Raheem Sterling’s hat-trick undoubtedly stole the headlines at Carrow Road on Saturday evening, with the England international’s three-goal haul reducing the introduction of three talented youngsters to a mere footnote in the clash.
James McAtee, Kayky and Liam Delap all entered the fray as Manchester City toyed with their beleaguered hosts late on, with the latter’s powerful run helping to win the penalty that eventually resulted in Sterling’s third of the game.
Pep Guardiola has been keen to offer youngsters a chance this season, with Cole Palmer seemingly the next in line to make waves in the City first team.
The late introductions of McAtee, Kayky and Delap prove Guardiola plans to hand the club’s starlets all the tools needed to thrive at the top level, and City Is Ours editor Dom Farrell was joined by the MEN’s City writer Joe Bray on Facebook Live to discuss the involvement of the trio.
JB: “I think it’s important that they [City’s youth-team players] see that there are chances to play for the first team.
“They [McAtee, Kayky and Delap] didn’t really do that much. McAtee had a couple of misplaced passes but kept the ball moving.
“Kayky didn’t really get much of a chance and Delap obviously won the penalty and that was quite a nice bit of direct running, but I think it was more the symbolic thing of saying ‘you’ve been training with us for a while , you’ve been doing really well, we’ve called up on you and had you traveling all over the country’.
“It must be good but also a bit annoying for these players to sometimes be going with the first team and sometimes be going with the youth team, so for them to get a bit of first-team action is important to them, especially with McAtee signing a new contract.
“There was talk of him leaving if he wasn’t going to get that opportunity but City have clearly said to him ‘you are going to get your chance if you’re good enough’.
“His record at academy level is something like 19 goals and five assists in 20 appearances or something like that, so someone like that is always going to get noticed for the first team. He fully deserves it.”
Joe went on to add that Guardiola’s decision to bring the three youngsters on will have been driven by the desire to hand them a glimpse of Premier League football rather than hoping they could make an immediate impact.
JB: A 3-0 lead at Norwich [when the three youngsters were introduced] is one that you can’t really do much to change but it’s just getting that experience and getting a feel for the crowd and the occasion and the atmosphere is what City will be looking to get from these little cameos.
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“There will be a time when they’ll be required to start in a game like Cole Palmer did against Swindon and that’s when they’ll be looking for the players to take a step on.
“I think it’s a great show of faith in those players, especially after giving a lot of these young players new contracts to say ‘if you’re good enough, you’re going to play in the first team’.”
Do you think we’ll see more of Kayky, McAtee and Delap this season? Follow the City Is Ours team, Ross Jackson and Dom Farrelland Joe Bray on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.