Manchester City have turned a new leaf as far as their procuring South American talent is concerned. The Abu Dhabi owners have been clear in their wishes from the off. The wish to follow the blue-print that Barcelona have mastered over decades. And the systematic recruitment of, initially, Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain which finally led to Pep Guardiola taking up the reigns at the Etihad point to that direction.
The message is simple yet the execution improbable. The City hierarchy is adamant that if there is another Messi out there, the Blue must have the best chance of honing him.
Historically, City have had to splash out the big bucks to land the South American stars and moves for players like Aguero, Robinho, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Carlos Tevez and Jo have cost almost up to a staggering £200m. The Blues have had their fingers burned in the past when buying directly from South America with names of Glauber Berti and Geovanni coming to mind. The idea is to capture the best young talents while they are in their teens and for much smaller amounts. And the fact City are leading the race for the signature of the ‘next Neymar’ Gabriel Jesus amongst a host of European bigwigs and the fact they have almost captured highly rated Columbian attacker Marlos Moreno in a £8m deal points to the fact that the strategy is working till now.
Moreno is mainly a winger but can play across the frontline and with his blistering pace aligned with the ability to take on defenders is certainly a handful. Though he stands at a relatively small 5’7, he is not one to back down from challenges and physical confrontations which bodes well for his future in the Premier league. Although he has been known to make the odd selfish decision, such as failing to play in his team-mates who are in scoring positions and trying to score himself, this is a trait that can be improved upon as he grows as a player.
Moreno will not immediately make an entry into the first team as there are plenty of options available in the attacking department for the English club. Though he is an established international for Columbia, who are ranked 3rd in the world, a loan move to a European club is seen as appropriate for his development. The name of La Liga club Deportivo La Coruna have been doing the rounds as a possible destination for the 19-year old.
And by the looks of it, City are indeed laying a strong foundation for the future.