The 2022/23 season will give a host of Manchester City’s most acclaimed youngsters a platform to finally prove their potential.
Various reports have suggested that Cole Palmer is set to be regularly selected as one of Manchester City’s first-choice wingers next season, after Raheem Sterling’s move to Chelsea is finally confirmed.
Similarly, midfield starlet James McAtee may be shifted out wide in the coming season, much like Phil Foden has been during the start of his illustrious Sky Blues career.
The likes of Romeo Lavia, Gavin Bazunu, Darko Gyabi, CJ-Egan Riley and Samuel Edozie will start afresh by switching on a permanent basis to Southampton, Leeds, Burnley and Bayer Leverkusen respectively next term.
Elsewhere, Tommy Doyle and Taylor Harwood-Bellis will head on season-long loans to Sheffield United and Burnley.
However, a major question mark hangs around the summer plans of highly-rated striking talent Liam Delap.
Despite being tipped to be Manchester City’s future number nine for years to come, it is unlikely that the 19-year old will get a look-in, especially with the arrivals of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez to the side.
With Haaland being one of the world’s finest strikers and Alvarez offering a ton of versatility, it is improbable that the newly-crowned Euro U-19 champion will push the pair for minutes next season.
Keeping all these factors in mind, one Premier League club are eyeing a move for the towering frontman.
As per a report by Alex Crook of talkSPORT, Southampton are hoping that the imminent appointment of Manchester City youth talent expert Joe Shields will give them an upper hand in securing Liam Delap’s services.
The Saints-bound Shields has been the Sky Blues’ current Head of Recruitment over the years and is responsible for spotting gems in the game such as Jadon Sancho, Romeo Lavia and Michael Olise.
Additionally, Shields is claimed to share a close bond with the Manchester City wonderkid, after discovering his talent at the age of 16.
Ultimately, Shields’ influence is what could have led to Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men completing the signings of Gavin Bazunu and Romeo Lavia.
Touching on Delap, it seemed like with Manchester City’s failure to wrap up a deal for Harry Kane as their successor to Sergio Agüero last summer, the England youth star had the golden opportunity to become the side’s go-to striker.
However, an injury-riddled campaign did not help the youngster’s case, as Pep Guardiola masterminded the Sky Blues to a successive Premier League title, courtesy of his fluid false nine system.
Despite earning his debuts in the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup, the Englishman ultimately endured a season to forget.
With a Premier League outfit such as Southampton knocking on his door, a prospect of Liam Delap’s ilk may back himself to depart Manchester City to become the main man at St. Mary’s next season.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Alamy
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