Manchester City have reportedly (via Football Insider) agreed to sign Everton sensation Emilio Lawrence this summer, beating local rivals Manchester United to the punch.
Attacking midfielder Lawrence is widely hailed as one of the best young talents in England right now. The 16-year-old is not only an excellent distributor but has proven himself to be a menacing presence in the final third as well.
The Scotland U-17 player appeared in 23 games for Everton Under-18s last season, bagging seven goals and four assists. Lawrence, who also appeared in three U-21 games for the Toffees last term, has not yet signed on as a scholar, giving bigger clubs the opportunity to lap him up.
According to the aforementioned report, Premier League holders Manchester City have won the race for him, beating rivals Manchester United and Chelsea. The Citizens reportedly have a full agreement with Everton’s U-18 star.
There’s a gulf in quality between Manchester United and Manchester City’s footballing projects
Manchester City and Manchester United seem to be on the opposite ends of the spectrum at the moment. While City are beaming with potential, United seem lost and disjointed, trying their best to keep up with the competition. The report of Lawrence’s alleged transfer to City is another example of their tangible superiority over their rivals.
Pep Guardiola’s City function effortlessly as a well-oiled machine. They have an enviable first-team roster, world-class training facilities, and have a superb track record of winning important trophies. City have also developed a few role models in recent years whom academy players can look up to.
Phil Foden, of course, is the most obvious example, with him firmly establishing himself as one of the league’s best players. Another fine academy graduate, Cole Palmer, is expected to enjoy more game time under Guardiola next season.
Manchester United also have a few academy players that have made it into the first team in recent years. However, none of them have quite managed to cover themselves in glory. The likes of Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, and Anthony Elanga have had their moments, but they have been few and far between.
Unless the trophies start coming in, United are likely to keep having a hard time beating City in the race for the most excitable talents. All eyes will be on Erik ten Hag to change the club’s dire fortunes from next season itself.