When Sheik Mansour and the City Football Group bought Manchester City back in 2008, They sought to make the club one of the giants of world football.
As a result, not only have they signed some of Europe’s most mercurial talents, they also invested in youth, opening a training academy for 200 million pounds.
With the Academy earning high honors such as the Premier League International Cup in 2014/15, and 3 northern division championship in the last four years, on the surface it seems that some of these youngsters could break into the first team in a few years time.
But this summer, Pep Guardiola had other ideas.
In the summer transfer window, Manchester City has spent over 219 million pounds on transfers this summer, breaking the record fee for defenders in Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy.
As a result, City has sent top prospects Aleix Garcia, Pablo Maffeo, Douglas Luiz, and Marlos Moreno to Girona, Patrick Roberts to Celtic, and Mari and Angelino to NAC Breda.
— PepTeam (@PepTeam) August 1, 2017
The only “youth” player who has stayed and could make first team appearances is Phil Foden.
Guardiola, who is known to integrate youth players since his time at Barcelona, could be affected by football’s short-termism.
At Bayern Munich, he opted for signing experienced talents over youth. Only Sabener Strasse talent Gianluca Gaudino made appearances under his tutelage in the Bundesliga.
At Manchester City, he will feel the pressure to win trophies, especially after how much the club spent on players this summer.
While he has talents like Foden and Garcia who has the ability to crack the first team, he opted to sign a ready-made attacking midfielder Bernardo Silva for AS Monaco.
The sale of Jadon Sancho sets alarms off as well. The mercurial English talent (who Tottenham initially wanted) was sold to Borussia Dortmund for 8 million pounds.
Did Sancho move for the sake of getting playing time?
If players are realizing this, it reinforces the idea that football’s short-termism pervades over development.
With the pressure to win these next few years, don’t expect Guardiola to trust youth during his tenure.