Man City can now enjoy amazing England stat that speaks volumes – Simon Bajkowski

Developing 10 of the 23 Under-21s that Lee Carsley has selected for Monday&aposs fixture with Luxembourg is an amazing achievement that speaks to the work that has gone on at the Etihad Campus alongside the first team. However, it is only in recent years that academy staff have relaxed more about young talent having success elsewhere.

Of the 10, only one – Rico Lewis – is in Pep Guardiola&aposs squad in what speaks to how difficult it is to be considered for the Treble winners. Guardiola may have been an upgrade on Manuel Pellegrini in terms of the attention he gave young players (among other things!) yet he has consistently shown from Jadon Sancho to Cole Palmer that he will not give away first-team appearances as presents.

Chelsea signing Palmer is one of four in the England squad to have left permanently – James Trafford (Burnley), Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (Dortmund) and Sam Edozie (Southampton) are the others – while Taylor Harwood Bellis&aposs loan will turn into a fee of around 20m if he earns promotion at Southampton. James McAtee, at Sheffield United for another year, leads the five loanees – including Harwood Bellis, Liam Delap (Hull), Josh Wilson-Esbrand (Reims) and Callum Doyle (Leicester) – hoping to do what no academy product has done under Guardiola and come back from a loan spell into the first team.

If the odds are still against those players, they all look set for excellent careers regardless of whether they can break in at City and the 200m training ground opened at the end of 2014 that houses the academy as well as the women&aposs and men&aposs teams is contributing more and more to the club and the wider game. It is this conveyor belt of talent that has given the Blues extra pride and confidence in what they are doing.

Building a state-of-the-art complex was a clear indicator of how City&aposs owners wanted to maximise their returns yet it also put more pressure on an academy that hadn&apost produced any homegrown players for the first team. Sancho falling out with Guardiola and moving to Dortmund was a seminal moment for a new generation of prospects keen to get their senior careers as soon as possible, and had the potential to make City look daft for not trusting him.

Despite some promise at Dortmund and a big-money move to United, the 18m City have picked up for their role in developing Sancho still represents good value. In that time, Guardiola has introduced Phil Foden, Palmer, and Lewis into the first team, more players have left for considerable sums and the Under-18s and Under-21s have won their respective leagues for the last three years.

The presence of players in Guardiola&aposs squad has been the biggest help to the academy, but seeing so many of their players in demand and commanding significant fees has come to be seen as a positive. If players and staff are doing well, why shouldn&apost they be wanted by others?

It has been impossible to stop people getting giddy about Guardiola taking over from Gareth Southgate however unlikely it is, because of how the Catalan has impacted on English football. On top of the remarkable success at City, Jack Grealish, Kyle Walker, Phil Foden and John Stones are all important parts of the national team.

Thanks to the commitment and ambition at City over the last decade, the Blues look set to have a major influence on England sides for the next ten years regardless of how many are playing their club football at the Etihad.

The transfer window has been a hectic one and City have been busy, with high-profile signings and sales aplenty.

City snapped up Croatian pair Mateo Kovacic and Josko Gvardiol from Chelsea and RB Leipzig respectively with the latest addition being Jeremy Doku. Wolves&apos Matheus Nunes then joined the Blues on deadline day. In terms of outgoings, Treble winner Ilkay Gundogan departed for Barcelona, Aymeric Laporte and Riyad Mahrez moved to Saudi Arabia, and Cole Palmer completed a shock move to Chelsea.

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