The emergence of 19-year-old striker Jose Angel Pozo at Manchester City could pave the way for more of the club’s under-21 contingent to make an impact on the first-team.
Pozo has already proven something of a hit after coming off the bench for the Citizens to score in their 7-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup last week.
Dubbed the ‘Mini Messi’ after impressing as part of the club’s Elite Development Squad, the youngster was City’s top scorer at under-21 level two seasons ago and has already featured for Spain at under-17 level.
And Patrick Vieira believes the path he takes over the coming months could set the tone for the rest of the club’s exciting young contingent of developing players.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, the former Arsenal, Juventus and Inter Milan midfielder outlined his vision as a coach of the youth side.
"When he is going with the first team he is doing well for himself, but he is doing well for the players as well," he told the news provider.
"Pozo is doing well - he has opened the doors for the players to show what they can do.
"I would want him to stay with the first team if Manuel [Pellegrini] will keep him."
Manchester City are next in action against Aston Villa in the Premier League at the weekend, while Newcastle United await the Sky Blues in the next round of the League Cup.
That fixture could see Pozo feature yet again for the Citizens, though any potential shortage in numbers for the first-team could see the Spaniard make his Premier League bow.
The 19-year-old was an unused substitute for City’s 4-2 win over Hull at the KC Stadium last weekend.