Three years ago this week, Manchester City claimed their third-ever FA Youth Cup success in the club’s history courtesy of a 3-2 win over Chelsea under-18s.
In a contest held at St George’s Park, it was Cole Palmer who scored a late winner to bring the trophy to Manchester for the first time since 2008 following goals from James McAtee and Morgan Rogers.
While the FA Youth Cup is often an indicator as to who are the very brightest up and coming talents within a youth team set-up, it is often intriguing to see just how many names went on to succeed with their respective clubs.
On the anniversary of Manchester City’s most recent success in England’s most prestigious youth cup competition, we’re taking a look at just exactly where each and every one of our youth prospects on that evening are today!
Starting XI vs Chelsea under-18s (2020)
Having made his professional debut for City’s Elite Development Squad in November 2020, goalkeeper Cieran Slicker went on to join up with Pep Guardiola’s senior squad on six occasions across the Champions League, Premier League, and Cup in the 2021/22 season.
The 2022/23 season brought a loan move to League Two side Rochdale, but saw him recalled in January after making just three appearances. Slicker now plays for Ipswich Town having joined the Championship club for an undisclosed fee in July 2023.
The full-back went on to make his professional debut for Manchester City’s first-team squad in a Carabao Cup win over Wycombe Wanderers in 2021, before making his UEFA Champions League debut in March 2022 in a 0-0 draw against Sporting CP in the round of 16.
In May 2022, CJ Egan-Riley made his Premier League debut for Manchester City by coming on as a second-half substitute against Newcastle United in a 5-0 home win for Pep Guardiola’s side.
The now-20 year-old plays for Premier League side Burnley having joined the Turf Moor club on a permanent deal in July 2022, whilst also spending half of last season on loan at Hibernian.
The England under-21 captain has since emerged as one of the finest talents from Manchester City’s FA Youth Cup-winning side, currently plying his trade in the EFL Championship.
Following success in the Youth Cup, Harwood-Bellis went on to loan deals with Blackburn Rovers for the second-half of the 2020/21 season, before joining RSC Anderlecht for the first-half of the 2021/22 campaign.
His stint in Belgium under Vincent Kompany was cut short however, as Taylor Harwood-Bellis went on to join Stoke City in the following January, playing a total of 24 times in the second-half of the season.
Kompany would go on to re-sign Harwood-Bellis for the 2022/23 season at Burnley, where the centre-back would play an integral role in a Championship-winning campaign that secured the Turf Moor side promotion back to the Premier League.
Most recently, and following a decision from Burnley not to re-sign the defender, Harwood-Bellis joined Southampton on a season-long loan for the 2023/24 campaign, with the south coast club having an obligation to sign the play on a permanent deal for £20 million, if they are promoted to the Premier League.
Following success in the FA Youth Cup, Mbete-Tabu went on to make his senior professional debut for Manchester City one year later having been named in the starting line-up for a Carabao Cup contest against Wycombe Wanderers at the Etihad Stadium.
The defender was loaned to Huddersfield Town for the 2022/23 campaign, before that arrangement was cut short in January and the player was instead redirected to Bolton Wanderers for the remainder of the season.
In August 2023, Luke Mbete-Tabu was sent on a season-long loan to Dutch side FC Den Bosch.
Before ever making an appearance for Manchester City’s senior side in competitive action, Alpha Diounkou transferred to Spanish club Granada in August 2021, before being loaned out to San Fernando for the first-half of the 2021/22 campaign.
The second-half of the same season then saw Diounkou join FC Barcelona B on-loan. The now-22 year-old is currently playing in the Cypriot First Division on a season-long loan arrangement with AEK Larnaca from La Liga side Granada.
Following his success with Manchester City’s youth set-up, midfielder Hodge was sent on loan to League of Ireland Premier Division side Derry City ahead of the 2021 season, but was forced into an early exit without a single competitive appearance due to injury.
In 2021, Joe Hodge joined Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers and went on to make his Premier League debut against Chelsea in October 2022. The 21-year-old defensive midfielder remains at Molineux.
Arguably the most successful product from the Manchester City Class of 2019/20, Cole Palmer made his first-team debut for Pep Guardiola’s side prior to winning the FA Youth Cup in November 2020, in a 0-3 away win over Burnley in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.
Palmer went on to score his first goal for Manchester City one year later, in the 6-1 home victory against Wycome Wanderers in the EFL Cup, before making a Premier League appearance in October 2021 and scoring a hat-trick for the under-23 side on the same day.
That same month, Cole Palmer scored his first UEFA Champions League goal as part of a 1-5 win over Club Brugge in Belgium, before making his FA Cup debut and scoring in a 1-4 away win over Swindon Town of League Two in January 2022.
After scoring decisive goals in the FA Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup this season for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side, Cole Palmer left the Etihad Stadium on a permanent deal by joining Chelsea on a seven-year contract with the option of a further year.
The London side are reported to have issued a £40 million initial financial outlay on Cole Palmer, potentially rising by a further £2.5 million in add-ons, placing him in the top-five most expensive Manchester City sales ever.
Like Palmer, Tommy Doyle had also already made his professional debut for Manchester City prior to the FA Youth Cup victory, featuring in a 3-1 Carabao Cup win over Southampton in October 2019 before signing a new contract until 2025 one year later.
In August 2021, Doyle secured his first loan move away from the Etihad Stadium, joining 2. Bundesliga outfit Hamburger SV for the 2021/22 campaign. That deal was cut short midway through, when Doyle was relocated to Cardiff City in the Championship until the end of the season.
