City have heavily invested in their youth development across the previous decade and as a direct consequence, has seen several academy products make their senior bow for the reigning Premier League champions.
Three-time Premier League winner Phil Foden is the most prominent of the academy graduates to have impacted the first-team in recent years, whilst the likes of Liam Delap and Cole Palmer have also made their respective Premier League debuts for the club.
Along with the aforementioned academy duo, Manchester City are also in possession of many other highly-regarded prospects - two of whom have been named by the Guardian as some of the best young talents within the game.
The Guardian run an annual ‘Next Generation’ series identifying some of the most highly-rated youngsters in world football, and this week have published the latest edition of their popular editorial piece.
This year, two lists as part of their ‘Next Generation 2021’ series have been unveiled, one of which covers ‘20 of the best talents at Premier League clubs’ and the other identifies ‘60 of the best young talents in world football’.
In the piece covering the latter - which only considers player born in 2004, The Guardian have identified Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Romeo Lavia as one the most promising young footballers in the world.
Described by the club’s official website as a ‘tenacious ball-winning midfielder’, Lavia joined the Blues in 2020 from RSC Anderlecht and made his senior debut last month in a Carabao Cup third round clash with Wycombe Wanderers.
Recipient of the EDS Player of the Season award for the 2020/21 season, Romeo Lavia is highly rated by those within Manchester City and owing to his defensive acumen and ball-playing ability, has been touted to be a long-term replacement for Fernandinho.
In addition, The Guardian’s article covering ‘20 of the best talents at Premier League clubs’ have included 16-year-old winger Luca Barrington as the Premier League champions’ most promising talent born ‘between 1 September 2004 and 31 August 2005’.
Renowned for his dribbling ability and penchant for cutting in from either flank, the Guardian have noted that Barrington – who has been at the club since the age of six - intends to emulate the career path of Phil Foden.
Foden has established himself as a key player for the club following his rise through the academy ranks, and only time will tell whether Luca Barrington will be able to accomplish his goal of following in the steps of the England international.
One of the principal functions of Manchester City’s academy is to produce players able to impact the club’s first-team squad, and as a plethora of youngsters have made their senior debut for Pep Guardiola's side, it is certainly a possibility to do so.
However, it remains to be seen whether either Romeo Lavia or Luca Barrington can establish themselves in the club’s first-team set-up, although the success of Phil Foden, Cole Palmer and James McAtee have shown that this is certainly achievable.
You can follow us for live updates here: @City_Xtra