Bringing in an elite number nine has been a priority for Manchester City for months now, but, with just a week before the transfer window closes, the Premier League champions have yet to put in place. implement their intention to sign Harry Kane.
However, if what Pep Guardiola has said following his side’s 5-0 loss to Norwich City on Saturday, City’s forward-looking forward could already be in the building.
“Liam Delap will train with us if a striker comes or doesn’t come. He’s going to train with us all season, ”he said. In other words, the EDS phenomenon won’t be leaving the club on loan anytime soon.
At first glance, this may seem like a rather predictable and bland statement. Delap is a hot prospect, so naturally City want to make him part of the set-up first team.
Some might see the decision as a mistake on City’s part. Surely what an 18-year-old striker needs under his belt are minutes on the pitch, not on the bench or in the stands?
That’s a valid point, but when you take a look at the fates of many of the City’s beloved youngsters in recent years, it becomes clear that not going out on loan is a very good sign indeed.
This is the ruthless way City deal with the development of their youngsters, when a player is loaned out they are likely to never play for the first team.
Many clubs use loan periods to give new players professional experience, toughen them up and expand their football education.
In City, however, it’s a different story.
The City Football Academy is one of the best facilities in the world for producing star talent, but it would be naive to think that the Blues can just fill their first team entirely with local produce.
To compete at the top of the game City need to throw their net far for talent, but doing so requires financial income. Not all City academy graduates may be good enough to fit into Guardiola’s plans, but they can certainly demand hefty fees in the transfer market.
Therefore, most of the time, loans are used to increase transfer values and attract potential buyers – almost like a business paying for a billboard at a crossroads.
The cases of Angelino, Lukas Nmecha, Aleix Garcia, Manu Garcia and Tosin Adarabioyo are good examples. All of them showed promise in and around the first team, but once loaned out they didn’t return to the Etihad.
It should be noted that Oleksandr Zinchenko is the exception to this rule. The Ukrainian had a disastrous loan to PSV shortly after arriving at City, but made his way into the team’s first photo as an unlikely left-back on his return.
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All in all, when it comes to players who City say really have what it takes to make the first team, spend a season training alongside the squad and getting acquainted with the demands of football Guardiola is much more useful than going to a club. in the league.
Phil Foden is a perfect example. A multitude of clubs would have been delighted to remove him from City’s hands, but Guardiola preferred to keep him close to him. Now he is the most exciting young Englishman ever.
Of course, Delap is not Foden and it is unclear whether City’s confidence in last season’s Premier League 2 top scorer will be rewarded.
However, the deal with Kane looking increasingly difficult and Guardiola himself admitting that City’s performances – at least until Norwich’s defeat on Saturday – have missed goals, now seems the perfect opportunity for him to break into the first team.
Staying in Manchester could pay off big for Delap.
Will Liam Delap become a regular at Pep’s City? Follow our new editor City Fan Brands Alex Brotherton on Twitter to participate in the discussion and let us know your thoughts in the comments section here.