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JUST four years ago, Jadon Sancho was a relative unknown quitting Manchester City’s academy to head to Borussia Dortmund.
Getting £7million for the young Englishman, then just 17, appeared good business.
Jadon Sancho was allowed to leave Man City for just £7m in 2017Credit: Getty – Contributor
But with 20/20 hindsight vision, it may be one of the biggest transfer blunders in the world – up there with Chelsea getting rid of Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah.
Fast forward to 2020 and England international Sancho had been valued at £108million by the German giants.
And that’s with player values taking a nosedive thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
But Sancho isn’t the only player City let slip through their fingers and we take a look at seven of the biggest names.
Sancho has gone on to become one of the most-feared wingers in the worldCredit: AP:Associated Press
SANCHO quit the Etihad in 2017 for just £7m – with no senior appearances under his belt.
At the time, very little was known of him – despite being part of England’s Under-17 World Cup-winning squad that year.
Sancho quickly broke into the Dortmund first-team and has never looked back.
He is now being chased by some of Europe’s biggest clubs – including Liverpool and Real Madrid – as well as Manchester United.
United had hoped to land Sancho last summer but refused to stump up the £108m Dortmund were stubbornly demanding.
Last season, Sancho tallied 20 goals and 20 assists in just 44 games in all competitions – going 17-17 in the Bundesliga.
Schmeichel was allowed to slip through City’s fingers early in his careerCredit: EPA
SCHMEICHEL made ten first-team appearances for City early on in his career, despite being loaned out five times.
Following temporary deals at Darlington, Bury, Falkirk, Cardiff and Coventry, the Dane joined Notts County permanently in 2009.
He worked his way up the Football League to join Leicester via Leeds.
Schmeichel was an integral member of the ‘Fearless Foxes’ squad who shocked the world to win the 2015-16 Premier League title just a year after surviving relegation with their ‘Great Escape’.
Now Schmeichel – much like his dad, Peter, before him – is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers on the planet.
Rabiot quit Man City’s academy to join PSG – where he won 16 trophies – in 2008Credit: Getty Images – Getty
THE Frenchman was all-too briefly part of City’s youth squad in 2008.
But he was allowed to slip through the club’s fingers and join Paris Saint-Germain.
There, Rabiot won 16 trophies, including four Ligue 1 titles – before moving to Juventus in 2019.
Rabiot won the Serie A title in his debut season and has enjoyed a return to top form under Andrea Pirlo after stagnating a touch under Maurizio Sarri.
Man City were linked with signing Rabiot on a free in the 2018-19 season – only for the France star to opt for Juve instead.
Trippier joined Man City’s youth ranks at the age of nineCredit: PA:Empics Sport
TRIPPIER joined City’s youth ranks in 1999, aged just nine – but played just ONCE for the senior team, in a friendly against Barcelona.
The right-back was loaned out to Barnsley for two years, before joining Burnley permanently.
After one impressive season – where he quickly became renowned as one of the league’s best crossers – he joined Tottenham.
Trippier snapped up a starting spot in the team, leading to Kyle Walker joining Man City, with his career on the up until 2018.
The right-back was one of the star’s of the 2018 World Cup, leading England to the semi-final – where he scored a stunning free-kick to give fans hope of reaching the final.
Trippier created more chances than any other player at the tournament in Russia, but quit Spurs a year later after a tough season to join Atletico Madrid.
The right-back has since rediscovered his top form and is back in the England set-up.
Sturridge enjoyed the best years of his career away from Man CityCredit: Getty Images – Getty
STURRIDGE kicked-off his career at City – scoring six times in 32 games.
Often deployed on the right-wing, Sturridge left in search of a central role – joining Chelsea in 2009.
Sturridge helped the Blues win the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup (twice) before being sold to Liverpool in 2013.
In his debut season at the Reds, alongside Luis Suarez, Sturridge helped fire Liverpool launch an unlikely title bid only to fall just short – after Steven Gerrard’s infamous slip – before being sold in 2019.
Sturridge is now a free agent having been released by Turkish side Trabzonspor in March 2020.
Denayer was never given a chance by Guardiola and has gone on to shine for Lyon and BelgiumCredit: PA:Empics Sport
DENAYER was snapped up by big-spending City in 2013 after impressing as a youngster in his native Belgium.
But he never got a look-in in the first-team and was loaned to Celtic, Galatasaray and Sunderland before being sold to Lyon in 2018.
Since heading to France, Denayer has been a first-team regular for both club and country, helping guide Belgium to the No1 spot in the world rankings.
Denayer, still only 25, now has 20 caps for his country having missed out on the 2018 World Cup squad as his career stalled at the Etihad.
But Denayer had his revenge, helping Lyon thump Man City in last season’s Champions League quarter-finals.
Brahim Diaz is likely to become a world superstar as he progressesCredit: AFP or licensors
PERHAPS not world-class yet, Diaz is showing all the signs of being a superstar in the making.
Diaz played 15 times for City – with just five of those coming in the Premier League.
The forward was sold to Real Madrid in 2018, where he played 21 times scoring twice.
Diaz has been loaned to AC Milan for the 2020-21 season – where he has scored four times in 25 matches.
Still just 21, Diaz has plenty of time to prove his undoubted talent and prove City wrong yet again.