Manchester City announced on Monday that Marcos Lopes would spend next season on loan at French side Lille.
The 18-year-old Portuguese attacking midfielder is arguably the Blues’ most exciting young talent, but rather than being given sporadic chances to play under Manuel Pellegrini, he has instead been temporarily sent to Ligue 1.
Yet despite some City fans possibly being disappointed that they will not see more examples of the youngster’s talent next season, the move could well be the making of him.
Those who watched Lopes in last season’s League Cup semi-final against West Ham United were dazzled by his innate ability and unerring confidence, with many City fans instantly declaring him a better prospect than Manchester United’s Adnan Januzaj.
But while the young Belgian will add to his appearances for United next season, Lopes will be hoping to make a good impression from across the Channel.
Lopes moved to City from Benfica in 2011, and he has since gone on to make five appearances for the Blues, including in both legs of that impressive semi-final.
He set up two goals in the 3-0 second-leg victory over the Hammers, showing that he was ready and able to step into Pellegrini’s first-team plans on a more regular basis.
But at just 18, it has been decided that his time will be better spent on loan. And if he plays regularly for Lille, there is absolutely no reason why he cannot return to the Etihad Stadium ready to have a regular and effective impact in the future.
Some players are perennial loanees, but in the case of Lopes, one senses he will use this as a springboard to ensure City cannot help but keep him at the club from 2015 onwards