MAN CITY TO FOLLOW WENGER’S EXAMPLE
MANCHESTER CITY plan to adopt the Arsene Wenger model of identifying young talent and shaping them into first-team players.
Chief executive Garry Cook insists that continual buying at the expense of developing home-grown products is the “antithesis of what we’re trying to do”.
Manager Mark Hughes has spent almost £200-million on new signings since owner Sheikh Mansour’s arrival at Eastlands in September 2008, including a British record £32.5m on Robinho as part of the City revolution.
Having forged a reputation as one of the Premier League’s best producers of young talent, however, City are determined not to allow the next generation of players like Micah Richards, Shaun WrightPhillips and Stephen Ireland to be edged out by a conveyor-belt of expensive signings.
Senior officials at Eastlands believe that Arsenal manager Wenger, who has successfully unearthed the likes of Ashley Cole, Cesc Fabregas and Gael Clichy during his time at the club, has set the perfect model for City to emulate.
Chief executive Cook said: “That is absolutely (a model to aspire to) because, financially, it’s a better model than one where you get into negotiating a market price that has no pre-determining factors other than supply and demand.
“That’s a model I don’t subscribe to and one I don’t want to be beholden to,” he added. “I would rather control or manage our destiny over the long-term.
“What we are clear on is that we don’t think there will be another couple of windows like we have just been through.
“And I think you’re going to see Manchester City really ramp up its activity in the youth area, in the development area of players.
“There’s often opinion that we are just going to keep buying players, but that’s actually the antithe- sis of what we’re trying to do.”
While Cook concedes that City may yet have to add to their squad by recruiting again in January, he claims that the club are now in a much stronger position to compete on a global basis.
“A year ago, we didn’t really have a scouting network,” he added. “We now have 12 people employed by the club working worldwide.
“That’s going to start to pay off as we go forward, but when you talk about this January, I don’t think we are ready for all those plans yet,.
“But if we are making any additions it will be to strengthen the existing squad,” he concluded. – The Telegraph.
YOUTHFUL: City’s Mark Hughes