Vieira's teenage prodigy gets one up on Arsenal after snubbing them

Patrick Vieira

Patrick Vieira was key in convincing Jules Ntcham to snub Arsenal and join Manchester City last summer.

Remember the name Jules Ntcham because he could well be a future Premier League star, tipped as the next Patrick Vieira.

Arsenal were one of the clubs trying to sign him in the summer, always a club on the eye out for the next French star; but Manchester City held a trump card.

Patrick Vieira himself. You can imagine the look on the face of young Ntcham when the player he has been compared to, made a personal push to convince him to sign for Manchester City; the deal was done with breakneck speed.

The deal was completed last August, signing from Le Havre he is a France under-16 captain, netting five goals at the youth level.

He is now 17, and has featured already for City's under-21 side, although his most recent outing was in the club's under-18 age group.

Inter Milan had also been interested in signing the central midfielder last summer. At the time the Independent described Ntcham as 'more physically developed' than Paul Pogba, even at three years younger, with the technical ability to match.

He is an exciting prospect, and made a statement at the weekend, in football terms, by shooting Manchester City's under-18 side to victory away at Arsenal.

City went to Arsenal's London Colney ground and came away with a 2-0 victory. Former Anderlecht starlet Mathias Bossaerts struck the opener before Jules Ntcham bagged a second half strike to put the game beyond the hosts.

It is early days to start claiming Ntcham is going to walk into City's side and displace Yaya Toure one day, but if he continues to impress at youth level, then you would imagine he will get his opportunity.

With Patrick Vieira fighting his corner, and seeing the traits in him which made him successful, he will not be pleased if the prodigy is repeatedly snubbed when he deserves a chance.

Vieira has a position of power at City and a good hand at the negotiating table in the City hierarchy, tasked with overseeing youth development. Nobody will be keener than him to see Ntcham succeed.

This weekend, Ntcham delivered an early sign that he is on track, and Arsenal's under-18 side which he helped defeat would surely rather have had him on their team rather than against them.

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