Why Zion Atta would be a good long-term signing for Man City

According to the Daily Mail, Premier League heavyweights Man City and Liverpool are set to go head-to-head in a transfer tug-of-war over Crystal Palace starlet Zion Atta. 

The 15-year-old, who was offered a scholarship deal by Palace earlier in the year, has also been monitored by German Bundesliga clubs Bayern Munich, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Augsburg. (h/t Daily Mail)

Atta joined Palace from South London rivals Millwall for £60,000 a couple of years back and has since caught the eye with his rapid development in the Eagles’ youth ranks. The teenage forward is currently a part of the club’s U-16 setup and is held in high regard by the youth coaching staff as a player with immense potential.

Meanwhile, Man City enjoyed a productive transfer window this past summer as the Cityzens splashed the cash to fund a mini-overhaul of Pep Guardiola’s squad. Strengthening the backline was always going to be a top priority for City after the club’s defensive frailties played a big part in their unsuccessful PL title defense last term. 

Why Liverpool should move for Crystal Palace prodigy Zion Atta
Zion Atta has been linked with Man City and Liverpool (Getty Images)

In response, City forked out a huge outlay to reshape their central defensive unit, with Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake both coming through the door at the Etihad. Highly-rated Spanish international winger Ferran Torres was also roped in as a long-term prospect from Valencia and the 20-year-old has quickly established himself as a key player this season.

Besides spending millions of pounds to restructure their first-team ranks, City also recruited heavily at the youth and reserve level during the summer window. The likes of Pablo Moreno, Filip Stevanovic, Yan Couto and Issa Kabore were all snapped up from various leagues across the globe as the Cityzens caught the eye on numerous occasions with their youth recruitment drive.

It wasn’t the first time, however, that City had recruited heavily to improve competition for places in their development side. Guardiola’s reign at the Etihad has witnessed several up and coming talents come through the door, with City always on the lookout to unearth the next gem from across the continent. 

There has been a clear pathway from the academy to the first-team ranks and Phil Foden has arguably been the biggest beneficiary of Guardiola’s willingness to promote young talent. The likes of Eric Garcia, Tommy Doyle, Cole Palmer, Liam Delap and Taylor Harwood-Bellis have all been given a taste of first-team football and there are plenty more to follow in their footsteps.

Manchester City and Liverpool have renewed their interest in Crystal Palace starlet Zion Atta
Atta can be a good investment for City with an eye on the future (Getty Images)

Man City already have an abundance of young talent coming through their ranks and a potential deal for Zion Atta would represent yet another exciting addition to the existing pool of up and coming starlets at the Etihad. 

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Verdict

The 15-year-old has already been invited to train with Palace’s U-18 side, despite being only 15. That clearly indicates a level of maturity that belies his tender years and Atta seems to be a top prospect at this stage of his career.

He is still very much in the rudimentary stages of his development and honing his skills at a club of Man City’s stature can work wonders for him moving forward. 

It’s hard to predict whether Zion Atta would be able to break into City’s first team given the bar has been set so high in recent times. However, there’s always an element of risk involved in any transfer and City playing a low-cost gamble on the teenage forward could well pay off handsomely for their long-term plans moving forward.

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