Roméo Lavia: Discovered by Man City at De Bruyne Cup – “Has what Guardiola is looking for”

By FPL360


Talents Calendar 

Tommy Doyle, Liam Delap, Cole PalmerJames McAtee – in the past one and a half years alone, Pep Guardiola helped four talents from Manchester City’s academy to make their Premier League debuts. The next youngster could soon follow in the person of Roméo Lavia. The 17-year-old made the Skyblues’ matchday squad on three occasions, with his only appearance coming in the EFL Cup against League One side Wycombe Wanderers. The right-footed Belgian played 90 minutes in central midfield alongside Kevin De Bruyne, the player indirectly involved in his move to City.

Since 2016, De Bruyne’s youth club KVV Drongen has held a youth tournament at the end of each season with internationally renowned clubs – the KDB Cup. In 2018, the youth teams of Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City, among others, took part, losing to RSC Anderlecht led by captain Lavia. As usual, plenty of scouts, sporting directors, managers and coaches took the chance to watch the stars of tomorrow, including Guardiola.

Lavia was playing in the youth system of the Belgian record titleholders for another two years before the Spaniard’s effortful persuasion bore fruit. In the summer of 2020, he moved to City’s academy, much to the chagrin of Anderlecht head coach Vincent Kompany. “It’s a great pity. Everyone advised him to stay with us, including the people at City. But the boy has a very strong character and wanted to take the career jump,” the former Citizen said at the time.

Talents Calendar 2020: Here is how the players have developed

Juan Cabrera | Germany | Market value: –

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Schalke’s Juan Cabrera was listed as Uruguayan in last year’s Talents Calendar. Since then he has opted for Germany.

Pipi Nakai | Japan | Market value: –

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Pipi Nakai has made the next step at Real Madrid and is now part of the reserve team. But he is still awaiting his debut in Spain’s third division.

Bradley Fink | Switzerland | Market value: –

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Youssoufa Moukoko’s footsteps were not too big: Bradley Fink has been scoring consistently for Dortmund’s U19 side.

Alejandro Iturbe | Spain | Market value: –

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Alejandro Iturbe is slowly being integrated into Atlético Madrid’s first team and has already made the bench once.

Ramen Cepele | Albania | Market value: –

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Ramen Cepele has struggled with some smaller injuries but nonetheless has already featured for Hannover 96 II in the Regionalliga.

Turan Calhanoglu | Germany | Market value: –

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2021 has been a year to forget for Turan Calhanoglu. Hakan Calhanoglu’s cousin struggled with injuries all seasons long.

Kelvin John | Tanzania | Market value: €100,000

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“As soon as I turn 18, I will move to a big club“, said Kelvin John last year. Promise kept, the forward joined KRC Genk ahead of the season.

Bikash Yumnam | India | Market value: €100,000

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Bikash Yumnam continues his dream of moving to Europe. But it has been baby steps for the RoundGlass Punjab FC defender.

Simon Ngapandouetnbu | France | Market value: €150,000

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Born in Cameroon Simon Ngapandouetnbu has opted for France and is still awaiting his debut for Olympique Marseille’s senior team.

Seong-jin Kang | South Korea | Market value: €225,000

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Seong-jin Kang has not just become a regular starter for FC Seoul but an important first team player.

Kluiverth Aguilar | Peru | Market value: €300,000

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That Kluiverth Aguilar would move to Europe was already certain last year. Signed by Manchester City, the right-back is currently under contract at Lommel SK, which also is part of the City Group.

Xavi Simons | Netherlands | Market value: €500,000

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For Xavi Simons the last season was a mixed back. First close to the first team, the talented attacking midfielder has been ignored by Mauricio Pochettino and is currently considering a transfer to another club.

Tommaso Baldanzi | Italy | Market value: €600,000

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Tommaso Baldanzi led FC Empoli’s U19 to the championship in the Primavera and is now part of the first team.

Marcelo Flores | Mexico | Market value: €600,000

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Mexiko, Canada or England: For now Marcelo Flores the talented midfielder has opted for Mexico’s U20 but it is expected that Flores will await a final decision as Canada remains in the mix to secure the services of the 18-year-old.

Ömer Beyaz | Turkey | Market value: €1 million

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In Ömer Beyaz another talented player found the way to the Bundesliga. The 18-year-old Turkish talent has joined VfB Stuttgart.

Patryck | Brazil | Market value: €1 million

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U17 world championPatryck is part of FC São Paulo’s first team but for now still without a game.

