Shields worked at City for nine years and was responsible for finding young talent from the south of England including Jadon Sancho and Luke Mbete. He worked his way up to become the club's head of academy recruitment by 2018 and was in position for almost four years before leaving this summer to take charge of all recruitment at Premier League club Southampton.
The Blues are finding it increasingly common for academy staff to be poached but recognise that the role will need replacing and the search is already on to find somebody to take over from Shields. There are a number of staff currently working at the academy who could step up but equally external applicants have been welcomed.
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Shields has already made his mark at Southampton, with a number of City academy players moving with him this summer; Gavin Bazunu, a 20-year-old goalkeeper, has signed for a minimum 12m and 18-year-old midfielder Romeo Lavia for an initial 10.5m. Saints also had a bid worth 16m rejected for striker Liam Delap, who City are only interested in loaning out rather than selling.
City have raised over 30m in the sale of academy players already this summer, with Darko Gyabi and Aro Muric moving to Leeds and Burnley respectively. Sam Edozie, who impressed in last season's Community Shield, could net the Blues more profit amid strong interest from Bayer Leverkusen.
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