The Graduates No.29: Abdi Ibrahim
- Tue 08 Nov 2011, 2:10PM
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
The route to the City first team for Abdisalam Ibrahim would seem to be an unlikely one.
Spotted by Academy scout Barry Poynton, Ibrahim was being assessed by Academy manager Jim Cassell and coach Alex Gibson at a tournament in Turkey when he was sent off after just 12 minutes.
But City had seen enough and the athletic midfielder was brought to Platt Lane in 2007
He quickly adapted to his new surroundings, on and off the pitch, and his box-to-box prowess ensured that he established himself in the City Under-18 side.
He played his part in helping bring the FA Youth Cup back to the club for the first time in 22 years, and as a result he signed full professional terms.
He became a regular in the reserves, but with the club now able to afford the best midfield talent around, first team chances looked limited.
However a new manager, in the shape of Roberto Mancini, meant a new slate for City’s younger players and Ibrahim made an impressive first team debut away to Scunthorpe United in the FA Cup in January 2010.
Now in a squad containing his footballing idol, Patrick Vieira, Ibrahim continued to make progress but only one further appearance came before he returned to Glanford Park, this time on loan a year after making his debut there.
The Irons were in trouble at the wrong end of the Championship and Ibrahim failed to mark his mark in 11 appearances.
He returned to City before the end of 2010/11, and was loaned to NEC Nijmegan in the Dutch Eredivsie for all of the following season.
Having played for Norway at youth level, there is every chance that he could become yet another City Academy graduate to play full international football.