Manchester City: Loanee Citizens to keep an eye on
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Manchester City Under 18's celebrate lifting the trophy after winning the Premier League Cup during the Under 18's Premier League 2 Cup Final at The Academy Stadium on March 10, 2020 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Manchester City loanees stretch from one corner of the globe to the other, so it can be difficult to keep track of how they are all doing. So here is a short list of the top three to keep an eye on, with the potential for any of them to be a future Man City asset.

Gavin Bazunu

After his move in the summer to Portsmouth FC, it looked as though Gavin Bazunu might be another one of those Man City players lost in the lower divisions, with a seat on the bench being as much as the player was given for the first game of the season.

However, what followed sent shockwaves all the way back to the Etihad, and word will have certainly got back to Pep Guardiola

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Crewe Alexandra - clean sheet. Shrewsbury - clean sheet. Doncaster Rovers - clean sheet. Wigan Athletic? You guessed it. Another clean sheet. 

The Irishman flew out the blocks at the League One side, aiding in Pompey claiming 10 from a possible 12 points at the start of the campaign.

This also led to the 19-year-old trusted with the no.1 shirt for his national side, the Republic of Ireland. This was no easy feat, coming up against the likes of Portugal with Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva, even denying Ronaldo from the penalty spot.

Either side of the heroics in the international break, talk has turned against the keeper at Portsmouth as some of his performances have dipped, leading to a lot of criticism.

With some doubters starting to appear, and Bazunu away on international duty, replacement Alex Bass seemed to have cemented himself in the Pompey squad and had given the manager quite a headache.

Speaking of headaches, could he be a future one for Man City? He has proven himself, not only in League One but also at international level. So surely, he would be a good backup in the coming years?

Zack Steffen might have something to say about that.

Callum Doyle

Callum Doyle is Sunderland's 6'1" rock at the back, aiding the Black Cats in their charge for the League One play-off places.

Doyle has missed only one league game all season, playing an average of 87 minutes per game. Despite only playing a total of 51 minutes in the Carabao Cup, Doyle has helped his side to the last eight, with them being the only team left from outside the Premier League.

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The Englishman has also stamped his mark on the international team, being called up to the England Under 19s and performing in two wins and two draws.

Sunderland teammate, Bailey Wright, has tipped Doyle to be a future England first-team captain. This adds to comments from the coach, Lee Johnson, who stated, "his passing ability is already, in my opinion, the best in the division".

Not a bad compliment for a teenager.

The Manchester-born defender is certainly making a name for himself and could have a future partnership with the next player on the list.

Taylor Harwood-Bellis

Like Doyle, Taylor Harwood-Bellis is an established centre-back, but slightly taller at 6'2". Unlike Doyle, Harwood-Bellis was shipped out abroad to RSC Anderlecht after a loan stint at Blackburn Rovers.

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The Englishman struggled to make an impact at the Championship club, who struggled throughout the 2020/21 season, finishing 15th.

But Man City legend Vincent Kompany was happy to take his fellow defender under his wing at the Belgian club, and prove just how good he could be for City.

Having made 265 City appearances himself, Kompany's opinion is one you need to listen to and respect. It is true that Harwood-Bellis has a lot of room for improvement, but he is also developing quickly in Belgium and has come a long way.

Kompany certainly thinks so, anyway, with warnings sent to City about Anderlecht potentially poaching the defender from the Manchester club.

Anderlecht currently sit sixth in the Belgian Pro League and have drawn far too many games. The division is full of talent and high-quality football, so Harwood-Bellis is developing at a much quicker rate than he would be stuck on the bench in England.

Speaking of England, however, Harwood-Bellis has established himself in the England Under 21 squad, playing all four of their UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifying games, going unbeaten too.

The defender played 90 minutes in all four games, winning three and drawing one, while keeping two clean sheets, against the likes of Kosovo, Slovenia, Andorra and Czech Republic.

Harwood-Bellis is a year older than Doyle, but both have gained the experience that Guardiola was hoping the youngsters would get. Despite breaking through to the first team every so often, it seemed that Guardiola was not totally confident in the defender yet.

But could he be about to prove the Spaniard wrong? It would be great if he could, with more and more academy players coming through.

The hope is that all three of these players, and so many more, can join the likes of Phil Foden, Cole Palmer and James McAtee, and follow in their footsteps.

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