Since the opening of the City Football Academy (CFA) early this season, expectations have been high both at the club itself and wider a field, that Manchester City will be producing some of the best talents in the English game in years to come.
Finding the right mix between big money signings and home grown talent will not be easy. Allowing these academy products to find their feet in the first team, while at the same time managing the expectations of success will certainly be a balancing act, one however that the City boss is confident off.
He said: "I think it is very important for our group to help the development of the younger players. It is very difficult for them to progress to the first team because we have a very strong, competitive squad and each season we are buying new, important players.
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"That doesn’t mean we can’t have a young player breakthrough to the senior side – even if just one youngster progressed to the first team it could save the club thirty or £40million"
A string of EDS regulars including Bersant Celina, Angelino, Thierry Ambrose, George Glendon and Sinan Bytyqi have already appeared on the City bench this season as unused substitutes with Jose Angel Pozo making four appearances during a difficult period for the club over Christmas.
Pellegrini believes that moving to the new state of the art complex which houses all area's of the City family including first team, MCWFC and all academy age groups, will be very important for the club in the long term.
“The fact we are now all training together at the CFA makes a huge difference because the youngsters can be around professional players every day will be very useful for them and the way we are working means that I’m sure we’ll have a number of youngsters progressing through to the first team.
“Moving to the CFA has made a world of difference and is one of the most important improvements we’ve made. When you look at the new facility compared to Carrington, which was not a bad place, but moving here has been a huge step forward and underlines how the owners want to develop the club in the future."
Only time will tell how many graduates of the CFA will find themselves plying their trade in the first team squad at Manchester City but the club does seem determined to make sure a route will be open if the quality is there to take advantage.
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