Wil­cox given job to find the next City su­per­stars

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT -

DE BRUYNE It could be a very spe­cial year for De Bruyne, who looks to be in the form of his life and will get to play in an im­mensely tal­ented Bel­gium team.

AGUERO It may seem bizarre but Ar­gentina are not short of out­stand­ing strik­ers and Aguero is far from the most pop­u­lar. It may take an out­stand­ing year to pro­pel him back into con­tention

KOM­PANY The fact he was called up this time sug­gests he will go even if he isn’t fully fit. His lat­est ab­sence is more cause for con­cern though.

SANE CITY have ap­pointed Ja­son Wil­cox as the new head of their academy.

For­mer Blues chief Mark Allen upped sticks in the sum­mer to be­come the direc­tor of foot­ball at Rangers after seven years in charge.

Wil­cox was put in tem­po­rary charge in July, com­bin­ing that role with his post as head of academy coach­ing - a job he took last year when Rodolfo Bor­rell was pro­moted to be­come part of Pep Guardi­ola’s first-team coach­ing staff.

And after im­press­ing club bosses, the for­mer Black­burn player and City Un­der-18s coach has been given the top job in the academy on a per­ma­nent ba­sis.

City have strug­gled to bring academy play­ers through to their

MAN­GALA It seems as strange that he was part of France’s Euro 2016 cam­paign as it is that he is still at City. In the long shot he con­vinces Guardi­ola and gets game time, he could cause an­other upset.

GUN­DO­GAN Of­fers some­thing very spe­cial when he plays but needs to re­main in­juryfree for the rest of the cam­paign to stand a chance.

DENAYER Like Man­gala, a sur­prise in­clu­sion in the last ma­jor tour­na­ment. Hasn’t played since then but Roberto Martinez does love a sur­prise. first-team dur­ing the Sheikh Man­sour era, and it is an is­sue the hi­er­ar­chy are try­ing to change.

“I’d like at least a player, if not two, play­ing and com­pet­ing at the first­team level from the academy ev­ery year,” chair­man Khal­doon Al Mubarak said in May.

“That is what I would like. Can we do that? We will try ev­ery­thing we can.

“Cer­tainly ev­ery­one knows that am­bi­tion and tar­get and to­day I think the academy is pro­duc­ing.”

City have re­vamped their strat­egy of academy teams this sum­mer. After a few years fo­cus­ing on keep­ing play­ers to­gether for the sea­son to de­velop, the em­pha­sis has re­verted back to push­ing in­di­vid­u­als up through the age groups when­ever pos­si­ble.

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