Why Manchester City striker Pozo should be loaned to Celtic

Celtic Champions League

After starring for the Manchester City under-19 side in the UEFA Youth League, Jack Beresford asks whether a Parkhead switch would suit the forward.

John Guidetti may not necessarily have a future at the Etihad, but few Manchester City fans would begrudge the striker for making a positive start at Celtic after so many years on the fringes at Eastlands.

Injuries played a role in the 22-year-old failing to feature much for the Citizens in the past two years but with the Swede behind the likes of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Alvaro Negredo, Mario Balotelli and Stevan Jovetic in the City pecking order, game time was always likely to come at a premium.

A move to Scotland and a club of Celtic’s calibre therefore represented the ideal option for Manchester City with the player able to regain his confidence with a team competing for top honours domestically.

After all, Guidetti had previously benefitted from such a deal two years ago after spending a season with Feyenoord, where a return of 20 goals in 23 Eredivisie games earned him a call-up to the Sweden national squad.

The Bhoys are already reaping the benefits of the 22-year-old’s arrival, with the striker scoring four times in his first six Celtic outings.

And with so many other young talents in danger of being lost in the mix at the Etihad, City could be well served by developing more long term links with the Hoops.

Imagine, for instance, the benefits of sending young Spanish striker Jose Angel Pozo to the club come January.

A late goal in the Citizens’ 7-0 thumping of Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup highlighted the youngster’s potential to perform at a high level but with first-team opportunities admittedly hard to come by, the striker may need to cut his teeth elsewhere.

As his match-winning brace for the Manchester City under-19 side in their 2-0 win over their CSKA Moscow counterparts in the UEFA Youth League showed, the player may be in danger of becoming too good to play at that level but not good enough to feature regularly for the Sky Blues just yet.

Once of the Real Madrid academy the man dubbed "Mini Messi" was City’s top scorer at under-21 level by some distance in the 2012/13 season despite being five years younger than many of his opponents and having his season cut short following an ankle injury.

And the harsh reality is that if City fail to give Pozo more first-team playing time the youngster could follow the example of Denis Suarez and the depart the club.

Suarez was regarded as one of the most exciting young Spanish talents on the planet when he moved to the Etihad, but after failing to feature in the Premier League the player departed to Barcelona.

Currently on loan as Sevilla, the youngster is impressing to such an extent that Barca are reportedly considering recalling him from his loan early.

Could City therefore follow a similar route with Pozo? Send the young striker out on loan to Celtic, for instance, and he could benefit from first team football at a higher level.

And with the Bhoys on course for the knockout stages of the Europa League, the Spaniard could even play a part in helping the Scottish side progress further in the competition, all the while gaining more first team experience at a prestigious and historic club.

The Sky Blues need only look at Chelsea and the manner in which many of their young talents have been sent out on loan to get more game time as an example of how best to operate.

Sending Pozo to Celtic on an 18-month loan deal could be the best way to ensure the club is not left rueing the loss of another youngster; otherwise a feeling of déjà vu could soon descend on Eastlands that goes beyond the increasingly annual early exit from the Champions League.

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