Manchester City have added Republic of Ireland Under-21 international goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu to their Champions League squad.
Man City are set to resume in the competition against Real Madrid in their last 16 second-leg on Friday. They impressively defeated Zinedine Zidane’s men 2-1 in the first leg back in March.
The teams remaining in the Champions League were able to add three A list players to their squads. Bazunu has come in for City while Leroy Sane, who joined Bayern Munich, was taken out.
Bazunu is still just 18 and had been training with Manchester City’s first team over the past few weeks.
Although he is unlikely to feature given the fact that the likes of Ederson and Claudio Bravo are ahead of him in the pecking order, it is still a huge boost for the keeper.
The former Shamrock Rovers man featured 14 times for City’s Under-23s this season. He also played in every game in their UEFA Youth League campaign.
Bazunu has yet to play a senior game in England. But he made his debut for Rovers when he was just 16 and kept a run of four clean sheets in a row in his four league starts in the 2017/2018 season.
The 18-year-old also worked his way into Stephen Kenny’s Ireland Under-21 squad and started the last two games in November against Armenia and Sweden, both of which Ireland won.
City picked Bazuna for their pre-season tour in Asia last summer. He will almost certainly continue to play for Uunder-23s next season. Yet, his selection in the Champions League squad is an indication of how highly the club rates him.
Another Irish underage international, Joe Hodge, was named Manchester City’s Scholar of the Year for the 2019 season by the club last week.
Ireland fans will be hoping that both Hodge and Bazunu have bright futures at the club.