Jadon Sancho, Rabbi Matondo, Brahim Diaz, Tom Dele-Bashiru, and now Ian Carlo Poveda. These are few names that have left Manchester City in the last year or two in search of “greener pastures”. They all have some things in common. Not only are they graduates from Man City’s academy, they once nursed the ambition of making headlines in the club’s shirt while filing out for the senior team. But for most of them that dream will never come to pass.
Poveda has left Manchester City for Leeds United in search of first team football. The 19-year-old who joined the Cityzens from Brentford in 2016 was seen as one of the brightest prospects in the City academy. Hence, his integration with the senior team under Pep Guardiola. But the youngster has elected to leave after finding playing time with the senior team difficult to come by.
Although he was part of City’s recent pre-season tours where he also impressed, his only appearance for the senior team in a competitive match came in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against League One side Burton Albion last season. It was more or less a dead rubber game for the Blues as the team already had one foot in the final. Taking a 9-0 lead to the Pirelli Stadium, Guardiola’s much-changed side won 1-0 to make it 10-0 on aggregate
At 19, Poveda could have waited for his turn to shine at City. But the player and his advisers feel he will be better off at a club where he can play regular first-team football. Besides, with the star power available at City and the club’s style of acquiring top-rated players to beef up the squad, upcoming youngsters will always find it very difficult breaking into the team.
Loan deals should be the ideal solution to help these players develop, but even that has not proven to be a successful model for City. Some players choose to run down their contracts and leave on a free. Poveda, for example, entered the last six months of his contract with City this January. He was set to leave for free at the end of the season before the deal with Leeds was struck. To avoid allowing players to just walk away after all that has been put into their training, the club has sought to get compensated any way possible in such cases.
Although Leeds have not paid any money up front to sign the player, the Whites could pay up to £1m based on the number of appearances he makes for the side. City will also get 30 percent of a future sale and will be notified if any bids are made. The club will then be offered the opportunity to match it if interested in buying him back.