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Manchester City's best academy players for the future 

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Manchester City youth team

It has been clearly shown by clubs like Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Ajax that academy players are very important in a club's growth. Many great players like Messi, Giggs, Beckham, Guardiola and Lahm have been nurtured in the academy and brought into the first team, rather than from the transfer market.

Since the takeover in 2008, Manchester City have bought a lot of players in the transfer market but they have also turned their academy into a state-of-art facility which has attracted many budding talents to the Etihad.

Here are 5 of City's best Academy players to watch out for in the future


Brahim Diaz(Midfielder, 18):

Stoke City v Manchester City - FA Youth Cup Semi Final: Second Leg
Brahim Diaz

There are very few youth players who have had the privilege of being given a private tour of Camp Nou, Brahim Diaz was one of the lucky ones and he was shown around by none other than Lionel Messi, this alone speaks volumes about the talent he had at the minor age of 10.

He was 7 when Spanish side Malaga picked him up from local side Tiro Pichon after he impressed their scouts with his talent, his talent started attracting attention and soon Barcelona and Real Madrid came calling, but somehow, Malaga managed to keep their prized possession with them till 2015 before Mansour-backed Manchester City signed him for £300,000.

City must be thankful to former manager Manuel Pellegrini who was pivotal in Diaz's decision in selecting Man City over Madrid or Barcelona. This fleet-footed playmaker has been enjoying his time at City where he has already made his first-team debut at 17 years of age, and was a part of City's pre-season tour in the USA this year where he scored a wonderful goal from distance against Los Blancos.

He is also an integral part of City's EDS team where he recorded 7 goals in 17 games last season. This season he has continued his fine form with 2 goals in 6 games

Have a look at one of City's Brightest stars:

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He is also a part of Spain's youth program and plays for their under-17 side. Diaz was a part of La Roja U-17 European championship campaign where he scored 3 goals and finished runners-up behind Portugal.

Phil Foden(Midfielder, 17):

Stoke City v Manchester City - FA Youth Cup Semi Final: Second Leg
Phil Foden

Lovingly referred to as the 'Stockport Iniesta', Foden grabbed everyone's attention with an impressive performance against arch-rivals Manchester United in the International Champions Cup. His performance was accurately described by Guardiola, who said

"I don't have words- it's a long time since I saw something like that. His performance was on another level. He's Special".

Born in Stockport, Manchester. Foden began his playing career at local side Reddish Vulcans before joining City's U-9 team and since then has been a part of all city age group sides.

He impressed everybody with his performance for the U-18's when he scored 11 goals between August and December last season, was included in the Champions League squad for the match against Celtic. He eventually finished with 15 goals in 31 games and was called up into Man City's preseason tour squad.

A silky left-footed playmaker, who is slight but elusive, quick but deceptively strong in challenge and has an impressive passing range. He can play at both, central midfield and wide positions, is dynamic and likes to be the link between defence and attack.

At 5 ft 5" he has a low centre of gravity which helps him in cutting through opposition defences. He is City's best chance of bringing a local talent from up from the academy to the First Team.

Foden is one of England's bright young players, was a part of their U-17 European Championship team and is also a part of their U-17 World Cup squad.

Have a look at the 'Stockport Iniesta' in action:

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Tosin Adarabioyo(Defender, 20):

International Champions Cup 2017 - Manchester United v Manchester City
Tosin Adarabioyo

Man City had to wait long before Tosin Adarabioyo committed his future to the club for the next 4 years. The young centre-back is viewed by Man City as someone who can fill Vincent Kompany's shoes when the time comes by.

He has been with the club since the age of nine and has climbed up the ranks to make it to the first team. He started playing for the City U-18s at the age of 14 and captained them at the age of 16, this alone is a testament to his talent.

In the 2015-16 season, he was promoted to City's EDS team full-time and also made his senior debut in the FA cup 5th round tie against Chelsea.

Standing at 6 ft 5", he is tall and commanding in the air, to Guardiola's likeness is excellent on the ball, possesses good positional awareness and has excellent leadership skills, a trait which might be useful for the future.

City have been constructing a team for the future since the last 2 seasons and academy graduates will be very important in this vision for the future, players like Tosin will also help City save millions of euros in the transfer market.

Even though he is viewed as a first member by the City front office he still has to develop to play for a top side like City and be able to cope with the pressures that come along.

Have a look at Man City's potential future captain:

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Aleix Garcia(Midfielder, 20):

Swansea City v Manchester City - EFL Cup Third Round
Aleix Garcia

A central midfielder in the mould of Pirlo with a penchant for passing, Spanish young gun Aleix Garcia joined City in 2015 from Villarreal. He is already a known name in Man City circles with his performances for the first team and the EDS team.

Aleix started his career at local club CF Ulldecona before joining the Villarreal youth setup at the young age of eight. He was a regular for the Villarreal B and C teams before he made his first-team debut at 17 years, 3 months later he signed for Man City.

Garcia made his senior Man City debut in the FA Cup against Chelsea and played his first premier league match coming off the bench against Bournemouth. His first start in a Man City shirt was against Swansea and he also managed to score his first goal for the club in the same match.

Like all Spaniards, Garcia also has a likeness to the passing game, his biggest strength is his ability to find teammates with his penetrating passes. Like Pirlo, he likes to dictate the game from a deep position.

His versatility in positions is also a big advantage he has alongside his innate ability to read the game and link up play between defence and attack.

He has been a regular member of the Spanish youth system with appearances for the U16, U17 and U18 teams.

A look at the Spanish 'Pirlo' in action:

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Pablo Maffeo(Defender, 20):

Borussia Dortmund v Manchester City - 2016 International Championship Cup China
Pablo Maffeo

There aren't many players who have successfully man-marked Lionel Messi, let alone keep him quiet, but a young left back from Barcelona managed to do that for 78 minutes.

Pablo Maffeo was born in Sant Joan Despi, Barcelona on 12 July 1997. At a young age of 6, Maffeo joined the youth set-up of Espanyol and came up the ranks to make his B team debut at the age of 15.

In 2013, impressed by his talent Man City signed him up and assigned him to their U-18's squad. He hit all the right notes with the U-18's and got promoted to the EDS side. On 24 August 2016, made his senior debut starting against Steaua Bucuresti in the Champions League.

Maffeo is another one of City's bright prospects from Spain, playing as a left back he has the ability to make forward runs into the opposition and also track his run back to his own half in case of a counter attack, something that is required in Guardiola's style of play.

He is a clean tackler of the ball and can switch from attack to defence and vice versa in the blink of an eye. Versatility is one of his biggest strengths as he has been tried at the Center back and wing positions by his U-18 and EDS team coaches.

Like, Aleix and Diaz, Maffeo has been an integral part of the Spanish youth program where he's already made appearances for La Roja's U-16, U-17 and U-19 teams.

Have a look at Man City's talented and versatile left back:

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Edited by Aakanksh Sanketh
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