With Manchester City’s ability to buy whoever they want it is not surprising that many of their youth team players find themselves cast by the way side.
Particularly with the threat of financial fair play hanging over the club and its massive wage bill that there is no surprise that City may be convinced to sell their promising young centre midfielder Abdisalam Ibrahim in January.
Reports in the Sun this week suggest that Norwich, Southampton and Wigan may be interested in signing the 21-year-old, who is currently on loan with Norwegian side Stromsgodset until the end of 2012.
The Norwegian under-21 international, who has only made three appearances for City’s first team since joining the youth academy in 2007, has been touted as the next Patrick Vieira. Yet with the depth of City’s squad Ibrahim would be better leaving the club permanently, than trying to fight for his place at the Etihad.
Wigan will probably be the Norwegian’s best option, with Ibrahim likely to find a role in Roberto Martinez’s 3-4-3 formation. Additionally Wigan are pretty low on central midfield options, particularly should any of the current contingent of McCarthy, Jones, Watson or McArthur succumb to injury. As we have seen with Tom Cleverley’s development in the past couple of season’s Martinez has a knack of nurturing young promising talent, who were at a crossroads in their careers.
Similarly to Wigan, Southampton are lacking strength in depth in the midfield area and could turn their attentions to the starlet, who could be available as little as £500,000, as a way of bolstering their squad. However depending on Southampton’s league position Ibrahim may want to opt away from a relegation fight. Yet fighting in the lower reaches of the table could be the making of the young Norwegian should he help keep the Saints in the Premier League.
Norwich, who have strengthening their central midfield over the summer with the signings of Robert Snodgrass and Alexander Tettey, Chris Hughton may want to take a gamble on the 21-year-old. However the Canaries’ midfield is slightly stronger than their rivals for Ibrahim’s signature and therefore they may not believe that Ibrahim is a risk worth taking.
With Ibrahim’s lack of Premier League experience it is unlikely that may clubs will want to take the risk on the 21-year-old, however should his development match his potential talent then whoever takes the gamble on the Norwegian may find themselves securing a bargain.