Pep Guardiola has warned his youngsters that they will not be given much of an opportunity to play first team football for the Sky Blues next season, in an interview with The Telegraph.
“The only problem the managers have in the first teams with the second teams is that the league they [the second teams] compete in it doesn’t count, so the gap between the first team and second team when they compete is so big,” claimed Guardiola.
“They play between each other with small ages and no spectators. They [the young players] will come to the United States on our pre-season tour so we are going to see how they are.
"They are 16, 17 or 18. The quality is there, but maybe not in the next year."
Guardiola went on to make comparisons with the youth systems in the leagues he has previously managed in. He claimed that those systems are much better at preparing the youngsters for the pressures of the professional scene:
Leicester vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha on signing Kelechi Iheanacho: "If it happens, it will be soon."— City Watch (@City_Watch) July 22, 2017
“The second teams in Spain, at Barcelona or Real Madrid, play in front of 40,000 people and every weekend in the second league," claimed Guardiola. "In Italy or Germany they are so tough, so demanding, they are playing with guys who are 28, 29 or 30 and that is the best way to improve, not training with the first team sometimes.
“Here they don’t compete, they don’t play with each other, they are good guys but after they have to play in Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge.
“I don’t know if they are able to compete with them. But the league is what it is here and we have to deal with that.”
Guardiola was recognised as a champion of youth at his former clubs, however chances for his youngsters at Manchester City were almost non-existent last season.
Kelechi Iheanacho, Aleix Garcia, Tosin Adarabioyo and Pablo Maffeo were the only players to get first team action last season, with none of them being regulars in the first team.
Iheanacho has already been linked with a move away this summer and youngsters such as Enes Unal have already left the club in this window. It remains to be seen whether players, such as Angus Gunn to Norwich, will be loaned out in order to gain first team experience.
City’s Abu Dhabi owners have invested millions in their academy set-up, so one would think that they would eventually like to see some end product.