Five English midfield talents for Man City to snaffle in summer
As the FA plans to increase the homegrown quota for Premier League squads, Manchester City (outsiders at 40/1 to win the Premier League) may find themselves in somewhat of a pickle.
A case in point: the Citizens took on Crystal Palace last time out without a single academy graduate in their starting XI. While that situation may take some time to remedy, the blue half of Mancunia are now expected to go all out to acquire top English talent.
Speaking recently, under-pressure coach Manuel Pellegrini told press: “We do need English players, we need good players, so it is important after the season has finished to think about what we are going to do.”
With City supposedly set to refresh their squad with new midfield recruits this summer, Coral writers contemplate which exciting English picks could be primed for the Etihad.
Ross Barkley (Everton)
Still just 21, Everton academy product Barkley has not been at his best for large parts of this campaign, but the potential is there for all to see. Strong, powerful and tenacious with a sweet strike, the youngster has not yet found his best position, but could be pencilled in as a potential replacement for Yaya Toure.
Watch Barkley’s brilliant goal against QPR here:
Fabian Delph (Aston Villa)
Despite Delph penning a new contract at Villa Park, he could still be plucked away this summer, especially if Tim Sherwood cannot steer his side to Premier League survival.
The Bradford-born battler has recently become a regular in the Three Lions camp, and could be a quick-fix for the Sky Blues’ dearth of British talent at a relatively bargain price.
Delph’s energy and exuberance would certainly bring a nice balance behind City’s swathes of attacking stars, and see him replace reliable James Milner as a consistent contributor to a star-studded squad.
Remember Delph’s glorious goal against Chelsea?
Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
Reds contract rebel Raheem Sterling has already been mooted for a move to the Etihad, and now Henderson is believed to have followed suit by supposedly rejecting an improved deal at Anfield amid links to City.
The Sky Blues could steal in to snap up the Sunderland youth product, then, to add more dynamism and drive to their spine. Henderson’s leadership skills and eye for long-range stunners would certainly come in handy on tricky away days.
Gilmpse Henderson break the deadlock at Swansea City in style:
Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)
City have a habit of plundering the Gunners (odds-on at 4/5 to retain the FA Cup) for their best and brightest, and are now rumoured to have England international Wilshere on their radar.
Able to dictate play from deep or unlock opposition defences from further forward, versatile Wilshere could be just the type of all-rounder the Eithad outfit require to push on and control clashes on the continent.
Whether the injury-prone Arsenal star could be tempted to bid goodbye to his boyhood club may depend heavily on whether the talented 23-year-old can regain his regular starting spot.
Take a peek at the playmaker’s perfect performance against Barcelona back in 2011, aged just 19:
James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
Another starlet to have emerged from the south coast club’s classy academy, Southampton’s Ward-Prowse is tipped for big things, and you can read Coral experts’ recent thoughts on his future, by clicking here.
Yet to earn a senior England cap, Ward-Prowse has certainly been making waves in the under-21 set-up after striking the winner against Germany recently.
The youngster is still learning his trade, so perhaps City would not be the best fit for the 20-year-old to continue developing with. The likes of Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair could certainly attest to that, but City are already said to be circling for the intelligent midfielder.
See Ward-Prowse’s winner for the Three Lions below: