Scout report: Man City target Darío Sarmiento shines bright in La Plata

By Tom Robinson

While rumors continue to swirl around the possibility of a Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola reunion at Manchester City, there is another diminutive Argentinian seemingly on his way to the Etihad.

The player in question is 17-year-old wonderkid Dario Sarmiento, who became the second-youngest debutant in Estudiantes history when he came off the bench against Huracan last October.

Sarmiento has already earned rave reviews from the likes of former Barcelona defender Gabriel Milito and the late ex-Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella, who reportedly sank to his knees in reverence when he met the teen tyro in person.

Initially, on the books of Independiente, the Florencio Varela native switched to La Plata-based Estudiantes in 2009. Having impressed at youth level for El Pincha, Sarmiento was called up to the Argentina Under-16 side that was victorious in the Torneo Desarollo in Portugal and the prestigious Mondial Montaigu in France. He scored the equalizer in the final against Mexico before converting the decisive penalty in the shoot-out.

Sarmiento was then promoted to the Estudiantes first team and immediately caught the eye with his dazzling wing play. Though typically more of a central playmaker at youth level, he has often been used on the right-hand side, cutting in off the flank onto his favored left foot.

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