Young players at big clubs are often fighting an uphill battle to break into the first-team, and at a club like Manchester City with their incredible riches, it’s incredibly hard for academy graduates to break into the team.
One academy player that got lost among the superstars that grace City’s training ground, is now Bournemouth midfielder, David Brooks.
Manchester City – David Brooks, 2014
Joining City at the age of seven, Brooks spent 10 years at the academy at a time where the club was completed transformed by its new cash-rich owners. With City’s new owners capable of paying incredible amounts of money for players and instantly became huge spenders in the transfer market.
As a result, Brooks, like most academy players, failed to gain a professional contract at City and at 16, the talented player joined Sheffield United in a move that in the long run would see him eventually make the move to the Premier League.
The youngster signed professional terms in March 2015 and was sent on loan to Halifax Town for two months where he made five appearances for the side. After the two-month spell Brooks would return to Sheffield but didn’t make his first-team senior debut until the following season where he played against Walsall.
With Sheffield United last year, Brooks became an integral player in Chris Wilder’s side and was key in the team that finished mid-table. He may not have scored the highest amount of goals or assists but the young attacker showcased his superb talent which attracted Bournemouth.
Much like James Maddison, Brooks is a very elegant player who can not only create and score goals but also has the ability to take on players and has the ability to play in multiple positions. Following his brilliant season with the Blades, Brooks made the move to Bournemouth and has had a big impact on Eddie Howe’s side.
The Cherries have arguably been the most surprising teams in the league and currently sit sixth in the table, most recently beating Watford 4-0 last weekend.
Internationally, Brooks’ stock has risen and despite winning the Toulon Tournament with England, the 21-year-old has made five appearances for Ryan Giggs’ Wales side.
While many pundits are now raving about the talented Phil Foden, there’s no doubt that City already had a talented player in their midst. With the club deciding to part ways with the now Bournemouth man, Phil Foden should be worried about his future with the club.