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Pellegrini confident he can find City's 'next Sturridge'

The Chilean believes the club are well placed to bring through the latest young talents after letting one of their finest slip through the net.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insists he is confident the club will be able to bring through a crop of young talent from the academy and unearth the next Daniel Sturridge.

Sturridge, who moved to Chelsea after failing to sign a new deal at the Etihad Stadium, has flourished under Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool since his arrival from the Blues last January and has gone on to become one of the most lauded strikers in the Premier League after teaming up with Luis Suarez to create a devastating strikeforce.

The striker could yet come back to haunt both of his former sides in the title race, with the Blues and Pellegrini's side still to go to Anfield this season, with the Reds currently atop the pile.

Ahead of City and Liverpool's clash next Sunday, Pellegrini revealed his admiration for Sturridge, who won the club's Young Player of the Year award back in 2009 when he was at the club, but also impugned the idea that clubs are always able to hang on to their best talents.

The City manager told reporters: "It’s very difficult for me to talk about a situation that happened maybe two, three, four, five years ago, I don’t know how many years ago. But, in every club, it happens the same thing.

"Normally not all the players arrive to the professional team at the club where they made their careers.

"I don’t know the reason but I think he is a very good player."

The Chilean is also optimistic that the club has the template in place to help the next band of talents realise their dream at City, something aided by the Etihad Campus, what the club believe will be the world's premier professional sports complex, eclipsing the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and city rivals Manchester United.

Patrick Vieira, the former Arsenal midfielder and current manager of City's Elite Development Squad, is particularly bullish about the new site, which will be a stone's throw from the Etihad Stadium and is designed to keep everything at the club as tight-knit as possible.

It is something Pellegrini believes can help the club in their efforts to find Sturridge 2.0.

He added: "I think that we have worked well between the first team and the academy. It’s very important for this group because they also believe in young players. For us, it’s very important the development of young players."

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