English players will struggle with life at Manchester City

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It's common knowledge that Manchester City are in the market for homegrown talent this summer.

Premier League squads are allowed no more than 17 foreign players in their squads meaning City are targeting a number of Englishmen.

City's pursuit of English talent has taken on greater importance following the departures of James Milner, Frank Lampard, Scott Sinclair, Micah Richards and Dedryck Boyata.

The loss of these players means that Joe Hart is the only Englishman left in Manchester City's squad.

Manchester City have been linked to a host of England stars over the last few weeks. The Etihad club recently tabled a £40 million bid for Raheem Sterling, only to see it rejected by Liverpool.

Raheem Sterling

With Sterling expressing a desire to leave Liverpool and the Reds bringing in Roberto Firmino, this is a deal that still seems possible.

Liverpool have reportedly demanded £50 million for the player, which City will have no trouble paying if they really want him.

However, it's unclear where Sterling will fit into City's side. He will certainly be facing much more competition for a place in midfield than he has at Liverpool. If he was to make the move then he would have to perform much more consistently in order to nail down a regular first team spot.

Jack WIlshere

Jack Wilshere is another who has been linked with a move to the Manchester club. If rumours are to be believed then City may be ready to submit a hefty bid for the 23-year-old.

The Englishman has impressed recently playing for England and was in good form for the Gunners towards the end of last season.

Despite his undeniable talent, Wilshere would be a risky signing for Manchester City. This is a player who has had his career plagued by injury, meaning he cannot be relied upon to feature regularly in midfield. For £40 million you need a player who can play week in week out and throughout his time at Arsenal Wilshere has proved that he's not that type of player.

Fabian Delph

Fabian Delph is the latest to be linked with a move to Manchester City. The 25-year-old is reported to have a £10 million buy-out clause in his contract which would make him a much cheaper midfield option for City.

Delph is a player who's made great strides over the last year, he's become an important part of the England set-up and was a key figure in Aston Villa's survival last season.

Delph offers an admirable workrate and is always willing to put his body on the line for the team.

However, is he really of the standard required at Manchester City? You'd imagine he would struggle for a place in that midfield. At just £10 million he looks like more of a cheap option to increase the contingent of home grown players rather than being a first team regular.


One of the main attractions of Manchester City from a players perspective is the chance of winning trophies. However players thinking about joining City should be careful what they wish for because things have not gone smoothly for a number of City's previous Englishmen.


Richards was an important member of the side that dramatically won the title in the 2011/12 season. However things went wrong from there. Despite featuring regularly for the team for a number of years he found himself being fazed out at Manchester City. He lost his place to Pablo Zabaleta for the 2012/13 campaign and never managed to win it back.

Richards became the victim of the clubs heavy investment in the transfer market and made just nine more appearances for the club in the league following their first title winning season. The result is that the once promising Englishman has become a forgotten man. He will be looking to get his career back on track following a free transfer to Aston Villa. The 27-year-old may have featured 245 times for Manchester City but he still serves as proof of how quickly you can be replaced at the club.


To say the winger's time at Manchester City was a disaster would be an understatement. The Englishman simply wasn't ready for such a big move when he arrived from Swansea in the summer of 2012. At the time Sinclair was regarded as one of the most promising young talents in the country. He impressed during his first season in the Premier League scoring eight goals for Swansea, unfortunately those days are a distant memory now.

While many would argue that Sinclair was not good enough for the club it's also apparent that he was never given much of a chance to succeed at the Etihad. He featured just 13 times for the club in the Premier League, so it's not surprising that he never managed to make his mark. With the calibre of player that he was competing against it's not surprising that he failed to make an impact.

His situation at City quite clearly damaged his confidence and he failed to make an impact out on loan at West Brom. However he showed promise while on loan at Aston Villa and will believe he can repair his career after making the switch permanent. Raheem Sterling, is a promising young talent, so perhaps he should take note of Scott Sinclair's demise at the club.


Much like Jack Wilshere, Rodwell was a promising young midfielder when he arrived at City in August 2012. Roberto Mancini's side paid a fee of around £12 million for the Everton man who had also been linked to Manchester United. He joined City on the back of 85 Premier League appearances for Everton but struggled to make an impression at the Etihad.

