Manchester City’s 19-year-old English striker, Liam Delap, has been looking to get a new experience altogether as he senses that it could get difficult for him to make a breakthrough at Etihad, following Julian Alvarez & Erling Haaland’s acquisition this summer.
However, the current transfer situation does not tell the whole narrative about how good of a striker Delap is. The English right-forward started as a star youth striker at the Etihad, since he joined them in 2019 from Derby County. He developed himself in such a way that he would always act as a frontrunner in any attack that he played in. First at the U16 level, then at the U18 level, and finally at the U23 level – Delap became a serious goal-getter for his side, both at the club level, as well as at the National level.
In the 2020/21 season, Delap showed his prowess when he scored a mammoth 24 goals in just 20 games in the Premier League 2 for the Manchester City U23s. The Cityzens were crowned as the champions, and the then 17-year-old Liam Delap took the golden boot home with him. Yet, it seems as if these stats were not enough to get the youngster more game time than he deserved.
In the last season, Delap only featured in 10 PL2 games, and in 15 games overall the season. Despite such a mediocre season in terms of total appearances made, the teenage striker was still able to score 8 goals and provide another 2 assists.
The Underlying Potential of Delap
Born in Winchester, the English teenage sensation can play as a right winger apart from his usual Centre Forward position. Liam Delap is often compared to Jadon Sancho when the latter played for Borussia Dortmund. The movement, the pace, cutting inside on edge before lashing a shot past the keeper, and sometimes even sending the defenders to shops- no doubt that both players are City products, given the similarities in their playing styles.
- A tank (in terms of stamina)
For an attacking forward, Delap has energy/stamina in abundance. So much so that it had to be monitored by the Man City staff and coaches. Now it seems as if the teenage sensation has found a way to stray up top and act as a poacher to score the goals, making sure that he only makes those darting runs on the counter or whenever there is a need for it.
#ManCity coaches are working with striker Liam Delap (18) in an effort to reduce his running in games, conserving his energy and appreciating that there is a skill in staying still.
— City Xtra (@City_Xtra) March 9, 2021
- Has got an Eye for teeing up his teammates to score the goals
Generally, you would not see a striker or a centre-forward passing the ball out to his teammates- they just cannot settle for an assist (haha!). But Delap has got a knack for picking out passes for his teammates in the final third. His passing skills have often been compared to that of his father – Rory Delap. A forward with a goalscoring threat as well as possessing a threat to assist his teammates on will- this just makes Liam Delap an even more lethal attacking option, than he already is!
- Aguero-like shooting!
Over the past couple of years at least, Liam Delap has made a strong reputation for long-range shooting. Scoring worldies, bangers and/or curlers! The teenage striker has got it in his locker to pull a long-range goal out of his hat if the opposition gives even the littlest of spaces.
Liam Delap is given the green signal to move out!
No wonder a player with such a repertoire of skills is being scouted by several teams across Europe. Until last week, the reports were coming in that Manchester City is not ready to accept a permanent move for the starlet. However, in the updated reports from yesterday and a few days before that, media outlets believe that the City Board will not be reluctant to sell the player as they once were. If the right bid comes, they would consider selling Delap.
Digging deep into the saga, it seems as if Southampton is a club who have been eagerly following the whole Liam Delap situation and might bid for the player in the coming days – having already lost Kean Potter-Lewis to Brentford. But in hindsight, a move to the St. Mary’s is looking highly unlikely because of the fact that Delap has no experience in competitive football as of today. Any team in the Premier League would want security in their signings- as in if they are putting in time and resources to sign a player, then they would also want that the player comes out to be a good value for money investment.
Not criticising Delap’s abilities, but it is just food for thought- why a Premier League side would want to splash out millions to sign a player whose highest level of experience is playing for the U23s?! It does not make any sense… At the same time, Delap should look to gain some good first-team experience in Second-tier football, on loan from City- at the Championship level.
If I was a betting man, I would put my money on Delap leaving on loan to a Championship club or even a Premier League club short on players in that position. Rather a permanent move, just yet!
As mentioned above, a permanent move is pointless for Delap in my opinion and it is not at all down to his “inability”- rather he is very much talented as we saw earlier. But it is down to the kind of business teams are doing nowadays, that would make him look like an inferior signing in the pick of signings. Hence he should be patient before making a big move, spending a year on a loan and making a name for himself.