Louie Barry | England | Market value: €1 million

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Former Barça talent Louie Barry has made his debut for Aston Villa but is currently on loan at Ipswich Town.

Loizos Loizou | Cyprus | Market value: €1.5 million

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Loizos Loizou has already won his first title with Omonia Nicosia but a transfer to a bigger league has yet to materialize.

Hannibal Mejbri | Tunisia | Market value: €3m

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Hannibal Mejbri is the third player in the calendar to switch national teams. Previously with France, the Man United talent has since made the switch to Tunisia.

Luca Oyen | Belgium | Market value: €3m

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Luca Oyen continues to collect playing time with the first team but has struggled to show the sort of consistency he displayed last season.

Caden Clark | USA | Market value: €3.5 million

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Not surprising Caden Clark will join RB Leipzig this winter. This year the 18-year-old played his first full season with New York Red Bulls with whom he was eliminated in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Ísak Bergmann Jóhannesson | Iceland | Market value: €4.5 million

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Ísak Bergmann Jóhannesson has made the next step in his career and has joined FC Copenhagen.

Arsen Zakharyan | Russia | Market value: €9 million


Arsen Zakharyan has developed into a top talent under head coach Sandro Schwarz at Dinamo Moscow and is one of the most important players at the club.

Yusuf Demir | Austria | Market value: €12 million

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Yusuf Demir has fulfilled his wish and joined FC Barcelona where he has already made his debut for the first team.

After a few appearances in the U19s of the English titleholders, promotion to the U23s quickly followed – with them, he won the title in the Premier League 2 directly in the first year. Lavia was voted player of the season and was fully integrated into first team training this summer, as well as being called up to the Champions League squad. In addition to Guardiola’s support, the defensive midfielder has a current teammate helping him a lot: Fernandinho.


The 36-year-old Brazilian extended his expiring contract for another season in June and is particularly in demand as a mentor this year. “I’ve watched a lot of Fernandinho and Busquets. Those two have dominated the game as defensive midfielders,” Lavia told Goal in an interview back in April. “Fernandinho knows what he’s doing – he doesn’t run just to run. He’s like the brain of the team. When you’re young you want to run – left, right – but he knows what he’s doing so he won’t run as much, but will still be effective. That’s something I keep learning from him.”

Breakthrough at Man City without loan spell? Roméo Lavia “can do it”

Indeed, the Belgian’s style of play is close to that of Fernandinho or Busquets. In possession, he is always open to receive the ball and dictates the game with clever cross-field or deep passes. Lavia also impresses in defence with clever anticipation, which often leads to interceptions.

Talents Calendar - Roméo Lavia

He has been demonstrating this for most of the current season in the second team, where he is picking up match experience. Lavia is not expected to become part of Man City’s Loan Army, which again contains 15 players this year – at least as things stand. “City need people with such a profile. (…) He has what Pep Guardiola is looking for. Normally, as a young player you only have a one in a million chance of making an immediate breakthrough at Manchester City, but Lavia can do it. He is such a special talent,” Kompany insisted this summer.

Gavi, Moukoko & Co.: The most valuable players born in 2004

11 Shola Shoretire – Manchester United – Market value: €3m

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As of November 29, 2021

11 Vinicius Tobias – Internacional – Market value: €3m


7 Andreas Schjelderup – FC Nordsjaelland – Market value: €5m

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7 Matheus Nascimento – Botafogo – Market value: €5m

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7 Giovani – Palmeiras – Market value: €5m

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7 Sávio – Atlético Mineiro – Market value: €5m

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6 Julio Enciso – Club Libertad – Market value: €5.5m

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5 Kaiky – Santos – Market value: €6m

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4 Ângelo Gabriel – Santos – Market value: €7m

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3 Mohamed-Ali Cho – Angers – Market value: €10m

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2 Youssoufa Moukoko – BVB – Market value: €18m

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1 Gavi – Barcelona – Market value: €25m

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Regardless of his short-term development, Lavia is expected to have a long-term future in the midfield of the Skyblues, ideally to cover De Bruyne’s back. The 30-year-old is still under contract in Manchester until 2025 and speaks highly of his compatriot: “He‘s a very good player. He has been training with us since the end of last year. If he continues like this, he will be a real asset for us,” the most valuable Belgian told the MidMid podcast a fortnight ago (quoted via Voetbalnieuws).

From December 1 to 24, we introduce new players from different countries born in 2003. Area managers, users, and data scouts come into play as experts throughout the series. You can follow all those players by adding them to your TM watchlist.




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