Emilio Lawrence completes his move to Manchester City

26/10/2022 22comments  |  Jump to last

Highly promising youngster Emilio Lawrence has finally forced through a move away from Everton's academy to join Manchester City.

We reported this story (Emilio Lawrence: another one that got away?) back in July when it appeared that his time with the Academy was to be cut short despite Everton's programme to accelerate the 16-year-old's development from the Under-18s to the Under-23s.

After he and his family decided to make the switch, we had assumed that the move for Lawrence, who had been on a Scholarship with the Academy since 2014,  was completed in the summer but there was no confirmation of this in the media. 

Today, Italian transfer guru, Fabrizio Romano, tweeted that the attacking midfielder has now completed his move to the City Academy.  It appears that negotiations between Everton and Manchester City have taken this long to resolve as Everton presumably did everything they could to retain the player, or agree to an acceptable compensation fee.

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The unfortunate part of this for the player himself is that he has missed 3 months of competitive football, having not played for either Everton or Manchester City academy teams while the negotiations dragged on. But he is now no longer an Everton player.


Reader Comments (22)

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Don Alexander
1 Posted 27/10/2022 at 00:22:33
I just wonder if anyone has any insight into the departure today to Man City of our 16-year-old Emilio Lawrence, allegedly a star in the making?
Alan J Thompson
2 Posted 27/10/2022 at 07:10:00
It is being reported that Emilio Lawrence has left for Man City.
Brent Stephens
3 Posted 27/10/2022 at 07:45:26
Alan, Lawrence's move is disappointing.

So was Thierry Small's move to Southampton. I think Everton took a lot of flack over that. I see he's now on loan to Port Vale! Oh, how the mighty are fallen.

Here's a thought. A player is so good, like Lawrence, that Man City sign him. But will he make it with City or just be fringe and eventually moved on? On a reasonable but not great salary...?

Or, is a player with such potential therefore better to stay with Everton, where the odds of then getting into the first team are much greater, with the associated contract benefits; and the shop-window benefits?

If he turns out to be that good, the likes of City might eventually sign him anyway – but now with greater financial benefit to the player. All avoiding a Thierry Small-type decline?

That's the sort of long-term vision we all had as teenagers, isn't it! Well, maybe not in my case!

Sean Roe
4 Posted 27/10/2022 at 08:10:23

My guess would be your second option. If he ever gets in and around the first team at Man City, he will have at least two top quality players to dislodge from the position, no doubt, before he gets a sniff.

Even players that age these days earn a fortune compared to the rest of us. The trouble with youngsters these days is that they want it all now without having to put the hard work in first.

If, and it is an 'if', he reaches potential, as you rightly say, he could still have ended up at City after a few seasons in our first team, running down his contract to go on a free if he so desired, such is player power these days.

Michael Kenrick
5 Posted 27/10/2022 at 09:46:51
To answer Don's question, I think the circumstances of this one reflect a number of things about the development path for young players that Danny and others have been harping on about till the cows come home.

Reading between the lines of this and the original story we posted, the seeds for this departure were set long ago when his City-supporting family went for the inducements Everton Academy were offering 7-year-old Emilio, which were far more attractive than what City were offering at the same stage.

The comment was made that City don't make these kind of inducements until the players are much older, into their teens – a difference which likely reflects the extra steps Everton and other clubs feel they were compelled to take in order to attract top talent to the Academy. No doubt it was a similar story with Momo Cho, who went to PSG.

Some will seek to use this as another sledge-hammer with which to beat up Everton, the club and the Academy, whereas I think it is the structure and nature of the player development system that makes these kinds of stories inevitable.

The gauntlet has been laid down for the Academy to do a better job of bringing in and developing top talent but, when they do just that, it turns out that they are viewed more as an interim stage in the development of players who have greater personal ambitions than we can currently satisfy.

Rob Jones
6 Posted 27/10/2022 at 09:56:39
If I'm Lawrence, I look at how Pep nurtured Phil Foden. We, meanwhile, released Imam Jagne recently, with him admitting a lack of progress.