In July 2022, Tommy Doyle joined Championship side Sheffield United on a season-long loan, scoring a memorable match winner in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup against Blackburn Rovers to send the Blades to Wembley where they faced Manchester City – a game that Doyle was not permitted to feature in due to competition rules.
In September 2023, Tommy Doyle joined Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers on a season-long loan, with the agreement containing an option to buy for a reported 4.3 million with a staggering 50 per cent sell-on clause on any profit included.
Delap made his first-team Manchester City debut prior to the FA Youth Cup final success, scoring in a 2-1 home win against AFC Bournemouth in the EFL Cup, with Pep Guardiola confirming in the post-match that the striker would start training with his senior squad from then onwards.
A Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup debut would follow in the months after, with his first loan move away from the Etihad Stadium being confirmed in August 2022, with Liam Delap joining Stoke City for the 2022/23 campaign.
Despite making 23 appearances, but only scoring three goals in the process, Liam Delap was recalled by Manchester City during the following January transfer window and sent to Preston North End for the remainder of the season.
Liam Delap’s latest venture concerns Hull City, with the young striker currently plying his trade on a season-long loan in East Yorkshire for Liam Rosenior’s side enjoying some fine goalscoring form for the Championship club during the opening weeks of his stay at the MKM Stadium.
McAtee went on to make his senior debut for Manchester City at the same time as many of his FA Youth Cup final teammates, appearing as a substitute in the 6-1 home victory over Wycombe Wanderers in the Carabao Cup, before making his Premier League debut in November 2021 against Everton.
In July 2022, James McAtee put pen to paper on his first senior loan move, joining Championship club Sheffield United for the duration of the campaign alongside his Manchester City teammates Tommy Doyle.
Following success in bringing the Blades back into the Premier League, James McAtee returned to Manchester City to take part in their pre-season tour of Asia ahead of the 2023/24 season, whilst also appearing as a substitute in the top-flight opener against Burnley.
On transfer deadline day of September 2023, James McAtee sealed a second successive loan deal, re-joining Sheffield United in the Premier League for the 2023/24 campaign, despite widespread interest from across European football, including the likes of Ajax and Leicester City.
Rogers went on to complete several successive loan moves away from Manchester City across the Football League, before completing a permanent exit away from the Etihad Stadium during the most recent summer transfer window.
Lincoln City would be his first temporary home away from the north-west, joining the Imps in January 2021 for the remainder of that particular season. Three goals in seven games during the month of March then saw him pick up the EFL Young Player of the Month award while at the club.
Morgan Rogers would then follow his time with Lincoln by joining AFC Bournemouth for the 2021/22 campaign, in a deal that was ultimately cut short during the following January market. The wide-forward was repositioned at Blackpool on a short-term loan agreement.
Finally, in July 2023, Morgan Rogers would bring an end to his developmental time with Manchester City by joining Championship side Middlesbrough on a permanent agreement for an undisclosed transfer fee.
Burns remains contracted to Manchester City and his currently experiencing a season-long loan deal with League One side Stevenage, following on from a six-month temporary agreement with Swansea City in the 2021/22 campaign.
The England youth goalkeeper brought an end to his stay with Manchester City during the most recent summer transfer window, joining Championship club Southampton on a permanent deal.
Remaining contracted to Manchester City, Alex Robertson has since gone on to sign on to two success loan arrangements across the British game, first by joining Scottish side Ross County in July 2021 on a season-long loan deal. That arrangement was cut short in the following January, when the player returned to his parent club.
Alex Robertson is currently playing on loan with south coast side Portsmouth, where he is expected to remain for the duration of the ongoing 2023/24 campaign.
After a promising rise within the Manchester City first-team set-up, Samuel Edozie exited the Etihad Stadium by signing a five-year contract with Southampton in the summer of 2022, joining Juan Larios in making the switch south from the club. The deal was reported to be worth up to £10 million.
Knight remains contracted to Manchester City and has since only completed one loan deal largely due to reoccurring problems with injury. The 21-year-old joined Crewe Alexandra on a season-long deal in August 2021, before returning to the Etihad Stadium ahead of the following campaign.
Despite widely being dubbed as the next big talent to emerge from Manchester City’s Academy production line, Jayden Braaf ultimately left the Etihad Stadium with reports suggesting a breakdown in relations between himself and key figures across both the first-team and youth set-up.
Braaf joined Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer in May 2022, before then being moved on to Serie A side Hellas Verona on loan until the end of the 2022/23 campaign. That temporary agreement became permanent in the recent summer market, with the Italian club signing Braaf for around €1 million.
The Norway international is now widely-regarded as the most exciting talent in Manchester City’s current set-up, featuring as a permanent fixture in Pep Guardiola’s first-team squad during the ongoing campaign and making his senior debuts across multiple competitions.
In September 2023, Bobb made his Premier League debut from the substitutes bench against Fulham, and was involved in the build-up to Manchester City’s fifth goal that afternoon scored by fellow Norwegian Erling Haaland.
Oscar Bobb also made his Champions League debut on 19 September against Crvena zvezda at the Etihad Stadium, as part of a 3-1 win for the reigning champions of Europe.
After guiding Manchester City’s under-18s squad to an FA Youth Cup success, Carlos Vicens was promoted to Pep Guardiola’s first-team coaching staff, joining as an assistant to the Catalan boss in July 2021.
It was announced in May 2022 that Vicens would take charge of Dutch side Heracles Almelo effective from 1 July 2022. However, in June 2022, and a few days after the Eredivisie club were relegated for the first time in 17 years, Vicens mutually parted ways with the side and chose to remain at Manchester City.
Vicens remains an integral part of Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at Manchester City, sitting alongside the likes of Juanma Lillo, as well as Enzo Maresca and Rodolfo Borrell before their respective departures.
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