Former Manchester City wonderkid Joan Angel Roman in La Liga loan switch

Former Manchester City EDS star Joan Angel Roman is on the move in search of first team football.

Joan Roman was the bright hope of Manchester City's Elite Development Squad a couple of seasons ago, but the teenager could not resist the temptation of a move back to Spain.

Notably scoring a hat-trick in an EDS game in which Carlos Tevez made his return from his Mancini/self-imposed exile, the following summer Barcelona came calling for him.

City had signed the playmaker from Espanyol in 2009, only for him to sign with Barcelona in 2012.

After spending a season with Barcelona B, he finally got involved with the first team in pre-season, but this campaign it has been more of the same.

Roman has played 16 times in the Liga Adelante, scoring twice and providing one assist.

At 20, he's at the stage where a leap into Barcelona's first team may seem too much for him, but he has been granted a big chance on the La Liga stage.

On deadline day, Barcelona struck a loan deal with Villareal to send Juan Angel Roman there until the end of the current season, with the aim of him getting some first team football in the division.

It will be a case of sink or swim, likely if he can impress he will get another loan spell next season in La Liga, with his Barcelona contract lasting until 2015.

Villareal sit in fifth in La Liga, albeit 17 points off second placed Barcelona, but with the top four gaining Champions League spots they have plenty to play for.

It's unclear over whether Roman will find it easy to win a spot in the Villareal first team, but the opportunity is there for him to go and grasp it, a step up from playing in the division below with Barcelona B.

As the season progresses, Roman may just get seize his big chance and start making good on the potential he showed in his mid-teens, and start to make City regret allowing him to leave.

image: © Gene Hunt

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