Pep Guardiola has discussed the importance of the Manchester City academy after a memorable week for the club’s youth system.
Guardiola handed chances to several youngsters during City’s Champions League dead-rubber against Red Star Belgrade in midweek, with 20-year-old Micah Hamilton marking his senior debut with the opening goal.
Fellow prospect Oscar Bobb also scored his first goal for the club in a 3-2 win for the Citizens, while Bury-born Rico Lewis – who made his England debut last month – continued his impressive campaign.
Guardiola believes Bobb should already be considered a first-team player at the Etihad and outlined the importance of finding and developing talent within the club’s academy programme.
“Oscar is a player for the first team, Micah is second team. We need him, his place is there but his impact in the game was really good,” Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference, ahead of facing Crystal Palace in the Premier League this weekend.
“Academies are big parts of all big clubs. Just look what has happened in the last five or six years. Players play with us or help the club economically with a transfer. I know how important they are for the fans, how they identify with Rico [Lewis], Phil [Foden], Micah as well.”