Reported Saints interest in Man City forward makes sense as transfer opens door

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Manchester City's Liam Delap during the Emirates FA Cup third round match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.
Manchester City's Liam Delap during the Emirates FA Cup third round match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.

SAINTS are reportedly weighing up a loan move for Manchester City starlet Liam Delap, as they look to add firepower to their spluttering attack.

The 19-year-old England youth international has made three substitute appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side this season.

They add to his three last campaign, where he also scored his first senior goal in an EFL Cup start versus Bournemouth.

Delap, son of retired Premier League ace Rory, is seen as a big star for the future after his prolific rate in Premier League 2 for the Cityzens.

The six-foot one-inch forward has scored 32 in 32 appearances at the highest youth level, winning the league in consecutive years.

Daily Echo: Manchester City starlet Liam Delap warms up ahead of a Premier League clash (Pic: PA)
Daily Echo: Manchester City starlet Liam Delap warms up ahead of a Premier League clash (Pic: PA)

Manchester City starlet Liam Delap warms up ahead of a Premier League clash (Pic: PA)

Winchester-born Delap scored a hattrick against Saints B in 2020-21, netting 24 in 20 matches that campaign.

Contracted until 2026, Delap is a big prize in a devastatingly good City youth side and Guardiola is already aware of just how talented the youngster is.

“Liam Delap for me, for the club, is so important for the future,” Guardiola stated earlier this season. “At the end of last season, we said we had to extend the contract.

“He is going to train with us, if a striker comes or doesn’t come. He will train with us all season. There are five or six guys who will be with us all season. It’s like Phil (Foden), when he arrived with us.

“(He) trained with us and played with the second team. It is the best way to help with their development.

Daily Echo: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (Pic: PA)
Daily Echo: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (Pic: PA)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (Pic: PA)

“The problem with academies is the distance between their competition and the Premier League. It is too big. And it’s really difficult to promote them from here.”

This is not the first time Saints and other Premier League clubs have been linked with Delap, but now the timing of the latest report in The Sun makes perfect sense.

City have just agreed terms for the signing of Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, while they will also have Argentine forward Julian Alvarez returning from his loan.

It could open the door for Delap to go and find a temporary home elsewhere in the Premier League, just like Armando Broja did this season.

Broja, a 20-year-old Albanian international, arrived at St Mary’s from Chelsea and has scored six goals in his first Premier League season.

Delap, if available on a loan deal, could represent a fast and affordable way for Saints to replace him if he returns to Cobham this summer.

There is a shared mutual respect between Guardiola and Ralph Hasenhuttl, which could help the City boss trust Saints with one of their high-potential assets.

Daily Echo:
Daily Echo:

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