Manchester City's academy has produced a starting XI that's now worth over £300 million


Manchester City have established one of Europe's leading football academies over the last decade or so. 

Beginning in 2010, their Platt Lane training complex was overhauled with state-of-the-art facilities and in 2014, the club opened a new 5,000 seater Academy Stadium for their youth teams to use.

Soon after, a number of promising young starlets began to roll out. 

Although very few have actually broken into City's first team over the years, a number of teenagers have been sold to top European clubs. 

Jadon Sancho, Denis Suarez and Brahim Diaz have all featured for Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively. 

City have made a little bit of profit on those names and a number of others.

Now, the club have enough high profile former academy prospects to field a starting XI - and it's one that's worth around £300 million in today's market.

The players also fit nicely into a 4-3-3 formation, which could be nicknamed the 'City desertion squad'. Check it out below. 

GK - Angus Gunn - Southampton (worth £9 million)

Gunn left Manchester ahead of the 2018/19 season after failing to play a single game for City's senior side. He's since made 12 Premier League appearances down south.

Newcastle United v Southampton FC - Premier League

RB - Kieran Trippier - Tottenham (worth £31.5 million)

Trippier was an earlier graduate of the academy, leaving for Burnley in 2012 after spending a season on loan at Turf Moor.

He played 145 times in both the Championship and the Premier League before moving to Spurs in 2015.

Since then, he's become a regular for one of the league's top clubs - and also features in the England team.  

Manchester City v Portland Timbers

CB - Jason Denayer - Lyon (worth £19 million)

Denayer was in the City academy for four years between 2014 and 2018, but failed to make a single senior appearance.

He had loan moves with Celtic, Galatasaray and Sunderland, before eventually joining Lyon for less than £6 million.  


CB - Karim Rekik - Hertha Berlin (worth £13.5 million)

Rekik did actually make one Premier League appearance for City - in the 2012/13 season, against Reading. However, that's as good as it got for him in England. 

A move to Marseille came in 2015 and he spent two years in France before moving to Hertha Berlin in Germany. 


LB - Angelino - PSV (worth £11 million)

Yet another player who failed to make a senior appearance is Angelino. He spent less time at City and more time on loan. 

He eventually joined PSV ahead of last season and was an important player in the team that finished second in the Eredivisie behind Ajax. 

PSV v ADO Den Haag - Eredivisie

CM -  Denis Suarez - Barcelona (worth £16 million)

It's easy to forget that Suarez was in the City academy before he joined Barcelona in 2016. It was no doubt a dream move, but one that hasn't exactly gone to plan.

His loan to Arsenal in January was an even bigger letdown as injuries meant he featured just four times. But that's still four more than he managed in Manchester.  

Huddersfield Town v Arsenal FC - Premier League

CM - Brahim Diaz - Real Madrid (worth £15 million)

Diaz is one of the highest profile players to come from City's academy. He left for Real Madrid in January for £15.5 million after weeks of intense speculation. 

The 19-year-old has already made nine appearances for Los Blancos and he's scored one La Liga goal. 

He could turn out to be the one that got away for Pep Guardiola.


LW - Rony Lopes - Monaco (worth £30 million)

Lopes was an academy player between 2011 and 2015 before he moved to Monaco at 20. He really broke into the side in the 2017/18 season, when his team finished runners up in Ligue 1. 

Since then, he's been a regular starter - although he couldn't help Monaco's disastrous campaign a year later.  


AM - David Brooks - Bournemouth (worth £40 million)

Brooks was associated with Man City since he was seven years old and he spent a decade with the club.

However, he never made it out the youth team and actually moved to Sheffield United's academy, breaking into the first team instantly. 

Brooks is now at Bournemouth and really impressed during his first season, so much so that he was recently voted as the Welsh Player of the Year.

Reports of a £50 million bid from Spurs have also been surfacing. 

Brighton & Hove Albion v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

RW - Jadon Sancho - Dortmund (worth £100 million)

Sancho is undoubtedly the biggest name to come from Man City's academy. He joined for two years between 2015 and 2017, after spending much of his youth career with Watford. 

In May 2017, City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said he would be fast-tracked into the senior set-up, but that didn't happen. 

Instead, Sancho attempted to force a move away after getting no assurances over playing time in the contract he was offered. 

The Englishman moved to Dortmund in 2017 and broke into the senior squad straight away. Since then he's become one of the hottest properties in Europe, scoring 13 Bundesliga goals in 46 games.

Manchester United are rumoured to be interested in signing him, for a fee of around £100 million.

Manchester City v Chelsea - FA Youth Cup Final: First Leg

ST - Kelechi Iheanacho - Leicester City - (worth £20 million) 

In terms of breaking into City's senior side, Iheanacho is by far the most successful player in this team. 

He spent just one season in the academy before linking up with the senior squad and between 2015 and 2017, the Nigerian striker made 46 Premier League appearances, scoring 12 goals. 

Iheanacho has since moved to PL rivals Leicester and continues to feature regularly. 


There are very few teams in the world that can boast an Academy XI of this strength.

Incredibly, these players made just 92 senior appearances in all competitions between them for Man City, with Iheanacho making a bulk of those.

What might hurt the club more though, is that these players were sold for a combined total of around £100 million, while they're now worth over three times that.  

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