Manchester City’s need to inject some English talent into their foreign flavoured squad has been well documented. Premier League clubs are required to have registered eight home grown players into their 25 man squads. A player complies with the home grown criteria if they played for a club registered to the FA of England/Wales for three seasons or 36 months before their 21st birthday. Manchester City currently have three home grown players within their ranks, Joe Hart, Gael Clichy and Richard Wright. Richard Wright has never come close to competing for a first team spot but his home grown status has seen him become a vital asset at the Ethiad.
City have lost a host of players this summer which would of met the home grown quota, Dereck Boyata, Frank Lampard, John Guidietti, James Milner, Scott Sinclair and Micah Richards have all moved on. With City only currently occupying three of the eight home grown player slots, City seem to be rumoured with a different English player with every passing day in order to comply with the registration rules. City’s desire to lure English talent this summer will see opposing teams become increasingly difficult to negotiate with. In recent years the prices for English talent has become progressively inflated and City may have to accept being held to ransom in order to land their desired targets.
Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling and Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere have been labelled as major targets for City this summer. Sterling has made it clear to the Liverpool hierarchy that he sees his footballing future away from Anfield, Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers have made it clear that Sterling will not be sold unless his rumoured £50m valuation is met. Manchester City have already seen two massive bids for Sterling turned down but it seems that the Ethiad is Sterling’s only possible destination this summer. After being Manchester City’s feeder club in recent years, Arsenal and Arsene Wenger will be extremely tough to budge in regards to Jack Wilshere’s future.
City have also been linked with big European names, Paul Pogba and Kevin De Bruyne have been touted as potential acquisitions. But City’s short term focus will be to ease their home grown quandary, City’s first team currently possess no outfield English players. Fulham’s wonderkid Patrick Roberts is expected to complete a summer switch to the Citizens, many would be sceptical about Roberts’s potential move. In recent years the likes of Scott Sinclair and Jack Rodwell have been dubbed as some of the best upcoming talent in the country and saw a move to City as a major career step but what resulted was a significant backwards step.
There is no doubting that City will meet the requirements, it may be time for the much invested academy to promote some of their star studied youngsters to the senior set up. Jason Denayer a man whom had an extremely successful year at Celtic last season and recently made his competitive international debut for Belgium will no doubt be thrown into Manuel Pellegrini’s first team plans. Fellow youngsters Marcos Lopes and Karim Rekik also had extremely successful loan spells on foreign shores (Lille and PSV respectfully).
Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour has made it clear that this summer could potentially be filed with a host of incomings and outgoings but for Manchester City fans an injection of the academy youth will do wonders to the squads balance. If City wanted to, they could submit an existing squad of 20 with the three home-grown players they have retained. However in order for City to continue to elevate their ever-growing status, promoting and producing talented youngsters through their much heralded academy and training complex is imperative.