There is nothing patriotic about Manchester City’s decision to buy English this summer. The reason why City are being linked with so many English players like Raheem Sterling, jack Wilshere and Fabian Delph is because they only have three homegrown players in their squad. Premier League clubs are required to have eight players educated at home, which is why City will be forced to pay over the odds for English players this summer.
Each Premier League club can only register 17 non-homegrown players, that means eight have to have played for a club registered to the Football Associations of England or Wales for three seasons or 36 months before their 21st birthday.
City’s “homegrown” quota for last season included mDedryck Boyata, Gael Clichy, John Guidetti, Joe Hart, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Scott Sinclair and Richard Wright.
Of that group, only Clichy, Hart and and Wright remain.So that leaves five spaces that City need to fill, hence the interes in the likes of Raheem Sterling, Jack Wilshere and Fabian Delph.
But sighing any of that trio will not be easy. Liverpool have already rejected City’s latest £40 million for Sterling while Arsene Wenger has already gone on the record as saying Arsenal’s days as City’s feeder club are over.
Delph’s case may be similar. Whether Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood would allow a key man, who only recently pledged his future to the club by signing a new contract, to depart is unlikely.
City’s plan B appears to be sign young English potential like teenage winger Patrick Roberts who is expected to make an £8m from Fulham later this week and promote players from their academy.
But even that plan is not easy. Take for example Jason Denayer, the centre-half who made such a big impression during his year-long stint at Celtic. Denayer was named SPL Young Player of the Year and has traded places with Boyata, who joined the Parkhead club for £1m. But he will not meet the three-season rule until next year.
There are some players coming through the City academy like Brandon Barker who do qualify as home-grown. But you wonder how much these players will be able to contribute, especially if City’s foreign contingent gets hit heavily with injuries.