Manchester City emphatically won the Premier League 2 this season and the club’s academy is now producing serious talent.
The Blues finished 14 points ahead of Chelsea in the U23s league this term and the investment Sheikh Mansour has made is certainly now bearing fruit in the academy system, with the latest set of pupils at the Etihad aiming to follow in Phil Foden’s footsteps.
There have been many players that were crucial to that Premier League 2 triumph, Cole Palmer and Liam Delap, for example, but Romeo Lavia also played an instrumental role in that success – the versatile defensive midfielder has been excellent for City.
It was therefore no surprise to see The Telegraph report City are set to promote Lavia to Pep Guardiola’s first team for next season and those details emerged after it was announced that Fernandinho, 36, had extended his stay at the club for another campaign.
And that appears to have been confirmed with the addition of Lavia in City’s A-list squad for the Champions League group stages.
There’s arguably no one better than Fernandinho to learn from, but just who is Lavia?
Lavia joined City in the summer of 2020 from boyhood club Anderlecht at just 16-years-old and it was widely expected he would play mostly for the club’s U18s, but it didn’t take long for him to make his debut in the Premier League 2.
The youngster made his debut for the Blues’ U23s in November against Chelsea and has since never looked back.
And when City’s U23s record a memorable 3-0 win against Manchester United, the Belgian demonstrated why he’s made a flawless transition to playing against mature players when keeping the highly regarded Shola Shoretire and Hannibal Mejbri quiet.
What do you make of City’s latest academy crop? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Lavia can play at centre-back, but it seems his long-term future lies in defensive midfield, which is convenient timing when considering Fernandinho will finally leave Manchester next year, which would leave just Rodri to lead the way in that position.
It’s also worth noting, Lavia won the EDS Player of the Season award for his consistently outstanding performances this term.
It’s clear City have yet another excellent talent on their hands and supporters can expect to see more of Lavia next campaign.