Manchester City winger Felix Correia has gone out on loan for the 2019/20 season only a couple of weeks after signing for the Premier League champions.
Manchester Evening News reported that the 18-year-old will spend the rest of this season on loan at AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch Eredivisie, signing a one-year loan deal with the option of extending for a further 12 months.
The teenager signed for Manchester City from Sporting Lisbon earlier this month, as confirmed by a statement on the Portuguese club’s official website.
Correia impressed for Portugal in the European Under-19 Championship in Armenia last month, starting in all of his team’s games as they reached the final and scoring in a 3-0 win against Italy in the group stage. [via Goal.com]
He scored seven goals in 20 games last season for Sporting Lisbon’s under-19 side, as noted by the Manchester Evening News, but had never made a first-team appearance for the club prior to joining Manchester City.
That makes it difficult to evaluate how he would perform at senior level, although a Soccersouls scout report noted that his ability to dribble at speed and aptitude for getting past opponents is reminiscent of Nani and Ousmane Dembele.
Manchester City have frequently loaned out players to the Netherlands in order to help them gain senior experience. Arijanet Muric, Ko Itakura and Luka Ilic were all loaned to Dutch clubs last season.
Attacking midfielder Ilic, who remains on loan at NAC Breda, has scored four times in 19 games for the club. Centre-back Itakura is still on loan at Groningen but has made only three first-team appearances, all coming this season.
Jack Byrne, another attacking midfield player who was once on Manchester City’s books, had a spell in the Netherlands with SC Cambuur four years ago in which he scored four times in 28 games but never played a first-team game at the Etihad and is now with Shamrock Rovers in Ireland.
One Manchester City player who has used a loan spell in Holland as a springboard to the first team at the Etihad is Oleksandr Zinchenko, who provided 13 assists in 24 games at PSV Eindhoven in 2016/17 before returning to his parent club, where he has since made 46 appearances.
Zinchenko has shown that Manchester City players can thrive on loan in Eredivisie before forging their way into the first team at the Etihad, but he seems to be the exception rather than the rule.
The likes of Muric, Ilic and Itakura seem no nearer to getting their break at Manchester City, while Byrne never made it at the Etihad after a modest goal return at Cambuur.
Correia now has the chance to show whether he can follow Zinchenko’s success or end up as nothing more than a fleeting footnote in Manchester City history.
Manchester City fans, how do you think Correia will perform in loan at AZ Alkmaar this season? Comment below with your views!
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