Manchester City’s recent success includes some truly unbelievable moments, with a last-minute league win, coming out on top of two gripping head to head title races with Liverpool as well as their runaway season, smashing the points records amongst other records on their way. City are re-shaping football with a revolutionised way of running a club, owning multiple clubs on several continents, which shows the owners’ desire of sustainability. Sustainability also comes in the form of producing their own top-quality players, there is clear potential, with City gaining £153 million in transfer sales of players in the academy. (https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/manchester-city/jugendarbeit/verein/281)
City have already put plans in place for sustainability, with their state-of-the-art training facilities, as well as acquiring clubs across the globe, with New York City and Melbourne City as well as clubs in Uruguay, Japan, Spain and China. The club has put in place a blueprint for sustained success that is consistent throughout the City Football Group. The only potential problem is that there is not enough youth coming through for long term sustainability, with spending hundreds of millions each season not a viable long-term solution, especially with the potential implications of Financial Fair Play. It is clear to see there is a need for academy players to come through to cut down their transfer spending.
The quality is very much there from the academy, it is the timing of integrating young prospects into the first team that is essential to implicate for City. There is also much criticism when it comes to giving the youth a chance City, with no established first-team player coming through the academy. This could well be about to change, with Phil Foden getting more and more first-team action, he could be the first of many. Foden is City through and through, growing up in Stockport and supporting City from a young age. This could well be the difference in his potential success, with his added desire coming from supporting the club, which would bring something different to City. Being at the top level of football and having top players, is one thing, but when these top-class players are boyhood fans, it can give a special edge. This special edge could be what City need for long term success.
City are not limited when it comes to options either, they have a host of young players who are boyhood fans, some of which have made their first-team debuts this season. Tommy Doyle, from Manchester and Taylor Harwood-Bellis, from Stockport have both made their first-team debuts this season. Tommy Doyle follows in the footsteps of both grandfathers, Mike Doyle and Glyn Pardoe, who both won the First Division, FA Cup and League Cup with City. (https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/oct/30/tommy-doyle-debut-helped-knit-family-manchester-city-fabric-football)
Foden also has much potential, and with David Silva leaving at the end of this season, Foden can be seen as a true successor to Silva. The 2020/21 season could be Foden’s year, with a real opportunity of consistent game time meaning he could go on to accomplish great things at City. Having players with City in their DNA can give a competitive edge to City, with a ‘fan’ playing, it brings extra passion which can push City over the edge and bring even more success in the long term.