Manchester City have heavily invested in their youth set-up since their takeover in 2008 and Carlos Borges is their latest hot prospect to look out for.
Pep Guardiola’s side have dominated things on a domestic front since his arrival, but his impact can also be seen across City’s various youth squads.
In the Premier League 2, Man City sit top with 35 points from 17 matches. Guardiola’s tiki-taka system is utilised in the Under-21s side, but the individual quality of Borges shines through.
The Portuguese winger has obviously taken some inspiration from Erling Haaland as Borges is currently way out ahead as the Premier League 2 top goalscorer.
Having scored 14 goals in just 16 league matches this season, Borges has scored five more than any other player has managed in the Premier League 2 this season. He’s also got seven assists to his name.
The impressive statistics don’t stop there though as he has also lit things up in the EFL Trophy and UEFA Youth League. Across all competitions, the 18-year-old has 35 goal contributions with 22 goals and 13 assists.
His rapid pace down the left-hand side makes him a nightmare for defenders to contain as he will regularly leave them in the dust when he puts on the burners.
Carlos Borges today. Absolutely mad speed. ⚡️ [@TheSecretScout_]
— themcfcview (@themcfcview__) April 23, 2022
This season has best his best goalscoring year yet as he is regularly in the right position on the left-hand side. Borges has the perfect blend of Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane about him.
His positional sense is just as impressive as his quick feet. Academy coach Brian Barry-Murphy was full of praise for the youngster following his brace against Liverpool.
“He’s improving that side of his game (finishing) all the time and for me his performance today was full of leadership qualities with how he played for the team,” said Barry-Murphy.
“Liverpool have a unique way of playing with the way they look to penetrate your defensive line over and over again so there was a lot of defensive work for Carlos to do.
“So, for me it’s really beneficial to show him the benefits of working so hard for the team and then getting the opportunities and taking them.”
CITY 3×1 LIVERPOOL | #PL2
16' Bobb ⚽️
39' Borges ⚽️🇵🇹
71' Borges ⚽️🇵🇹
— Manchester City (@ManCityPT) February 13, 2023
Since selling the likes of Sterling and Sane, Man City have lacked a willing runner who is best when the ball is in front of him. Perhaps Borges could be the player they are crying out for.
Of course, the technical brilliance of Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez shouldn’t be underestimated, but Borges brings a completely different skillet to the table.
Guardiola stays on top because of his willingness to adapt and change as time goes on. If Borges managed to make a big enough impression over these next few years then he will surely get his chance.
The likes of Phil Foden, Rico Lewis and Cole Palmer are living proof that there is a pathway from the youth side into the first team and we think Borges could be the next player to make that jump.