If there is one thing English football has become famous for it is ruining the careers of promising youngsters by giving them too much too soon. The players cannot cope with the pressure and it results in their development being halted.
Jack Rodwell, Scott Sinclair and Andy Carroll are prime examples of this – all three had bags of potential but made big moves to top English sides that ruined their careers.
The next name on this list is likely to be 18-year-old Patrick Roberts, who has just joined Manchester City from Championship side Fulham for around £8m. The highly rated winger signed a five-year contract and will pocket loads of money over that spell, but it is certainly the wrong move for the player.
Yes the starlet has bags of potential and could be a big name in the future, but this is not the main reason he has been signed, it is purely because of his homegrown status.
Under Premier League rules, squads are required to have a minimum number of homegrown players and City fall short of that quota, which has led to their moves for English trio Roberts, Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph this summer.
Manuel Pellegrini gets everything he needs from the deal, but it is Roberts who suffers. He is likely to spend the majority of life at the Etihad Stadium on the bench or in the U21 squad.
The teenager will rarely get to sample any first-team football , which will severely stunt his development.
City are notorious for making big money purchases to bring in the best talent from around the world to their first-team squad, and that has been evident from this summer’s £49m move for Sterling.
That coupled with the existing attacking talents the club have like David Silva, Samir Nasri, Yaya Toure and Jesus Navas means that youngsters like Roberts will find themselves unable to reach the maximum levels of development because they will never get close to taking those first-team spots off the club’s expensive names.
The winger will find himself always on the fringes, like Sinclair and Rodwell from previous seasons, and eventually he will have to move to a midtable Premier League side in an attempt to rebuild his career.
Liverpool were also heavily linked to the player and it has been rumoured the player turned down the team he supported as a boy before he joined City. A move to Anfield would have been the better choice for the player.
Brendan Rodgers is known for the way he works on developing youngsters and integrating them into the first-team. Jordon Ibe, Raheem Sterling and Jon Flanagan are fine examples of starlets Rodgers has turned into regulars for the Reds.
Roberts would surely have thrived under Rodgers’ guidance and no doubt cemented a place in the first-team squad.
However now he’ll experience life in the shadows at Manchester City. What a shame.