The highly-rated midfielder found it difficult to break into City's first team due to the presence of the likes of David Silva and Yaya Toure. Injury problems also took their toll on the youngster which further limited his opportunities. The reality was that he had been a star man at Everton but was a small name compared to the players in Manchester City's squad.

In his debut season with the club he could only manage 11 appearances and he followed that up with just five in the next campaign. Prior to his move to City, Rodwell had been regarded as a real prospect for the future of the England national team but he failed to build on his three senior caps. The promising midfielder simply faded away at City and became lost amongst an array of stars. He joined Sunderland last summer and made 23 Premier League appearances, more than he managed in two seasons at City. Rodwell is a clear example of when a move comes too early for a young player.


It seems that any players success, or lack of it, at Manchester City will boil down to two factors. Firstly, does the player perform well enough? Secondly, how active are City in the transfer market? With the seemingly limitless funds at the manager's disposal Manchester City is a club that can replace a player without a moments hesitation. This is one of the reasons why you simply have to perform at the club because they are able to easily bring in someone who's better than you.

It must also be noted that not all Englishman at City have struggled. Joe Hart has been a roaring success at the club, establishing himself as City's and England's number one goalkeeper. Hart is probably the best example of an Englishman succeeding at the club because he's been a regular in their side for a number of years now and has been a crucial part of two title winning teams.

James Milner is another who did not do badly at the club. While it seems his contribution to the team was not as appreciated as it should have been, he still had a fairly good run at the club. In each of his seasons at City he made 35 or more appearances.

He is one who perhaps wasn't regarded as one of the most important players at the club but by no means fell of the map during his time there. Adam Johnson, Gareth Barry and Joleon Lescott all enjoyed moderate success at the club before being deemed surplus to requirements.

City by no means destroys the careers of every Englishman that walks in the door. To say such a thing would be a harsh and untrue. However what is true is that any Englishman making a move to the Etihad would be taking a huge risk. It seems that at the club you are either a roaring success or an drastic failure, there is very little middle ground.

You clearly need a good temperament to succeed at the club. Performing to a high level week in week out is a must because you can lose your place and be replaced in the blink of an eye. This is the main reason why some of City's targets could be putting their careers on the line this summer.

Sterling has shown a poor attitude over the last few weeks and he simply is not consistent. It's questionable whether he would be a regular for Manchester City because he doesn't maintain his performance levels, a hot or cold player like him could find himself out of favour very quickly.

Wilshere would be in a similar situation. His injury problems would be a big concern. We have never seen the very best of the midfielder due to his bad luck with injury. Arsenal have been very patient with the Englishman, they have nurtured him back to fitness time and time again.

However, City as a club would be unlikely to show such patience. If he was to suffer from the same injury problems at City then he would soon find himself replaced. After all when you've got so much money available, why bother waiting for a player to return from injury when you can just bring in someone else?

Fabian Delph is a player who could well find himself on the bench at the club. For a player in the early stages of his England career this would be a massive blow. He may get more money and win more trophies at City but he would probably get considerably less game time. Delph has an exemplary attitude but it's debatable whether he has the ability to ever be a regular in a team challenging for the title.


A player's decision to accept or reject a move to Manchester City will depend on what motivates them. If they are motivated by money then it's a no-brainer. City will more than likely pay you more than your current club and it's apparent that in the modern era too many players are more interested in financial gain than football.

If you are motivated by playing regular first team football, then this could be a stumbling block. There are already a number of star names there competing for places with even more expected to come in. So a young player, like Sterling or Wilshere could quickly find themselves overwhelmed. No player who wants to play regularly will be happy watching on from the bench and any youngster coming in should be aware that they must perform or they will suffer this fate.

It's important that the young Englishmen who have the chance to join Manchester City this summer give their decision a lot of thought. They should consider what really motivates them, money, trophies or first team action? Then they must take their time, weigh up their options and think: is this the right move for my career?

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Raheem Sterling
Manchester City
Premier League
Fabian Delph
Jack Wilshere

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