Manchester City are set to hand a debut to exciting Spanish teenager Jose Angel Pozo, described as a ‘Mini Messi’, in the Capital One Cup against Sheffield Wednesday.
On the cusp of making the bench for the Etihad duel with Chelsea, injuries to Sergio Aguero, Stevan Jovetic, David Silva and Samir Nasri mean he’ll likely play at least some part this evening.
But who is he and where has he come from?
City fought off competition from numerous Premier League clubs, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal among them, to lure Pozo away from Real Madrid in 2012.
Frustrations over a lack of progress at Santiago Bernabeu despite prolific returns, led him to take up City’s offer of a contract in Manchester, having scored 34 times in his final campaign for Los Blancos’ age-group sides.
After arriving he quickly began standing out from the crowd, even among the Sky Blues’ talent-studded youth set up.
Citizens youth czar Mark Allen had the following to say of Pozo, who ended up as the top scorer in the Under-21 squad injury despite succumbing to injury:
“I always think it’s unfair to single out players, it’s a team game – every single person in that squad will be vitally important to us but Marcos [Lopes] and Jose Angel Pozo have done very well this year.”
The Spaniard operates as a number ten, in a manner that has earned him comparisons to role model locksmith Silva.
Like the former Valencia man he thrives when receiving the ball to feet in front of the opposition back four, from where he can use a plethora of gifts including excellent close control, incisive passing and a searing acceleration to wreak havoc on his opponents.
The Citizens are 11/50 to win the sixth tie in their last seven Capital One Cup outings inside 90 minutes, while Wednesday are 19/2 to triumph, with the draw a 21/4 shout.