Back in April, NAC Breda announced a partnership with the City Football Group that would include Manchester City sending young hopefuls on loan. City sent Turkish striker Enes Ünal and Ghanaian youngster Divine Naah to the Dutch club last season, but NAC narrowly missed out on promotion to Eredivisie after losing in the play-off finals.
Despite remaining in the second tier of Dutch football, NAC will still benefit from the new partnership and four young hopefuls have arrived in the Netherlands today.
Local boys George Glendon (21) and Ashley Smith-Brown (20) have come through the ranks at City and both traveled to the Netherlands today. Smith-Brown, a full-back, was linked with Barcelona, Chelsea and Arsenal back in 2012, and now has a chance to develop in the professional game. He joins on loan for the season, while Glendon has been announced as training with them for now, with a loan possibly to follow.
19-year-old Thomas Agyepong is one of many young Ghanaians to have joined City from the Right to Dream academy in his homeland, and has already experienced football in the Netherlands after spending last season on loan at FC Twente. He played 563 minutes in total at Twente and should expect more minutes in the second division. Like Smith-Brown, he joins on loan for the 2016-17 season.
The last arrival has already caused some confusion. Initial reports from the Netherlands were that highly-rated defender Tosin Adarabioyo (18) was heading to NAC, but though not confirmed yet, the man in the photo appears to be his older brother Fisayo Adarabioyo (21). Fisayo left the Manchester City academy a few years ago and has been on the books of Crystal Palace and Italian third tier side Padova since leaving City. It is likely this trial/deal was arranged by the City Football Group, but NAC have not mentioned him in their official release.
One player who will not be returning to NAC next season is Enes Ünal, who is expected to be tested at a higher level after 9 goals in 11 appearances there last season. The Turkish striker could remain in the Netherlands but make the step up to the Eredivisie.
ashley smith-brown, george glendon, thomas agyepong