Reality: City are the best club in town, Lawrence is a City fan, and like or not, he's more likely to become a great player with them than with us.

Hopefully Thelwell managed to make a sledge from the sale, and some performance-based clauses.

Derek Thomas
7 Posted 27/10/2022 at 10:02:31
Our Academy is undergoing a Re-vamp by all accounts.

File under 'wait and see'...

Michael Lynch
8 Posted 27/10/2022 at 10:23:23
City seem to give their youngsters more minutes than we give ours, despite them having a star-studded squad.

Whenever Pep gets the chance, he brings on one of the kids to blood them, or give them 10 or 15 minutes. I guess the difference between City and us, is that City are far more often in a comfortable position with half the match left, or have qualified with games to spare in the Champions League.

So I reckin Lawrence has just as much chance, if not more, of getting game time at City. However, in the long run, unless he's a world-beater, he'll struggle to establish himself there, and will probably end up back at a club like Everton.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained; I'd choose City over us if I was him.

Tony Abrahams
9 Posted 27/10/2022 at 10:28:56
A young player that thinks he his to good for Everton, or a young player who has had a much better financial offer that he didn't want to refuse?

I think what you write makes sense on paper Rob@6, but when you analyse what you've written, it's also easy to disagree with you and also pick little holes out of your post, imo mate.

Phill Thompson
10 Posted 27/10/2022 at 11:46:54
Well, this was well covered by Michael a while back.

My take is that when he left at 16 it was too late to sign a Scholarship with City, when he became 17, in September, the real negotiations started with his agent. This is what has been concluded now, ie, he's got his pro Contract with City after being left in limbo for a few months.

Just about every Premier League club, including Man City, Chelsea, and Southampton, have lost young players to other clubs or abroad; it happens, but no doubt some people who've never seen him will blame the club, Unsworth etc.

In this case, the family reasons why returning to City made sense have been covered elsewhere, but you can see why the playing argument is so strong too. They have a world-class academy, and a reputation for developing youngsters who, even if they don't make the City first team, go on to earn contracts at other clubs.

I don't believe there is any ill feeling between Lawrence and the Club and yes he could possibly return in a few years time.

Rob Jones
11 Posted 27/10/2022 at 13:34:33
Tony, maybe you're right. Maybe I'm on the copium, to deal with the fact we've lost another prized youth player.

But I do think, right now, City are better placed to develop the kid than we are.

Michael Kenrick
12 Posted 27/10/2022 at 13:45:39

Thanks for that explanation about his Scholarship and his 17th birthday.

I think you're right, it helps to explain why this took so long for the parties to resolve, albeit they would presumably be separate negotiations – one with the player and Man City over his first professional contract, and one between Everton and Man City for compensation.

Rob Dolby
13 Posted 27/10/2022 at 14:18:48
Michael, why would you choose Man City over Everton, honestly?

I would play for nothing for the Blues. It's every boys dream to play for their club, Small and Lawrence have no attachment to us.

I am sure the likes of Gordon has been tapped up as a junior to switch sides over to Liverpool, Man United or Man City. It happens a lot at junior level.

Do you think Pep would trust bringing on a youngster in the Champions League final? It's easy to bring players on when the team is winning 3 or 4. It's brave or desperate to throw them into a relagation scrap.

City have expanded their scouting network ridiculously over the last 10 years. Kids getting plucked from our city at 6 or 7. They also poach all over Europe.

Surely the law of averages you have more chance of breaking through at Everton than Man City which makes Everton a more sensible option if kids genuinely want to play football and not just chase the money.

Michael Kenrick
14 Posted 27/10/2022 at 14:42:37
There's a lot in there, Rob.

"Why would you choose Man City over Everton, honestly?"

Perhaps if I'd been brought up as a kid supporting Man CIty, I might just be swayed. Seems that was the case with Emilio.

"It's every boy's dream to play for his club."

Exactly. You nailed it. Emilio had no connection either. His familial connection was to Man City.

Gordon was actually with the Liverpool Academy as a kid but was released by them.

