Academy “City” – top! Almost 100 million players sold in two seasons

The transfer of Carlos Borges Forbes may have passed by your radar: Ajax signed the Portuguese youth striker Manchester City for 14 million euros. Treble holders can receive another 5 million as bonuses. Borges does not have a single starter game, but he is the top scorer in the Premier League 2 – the winger scored 21 goals in the youth tournament last season. The nearest pursuers have 5 balls less. By the way, Carlos is also the third assistant of the tournament with 11 assists. And yes, City won Premier League 2. Why are we doing this? And just the City youth team sold players for 45 million euros this summer. This is only the statistics of the youth team, without taking into account transfers from the base. And in general, Manchester City in recent years has put the sale of academy graduates on a stream. Each of the departing Manchester City players is given a buyback option and a percentage of future resale.

A prime example here is Romeo Lavia. The Belgian defender left for Southampton last summer for €14m, impressed even in the relegated team and is now interested in top clubs.

  • Manchester City have a £40m buyback option next summer;
  • Already Liverpool could sign Romeo for 50m and then City would get 10m of that amount.
So the academy has become a powerful source of income for the club in recent years.

City’s academy dominates England by winning domestic competitions and raising superstars

Why is there such a demand for Manchester City pupils? Citizens’ youth teams have become the dominant force in England youth football in recent seasons. For three years, City have not given anyone the championship in Premier League 2 and in the Premier League U-18. Prior to that, the team also took the FA Youth Cup. With the UEFA Youth League so far without much success (there was a semi-final in 2018), but even here victories will surely come. But even more eloquently about the success of the academy are its graduates. Phil Foden is one of the leaders of Man City. Cole Palmer and Rico Lewis were big players in the squad that won 3 trophies last season. Romeo Lavia is one of the highlights of the season at Southampton. The success of Gavin Bazunu and Samuel Edosi in the same team is not so obvious, but both played quite regularly. Defender Taylor Harwood-Bellis helped Vincent Kompany’s Burnley return to the Premier League. And James McAtey and Tommy Doyle had a good season at Sheffield United – and also made it to the Premier League. Academy graduate Felix Nmecha moved from Wolfsburg to Borussia Dortmund this summer for €30m. His brother Lukas (also a City student) suffers from injuries, but when he is healthy he plays and scores for Wolfsburg. Guys like Jeremy Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen), Angelino (Galatasaray), Brahim Diaz (Real Madrid), Eric Garcia (Barcelona) – they all spent at least a couple of years in the academy of the English champions. In June 2023, England won the UEFA Euro U21 by beating Spain in the final. In the main match, 4 pupils of Manchester City played for the English (goalkeeper Trafford, defender Harwood Bellis, midfielders Palmer and Doyle). The Spain squad included current City player Sergio Gomez and former academy player Adrian Bernabe. City have a gigantic network of scouts who sometimes sign talented players purely for the purpose of resale. For example, defender Pedro Porro was pulled out of Girona, which is part of the City Group, sent on loan, given to Sporting for 9 million euros, and then they also received a percentage of the resale (about 10 million euros). Exemplary work, which, among other things, helps to avoid problems with FFP in recent years.

City academy cost £200m. Now they work there according to Pep’s manuals

After the purchase of Manchester City, Sheikh Mansour stated: “We are building a structure for the future, not just an all-star team.” Now these words are written on the wall in the training complex of the academy. The large City campus began to be built in 2011, and in 2014 the academy opened. We spent 200 million pounds on this business – space money. Up to 7,000 children can study on the Man City campus (these are also women’s teams). Already at the start, the academy had 16.5 fields at its disposal – later they will receive the names of the club’s legends. For example, Joe Hart and Yaya Toure. The idea was clearly spied on by Chelsea – the most powerful academy helped Roman Abramovich’s team to educate stars, attract young people from all over the world, and earn money on transfers. When Pep Guardiola came to Man City, he demanded that all teams in the academy learn football in the same style. Therefore, the integration of the same Phil Foden into the base was so successful. By the way, Phil is literally a guy from Manchester who grew up with the academy. When the Manchester City academy was just opening, Pablo Zabaleta said that now the club would have no excuse if they failed to become the dominant force in England and Europe in the coming years. Excuses were not needed – City took all possible trophies, and the academy helped in this (at least financially).

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