- 1 Aug 2013
Varane made his Madrid debut against us in the CL aged 18 I think.
It is about the manager’s decisions and his trust. Pep had a reputation at Barca for trusting youth but his time at Bayern and City suggests that was possibly a fallacy based more on a political/cultural or even economic imperative to promote La Masia, rather than a true belief or policy. Only Pep himself truly knows.
Make no mistake, City's current academy players are potentially a golden age. We may not see a group this talented for 20 years or more. They’ve won everything in front of them, breaking all previous records.
The depth is frightening. Luke Mbete plays like he did on Tuesday night yet he’s probably behind Calum Doyle, a year younger, who is already tearing up League One and dominating huge, streetwise veteran centre forwards at 17. THB at 19 being favourably compared in Belgium to Vinny. Finley Burns, 18, was hugely smart and intelligent enough to drop off Akinfenwa knowing he'd nearly always win the first header but would then struggle to control the ball afterwards.
Lavia, Palmer, McAtee having exactly the sort of games I hoped they would. CJ and especially Josh at full backs visibly growing in confidence and stature with each passing minute. Absolutely loved it.
It would be criminal if four or five of these lads aren’t squad members five years from now and saving us a fortune on underwhelming yet hugely expensive squad players like Mendy, Ake etc
Varane was a €12m signing with a full season of top-flight football in France behind him, not exactly a fair comparison.
The big difference between Barcelona and here is the B team. Pep had already managed those young players for the B team, and their young players get to compete in proper league fixtures against adult pros extra week. That really gives you a huge advantage when it comes to evaluating their ability to step up to the first team