There's a post above which explains why he is more likely to get first-team game time with Man City rather than Everton as things currently stand.

Are CIty really snapping up kids that young? A key part of the Lawrence story was that Man City didn't fight off Everton that hard to secure him when he was really young, and were happy to bide their time until he was a more proven teenager.

"Surely the law of averages you have more chance of breaking through at Everton than Man City which makes Everton a more sensible option if kids genuinely want to play football and not just chase the money."

That's a myth. Certainly Frank Lampard is so nervous about losing games, the last thing he has shown any propensity to do is play young kids from the Academy – even on the rare occasion when they have been elevated to the bloated 9-man subs bench this season.

Rob Dolby
15 Posted 27/10/2022 at 15:29:01
Not sure it is a myth. As a club we do seem to produce a lot of professional footballers. There isn't any hiding place in the Premier League unless you're 3-0 up and throw the youngster on for 10 mins.

If you're good enough, Lampard has proven he will give youth a chance like he did at Derby and Chelsea. We just don't have anyone knocking on the door, maybe Mills?

Tony Abrahams
16 Posted 27/10/2022 at 16:14:37
This is another "let's go around in circles" argument, imo. Which player who hasn't been good enough for Everton, has really gone and excelled somewhere else, during the longest barren spell in our history? There must be some, but the ones who have gone on to better things, have also usually been good enough for Everton.

I'm certain Chelsea became a lot more of a self-sufficient football club by going down this road, and this now appears to be the model that Manchester City are following? I read that when they paid £100 Million for Grealish, that City made around £80 million, through their academy that summer. I might have read this wrong?

Mike Gaynes
17 Posted 27/10/2022 at 16:16:15
Brent #3,

It would appear Thierry Small may no longer be at Port Vale. He played very few League One minutes there, just a couple of games in the EFL Trophy and EFL Cup competitions -- interestingly, one of those was at striker -- and this past weekend played 90 minutes at left-back for Southampton U21s.

"Sometimes you see fantastic things from him and then other times you see horrible things." -- Ralph Hassenhuttl

Tony Abrahams
18 Posted 27/10/2022 at 16:28:19
Too much skill for a defender, maybe, Mike?

Although my own thoughts are that the more skill a defender has, the easier the game becomes for him, so maybe he just lacks concentration?

Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 27/10/2022 at 16:43:47
Good luck to Emilio but all I'm really interested in is how much are we getting for him in compensation?

I'm still waiting to hear how much we got for Small and he's been gone well over 12 months!!

Gerry Quinn
20 Posted 27/10/2022 at 17:08:37
I read in another article that he was a City fan growing up - if so, obvious to what he wants to do then...

I will try to find the article...

Dupont Koo
21 Posted 28/10/2022 at 02:16:51
Phil Foden is so far the only Man City Academy graduate getting significant minutes in the first team, and along with Pep's ultra-high standard and obsessive stubborness on certain player attributes and personalities, the pathway for youngsters to the first team at Man City is not straight forward at all.

Frank's record at "affording opportunities to youngsters" actually needs to be viewed with a microscope: at Derby, chasing promotions, giving the youngsters loaned from Chelsea big minutes might be more a testament to a lack of talent in the squad; at Chelsea, he had no choice because of the transfer ban.

Last season, with survival over everything else, we saw Frank's pragmatic side.

While Frank himself rose through the ranks at West Ham to the first team, and knows all the intricacies that need to be looked after when a talented class of youngsters rose to the first Tteam together (him, Carrick, Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand and Defoe were one hell of a class), he is not hell-bent in promoting youngsters if there is no merit.

Having Frank working alongside with Thelwell (and the Academy personnel that were brought in subsequently) though, I have faith that we can minimise the happening of Thierry Small 2.0 and Emilio Lawrence 2.0 in the future.

Brent Stephens
22 Posted 28/10/2022 at 14:44:08
Mike #17,

I missed the fact that Small was no longer on loan at Port Vale. If he only got limited time on the pitch for them, then his development and progress sound even worse.

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