Although Manchester City are known for spending large amounts of money on ready-made world class players in order to challenge at the top of the Premier League, there is also a long-term ambition to provide an Under-21 supply line to manager Roberto Mancini via homegrown players.
The club have recently invested £200 million to develop the new Etihad Campus which will open in time for the 2014/15 season and have they want to replicate the youth systems used by successful German and Spanish club as they seek further compliance with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules.
For now they have to rely on the talent in the current Elite Development Squad to add to their homegrown players and despite spending money on accumulating the finest players around Europe there have sadly been very few first team breakthroughs in recent years.
Player such as lost cause Michael Johnson, Stephen Ireland, Kasper Schmeichel and Daniel Sturridge are some of the last to emerge from the academy during a quiet spell for the club and this investment has been much needed to help find suitable talent for Mancini; not players who are only good enough for the Championship.
However City are still hoping that there will be some rare gems from the latest batch of youngsters at the Etihad Stadium and we here in the Football Transfer Tavern have done our best to research and unearth the five players who could be challenging for a first team place in the near future.