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The 18-year-old is currently on loan with the Serie A team as he looks to take his first steps into senior play.
Manchester City winger Jayden Braaf has been called a “fantastic player” and an “incredible talent” when he takes his first steps in senior football on loan at Udinese.
The 18-year-old has long been designated as a potential star, and the winger has been dubbed ‘the new Sancho’ since arriving at the Etihad Academy when he was 16 years old.
However, first-team opportunities at City did not come and, in January, Udinese were left with the 18-year-old, who has the option to buy Braaf permanently at the end of the campaign.
What was said?
Speaking exclusively to Aim After Braaf was included in the 2021 NXGN list of the best teenage footballers in the world, former Italian international and Udinese head scout Andrea Carnevale said: “He has tremendous qualities considering he was born in 2002.
“He does really good things on the field, great tricks, and is physically impressive.
“He seems like a player who is already prepared physically, but also in his style of play. He has a great personality, fantastic skills and he is sure to have a good time here.
“At Udinese, we are very happy to have him on the squad. We followed him for so long.
“The last day of the transfer window (of January) has arrived and after training with us, he looks better and better. We want to use him and we must use him because he is a fantastic player.”
How is Braaf doing at Udinese?
The Dutch youth international has only made one appearance with his temporary club so far: a 14-minute cameo in February’s 1-0 win over Fiorentina.
To the extent that should have been expected, as the final year of Braaf’s career was interrupted by both injuries and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Only players from the City’s local academy were called in to train last summer once football was restarted, and the club was concerned that foreign players would be left isolated if forced to live alone in the closed city.
That meant an extended period without football for Braaf, and that continued after he missed the start of 2020-21 through injury.
He managed to make a brief appearance in the City’s Youth FA Cup final over Chelsea in November, when their 12-year wait for the trophy ended, but there is no question that he arrived in Italy in no shape for him. match.
“Because of his qualities, he can play right now,” Carnevale added. “The question is how he will physically adapt to our league.
“He needs physical preparation, because when he arrived at the end of January he had not trained with Manchester City for a few days.
“His condition increases day by day and week by week, but he is absolutely ready to play.”
“In his first matches he is going to face something new in the style of play in a new league, because it comes from English football and from Holland, which is completely different from Italian football.
“But Udinese, in its history, has always discovered great talents from around the world, and has always had the ability to be patient with their growth and use them at the right time.
“The club strongly believes in Braaf because he has fantastic talent and power. We will wait for the right moment to make the most of its potential ”.
How likely is Braaf to leave Man City for good?
With Udinese with the option of signing Braaf at the end of 2020-21, the wing player, who had previously been a target for RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund, has never been closer to leaving City behind.
Given the esteem that has been held in the club in recent years, it is a shame, although it is understandable that he wants to play for the first team sooner rather than later.
Pep Guardiola has always asked for patience regarding Braaf’s development, just as he did with Phil Foden before him.
But the lack of opportunities has raised some questions about Braaf’s attitude, as the teen believes he is ready to step up.
City sources insist that Braaf simply has a strong personality, although he has left previous clubs under a cloud.
Having been enrolled in the Ajax academy at a young age, he left because he felt the training was too serious, only to later fight his next club, PSV, when they refused to let him play for the Netherlands in a youth tournament.
Carnevale, however, has been impressed by Braaf’s attitude since his arrival in Italy.
“It all depends on him because he is incredibly talented,” he said. “Sure he can reach the highest level in football, but it depends on his commitment. To be a player at the highest level, you need heart and hunger.
Jayden is an incredible talent, and in his first weeks at Udinese he has shown great commitment, determination and a great mentality.
“I am convinced that he can become an important player at Udinese.”