Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Manchester City Ropes In Dutch Talent As Club Confirms Signing: A Great Coup For The Club?

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As we head into the restart of the Premier League, the clubs are getting ready to dive into the transfer market. As a preparation for the upcoming busy transfer window, Manchester City have already made a confirmed signing roping in Mikki van Sas from FC Utrecht. The technical director of the Dutch side informed in their official website that the youngster has signed a contract with the blue side of the Manchester, as he expressed his mixed feelings with the move.

Who is Mikki van Sas?

The 16-year-old plays as a goalkeeper for the youth setup of the Eredivisie side and is considered as one of the most highly-rated young shot-stoppers in the country. He joined the side four summers ago and has since played in their youth teams, lastly being integrated into their U-17 setup. Van Sas had a contract with the club till 2022, but would now move to England this summer.

The Dutch youngster has also played for the national side in both the U-15 and U-16 teams, debuting for both of the squads in 2019. He is a regular presence under the sticks for FC Utrecht in the U-17 Eredivisie and has so far done quite well for his team.

Why a youth goalkeeper for City?

Manchester City have been re-organising the coaching staffs of the club for some time now and trying to implement new strategies at the ground level. Pep Guardiola has shown no intentions of leaving the club soon even though for the next two seasons, they may be deprived of European football. Keeping this in mind, the club has to implement the ideas and the philosophies of Pep at every level, and the transfer strategies must be set according to that.

Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola celebrates on the pitch after the English League Cup final football match between Aston Villa and Manchester City at Wembley stadium in London on March 1, 2020. – Manchester City won the game 2-1. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

The Spanish manager has shown from very early days that his philosophy includes buildup of a team starting from the goalkeeper himself, contrary to the then popular belief that a keeper is only bestowed with the responsibility of saving the shots of the opposition strikers.

At Barcelona, Víctor Valdés had been the first piece in the jigsaw puzzle of their attacking setup, and we have often seen how he has been instrumental in moving the ball forward. More often than not, the flaws in his shot-stopping abilities had been overlooked because of this quality, and the Spanish keeper thrived well under Pep, despite all his handicaps.

Even at Bayern Munich, Manuel Neuer had done the same thing for the German side as the keeper had brought in the momentum of the Bundesliga side’s attack. This quality is not developed overnight, instead instilled throughout years and this may be the primary reason that the Citizens are trying to catch them young (excuse the Pokemon pun).

At this moment, Van Sas would be expected to join the youth team for the English giants, and rise the ranks gradually. However, with proper training and tutelage of the new staff members, we could see the Dutch to make a switch to the first team in the near future.

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