As the Premier League title race rages on with Liverpool giving Manchester City a run for their money, there’s a revolution going on among the City youth ranks. The City under-23 team became only the second team to retain the Premier League 2 title with a resounding 3-1 victory over Leeds under-23s.
The young Sky Blues needed just a point to clinch a second successive title after achieving success last term. But they went all out for the win.
Manager Brian Barry-Murphy, himself new to the team, was brought in at the start of the campaign to replace coach Enzo Maresca who moved on to Parma in Italy.
So Barry-Murphy had to work with a team that had lost several key players that propelled the side to victory in the previous campaign. But he managed to bring out the best from the group.
While last season’s Player of the Year Liam Delap and forward Sam Edozie have spent most of the campaign on the sidelines due to injury and Cole Palmer has been in and out of the squad, James McAtee seized the opportunity to shine brightest.
The midfielder has been in top form. With 18 goals and seven assists so far this season, he leads the scorers charts in the division. But it’s not just been a season for the PL2 side.
The Under-18s are also on course to retain their title. The City side is currently seven points ahead of Liverpool Under-18s at the top of the table with three games left to play.
The under-17s recently won their cup. That shows City dominating football across age groups in the country.
With the youngsters acquiring the winning mentality early on while playing some good football, these players are developing under the right conditions.
Several of these players are expected to continue their growth through the age groups. The expectation is for them to follow in the footsteps of others like Phil Foden and Cole Palmer by graduating into the first team.
If they follow through and make it to the first team, the academy would have yielded great results. Even others who don’t make the cut or choose to leave like Jadon Sancho will provide a source of income as they can be sold for sizable sums.
At the moment, the performance of these young players and the teams point to a bright future for the club.