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Following Manchester City’s failure to sign Harry Kane last summer, it seemed as if the stars had aligned for academy star Liam Delap to become the side’s main man up front.
After returning from his time on the sidelines, the former Derby County youth goalscorer was handed the opportunity of making senior debuts in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.
While some may have expected a look into the first-team as the ideal springboard for the 19 year-old to get his big break this season, the recent signings of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez beg to differ.
As a result, it has now been confirmed that Liam Delap has joined Stoke City on a season-long loan.
The Englishman has followed in his father’s footsteps, who played his football at the Britannia Stadium for seven years.
With the starlet not expected to get regular first-team football for the Sky Blues in the ongoing campaign, a stint at Michael O’Neill’s Championship side could hand him the playing time he requires to continue his progress.
Ever since his arrival from Derby, Delap has been a nuisance in the Premier League 2 for the Elite Development Squad (EDS).
During the 2020/21 season in particular, the highly-rated striker registered 24 goals and five assists in 20 league appearances, which earned him the Premier League 2 Player of the Year award.
However, Pep Guardiola had recently admitted that the teenage sensation had outgrown youth football, which is why he seemed open to a loan spell for the player.
In the 2022/23 season, Liam Delap joins a list of several revered youngsters at the club that have departed the Etihad Stadium to gain experience at senior level on loan.
Taylor Harwood-Bellis shone on loan at Stoke during the second-half of last term, which has merited a temporary switch to Vincent Kompany’s Burnley for the talented defender.
The likes of other high-profile names such as James McAtee and Tommy Doyle have joined Sheffield United for the remainder of the season.
Other names including Yan Couto, James Trafford and Issa Kabore have also signed for the likes of Girona, Bolton Wanderers and Marseille on loan respectively.
With Liam Delap expected to be a starter at Stoke City, he could make a serious impression and contest for a place at Manchester City in the future.