Will George Evans Ever Make The Big Time?


A strong statement, but sadly true. Even though he scored a cracker against Toronto FC in the week, he will probably never make the grade at Manchester City. Which is a great shame, and goes for a lot of youngsters in the English game. Here’s why.

Manchester City have the wrong attitude to football, and don’t have a good record of youth development. The only player they produced properly is Micah Richards, who is out of contract and spent the season on loan at Fiorentina and struggled to hold down a place in the team since the big money takeover. The team is built by buying as many players as possible for the short term goal of capturing silverware. That means a lot of their team is now ageing and the next generation needs to be considered.

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City also had Michael Johnson ready to be their next premier homegrown player. His now an estate agent, after a career was cut short through illness, injury and a lack of first team options. Another shame. They also bought Scott Sinclair, who is on loan at Aston Villa with a view to sign permanently. He is an FA Cup finalist. Jack Rodwell? Left to play first team football at Sunderland. Joe Hart is not one of theirs, he was signed from Shrewsbury, and James Milner from Aston Villa. Milner could be on his way out too, leaving Hart as the sole English player on the first team, not counting third-string keeper Richard Wright.

The Premier League is trying to push youth development to the forefront and for some clubs, this is not a problem. Southampton, Villa, Swansea, Arsenal and Manchester United all have a good amount of youth players coming through and getting first team football. Even Chelsea have given youth players league games this season, the Champions often derided for their lack of youth progress. This has left City by the wayside.

It is a shame, Evans played well in the friendly between Manchester City and Toronto; but he is one of a host of youngsters competing for one or two spaces in the first team at best with yet more summer signings on the way in an already bloated squad. Evans is staying positive however:

“I just keep trying to prove myself to him (Pellegrini) and hopefully I’ll keep performing and get an opportunity.”

I just don’t feel like George Evans will ever play properly for City. He has played 23 games for Crewe and 16 for Scunthorpe, scoring one goal each. But he is 20 and that is an important age, where it separates the real deals from the maybes.

Perhaps Evans could go to New York City, after all the link between the two clubs is strong and they already have City youth player Shay Facey on loan. One last loan could help decide things, or he should look elsewhere of wants a real career. Look at MLS and the homegrown system, Generation-adidas and all that. It really helps give young players a chance. Look at Khiry Shelton and Gyasi Zardes making their mark on proceedings. City cannot claim to have a parallel to that.

Who knows, maybe I will be proven wrong and Evans will become a City icon. Or at least play a decent number of first team games. Maybe I’m right and he won’t be. I’d love to be wrong on this, but I think sadly he could be just another statistic for Manchester City. Their game against Houston has been called off due to the severe weather, so Evans will have to wait until he is given the chance to prove himself again.

How long will he have to wait?

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