Friday, August 19, 2022

Manchester City Reject Southampton’s Offer For Their Teenage Attacker: Right Call From The Citizens?

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

If a report from The Athletic is believed to be true, Manchester City have rejected Southampton’s £16m offer for Liam Delap. The Skyblues are open to loan offers for the emerging striking sensation, but they consider him as a part of their long-term future after impressing Pep Guardiola during pre-season.

The 19-year-old starlet progressed through the academy ranks of Derby County before joining City’s youth set-up back in 2019. He was soon promoted to senior football and continued to train with their first-team squad over the past two years. The teenager, son of former Republic of Ireland international Rory Delap, had a majestic first-team debut when he fired in against Bournemouth in an EFL Cup fixture.

So far, he has made six senior appearances for the Citizens. But the England youth international deserves more minutes to flourish his skills in order to stake a claim in Guardiola’s plans. He has been majestic with the reserves; however, the persistent injury problems refrained him from securing a loan move in the past couple of windows.

New Manchester City striker Erling Haaland
COLOGNE, GERMANY – MARCH 20: Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund looks on prior to the Bundesliga match between 1. FC Köln and Borussia Dortmund at RheinEnergieStadion on March 20, 2022 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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Meanwhile, Southampton have splashed a fee of around £22.5m on City youngsters Gavin Bazunu and Roméo Lavia despite making no first-team appearance for the champions of England. They were ready to gamble on Delap too by spending another astronomical figure, but a permanent swoop is unlikely to happen now unless a late change of heart from the Skyblues.

Why Manchester City Must Ensure Minutes For Delap

The young prospect is currently in no man’s land, particularly after Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez’s signings. He won’t gain gametime in a star-studded City side ahead of the high-profile names, and the Premier League giants must find a solution for their prized asset before the window is slammed shut in over a month’s time.

City won the league last term without an outright centre-forward. Gabriel Jesus was mostly deployed from the wide, whereas the likes of Jack Grealish and Phil Foden often featured as ‘False 9’. The gaffer might bank on them as ‘Plan B’, and the minutes for Delap would be limited once again unless he explores a new opportunity.

The Saints have Che Adams and Adam Armstrong as the striking options. Adams had his moments while spearheading the attack, but the same can’t be claimed for Armstrong, who eventually lost his place in spite of a promising start. Armando Broja, on loan from Chelsea, had a decent run high up the pitch, but a return to St. Mary’s is not on the cards amid strong interest from a host of other outfits. They are closing in on cash-strapped Bordeaux prodigy Sékou Mara – a deal that should end their interest in the Manchester City forward.

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