There is no denying that Pep Guardiola has built a dynasty at Manchester CIty since taking over in the summer of 2016. In his first 19 months in charge, the Spaniard spent a total of £448 million on players, and half of that budget was dedicated to buying defenders.
Splashing the cash has certainly paid off, though. City go into the 2018/19 season with a huge amount of strength in depth.
Many predict they will retain their title in the coming months, with the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne once again being the heartbeat behind this machine.
One thing they have lacked in recent years, though, is the emergence of academy graduates and a stat from the Premier League’s opening day proves that.
Guardiola has given the likes of Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz the chance to shine in League Cup and FA Cup competition, but when it comes to Premier League minutes, they are miles behind Manchester United when it comes to giving academy players an opportunity in the first team.
In fact, academy graduates from Manchester United played a total of 253 minutes against Leicester City on Friday night – more than double Man City’s total minutes for academy graduates in the whole of last season.
Of course, the big money signing of Paul Pogba, who spent his years in United’s academy, makes up a big chunk of that total but it’s clear that Jose Mourinho is giving those who spent years in the academy more of a chance to prove themselves.
Scott McTominay, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard played important roles last season, while midfielder Andreas Pereira looks like he might finally make a breakthrough at Old Trafford after starring against Claude Puel’s men.
The following stat certainly says a lot about the club.
Thoughts on the above stats? Do Manchester City need to give youth more of a chance?
Let us know in the comments.