"Prospects? For Manchester City? They can afford any player they want. What do they need with prospects?" So might say the average Premiership fan.
Fair enough. Manchester City's wage bill for 2011-2012 was £178.1 million, up £26.5 million from the prior season. Backed by Sheikh Mansour's billions, City's football operations brain trust need not find diamonds in the rough the way clubs like Everton and Stoke City must.
If City needs a diamond, they go to the jeweler and buy the biggest, prettiest diamond they want to.
Still, per the Daily Mail Financial Fair Play rules loom large for 2013-2014. City would prefer not to end up on the wrong side of that line.
It would therefore benefit the club to blood some of its younger (read also as "cheaper") players in hopes of readying them for play next season.
FFP rules are likely to make the prospect of suffering through the growing pains of a new boy preferable to paying the likes of Kolo Toure 120,000 pounds weekly.