A closer look at Manchester City talent Tosin Adarabioyo

Manchester City's Oluwatosin Adarabioyo in action with Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery

After playing 90 minutes in all but one of City's pre-season friendlies, Guardiola believes Adarabioyo is ready to make an impact this season.

The Manchester City academy has produced some fine players over the years. Shaun Wright-Phillips, Micah Richards and Joey Barton have all earned England caps, while Daniel Sturridge and Kasper Schmeichel have won the Champions League and Premier League at Chelsea and Leicester City, respectively. 

But with the sudden influx of cash from the oil-rich owners after the 2009 takeover, fewer and fewer youth-team players have been given opportunities, as the expectations placed on the manager have become far greater. 

However, after the owners realised that their business model was unsustainable, they invested £200 million on the youth-team and its facilities, with the aim of producing a first-team consisting of 50% homegrown players by 2021.

And those plans look to have paid off as every one of City's youth teams achieved silverware last season. At the heart of that success was central defender Tosin Adarabioyo, the captain of the Elite Development Squad. 

Manchester City's Tosin Adarabioyo (R) in action with Leicester City's Keenan KingTosin Adarabioyo in action with Leicester City's Keenan King

Manchester born and bred, Adarabioyo who is of Nigerian descent, joined the City youth set-up as a nine-year-old. Since making his U18 debut whilst just 14, he has regularly played against opponents up to four years his senior. 

He penned his first professional deal shortly after his 18th birthday in September 2014 and celebrated it by scoring a double against Liverpool a week later. 

A year after making 17 appearances as City's U18 side won the 2013/14 North Division Premier League title, he was awarded the captaincy by Jason Wilcox. 

Likened to a young Rio Ferdinand, Adarabioyo is a strong, confident central defender. He is comfortable on the ball, possesses good positional awareness and is a leader on and off the field.

Manchester City's Tosin Adarabioyo  in action with Chelsea's Mason MountCaptaining his side, Tosin Adarabioyo tackles Chelsea's Mason Mount in the FA Youth Cup final.

And after impressive runs in the UEFA Youth League and FA Youth Cup in which City lost out to Chelsea, it is no surprise Pep Guardiola has used the pre-season to have a closer look at the 18-year-old.

Staking his claim, Adarabioyo did not let Guardiola down as he played 90 minutes against both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, earning the Man of the Match award against the latter.

With Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi injured, and with Eliaquim Mangala deemed surplus to requirements, the England-youth international played a full game again, in City's 3-0 defeat of St Johnstone at the City Campus.

And despite having to settle for a place on the bench in the recent 3-2 defeat to Arsenal - Fernando and Aleks Kolarov were preferred in central defence - City's most promising graduate has the ability to be a first-team player this season, according to Guardiola. 

Manchester City's Kelechi Iheanacho misses a chance to scoreKelechi Iheanacho is the only current City graduate to have started more than one game for the first-team

Speaking to Manchester Evening News, he said: "I don't know what is going to happen because Vincent Kompany will come back, but definitely yes. He is ready.

"He's a nice guy," he added. "His mind is open. He listens. He trains everyday like it's the last training of his life.

"He has his whole career in front of him. Against two tough teams like Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, he played really well."

Keeping a close eye to detail, Guardiola did his extensive research on City's youngsters prior to his move from the Allianz Arena, leading to him given them opportunities in pre-season.

"So one month, two month ago when they finished the last season, Rodolfo [Borrell] sent me a lot of highlights of the academy players." he added. "About him, Brandon [Barker], [Bersant] Celina, Manu Garcia, Aleix Garcia, so many, many...Angus [Gunn].

"So I had an idea about them. And I have been training with them all of pre-season.

"We have to tell Tosin he has a lot of steps to get better, so it's not done, the player isn't done. But he has all the quality.

"He is fast, he is faster than the people can believe it. He's strong in the air. He has the quality to look behind the line for the next step, the next pass, but he has a lot of things to improve and I hope I can help him to develop his skills."

Evidently, Adarabioyo possesses similar skills to £47.5 million signing John Stones, whose deal was finalised on Tuesday. That transfer would presumably weaken the youngster's chances of first-team football. 

However, with Mangala and Jason Denayer seemingly headed for the Etihad exit, he would still be City's fourth-choice as a natural central defender. 

It remains to be seen whether Guardiola will go with Fernando and Kolarov as a central defensive partnership on Saturday against Sunderland. Stones may miss out having only just joined up with squad.

But one thing is for sure, if Adarabioyo is given the chance to add to his one senior City appearance, his mentality will not allow himself to be anything other than a success. 

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