For all of their success of late, and with no doubt more to come in the near future, Manchester City are not a club that is widely renowned for blooding homegrown talents into a star-studded first-team squad.
Of course, there is the odd player who does manage to make it out of the Cityzens’ academy and into Pep Guardiola’s selection process, but these are few and far between.
Phil Foden and Eric García are joined only by Liam Delap in an exclusive trio to have come through the club’s youth system and made a Premier League appearance this season.
Consequently, it comes as no shock that many of City’s youth head out on loan to get game time, and we have profiled some of these players below.
One of the most recognisable names in this list, Harrison is the only one profiled to be playing in the Premier League this season, currently on loan at Leeds United for a third successive, having helped the Whites to promotion last term.
He has been a regular starter for Bielsa’s side in the top-flight, notching 28 appearances and six goals in the Premier League to date.
With his impressive performances, Harrison may well be in line for a permanent transfer to Elland Road soon, as a spot in Guardiola’s team seems highly unlikely.
Since returning to City in 2018 from Celtic, Roberts has been in and out of the Cityzens’ metaphoric revolving loan doors more times than he may wish to remember and has become somewhat of a Championship journeyman in the process.
A second spell at Middlesbrough ended in January, and the 24-year-old went straight back out on loan, this time to Wayne Rooney’s Derby County where he has made eight league appearances to date without completing a full 90 minutes yet.
Sadly for Roberts, it does look like he is destined for a permanent Championship move – it’s just a case of choosing the correct club in the league for the Englishman.
Staying in the Championship and 19-year-old centre-back Harwood-Bellis is currently on loan at Blackburn Rovers.
Although yet to make a Premier League appearance for City, he has become a regular in the matchday squad, especially in the domestic cup competitions under Guardiola.
Before going out on loan, he had made four appearances across the Carabao Cup and FA Cup for City but headed to Ewood Park in January to get more minutes under his belt.
With 11 appearances for Rovers so far, Harwood-Bellis will be hoping to make a good impression so that he can compete for more match action back at the Etihad Stadium next season.
A final Football League loanee this season is 18-year-old Rogers, who has become a mainstay in the team of Lincoln City since making a loan switch to the League One outfit in January.
Yet to make a senior appearance for the Cityzens, Rogers has netted six in 17 appearances for the Imps since making the move and is helping Michael Appleton’s side in their promotion push.
Nmecha has actually made two Premier League appearances for City, both in the title-winning 2017/18 campaign.
Now 22, the forward has previously been on loan at Preston North End and Middlesbrough amongst others. This season, he finds himself with Anderlecht in the Belgian Pro League working alongside Cityzens legend Vincent Kompany.
Nmecha has racked up 16 goals in 32 appearances in all competitions this season so far, but his chances of sealing a place in Guardiola’s side look increasingly slim, even more so if a striker is to be signed to replace the departing Sergio Agüero.
Also in Belgium is 23-year-old goalkeeper Grimshaw, who has come through City’s ranks from a very young age.
Despite signing a three-year contract at the Etihad in 2018, he is yet to make a senior appearance for the Cityzens and has been sent out on loan for a second consecutive season, this time to Lommel SK in the Belgian second-tier – ‘Proximus League’.
Having to bide his time for an opportunity, Grimshaw has now played in the last six league games for Lommel SK and will hope that his place in the starting line-up continues in weeks to come.
Unfortunately for him, a competitive appearance for City anytime soon seems highly unlikely.
Another keeper and one who might be better-known to City fans is Muric. Having made five appearances to help Guardiola’s side on their way to winning the Carabao Cup in 2019, the 22-year-old has really struggled for game-time since.
A failed loan move to Nottingham Forest last season followed up by an unsuccessful venture to City’s partner club Girona in the Spanish second division in the first half of this campaign haven’t helped his cause.
However, he made a loan switch to Willem II in the Dutch Eredivisie in January until the end of the season and is finding more success there.
As for his place in the City side, Ederson probably won’t be budged for the next few years, so a permanent move away from the Etihad may be necessary.
Pablo Moreno, Yan Couto and Nahuel Bustos (Girona)
As mentioned above, City have a good link with Girona FC in the Segunda División in Guardiola’s homeland of Spain. Due to this, we see many players loaned out to Girona from the Etihad each season.
Following the departure of Muric, three other youngsters have made this switch.
22-year-old Nahuel Bustos is the most senior of the three, joining City in October and being loaned out a matter of hours later. A forward, Bustos has made 20 league appearances for Girona but is yet to net his first goal. Most of the Argentine’s appearances have been off the bench though.
Fellow forward Pablo Moreno is just 18 and follows a similar pattern this season with two league goals in 23 appearances, most of which as a substitute. He joined City last summer from Juventus in a swap deal which saw Felix Correia go the other way and is an exciting prospect, but he has a lot to learn before he is ready for the turf at the Etihad.
Finally, there is right-back Yan Couto, also 18 years of age. Like Moreno, he joined City in the Summer and was immediately sent out to Spain to develop his game. Just 12 appearances so far this campaign, there may well be a few more years out on loan to come.
Continuing on the Spanish theme, 23-year-old Herrera is on loan at Granada CF, the club scheduled to face City’s neighbours Manchester United in the Europa League quarter-final.
Herrera has put in some great performances for the Spanish side and has only missed three La Liga games all season at the time of writing.
An international player, the only thing missing from his game – seemingly – are goals, with the Venezuelan only netting three in the league and two in the Europa League.
It’s tough to say that anyone will compete for a place in City’s squad given the team’s success this season, but Herrera could make a few substitute appearances for Guardiola’s team next season – if he stays in Manchester.
The final player to be profiled is right-back Porro, who is another example of the link between City and Girona, given that his move to the Etihad actually came from the Spanish club in the summer of 2019.
Now almost two years on and aged 21, the Spaniard is currently on loan at Sporting Lisbon and has played in all bar one of the team’s Liga NOS games this campaign to date.
All of these appearances have seen him named in the starting 11, so he is a certified starter in Portugal. Porro’s loan deal is set to last until the end of next season but does contain an option to buy, so his time at City may well end without a senior appearance.