Pep Guardiola Eyes First Team Promotion For Rising 17-Year-Old Man City Midfielder

Manchester City could have the perfect replacement for Fernandinho among their youth ranks.

The Sky Blues beat several Premier League clubs to the signing of Roméo Lavia from RSC Anderlecht in 2020. 

The 17-year-old, who looks up to the likes of Fernandinho and Sergio Busquets for inspiration, has been a revelation through the academy ranks and played a crucial role in the U-23's Premier League 2 title charge last season.

After displaying impressive displays for the youth set-up, the Belgian has caught the eyes of Pep Guardiola, who first came to know about the youngster's talents when he was just 14.

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According to Mike McGrath of The Telegraph, the Spanish boss is looking to integrate Lavia into the first-team as a progressive step in his development and and to provide a strong back-up to his first-choice picks in the middle of the park.

With Fernandinho having extended his stay at the club till 2022, the Etihad faithful would like Lavia to continue from the Brazilian veteran in the hope that he can be the 36-year-old's long-term replacement, which is a measure of how highly he is rated by the manager.

The Anderlecht academy product resembles Fernandinho in his style of play, but his ability to find spaces and dribble in tight areas gives his game another dimension. He plays with a maturity beyond his years and his understanding of the 'number six' position is brilliant, as he has showcased throughout his time in the City academy.

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There have been reports in the past month suggesting that City could be in the market for a defensive midfielder this summer, despite the consistency shown by Rodri last season.

With the Premier League champions bidding to strengthen their attack, Lavia's emergence means that they can prioritise other positions.

The Champions League finalists have been keeping tabs on Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli, who has shun for Italy at the European Championships, but with Juventus leading the chase for the 23-year-old, City are prepared to hang their hats on Lavia, who could be handed first-team action next season.

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