Manchester City have unveiled a new soccer complex in the heart of their city. The center will cater towards the first team, but the main goal is to help City create the best youth academy in the world. Many pundits have been impressed by the facilities on offer, but Gary Neville is not convinced yet.
The former Manchester United player turned Sky Sports pundit believes that City will have to do a lot more than build great facilities. All soccer academies exist to provide the first team with players. When was the last time a Manchester City player got into the first team? There have been none since the Arab takeover from 2010.
City may be able to impress the world with their new academy facilities, but will any of the boys training there get a first team opportunity? Skout users are not so sure about that. Will they be able to replace the likes of Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure? Or will City just sign more expensive replacements for those players, leaving the academy players high and dry?
Gary Neville is correct in his assessment of City’s academy. Taking oil money and building impressive facilities is not an achievement. Getting three or four youth team players into their first team squad will be the true test of their new investment. If City can start providing the first team with young players, this endeavor will have been worth the expensive outlay.