Burnley boss Sean Dyche has implied that Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is ignoring his younger players in favour of spending large sums of money.
The Citizens added to their expensively-assembled squad in the January transfer window by splashing out a further £57m on Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte.
Club-record signing Laporte is one of 22 players brought to the Etihad Stadium during Guardiola’s time at the club, and Dyche believes that the huge outlay is at the expense of talented home-grown youngsters, with the Catalan yet to field an academy player in a Premier League game this term.
Ahead of Saturday lunchtime’s home match against City, Dyche told reporters: “I think they’re a fine side, without a shadow of a doubt. “I think it’s a different thing now – you collect the top players in, if not the world, then Europe, mould them into a team.
“I think that’s a different thing to some of the Man United teams of the past under Sir Alex [Ferguson] which were moulded out of partly very good signings and partly players who have come through the system. It’s a different kind of thought now. I think the demands of the Premier League are getting much, much higher.
“I remember Pep himself when he was at Barcelona talking about why buy players when you can play young players, but even he now at Man City they’re buying players, there are not many young players coming through the academy that they’re playing. They’re buying players fit for task, or virtually fit for task – that’s the demands of the Premier League.”
Guardiola has now spent close to £450m in his four transfer windows in charge of the Premier League leaders.