Marcos Lopes has signed for Ligue 1 side Lille on a one year loan deal.
The 18-year-old made four appearances for City’s first team last season, and was named Man of the Match in the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against West Ham, when he set up two goals.
Named Academy Player of the Year for 2012/13, the Portuguese forward captained City under-19s to the quarter finals of the inaugural UEFA Youth League last term, and wore the armband as the EDS made it all the way to the u21 Premier League semi-final.
Rewarded for an outstanding campaign, Marcos joined the first team post-season tour in Abu Dhabi, netting the first goal in a 3-0 victory over Al Ain.
Lopes told mcfc.co.uk: “I feel very happy to have signed because it is a new step in my career and it is a good opportunity for me to develop as a player. I hope to get much stronger next season, and I’m really looking forward to getting started.
“It is very important for me to play in a professional league for the first time, and it is important for me to experience what it is like to play in that environment.
“I think playing in the French League will be very beneficial because it is a league that is it getting bigger, better and stronger every year.
“It is very different to what I have played in before, but I watched some of the games last year and I think it will be a good league for my development.”
Lopes will be hoping to gain Champions League experience with his new club – the French side finished the 2013/14 campaign third in Ligue 1, and begin the new season in the third qualifying round of Europe’s premier club competition.
He added: “It would be very exciting to be able to play Champions League football. It would be such a good experience for me to play in that competition, a competition which everyone recognises as the best in European football. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity.”
EDS boss Patrick Vieira said: “Marcos is joining a league that is very demanding physically, but is very good at developing young players. It is great that he has the chance to take his next step in a very strong league that will be challenging for him.
“I know the manager at Lille, Rene Girard, and he is very detailed in his approach and is keen to give young players a chance.
“Marcos is going to a club with a good structure and very good stability, and I think it is an excellent move for him.
“He may also have the chance to play in Europe, which would be a fantastic experience for Marcos, and will help him grow up as a player. They are a very young group at Lille, so it is a good opportunity for him to show what he can do.”
You can keep up to date with how Marcos gets on with our weekly Loan Watch feature on mcfc.co.uk once the season kicks off.