Pep Guardiola has once again called for the Premier League to introduce B-teams in the lower leagues of English football after Man City lost another talented youth product.
Brahim Diaz joined Real Madrid earlier this week in a deal worth around £15 million after failing to make a breakthrough into the first team under Guardiola. Diaz is just the latest of a number of Man City academy products to fail to make the step-up, and follows Jadon Sancho out of the exit door, with the young Englishman having gone on to develop into one of Europe’s hottest talents at Borussia Dortmund.
Speaking ahead of City’s Carabao Cup semi-final against Burton Albion, Guardiola once again urged English football’s decision makers to follow in the footsteps of the Spanish by allowing B teams to play competitively within the professional footballing pyramid, rather than playing in the highly uncompetitive youth leagues.
“Create a good second team and you will see how many young players will be in the Premier League,” Guardiola told his pre-match press conference.
“Play against real teams. Against guys who are 24, 25, 26, 27 years old. Compete really every, every, every single weekend with real games. Fighting for survival or to be relegated, create that.
“And after, maybe the managers in the Premier League will have more courage to putrecentlyin the team]. But they don’t, they play every weekend friendly games.”
The EFL Trophy was recenty revamped to allow for Premier League and Championship youth sides to compete in matches against lower league opposition, however, that has so far yet to prove to be a success:
“Where they don’t play in front of 10 people or 12 people here in the second team,” Guardiola added.
“They don’t compete really and that’s why sometimes it’s difficult to put them [in the team]… that’s why they train with us, sometimes they play in the cup, sometimes go on loan, to see how they develop in that position.
“And after they come back and at the end it is not about being generous or more kind, they have to show on the grass, on the pitch. I speak [about this] many times, on the pitch it speaks for itself.”