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The Premier League champions have a talented youth side and could easily look to bring some of them to the senior team instead of spending money on superstars...

Manchester City are the reigning champions of England and deservedly so, after leading the league standings for a long while. The victory was 'tainted' by disgruntled opponent supporters calling it 'bought' and 'paid for' given the large sum of cash spent. However the manner of victory was simply outstanding as they pipped bitter rivals Manchester United on the last day of the season, that too in extra time and on goal difference.

Often the trendsetters in the transfer market in recent seasons, Manchester City have been alarmingly quiet this season. With only the possible acquisition of Robin van Persie on the horizon, the Citizens should easily look to their youth and reserve ranks to bolster their squad if need be. In any case, with a star studded first team, chances are at a premium for City's starlets and they must make full use of every little opportunity given to them.

Will Mancini persist with stars or give youth a chance?

Will Manchester City's academy products take the world by strom in the near future? With the massive investment made to improving the academy and the creation of the 'Elite Development Squad' (EDS), this can surely come true...

Goal.com has a look at some of the budding stars that are on show in the EDS and the youth sides of Manchester City...

Arsenal
John Guidetti
Name: John Alberto Guidetti

D.o.B.: 15th April,1992

Nationality: Sweden

Position: Striker

Joined: April 2008

John Guidetti is probably the best U-21 striker in Europe presently. The immensely talented Swedish prodigy has been a part of the Manchester City youth setup even before they received the financial boost. With several top clubs vying for his signature, the youth who had been brought up in Kenya, signed a 3 year contract with City when he was just fifteen years old.

He was an instant hit with the U-18 side scoring 13 times in as many appearances in his first season, at 15. When put in the reserves next season, he showed his mettle scoring a hat-trick against the Burnley first team.

Strengths:

6 ft 1 inch, and powerfully built, John is equally adept with both his feet and head and has a knack of being in the right position at the right time to finish off the chances. Just 20 years old, but John plays with the maturity of an experienced goal getter never letting missed chances get the better of him. He is a perfect target man too, with the ability to shield the ball when played long to him.

Weaknesses:

Certainly not the quickest on the pitch, 'The Rhino' as he is called relies more on body strength than being the wily and pacey striker.

Recent performances:

On loan at Feyenoord for the 2011-12 season, he had a terrific season, scoring 20 goals in 23 appearances in the Eredivisie before he suffered an injury. Guidetti scored three hat-tricks in the process and also had the second highest goals per game ratio in the history of Eredivisie beating players like Marco Van Basten, Ronaldo, Romario and Mateja Kezman.

Where he will fit into the squad:

With a wealth of talent in the Manchester City squad especially in the striking department, John will probably end up honing his skills on loan. His preferred club is Lazio and he might well end up there. City will definitely not sell him, as they have the resources to pay for his services. The Swedish prodigy can certainly be the next big thing for Manchester City, if he keeps up this level.

"I think that John can be as good as Zlatan Ibrahimovic.I've coached them both. Zlatan struggled a lot more than John to find his way in Netherlands. John is on the same level as players such as Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart at that age. "

- Ronald Koeman (Feyenoord manager)


Arsenal
Denis Suarez
Name: Denis Suarez Fernandez

D.o.B.: 06 January 1994

Nationality: Spain

Position: Attacking Midfielder (CM/CAM)

Joined: July 2011

Denis Suarez is yet another of the incredibly talented midfielders coming out of Spain. A part of the Celta Vigo youth team, Manchester City succeeded in snapping up the youngster especially when he had the option of joining Catalan giants, FC Barcelona. A player in the same mould as Andres Iniesta, the 18 year old is seen as an understudy to David Silva at City.

Strengths:

Quick feet coupled with deadly acceleration makes the Manchester City playmaker deadly as he can leave his marker for dead any time he wants. Like Iniesta, Silva and others in front of him, Suarez packs a punch in his small frame as he draws out defenders to him, thus opening space for his team-mates. He is equally proficient in playing that killer pass too like his more illustrious compatriots.

Weaknesses:

When deployed in the trequartista position, he is a perfect fit. However he is ill-suited for helping out his team defensively as he hardly tracks back or puts in a tackle.

Recent performances:

He was part of the Spanish U-19 team which won the UEFA U-19 championships, scoring thrice in 8 appearances. He was voted Manchester City's young player of the season in 2012 after his impressive displays. He also played for the senior team against Wolverhampton Wonderers coming on as a 67th minute substitute for Samir Nasri and gave a good  account of himself.

Where he will fit into the squad:

With David Silva in peak form and Samir Nasri too looking a handful in the Euros, chances will be few and far in between for young Suarez. With the City first team having a minimum of two players in every position, chances of him carving out a permanent position in the first team are slim. However as he showed last season, he is not frightened to perform on the big stage, when called on by the manager.

"One player I have been impressed with so far – and most of the lads have – is young Denis Suarez."

 - Micah Richards(MCFC player)


Arsenal
Karim Rekik
Name: Karim Rekik

D.o.B.: 2 Dec 1994

Nationality: Netherlands

Position: Defender (CB/LB)

Joined: July 2011

Karim Rekik joined the Manchester City from Feyenoord in the beginning of the 2011-12 season. The Dutchman was part of the triumphant Netherlands U-17 side at UEFA U-17 Championships, and he had also scored in the opener against Germany.

Strengths:

The 17 year old is equally adept at playing at left back as well as the left side of the centre back position. He can also fit in at central defensive midfield role with equal gusto. He has all the hallmarks of a full back as he is quick and has a good positioning sense. On top of that the tall and well built youngster is rock solid at centre back too, using his pace to match even the quickest of strikers.

Weaknesses:

He has still much to learn being just 17 years of age. His heading ability from set-pieces isn't the best and he needs to improve on it.

Recent performances:

During the 2011-12 season, he enjoyed a fruitful loan spell out at Portsmouth where he formed an important part of the first team, even winning a man of the match award for keeping the dangerous Wilfred Zaha in check, against Crystal Palace. He was also solid and confident in the pre-season friendly when he replaced captain Vincent Kompany against Dynamo Dresden in Austria in the second half.

Where he will fit into the squad:

With both Alexandr Kolarov and Gael Clichy at left back, the options of making the first team squad are pretty limited for the young Dutchman. Even at centre-back he is behind the pecking order of at least four players including Stefan Savic. However Savic has not impressed much last season, and in case of injuries Rekik might as well get a chance to be Kompany's deputy.

"Karim has been great, though. He’s a good kid who enjoys coming in training. He’s got a big future, but City know that."

 - Michael Appleton (Portsmouth manager)


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