Best current XI of ex-Manchester City players

Following on from the Liverpool and Arsenal alternatives, here we select the best XI of ex-Manchester City players currently playing.

While City have one of the world’s best teams at this moment in time, they have still let some top-quality players leave the club in recent years.

Among these players are ex-City youth stars who left the club to gain first-team football.

There are also some who flopped in Manchester, before proving their worth elsewhere.

Now that their Champions League ban has been rescinded, Pep Guardiola’s men could well come up against some of these players in the coming seasons.

Here is an XI of players currently shining, who once wore the sky blue of Manchester City.

Inclusions are largely based on the player’s current ability. This season plays a big part, but it is not all that is considered.

Goalkeeper – Kasper Schmeichel

Schmeichel may not be better than Ederson, but is still one of the best keepers in England. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY BLEACHER REPORT.

The first choice in this is XI was an easy one.

The son of a Manchester United legend, Kasper joined the Citizen’s youth ranks when his father Peter was winding down his career at the club.

Schmeichel only played a small number of games for the first team and was sent on numerous loan spells.

He eventually ended up at Leicester City, via Notts County and Leeds, where he surprisingly became a Premier League winner.

He has consistently been one of the finest keepers in the league since then and is a key man for Brendan Rodgers’ Champions League hopefuls.

Right-back –  Kieran Trippier

He has kept Kyle Walker out of the England squad in recent times, but would Kieran Trippier start ahead of him for Man City? ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY GOAL.

Another ex-academy player, Trippier never played a senior competitive fixture for the club.

He instead signed for Burnley in 2012 following a loan spell at Turf Moor.

His form there saw him join Tottenham. While he proved to be weak defensively, his ability going forward and from set-pieces saw him join up with the 2018 England World Cup squad.

He became a national hero due to his antics in Russia, but never really convinced the Spurs fans.

Last summer, Trippier joined Atletico Madrid in what can only be described as a shock move.

His move to the Wanda Metropolitano has seen a sharp rise in his performances, and his defensive abilities have improved tenfold.

He fights off competition from Jesus Navas for this spot.

Centre-back – Jerome Boateng

Boateng would have been a perfect partner for Vincent Kompany had he stuck it out in England. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY GOAL.

From 2012 until 2017, Jerome Boateng’s inclusion would have been a no-brainer.

It looked like his career was on a downward slope before he managed to pull it back this season, playing a key role in Bayern’s eighth league title in a row.

The German only lasted one season in Manchester after signing in 2010. He was largely played out-of-position at right-back.

Bayern still saw his potential and got him while they could, in what can only be described as a genius move.

He has been one of the best defenders in the world for a number of years, winning numerous Bundesliga’s, a Champions League and World Cup.

Had he not recovered his ability this season, the likes of Ben Mee, Jason Denayer or Matija Nastasic could have snuck in ahead of him.

Centre-back – Stefan Savic

How would Stefan Savic fare in a Pep Guardiola system? ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY IMDB.

It is difficult to tell how Stefan would look in a more open system like Pep Guardiola’s.

But it cannot be denied that he is perfect for Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side.

A no-nonsense, lionhearted centre-back, Savic has been a key part of one of the world’s best defences for a number of years now.

Signed from Partizan Belgrade, he left for Fiorentina in 2012 as part of the deal to sign Nastasic, before ending up in Madrid in 2015.

Left-back – Aleksandar Kolarov

Kolarov is experiencing quite the renaissance in Rome. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY GOAL.

Left-back is arguably the weakest position in this XI.

Ultimately, it came down to a decision between a pair of 34-year-old’s, who also competed for a spot in the City starting line-up during their respective spells at the club.

Yes, both Aleksandar Kolarov and Gael Clichy are having good seasons.

However, Serie A is one of the easier leagues to look good defensively, while Turkey is much weaker in general.

Kolarov makes the XI due to the fact that he is playing in a stronger league, plus the fact that his nine goal contributions trump Clichy’s five.

Centre-midfield – James Milner

Machine-like Milner has aged like a fine wine on Merseyside. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY SKY SPORTS.

Midfield is where things get a bit trickier, as we had to decide on a system that allowed the inclusion of the best players, but also had some balance.

