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Who Is Gai Assulin, Manchester City's New Signing?

Gai Assulin was born in Nahariya on the 9th of April 1991 and signed for Manchester City from Barcelona in December, 2010. He is one of Israel’s exceptional young talents that exist among football today.

Assulin started his career at the footballing school of Hapoel Haifa. When he was just seven years old, Assulin moved to the Bietar Tubruk youth ranks. He was rapidly evolving as a fine individual talent and at the age of 12, his team coach, Shlomo Scharf proposed to Assulin’s parents to consider taking their son to try out for the FC Barcelona youth team. They accepted the proposal and were delighted to find out that Gai was chosen for the youth squad.

The hard work finally paid off for Gai Assulin as he graduated to the FC Barcelona ‘B’ team at the start of August 2007, and was offered a new contract, senior contract and his buy-out clause was beefed up to €20 million. Gai Assulin was living the dream and got his first taste of first team football in September of that year, when he made an appearance in the 46th minute against Girona FC in the semi-final of the Copa Catalunya.

Unfortunately just as he was beginning to prove himself he struggled with injuries during the 2008/09 season. He worked hard over that year regaining form & fitness, which saw him receive an invitation from first team coach Pep Guardiola to participate in pre-season matches with Barcelona. He featured in 3 of Barcelona’s six pre-season friendlies playing against Tottenham Hotspur, Al-Alhy & Manchester City. He continued to impress and made his debut start for Guardiola’s side, competing against Cultural Leonesa in late 2009. Because of the lengthy 2009/10 season Pep Guardiola rested several key players and introduced four Barca ‘B’ players which included Assulin.

Unfortunately for Gai, Barca had no reason to extend his contract and it was announced by mutual consent on 1st of July 2010 that Assulin would be leaving the club. Gai was often linked to Premier League clubs with Arsenal, Blackburn and Tottenham interested in his services. On October 8th 2010 it was reported that Assulin had joined big spenders Manchester City but the contract was a trial for the time being. He was in and out of Eastlands until finally he was signed early this week on a two and a half year deal.

Assulin was delighted and he said, “I had heard a lot about City, and as soon as I saw the club I wanted to stay. I’m at a great club and I hope to be here a long time. I have to take my opportunity and learn every day in training.”

Assulin also became noticed on an international scale for the Israel national side, becoming their youngest ever player, capped two weeks before his 17th birthday, when he trotted out against Chile in 2008. To this day, that has been his only national cap.

Here’s a video of Assulin in action:

You can follow me on Twitter or on my blog as I will be keeping you up to date with all the stories as they break.

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  1. UpTheBlues

    December 16, 2010 at 6:42 am

    He’ll be off to a different club in about 3 years, so it doesn’t really matter.

  2. aisosa

    December 16, 2010 at 5:41 am

    city is the worst club possible for him. theyre in a time where they have to play established names to get results and justify theyre spending. you see how adam johnson is out of the first 11 now.

    citys record with young players isnt good of late. ireland, onuaha, sturridge, michael johnson all broke through and would of been the foundation for the club if not for the demand in trophies now, but none of them have made it there.

    city are the new madrid, they dont wait for young players to develop, if they arent successful immediately theyre out of the door

  3. Gareth

    December 15, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Gai was highly regarded at Barcelona for many years, but they gave up on him entirely. I saw him in the games against Tottenham, Al-Ahly and Cultural, and to be honest, he was far from the best young player there. He’s not a bad player, but I figure if Barca decided he wasn’t good enough, he’s not going to be good enough for Man City. This is a side that want the best of the best, and if Barcelona didn’t think they could make him into a world class star, I don’t see how City ever could….

    However, we only have to look at Cesc Fabregas and Ivan De La Pena to see that it wouldn’t be the first time if Barcelona come knocking in 5 years.

  4. karich o'kunnert

    December 15, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    It should be noted that Assulin is also the surname of the family on Israel’s version of the Sopranos. So he may be tougher than he looks.

  5. Football Souvenirs

    December 15, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    He was very highly rated by Barcelona apparently so it wounds a bit of a coup for city

  6. wjmooner

    December 15, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Silva and Assulin on the wings, Tevez up top, apparently MCFC is trying to recreate my Master League team from Winning Eleven 9. Might I suggest they pick up Freddy Adu. He develops nicely in that game.

    • yeah you dude

      December 15, 2010 at 8:08 pm

      so many nerds u even try and make it sound like man city have an unheathly obsession with computer games…go and get some fresh air u spotty little pencil neck

  7. Matthew

    December 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    great on FM

    • Allen Nguyen

      December 15, 2010 at 4:02 pm

      I was just about to say that it seems like MCFC’s play waaaaay too much Football Manager and use savegame editors to give them absurd amounts of funds.

      Seriously, though.

  8. bob marley

    December 15, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    City have signed too many youngsters and finally made nothing out of them……..Weiss is one name that comes to mind…….An Israeli Kid in a club owned by a Sheikh………something doesn’t feel right.

    • Evan

      December 15, 2010 at 2:13 pm

      Weiss is on loan at Rangers and has been playing well so I’m pretty sure he’ll stay. What are you talking about signing too many youngsters?? Balotelli is only 20 and has been playing pretty well. Boyata is only 20 and has been a great defender. Boateng and Richards are both 22 (maybe not youngsters anymore) and they have been solid this season.
      I don’t know what you’re on about. City have also produced some of the best young talent in the league from the academy.

    • tublu

      December 15, 2010 at 2:58 pm

      “An Israeli Kid in a club owned by a Sheikh………something doesn’t feel right.” what sort of garbage is that bob ? should we be worried about russians in german clubs ? how about jocks playing in england ? black players playing in clubs owned by white men ? sounds like thinly veiled racism to me bob. the real robert nesta would be well pi55ed off with you.

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