By Sam Stone

19th Nov, 2022 | 10:10am

View: James Trafford must make Manchester City decision after fine Bolton loan spell

Manchester City have some of the best young talent in the world on their books however due to the strength of their first team, opportunities can be few and far between.

Gavin Bazunu is an excellent example from the 2021/22 season. The Republic of Ireland goalkeeper had a remarkable loan spell at League One side Portsmouth before returning to the Etihad. Pep Guardiola was eager for the 20-year-old to be Ederson’s understudy, but instead, Bazunu opted to look for regular first-team football and moved to Southampton.

Similar scenarios could begin to happen with the likes of Liam Delap and James McAtee, who are currently out on loan in the Championship. Another player who is also thriving right now is goalkeeper James Trafford, who is plying his trade for League One side, Bolton.

The 20-year-old has been a vital player for Ian Evatt’s side, who currently sit in seventh position in the third tier. With a prevented goals of over four (WyScout), the shot-stopper has been showing his worth for the Trotters. It would also appear Trafford is a modern goalkeeper, very much in the mould of how Manchester City would like their men in between the sticks to operate.

Trafford leaves his line more than any other keeper in the league (43), with the keeper coming out at least two times a game. We often see Ederson playing as a sweeper, with City operating with a high line to keep opposition teams penned in their own half. Having a keeper who can clear long balls in behind is absolutely vital.

What makes the 20-year-old’s performance even more impressive is that Bolton are among the sides that face the fewest shots per game (3.22). Essentially the young keeper is saving pretty much every single shot which comes his way at the moment.

A decision does now remain for Trafford for when he returns to the Etihad. He simply has to remain playing first-team football, and with Ederson a shoo-in to start for City, it does seem unlikely he will be featuring for City any time soon.

He must either explore another loan deal or look to pastures new, much like Bazunu did.

In other Manchester City news, the club could make a £70m+ move for Bukayo Saka says one scouting expert