Premier League: Jason Denayer wants to break into Man City's first-team squad
Jason Denayer is loving life at Manchester City and wants to follow in the footsteps of Vincent Kompany.
By Kristof Terreur
Last Updated: 06/11/13 5:10pm
The 19-year-old is playing for Manchester City's Elite Development Squad following a successful trial period.
He played his first games for City in May and signed a professional contract in July which keeps him at the club until 2016.
"There were also offers from Italy and other English clubs, also some Belgian ones," he told website Bediables.be.
"After they heard I had contacts with City they started to call me. I choose City because it was a huge challenge."
Denayer plays in the EDS defence with another Belgian, Mathias Bosaerts, who joined City in 2012 from Anderlecht.
"We talk French on the pitch. That's easier," he adds.
"When Patrick Vieira, our manager, gives his instructions in English, I don't understand him sometimes - I'm still learning English. Luckily French is also his mother tongue."
Ambitious Denayer wants to break into City's first-team squad next term.
"I have already trained a few times with the first team. It was a huge experience for me," he said.
"Aguero, Nasri and David Silva are impressive players, but I learn the most from Vincent Kompany.
"He gives me good advice. This year I want to train more with the big boys, develop my skills and I also dream of some playing time, maybe in the cup or so.
"Next year I want to be a part of the first squad."
Previously, Denayer played for two years in the youth set-up of Anderlecht, but then decided to join the Belgian branch of the famous Academy Jean-Marc Guillou, which has already produced Kolo Toure (Liverpool), Yaya Toure (Man City), Emmanuel Eboue (Galatasaray) and Gervinho (AS Roma).
He spent five years there until his agent, who has good contacts with Kompany, asked to have a trial at Manchester City.
"We didn't play many games, only friendlies, but we trained with our bare feet in the beginning," reminisced Denayer, who used to be a striker before they put him in defence.
"It helps to develop your technical skills. Once you've reached a certain level, you're allowed to put on shoes. From then on the training is focused on technique and playing in small spaces."