Then there were decisions to be made between numerous players who are on a similar level. Some of these players are older and declining, while others are younger and improving.

We could have gone for David Brooks in the 10 and played a 4-2-3-1.

However, we went for a 4-3-3 with James Milner on the right of the midfield trio.

Had Brooks produced more than one season at the level of 2018/19, he would have been included. Unfortunately, injuries have kept him out for large portions this term, meaning we don’t know exactly how good he is just yet.

The ever-consistent Milner is still playing semi-regularly for the Premier League champions and is worthy of inclusion in this XI.

Holding-midfield – Douglas Luiz

Douglas Luiz could well be a star of the future if he continues on an upward trajectory. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY UOL.

This is a choice that many may question.

Some will say that either Brooks or Fabian Delph warrant inclusion ahead of the Aston Villa man.

But those who watch Villa will know that Luiz is well-worthy of his place in this team.

Not many of Dean Smith’s men have covered themselves in glory this season. They look very likely to be relegated.

But Luiz has been different class since he started featuring regularly at Villa Park. He has developed into a cult-hero in Birmingham.

The Brazilian never played for City, spending time on loan at Girona due to work-permit issues.

Had these problems not arose, Luiz could have shone under Pep and prevented the need to spend big on Rodri.

His ability to win the ball, evade the press and launch an attack is incredible, especially considering that he is still only 22.

He should be snapped up by a big club this summer.

Centre-midfield – Adrien Rabiot

Adrien Rabiot has world-class potential – but at 25, time may be running out for him to harness it. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY GOAL.

Many will not know that Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot had a spell at Man City when he was a teenager.

He had a six-month spell in the youth set-up that lasted from July 2008 until January 2009.

He ended up at PSG, where he broke into the first-team before signing for Juventus on a free transfer last summer.

Off-the-field issues have held him back to an extent, and he has not yet reached his full potential.

Hopefully, he will do so in the next few years, because his talent is truly phenomenal, which he proved in his last year in Paris.

He had a slow start to life in Turin but has begun to establish himself since football’s restart.

Right-wing – Jadon Sancho

Jadon Sancho could be the world’s best player some day, letting him go could be City’s biggest regret. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY THE EVENING STANDARD.

The right-wing spot can only go to one man.

Jadon Sancho must be Pep Guardiola’s biggest footballing regret. Letting him go to Borussia Dortmund on the cheap may be the worst decision in City’s recent history.

He got 17 goals and 16 assists in the Bundesliga this season and he only turned 20 in March.

The Englishman is already world-class and looks like he could win the Ballon d’Or one day.

He never played a senior game for City, but everyone at the club must be kicking themselves that he is not there now.

Striker – Edin Dzeko

Dzeko continues to excel in the Italian capital. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY SKY SPORT.

This is similar to left-back, as there is a competition between two ageing players, whose City careers overlapped, one of which plays for Roma and the other for a team outside Europe’s top five leagues.

While Edin Dzeko has been one of the most prolific strikers in Europe since leaving the Etihad, Carlos Tevez’s form may be a surprise to many.

Playing for his boyhood club Boca Juniors, Tevez has reinvented himself as a number 10.

He has scored nine goals and assisted two more in just eleven starts this season, at 36-years-old.

Despite Dzeko’s slight decline this season, he has still managed 15 goals and five assists in Serie A.

Again, the Bosnian is playing in a stronger league, so gets the nod in this XI.

Left-wing – Leroy Sane

Bayern will hope that Sane shows no signs of his ACL rupture on his return to Germany. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY FC BAYERN

The final player in this XI is the most recent departure from the Etihad.

Leroy Sane has joined Bayern Munich, despite not yet completing the Premier League season with Manchester City.

His determination to return to his homeland has frustrated City staff and fans alike, as his ability and outstanding potential is very well-known.

While he never asserted himself as a guaranteed, out-and-out starter at the club, he undoubtedly has the potential to become world-class.

Expect his career to flourish at the Allianz Arena.

Bench

Geronimo Rulli, Ben Mee, Jesus Navas, Fabian Delph, David Brooks, Rony Lopes, Carlos Tevez

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