Coming through the ranks at Manchester City must be pretty sweet for a young player right now, especially given the recently opened facilities on offer at their brand new City Football Academy.
However, goalkeeper Joe Hart has pinpointed the one reason why the next generation of City stars should consider themselves lucky - Patrick Vieira.
The former AC MIlan, Arsenal, Juventus, Inter Milan and Manchester City midfielder is currently in charge of the club's elite development squad, and Hart can think of no-one better for the City's youngsters to learn from.
Learn from the best
Vieira was a star as a player, lifting the World Cup and European Championships with France as well as a host of domestic awards, and Hart is desperate for the club's young talents to realise just who they're learning from.
The City goalkeeper told the Manchester Evening News: "I get into our young lads all the time about who they have in charge of them – Patrick Vieira, what a player!
"I got the very back end of his career. He is a jokey kind of guy, very laid back but he has this thing about him where, if all of a sudden he decides to be serious and talk, he just takes over the whole room. He has that respect from all the players, still now.
"I’m just scared that the young players are going to get younger and younger and he is going to get older and older, and they aren’t going to
know who he is.
Moulding the future
As head of City's elite development squad, Vieira is in charge of providing the next batch of home grown stars for the first team, and although only Jose Angel Pozo has made the breakthrough this term, Hart is confident in Vieira's ability.
"I think he is in the perfect place right now to mould a team, to bring people through," he said.
"From what I’ve seen and heard, he has the capabilities to do it. You’re pretty raw at 16 or 17 unless you’re one of the greatest players on the planet.
"We are moulding some serious talent that we are trying to get through.”
The next Joe Hart?
Among those under the tutelage of Vieira are goalkeepers Angus Gunn and Ian Lawlor, and Hart is well aware of their talent.
He said: "Gunny and Ian Lawlor are both doing well, and that is going to happen at City.
Though Lawlor is the elder of the two, it is Gunn who has been tipped for big things, and Hart is prepared for the challenge he could face from the youngster.
"Angus is a good keeper – he has a long way to go. Stuff is easily said, but he is doing all the right things at the moment.
“He is doing well for his age group with England and here – I know Patrick is happy with him. Everything is in the right place for him, now it’s up to him how he kicks on.”
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