premier League.