·1 November 2023
·1 November 2023
Building on the success of Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering, treble-winning Manchester City presents a unique kind of challenge in Football Manager 2024 – which is finally out now.
One way to make things interesting as City boss is to lean heavily on the club’s world-class youth academy and look to integrate the club’s most talented homegrown stars as opposed to cash in and sell them on elsewhere.
Man City announced the signing of the teenager, who is rated as one of the top young goalkeepers in the country, from AFC Wimbledon in the summer.
Brits is just 16 and is expected to continue his development in the youth ranks in the coming years, but he already represents England at Under-16 level and is definitely one to watch for the future.
Promising City academy ‘keepers like James Trafford and Arijanet Muric have had to go elsewhere for senior experience, but – who knows? – Pep Guardiola might be looking for a successor to Ederson by the time Brits starts progressing to first-team contention.
Born and raised in London, 18-year-old left-back Galvez has made up his mind early and is already a full Finland international after rising from their Under-15s to their Under-21s.
City nabbed the rising star from Watford back in 2021, but he’s still awaiting his senior club debut.
“That was amazing, first walking out onto the pitch,” Galvez told The MEN of his international debut in a 2-0 friendly defeat to Spain in September.
“It’s the moments you dream of as a kid making your debut for the first team. Obviously making my debut for the first team for my country before my club is something you don’t see often. It was a special feeling.
“It was a choice to play for Finland. I got called up for the Finland team when I was 12 or 13. Ever since then I just enjoyed it. The people there, I’ve got friends there. Right now, for my development it’s good to stay with the Finnish team.
“Spain was an option as well. If you look at it for my career-wise, I’m trying to break through as quickly as I can. I spoke to my agents, family, people around me. They all agreed that Finland is potentially one of the best opportunities I’ve got right now.”
Galvez was linked with a loan move in the summer and may yet go out in search of opportunities in the January window.
The City academy prospect closest to Guardiola’s first team right now, Lewis has produced a handful of head-turning performances and looks as though he’ll be a real asset to the squad in the coming months and years.
The 18-year-old is yet to nail down a place in City’s first-choice XI, but he’s proven he can do a job at left-back or in midfield. That’s worth considerably more than his weight in gold as Guardiola looks to rotate his options between their domestic and European commitments.
No relation to Everton winger Jack, an alumnus of City’s academy himself, Manchester-born midfielder Alfie has developed his considerable technical skills in the club’s youth set-up since he was nine years old.
The 17-year-old impressed during his debut season with the club’s Under-18s last term, notching six goals and four assists in 21 appearances, and he’s continuing to turn out for Ben Wilkinson’s young side in 2023-24.
City’s Under-18s claimed a fourth successive Premier League Under-18s title last season – and Harrison wasn’t the only rising star who made a name for himself in that campaign.
Left winger Ndala, who only turned 17 in the summer, excelled for Wilkinson’s table-toppers, and has praised the club’s set-up for helping nurture talents like himself.
“It’s mad because we have done that four times in a row now and there’s pressure on everyone at the Under-18s level now, especially next season,” he told City’s official website.
“They will have to carry on the trend because we had the same feeling at the start of this season, where previously we’d won three, so for us to win again, it shows our togetherness.”
This season Ndala has featured for City in the UEFA Youth League and in the EFL Trophy, in which their youth team competes against senior Football League opposition. He’s scored Grimsby and assisted against Barnsley.