Man City’s latest sensation is dubbed ‘Salford Silva’ – but Man Utd let him go

Manchester City look to have unearthed their next wonderkid in midfield maestro James McAtee – who sensationally slipped through the fingers of rivals Manchester United.

The 19-year-old ace joined United as an 11-year-old alongside older brother John, who now plays for National League outfit Grimsby Town.

But he was pulled out of the academy by his father when United released John.

And it's City who have benefitted from that move – with McAtee, who has been likened to City legend David Silva, now on the verge of breaking into Pep Guardiola's team after some remarkable goalscoring exploits in City's developmental squad.

McAtee has netted 11 goals in just 12 Premier League 2 games. He's also netted for City's U23 squad in the EFL Trophy.

McAtee is the latest in a string of young City stars who have come through at the club during Guardiola's reign.

The most prominent, boyhood City fan Phil Foden, has gone on to evolve into one of City's most vital players under the Spaniard.

A clutch of other youngsters such as Cole Palmer and Samuel Edozie have also been involved with the first team this year.

But it's McAtee who could seemingly eclipse the lot.

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Being compared to Silva, who was recently immortalised in a bronze outside the Etihad Stadium, is no mean feat.

It's a comparison that's likely to have McAtee, a boyhood City fan just like Foden, pinching himself.

He was also recently lauded by City Elite Development Squad boss Brian Barry-Murphy, with the ex-Rochdale gaffer hailing McAtee's creativity.

"I've seen a real hunger from him to develop his goal scoring, and drifting towards that goal," he told Goal.

"He is a very, very talented player and a very creative player.

"I think it's very early in his development. He wants to score goals to support the team and work alongside his team-mates, but understanding he has a special set of qualities that will allow him to score goals and create goals.

"He's very focused on improving that, which is intriguing me."

City are desperate to tie the talented teen down to a new long-term deal in the wake of interest in McAtee from some of Europe's biggest clubs.

McAtee's contract runs until the summer of 2023, and recent reports from The Mail have linked both Liverpool and Barcelona with a move for exciting youngster. United are also rumoured to be interested in luring McAtee back to Old Trafford.

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