Despite their mega spending reputation, Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak insists the academy remains important to them.
There are concerns the good work done by former youth guru Jim Cassell is falling away.
But Khaldoon said: "We have continued to invest in the academy and brought on a lot of talent this year. The reserves finished second this year.
"I am very optimistic, especially with some of the talents brought in over the last 12 months.
"The academy continues to go from strength to strength.
"This is always going to be a priority. You need a successful academy."