Our next Academy graduate made swift progress through the ranks after being spotted by our scouts overseas.
Dedryck Boyata hails from Uccle, a suburb of the Belgian capital, and he spent his early years in the youth system at FC Brussels.
City were alerted to the talented defender, who is capable of playing at full back as well as in his usual position of centre back, and signed him in 2007. The move to a new club and new country did not faze Dedryck, and he quickly established himself in City’s Under-18 side.
He was a vital part of the team that beat Chelsea to lift the FA Youth Cup in April 2008, and in the following season Dedryck took the step up into the reserves in his stride.
With City spending big under Mark Hughes, a first-team chance looked to be some way off for Dedryck and it was not until Roberto Mancini had taken over in December 2009 that the defender was given the nod.
Mancini handed Dedryck his debut at the Riverside Stadium in January, and he excelled as City knocked Middlesbrough out of the FA Cup
Mancini had clearly liked what he had seen, and he continued to include Dedryck over the following weeks, including both legs of a titanic Carling Cup semi-final against Manchester United.
The Belgian’s stock continued to rise at the start of 2010/11 when he turned in a superb display at right-back in the hard-fought home win over Chelsea.
But disaster struck a few weeks later when he was sent off just a few minutes into the game against Arsenal for hauling down Marouane Chamakh, and after that he made just a handful of appearances.
He became the latest Academy graduate to play full international football when he was handed his first cap alongside team-mate Vincent Kompany, and agreed a season-long loan to Bolton in August.
Clearly more than capable of holding his own in the Barclays Premier League, Dedryck could still make an impact at City when he returns from the Reebok Stadium.