What if Manchester City had to reveal an only under 23 lineup? Could Pep and company survive with that squad. Let’s find out.
Here is who I would start if City was only permitted a U-23 lineup.
GK- Aro Muric. Just making the cut for age is an International starting caliber goalkeeper. Aro, is a capable shot blocker and plays for Nottingham Forest on loan from City. He is also Kosovo’s undisputed starter and with his length and skill on the ball he is a perfect Pep goalie.
Fullbacks- Alpha Diounkou and Josh Wilson-Esbrand. Two of City’s younger fullbacks that play decent enough for a start here. Both players have played all season with the Academy side and have been rock solid. The speed on Diounkou could be a great asset.
CB’s- Eric Garcia, Taylor Harwood-Bellis. This pair has already been given a debut by Pep in the FA Cup. They have shown to have patience and the awareness to succeed. Two solid defenders with above average awareness and maturity. Perfect fits for a Pep system.
MID- Tommy Doyle, Adrian Bernabe, and Phil Foden. A solid trio led by prodigal talent and local son big Phil Foden. Doyle is a strong midfielder in the Fernandinho vain who will do the dirty work. Bernabe is a more creative player that will help orchestrate the attack. A good side with all the attributes Pep needs to run his system.
FOR- Jayden Braaf, Ben Knight, Gabriel Jesus. Two youth players and our striker of the future in Jesus. Braaf is a recent addition to the academy and is on a fast track to the first team. A dynamic winger he could be a Sane light. Knight is an English youth international and a decent talent. A regular in the academy’s games he has seen good moments and he gets the nod here.
That is a solid and competitive team. Could see them being top of a U-23 league and they for sure have the talent for it.
That’s it. Who missed the cut? Who would you put in? Let us know in the comments.