Let's take a look at how a few of our more high profile loan players are progressing so far this season:
Dedryck Boyata Defender 21 yo League 9 (1) Goals 1
Boyata has seemingly struggled this year although we have to take into account the teams struggles also. Bolton are unexpectedly in the relegation zone and now might not be the best time to blood youngsters. Has featured in only 9 league games this term in between injuries and loss of form, playing both RB and CB. With Cahill's £8m transfer to Chelsea, Boyata may now be expected to play a greater role with Bolton which could see his development get back on track. An interview here.
Gregg Cunningham Defender 20 yo Nottingham Forest League 13 Goals 0
Cunningham was signed on an emergency loan basis in late October which expires on the 31st December. Plays mainly as a left back and is yet another prospect who is trying to develop in a less than ideal situation which is what Forest find themselves in. They are struggling badly. Difficult to find any information on Greg, to the extent that I'm not sure if his loan was extended. But it's safe to say that Greg isn't setting the world on fire or outperforming his team mates level of play. He appears to be an average player in a 23rd place Championship side. Saw a few comments alluding to being 'a bit soft', 'not strong enough', 'goals coming from his mistakes in left back position'.
Abdi Ibrahim Midfielder 20 yo NEC Nijmegen League 9 Goals 1
Well we know virtually nothing. We can see that he has featured in 9 games with 478 TOP(time on pitch/game minutes) is roughly 53 minutes a game. I am sure he would like to feature more, but we must remember these young players are raw and will make mistakes. It's not always easy for a manager to live with those mistakes, especially when it is a loan player. Now, although Abdi's side are struggling 15th out of 18th (see the theme here?) I believe that the Eredivisie is the right type of league for our more advanced youth prospects, the standard is good and the style of football is important. Holland is renowned for the technical quality of its football and footballers and it has an excellent reputation of producing quality young players.
Abdul Razak Midfielder 19 yo To be decided League 3 Goals 0
The highly rated Ivorian made 3 appearances for Pompey in a month long spell earlier this season. But importantly only featured once form the bench after the new manager Michael Appleton came in before being recalled by his parent club. The rangy, defensive Midfielder is currently being lined up for another loan deal with Pompey, Brighton and Blackpool as possible destinations.
Vladimir Weiss Winger 21 yo Espanyol League 11 Goals 0
It feels like time is running is running out for one of the true stars of the FA youth cup triumph. A loan at Bolton, then at Rangers didn't really kick start a serious run at a squad place at Manchester City. This season at Espanyol has featured 6 yellow cards and some patchy play from the Slovakian. I have seen Weiss play 3 times for Espanyol and he still impresses with his speed and trickery in one on one situations but consistency of final ball and football intelligence remain question marks against this talented player. Expect a permanent transfer to a Spanish or German outfit in the summer.
Michael Johnson Midfielder 23 yo Leicester League 3(4) Goals 0
What was hoped to be a season of clean health and an extended run of first team competitive games has been anything but that for arguably the most talented graduate of Manchester City's youth academy. Positive and hopeful words like these were written about Michael in late October but the bare, hard facts are that he just cannot stay fit. Muscle injuries and a shoulder issue have prevented him from not particularly displaying the talent that we know he has, but displaying the durability to be a professional footballer. I saw him play one game for Leicester and he was a class apart, controlling the game albeit sitting deep in midfield instead of the box to box midfielder as I remembered him.
One of the cautionary tales of the job of being a footballer is injury. To have the ability to be able to fulfill a dream of playing at the very highest level as Michael has, only to be let down by a fragile body must be a difficult and frustrating situation to live with. It is absolutely no stretch of the imagination to say had he been fit he would be playing in the rotation of Manchester City's midfield and on the cusp of the National team. As it is, he is 24 next month. He has played in 19 games in 3 years.
Alex Nimley Striker 20 yo M'Boro League 0(9) Goals 0 *now at Coventry
Not a whole lot can be found of his seemingly unsuccessful loan to Boro. 9 sub appearances was all he could muster but it must be said he was on loan to a strong Championship side with aspirations of promotion. In theory it should of been a successful loan spell to a side who are known to blood youngsters but maybe what was needed was a lesser Championship team in order to get more starts. Coventry will provide this.
Emmanuel Adebayor Striker 27 yo Spurs League 19 Goals 9
A success at Spurs. Of that there can be no doubt. We knew what Adebayor offered when he was focused and motivated, the problem is Mancini couldn't keep him motivated and Adebayor couldn't focus himself. All in all both parties lost in the process of having to loan him to another club. I can only guess that the Manchester City brain trust either believed that Spurs were not a threat to their title aspirations, or in their desperation to off load even a portion of his wages, Adebayor was available to nearly all clubs. His transfer value continues to increase as he maintains his impressive form. Unlikely to be in Spurs' transfer or wage budget come next season.
Roque Santa Cruz Striker 30 yo Real Betis League 20 Goals 1
Purely just running down the time on his expensive contract. Scored his only goal against Barcelona last week and a peach it was too. We can look back now and say his Transfer to Manchester City was a disaster considering it was the same closed season that Daniel Sturridge was let go over his wage demands. No resale value.
Luca Scapuzzi Striker 20 yo Oldham League 8(1) Goals 1
Gaining experience under ex Man City player Paul Dickov.
John Guidetti Striker 20 yo Feyenoord League 8(2) Goals 9
Guidetti is a very promising forward prospect whose only fault may be his lack of true acceleration. Never the less he is excelling at Feyenoord under Koeman's management. As mentioned before the Eredivisie seems to be an excellent development league and it may be a league that Manchester City uses more often in the development of its young players. 9 goals in 8 starts and 2 sub appearances is a tremendous return whilst playing for a Feyenoord team who are currently fifth in the table and 7 points from top spot. I expect him to have a real run at sticking with Manchester City's first team next season.