Updated: Tuesday, 18th December 2018 @ 10:53am

'New chapter' for Patrick Vieira after he is named head of Manchester City's Elite Development Squad

'New chapter' for Patrick Vieira after he is named head of Manchester City's Elite Development Squad

By Colin Henrys

Former World Cup winner Patrick Vieira will replace Attilio Lombardo as head of Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad (EDS), the club has announced.

Italian Lombardo was one of five coaches to leave City yesterday in the wake of Roberto Mancini’s sacking.

And Vieira, who has spent two years as City’s Football Development Executive since ending his playing career at the Etihad, is relishing his new challenge.

“I feel honoured and privileged to have been offered this role,” he said. 

“This marks a new chapter both in my career and in my life and I am looking forward to it immensely.

“My passion for the development of young talent has only grown in my time at City and I am pleased to be able to play my part in helping to shape the footballing future for Manchester City.”

Frenchman Vieira, 36, earned 107 international caps during an illustrious career which saw him win five FA Cups and three Premier League titles.

After more than 400 league games for Cannes, AC Milan, Arsenal, Juventus and Internazionale, Vieira joined City in January 2010.

He scored three goals in City’s run to Wembley when they won the FA Cup the following year – their first major title in 35 years.

He played no part in the final victory against Stoke City however and retired at the end of the season to take on his executive role.

Chief Executive Ferran Soriano insisted the club was delighted that a player of Vieira's profile will oversee the youth development at City.

“Patrick is a world champion and it is a great honour that he has chosen Manchester City to begin his football management career," he said.

“I have seen him carefully considering options and choosing to coach for the best reasons – he has a love of the game and a willingness to continue to learn and transmit his knowledge and experience to young footballers.

“Patrick’s role is of the highest long term importance for the club. The ability of the academy, the EDS and the first team to work together using the same football concepts is key to our success and sustainability.”

Vieira has secured his UEFA B coaching license while with City and is currently working towards the A license.

He takes charge of the EDS with them set to move to the groundbreaking Etihad Campus next year but following a disappointing year on the pitch.

Under Lombardo, the side – who play in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League – slumped to sixth in the pool stage, winning just one of 12 matches.

A small improvement in the New Year saw them win four of their remaining 12 games, but they finished a lowly fifth out of seven in Group 2 – the lowest league.

Image courtesy of FATV, via YouTube, with thanks.

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