The 18-year-old English left winger has burst onto the scene in Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad; his impressive displays in both the U21 Premier League and UEFA Youth League have prompted coaches to take note of him for a future talent in years to come.
Brandon Barker, 18. The English left-winger has impressed City coaches with his rapid development over the past two years, his dazzling displays for the respective youth set-ups in Manchester hinting that the youngster could very well force himself into getting amongst things in the first-team at some stage next season. 7 goals and 5 assists in all competitions thus far; U21 Premier League and UEFA Youth League being taken into account.
He is already a regular on the international youth stage for the English; making his debut for the U18 team back in October of 2013 and has gone onto U19 level, where he has netted 3 goals in 5 competitive matches for the Young Lions. Brandon won the City Academy Player of the Year last campaign, and given his ability, has all the makings of a great professional footballer to come, as long as he stays grounded.
Has electric pace, close-control dribbling strong, likes to take on defenders with ease, a good playmaker, quick on the counter attack.
Decision-making not perfect, could score a few more goals, crossing inconsistent.
Many sections of the media have criticised City for the lack of homegrown talent in their team, but if you delve deep enough, players like Barker are a good example that there are players with a lot of potential to fulfil, in the ranks. The Citzens themselves have an abundance of talent in their first-team squad, so Brandon will have to keep his consistency if he is to eventually get his chance amongst the star-studded players you often see every week, including the likes of Sergio Aguero and David Silva for example.
Very few academy players have flourished or reached their full potential, with the likes of Micah Richards, John Guidetti and Dedryck Boyata all still contracted to the club; despite reports suggesting that none of the above will stay at the club long enough to heavily feature. However, the future is bright in the blue half of Manchester. Karim Rekik, Jason Denayer, Pozo, Marcos Lopes, Thierry Ambrose and Bersant Celina are all very talented players in their own right, so do not be surprised if they turn out to be world-class players in the near future.