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Whatever happened to former Manchester City youngster David Faupala?

David Faupala hit the headlines in 2016 when scoring for Manchester City against Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round, but whatever happened to the former French prospect?

Ever since Abu Dhabi United Group completed their takeover in 2008, Manchester City have not placed much priority on handing opportunities to academy players and prospects, instead preferring to attract as many high-profile players as possible.

However, back in 2016, Manuel Pellegrini opted for a change of approach as seven youngsters - five from the starting lineup and two from the substitutes' bench - were handed their chance in the senior ranks.

With City scheduled to face Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine just three days later, Pellegrini placed priority on the Champions League fixture over putting his first-choice contingent up against the Blues at Stamford Bridge.

Although Chelsea recorded a convincing 5-1 victory, David Faupala made the headlines with an equaliser in the first half. As well as playing a neat one-two with a teammate before finishing from close range, the then-19-year-old kept the Chelsea backline on their toes with his physicality and sharpness.

There was every indication that Faupala had a chance to become a regular part of the first-team squad, even it if meant biding his time among the replacements in the short term. However, for whatever reason, his promising display in West London would prove to be his one and only appearance in a City shirt.

Former Manchester City youngster David Faupala© Reuters

At the start of the next campaign, City decided that Faupala would be best served spending a year with NAC Breda in the Eerste Divise, the second tier of Dutch football. That already felt like a considerable comedown for the attacker, and making just four appearances by the end of 2016 meant that Faupala had lost all of the momentum generated from his showing against Chelsea.

Being sent out to a Championship outfit appeared to be a logical step at the midway point of the season, but Faupala instead found himself dropping down to League One with Chesterfield. Although there was every expectation that the goals would start to flow at that level of the game, just one strike was recorded in 14 outings.

By this stage, Faupala realistically had no hope of ever making another appearance for City, especially with Pellegrini having been replaced by Pep Guardiola.

In November 2017, the former Lens trainee revealed that he had left the Premier League giants by mutual consent, eventually being provided with a chance to continue his career in Ukraine with Zorya Luhansk, a team very much on an upward trajectory. However, Faupala again struggled in the final third, failing to score a single goal in 13 league appearances.

During 2018-19, there was the smallest of improvements in Cyprus with Apollon Limassol with three goals coming from 16 appearances, 11 of which came from the substitutes' bench. Nevertheless, it was not enough to keep him at the club in the long term, with Faupala instead moving on to Norway with FK Jerv.

Again, while in theory this appeared to be an ideal place for Faupala to gain some much needed minutes, he made just two substitute appearances before taking the Faupala European Tour bus to Malta, where he now represents Valletta FC.

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