Three Man City youngsters Rodgers could go for

By David Walton

August 20, 2018

After being spotted at the Etihad on Sunday, we take a look at three Manchester City youngsters Brendan Rodgers could go for.

The Celtic manager was at the Etihad during City’s 6-1 mauling of Huddersfield Town. That fuelled speculation that the Northern Irishman was down for signing talks.

Patrick Roberts has already went to Girona on loan, so chances are the Hoops boss was simply taking in some Premier League football.

However, on the off-chance this wasn’t the case, here’s three Manchester City youngsters Rodgers could go for:

Phil Foden

Phil Foden has made several appearances for the Man City first-team (Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images)

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Foden is the best young talent at the Manchester City Academy.

At the age of just 18, the midfielder is already a part of Pep Guardiola’s senior City squad. Despite being relatively small in stature, Foden has a strong urge to attack that Guardiola adores.

All three of his appearances for City have been starting roles, showing how highly rated the youngster is. Added to that, the 18-year-old was named the best player in the Under-17 World Cup after a brace in the final against Spain.

Foden is a goal threat from midfield and may be the kind of player Rodgers eyes as a replacement for John McGinn.

Celtic were frustrated as McGinn chose Aston Villa over the Hoops. However, Foden could provide some solace if the Hoops manager was interested.

Any move for him would have to be a loan deal. He is too highly regarded in Manchester for the deal to be anything else. However, Foden would provide some real energy to what’s becoming a stagnant Celtic engine-room.

Eric Garcia

Eric Garcia is highly inexperienced (Manchester City/Man City via Getty Images)

Celtic’s need for defenders is growing. Therefore, going for young Eric Garcia on a long-term loan may not be the worst option.

The Spanish centre-back left Barcelona to join City last summer, which enraged Carlos Puyol who rates him highly.

Garcia is a huge talent and has featured at UEFA Youth League level since arriving at City.

The youngster is a talented defender who likes to keep the ball on the deck. This would be a massive attraction to Rodgers, whose known for his ball-playing centre-backs.

What’s likely to put him off Garcia is his inexperience. The youngster hasn’t featured at senior level. This could be a huge turn-off for Rodgers, who needs an instant impact for whoever he signs at the back.

With Dedryck Boyata still in disarray with the club, Rodgers could delve into the City academy and pluck Garcia out. However, any move for the 17-year-old is still highly unlikely.

Brahim Diaz

Brahim Diaz is another with first-team experience (Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Another player with huge potential is Brahim Diaz, who’s also appeared at senior level for City.

The 18-year-old is behind Foden in the pecking order at the Etihad but is still a huge prospect. He was also once courted by Barcelona before City managed to lure him to England.

Diaz is traditionally a number 10. Tom Rogic and Callum McGregor currently operate in that role. Diaz can, however, play on either side also.

Known for quick feet and his close-control, it’s difficult not to view him like a Patrick Roberts-style player. Celtic were disappointed to see Roberts go to Girona. However, Diaz signing would provide a tonic.

With not much pedigree to his name, Diaz did make a 15-minute cameo appearance in the Community Shield win against Chelsea. Spain have capped the midfielder at every age level bar senior.

The potential in Diaz is red hot, and he deserves a chance to shine in a high-pressure environment. Celtic could be the one to provide him with that.