Manchester City supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to the 2018/19 Premier League season, what with their side seeking to defend their crown from last season.
Pep Guardiola’s men eased to their third league title in the last six seasons by accumulating a record-breaking 100 points from their 38 league games, eventually finishing a staggering 19 points clear of second place Manchester United. However, the Red Devils alongside the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham, and Chelsea will almost certainly be stronger this season in a bid to overhaul the Citizens at the top, thus meaning City themselves will have to improve once again to defend their title.
Thus, there are many excited and optimistic Citizens fans up and down the country at present, several of whom are wondering who could be the next youngster to follow in the footsteps of Phil Foden by breaking through into the first team at the Etihad Stadium in the near future.
And based on his efforts for the development squad last season, as well as his efforts for the Under-18s in the years previous, 18-year-old wonderkid Joel Latibeaudiere is one they simply must keep hold of amid a reported contract ‘standoff’.
Ultimately, the centre back has been a regular in the City youth teams for a number of years now, but last season made the step up to the Under-23s in playing 17 times in Division One of Premier League 2, helping the Citizens to a sixth place finish in the table.
And to have already become a regular in the development squad at the tender age of 18 suggests that the defender has an extremely bright future ahead of him, both for club and country having captained England to the Under-17 World Cup crown back in the autumn of last year.
However, it appears that Latibeaudiere is concerned about his first team prospects at City given he has yet to agree an extension to his current contract at the Etihad, thus calling into question his future at the club, and as such opening up the possibility that the Citizens could lose one of their brightest youngsters.
Nonetheless, having seen the likes of Foden and Brahim Diaz make the step up to the seniors in recent times, both of whom are around his age, the 18-year-old will surely be aware that Guardiola is indeed willing to give young players a chance. And if he’s serious about challenging on all four fronts for trophies this term, the opportunities will surely be there.
Thus, not only do City need to convince the centre back of remaining at the club, but doing so could see him follow in the footsteps of Foden by breaking through into the Citizens senior squad in the near future – the 18-year-old wonderkid is one they can ill-afford to let go this summer.
Man City fans… what do you think? Let us know!