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Manchester City’s scouting network and state-of-the-art Etihad Campus mean they can attract the best players from not just the local area but around the world.
Even with that in mind, Phil Foden will be the only academy player close to the starting line-up when City try to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League for just the second time in the club’s history.
There would probably have been another had England winger Jadon Sancho decided not to leave the Etihad Stadium as an 17-year-old to join quarter-final opponents Borussia Dortmund.
Faced with the choice of possible patient progress under Pep Guardiola or the promise of a fast-track to the first team in the Bundesliga, Sancho opted for Germany and it would be difficult to argue that he made the wrong choice.
Guardiola’s dominance of the Premier League has been evident for the past few years, but the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss is still waiting for that elusive first Champions League crown at the Etihad, and the Manchester giants have seen their European journeys end in the quarter-finals three seasons in a row.
However, a routine 4-0 aggregate win over Monchengladbach saw City ease into the last eight of the tournament before the international break, and Guardiola’s side have now kept seven Champions League clean sheets in succession.
Only Arsenal in the 2005-06 season have enjoyed a longer run without their defence being breached in the competition, and City enjoy playing Bundesliga sides too, as they have come up trumps in 10 of their last 11 meetings with German teams in the Champions League, but Dortmund and their much-coveted centre-forward are intent on upsetting the apple cart this week.