Irish goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu was named on the Manchester City bench for the first time during their pre-season victory over Yokohama.
The 17-year old has been a part of City’s pre-season tour of Asia but had failed to make the matchday squad for their previous games.
Bazunu did not make an appearance off the bench as City ran out 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Lukas Nmecha, but the fact that he is involved in first-team proceedings so early in his career at the Etihad is certainly a promising sign.
SUBS | Grimshaw, Danilo, Gundogan, Angelino, Nmecha, Foden, Touaizi, Bazunu, Pozo, Doyle, Bolton, Garcia, Harwood-Bellis, Bernabe, Poveda, Diounkou, Knight.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) July 27, 2019
The goalkeeper arrived at the club from Shamrock Rovers in February after the clubs agreed a €400,000 fee following his excellent performances in the Hoops’ first team at the tender age of 16.
Earlier this month, Bazunu was rewarded with his first professional contract at the club and his involvement in the first team’s Asian tour will no doubt be excellent experience for the young goalkeeper.
Bazunu currently has Ederson, and Claudio Bravo ahead of him in the goalkeeping rankings at the club, while Daniel Grimshaw has spent time as their U23s goalkeeper, a position the 17-year old will may have his eye on ahead of the upcoming season.
The former Rovers stopper’s involvement in and around the City first team is also excellent from an Irish point of view, with Bazunu continuing to work his way up the international ladder.
He featured for the U17s during their European Championship run on home soil earlier this summer and was also included in Stephen Kenny’s first Irish U21 squad back in March.
Bazunu will likely again be a part of Manchester City’s U18s this season and may get the chance to feature for their U23s but there’s no doubt that Guardiola’s willingness to include him in first-team activities is an excellent sign for his future at the club.