Jadon Sancho is returning to Manchester, but not to the club where it all started.
Sancho returns to Manchester
It’s a bruising kick in the unmentionables for United’s ‘Noisy Neighbours’ when you consider that Sancho actually enjoyed his footballing education just a few miles away at Manchester City.
Varane to Man United Imminent (Football Terrace)
Nevertheless, Sancho was allowed to slip through the net with Borussia Dortmund where he emerged as one of the best young players in the world with no less than 114 goal contributions.
And Sancho isn’t alone in having waved goodbye to the Etihad Stadium when he was destined to become a top-class player with a whole host of footballers having experienced a similar journey.
Players who thrived after leaving Man City
As such, inspired by a recent feature by The Sun, we’ve decided to look at players like Sancho who evolved into players capable of thriving at the highest level on the back of leaving City.
Naturally, not all of them having managed to reach the dizzying heights of Mr. Sancho, but they’re all top-class players in their own right and you can check out nine of them down below:
1. Daniel Sturridge
His prime years might have been short and sweet, but there’s no escaping the fact that Sturridge reached a world-class peak with Liverpool and England on the back of his City and Chelsea exits.
2. Kasper Schmeichel
One of the best goalkeepers in the world, never mind the Premier League, Schmeichel has gone on to prove City wrong for letting him go with heroic performances for Leicester City and Denmark.
3. Adrien Rabiot
Rabiot’s youth stint in Manchester was certainly fleeting, but City must have wished they’d held on to him considering the success he has enjoyed with PSG, Juventus and France as a professional.
4. Kieran Trippier
It’s easy to forget that England’s La Liga-winning full-back actually started out at City long before he was scoring free-kicks in World Cup semi-finals and proving himself in the Champions League.
5. Jadon Sancho
Ah yes, the reason we’re here. Only time will tell whether Sancho leaves the Citizens kicking themselves even more by tearing up the Premier League with their neighbours across the city.
6. Jason Denayer
With 26 caps in a highly-competitive Belgium side to his name, Denayer has stood on his own two feet since leaving City and managed to dump his old side out of the Champions League in 2020.
7. Denis Suarez
Chastise him all you like for his doomed Arsenal loan, but there’s no denying that Suarez is a fantastic operator when he’s on song and amassed 71 appearances during his Barcelona spell.
8. Brahim Diaz
Diaz might not have reached the dizzying heights expected of him at the Etihad quite yet, but it’s a testament to his top-class ability that Real Madrid and AC Milan have both taken a chance on him.
9. Rony Lopes
A Europa League winner and Portugal international, Lopes has gone from strength to strength since his City exit and reached a superb high watermark with 15 league goals for AS Monaco in 2017/18.
The grass is sometimes greener
If we were to slacken the criteria even more then you could include the likes of Ben Mee and Loris Karius on the list with both players having shown flashes of brilliance in the Premier League.
Nevertheless, we feel pretty confident that the nine players above are those who have either proven themselves the most since leaving City or have, at least, actually moved on to bigger opportunities.
It really does go to show that while City have a real knack for succeeding off the back of signing players that certain athletes can actually experience more joy by waving goodbye to the Citizens.