June 25, 2024

Many clubs use loan spells to give promising players experience at a higher level than they are used to, with a view to them returning better and stronger and ready to make their name with the club they grew up at. But that is not quite the case at Manchester City.

The best Blues players to have come through the academy in recent years have gone straight into the first team from the youth set-up.

Take Phil Foden, Rico Lewis or latest academy graduate Oscar Bobb. Rightly or wrongly, Pep Guardiola seems to have a very clear idea of who is naturally talented enough to play for his first team and can see their potential at a young age.

If they are not deemed good enough to make the step up, they are sent out on loan. And they do not usually have happy returns to the club.

No players in the current squad have been out on loan, and the players who did excel elsewhere have been sent straight back out to pastures new.

A loan spell can still be useful to City and the players on their books, though. Goalkeeper James Trafford, for example, gained valuable experience on loan at Accrington Stanley and Bolton Wanderers, helping him earn a £19 million ($23m) move to Burnley. There will be others that follow a similar path in the coming years.

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