Men's Team

Diaz enters City’s youngest debutants list

BRAHIM DIAZ: Future is bright...
Brahim Diaz’s appearance as an 80th-minute substitute for Kelechi Iheanacho put him in a select club of teenage City debutants.

Aged 17 years and 49 days when he came on against Swansea, the talented Spaniard slots into the Blues’ Top 10 youngest players ever to play for the club - but there have been five others who have all begun their senior careers even younger…

1 Glyn Pardoe: 15 years, 314 days

Glyn Pardoe has been the Club’s youngest debutant for more than 50 years having made his debut for the Blues against Birmingham City in 1962.

Still seven weeks shy of his 16th birthday, Pardoe was just 15 when he made his bow and he would go on to enjoy a fantastic career with City, winning four major trophies before being forced to retire following a horror tackle in during a 1970 Manchester derby.

Hard to see his record being broken anytime soon…

Paul Simpson: 16 years and 68 days

Winger Paul Simpson was still a schoolboy when he made his first appearance for City.

The tricky winger played against Coventry in 1982 having only celebrated his 16th birthday two months before and he went on to make more than 100 appearances for City before moving on to Oxford United, Derby County and several other clubs during a 23-year playing career.

Karim Rekik: 16 years and 294 days

Dutch defender Karim Rekik is the youngest Academy graduate to play for City to date.

Rekik was just 16 when he came on against Birmingham City in September 2011 for his senior debut.

It was one of only three appearances he would make for the Blues after being loaned to Portsmouth, Blackburn Rovers and PSV to gain further experience.

In 2015 he joined Marseille on a permanent deal.

Tommy Caton: 16 years and 297 days

Central defender Tommy Caton was thrown into the deep end by Malcolm Allison in August 1979 aged just 16.

It proved to be a wise decision, with the calm, commanding youngster soon a regular fixture in the senior side and he would go on to become the first teenager to clock up 100 appearances before his 20th birthday.

He was voted the MCFC Player of the Year for the 1981/82 campaign, but following City’s relegation in 1983, Caton joined Arsenal for £500,000.

He later played for Oxford United and Charlton Athletic.

Sadly, Tommy died of a heart attack in 1993 aged just 30.

Marcos Lopes -17 years and 9 days

‘Rony’ Lopes made an explosive start to his City career when he climbed off the bench against Watford in January 2013 to score with virtually his first touch.

As a result, Lopes became the Club’s youngest goal-scorer having celebrated his 17th birthday just nine days before.

Like Academy graduate Rekik, his opportunities were few and far between and in 2015 he left City for Monaco – though his Club record still stands.

                        RONY LOPES: Dream debut
RONY LOPES: Dream debut


And on the subject of talented teens…

Kelechi Iheanacho’s goal against Bournemouth made him the 16th teenager to reach double figures for Premier League goals.

Kelechi now has 10 Premier League goals to his name – not bad considering he’s only had 14 shots on target – and though at 19 years, 11 months and 14 days, he’s the oldest teen to achieve the feat, he’s also managed it in the fewest games.

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