5 players you didn't know were in the Manchester City academy
Manchester City can presently boast of one of the finest academies in the world. One of the most lavishly-equipped, futuristic, and modern football academies, it is home to some of the world's brightest talents.
Behind this recent success, is a very well planned investment of £200 million solely for the academy. Each year, they have shown progression and the future looks promising.
This was perhaps proved right when they gave Barcelona's famous La Masia team a run for their money in the recently concluded UEFA Youth League semi-finals. Despite being reduced to ten men early in the first half, City battled with fearlessness, though they were eventually downed 4-5.
However, first team action has been limited for most of these young guns, with only Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz managing to break into the scene. Having said that, it is understandable because many experienced internationals would also struggle to make it into the present City squad.
Irrespective of the current scenario, it is interesting to note that Manchester City have housed talented players even before their financial power multiplied. Some of those players are stars at other clubs now, and it is perhaps baffling to know that they once wore the light blue of City, at least at the youth level.
Let us take a look at 5 such players:
#5 Denis Suárez (Barcelona)
When Roberto Mancini signed Denis Suárez in 2011, scouts all around the world believed that the Mancunians had roped in a potentially world-class playmaker.
Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United were all desperate to land the young Spaniard, but were eventually beaten by the Cityzens. Suárez showed sublime skills while playing for the City EDS team, and was greatly loved by the fans. Many dreamt of him plying his trade alongside David Silva in City's midfield.
Unfortunately, it was difficult to break into a City squad desperately aiming for instant success. Despite being named City's Young Player of the Season in 2012, Denis felt his time was up, and left for Barcelona in 2013.
After a loan spell to Sevilla in 2014, Barcelona sold him to Villareal in 2015 and included a buy-back clause in the contract which they activated in the summer of 2016 to buy him back.
Unfortunately, the 24-year old is yet to cement his place in Barcelona's starting-XI. It is rare to see him start a match for the Catalans these days but nevertheless, his brilliance on the ball is easy to notice. In 24 appearances this season, he has scored 3 goals and also has 6 assists to his name.