Manchester City, English players and damaged transfer plans

Manchester City Etihad

The Etihad Stadium side seem to be phasing out homegrown signings, with a chance that a full foreign XI could be the norm next season.

Manchester City have had plenty of homegrown players star for England over the years, with the likes of Colin Bell and Francis Lee playing key roles for their country while on the club’s books.

However, despite the presence of six England internationals in the current City ranks, this number looks very likely to decrease ahead of next season.

Micah Richards, City’s longest serving current first-team player, is said to have turned down a new contract with the club in order to secure regular first-team football elsewhere in the summer.

Joleon Lescott is out of contract and will leave at the end of the campaign, while Gareth Barry’s return from a loan at Everton seems questionable.

Transfer speculation indicates that Jack Rodwell will look to manufacture a move elsewhere to rekindle his career, while (uncapped) Scott Sinclair’s career at City seems over before it has even started.

This only leaves Joe Hart, James Milner and Richard Wright as English representatives in Manuel Pellegrini’s squad, with all three likely to be there next season.

However, with Milner only starting seven Premier League games this season and the Chilean coach not placing the same importance on Hart that previous bosses have, the prospect of a regular first-team XI without an Englishman in it is a real possibility next season.

City fans will probably not care if the side is prospering, but this policy will subsequently damage the national team. It could well hamper the Etihad Stadium outfit’s transfer plans, though.

Pellegrini’s charges have been linked with both Ross Barkley and Luke Shaw in recent times, with summer moves for the promising English youngsters potentially on the cards.

However, with City’s recent track record of signing English players for big fees, only to see them struggle for game time and leave, this up-and-coming pair may well think staying at their current clubs or moving elsewhere could be a better option.

With both Barkley and Shaw in the England squad currently, playing well for their clubs and also having the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United supposedly interested in them, City probably does not overly appeal.

Having watched the likes of Rodwell and Sinclair, two of English football’s brightest prospects before they signed, rot away on the sidelines could be a major deterrent in any move for young English players in the future.

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