Manchester City U18s defender George Swan admits that he faces a “massive season” in which he hopes to shake off injury problems and stake his claim for a new contract at the club.
The 18 year-old centre-back from Normanton underwent an operation at the weekend to remove scar tissue from a knee injury that has kept him on the sidelines for the majority of this season.
Swan, who moved to City from Leeds United in 2009, was on the verge of a place in the reserves having captained City’s U18s but he has now set his sights on a return to action next term as he enters the final year of his contract.
He said: “Realistically, I have to look at next season now. There is no point rushing back to play a couple of games and risk developing other injuries.”
Swan is now training alongside City’s first team stars and admits that their influence has been significant, with former Leeds United youth product Micah Richards proving to be a particularly inspirational.
Swan explained: “Because Micah is from Leeds there is a connection there and he has chatted to me about overcoming injury as well as how he copes with playing for England and media attention.
“He is the longest-serving player at the club and he has seen the transformation of City so he has loads of experience.”
Swan added: “When you see the likes of Vincent Kompany pushing themselves in training then it drives you on because you think ‘that is what I need to do’.”
With one year of his contract remaining, Swan knows that next season is going to be a key one in deciding his future at the Etihad Stadium, saying: “It is going to be a massive season for me.
“I have had two years [at City] when I haven’t been able to show people what I can really do because of injury.
“I just want a full season and if a loan deal came along then that would be a great opportunity for me.”
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