Stoke City are rumoured to be closing in on a deal to sign Manchester City youngster Liam Delap, according to Football Insider.
What’s the story?
Delap has been with Manchester City since 2019 and has gone on to make three appearances for the club’s first team over the years.
The forward has netted 30 goals in 27 appearances for the Manchester City under-23s team, and it appears as though those strong performances haven’t gone unnoticed.
Delap has emerged as a loan target for the likes of West Brom, Middlesbrough and Cardiff City in the past, which could have been a tempting proposition for Delap on a temporary basis, as he looks to further his development in senior football.
Football Insider have now reported that Stoke are close to reaching an agreement to sign Delap on loan for the 2020/21 season, with both parties believed to be in advanced talks over a potential deal.
Delap is a young talent who is clearly highly rated by Manchester City, with the forward already making three senior appearances for the club, whilst under the management of Pep Guardiola.
The youngster has been labelled as ‘powerful’ and ‘very impressive’ by Football Talent Scout in the past, and their glowing report of the forward should excite Stoke fans as their club look as though they’re set to sign the Premier League talent this summer.
The Potters certainly could benefit from adding a striker of his potential to their books, with Michael O’Neill not exactly being blessed with a forward with Delap’s eye for goal in recent seasons.
Delap will be keen to make a name for himself in senior football on a consistent basis moving forwards, and a move to the bet365 Stadium will give him the opportunity to do just that.
Will Delap be a good signing for Stoke?
Stoke have been somewhat of a ‘sleeping giant’ in the Championship for far too long now, and they need a striker who can fire them up the second-tier standings this term to keep them in contention to make a timely promotion back into the Premier League.
Delap could be the answer to that problem as well, and if he can hit the ground running, then this could turn out to be a shrewd bit of business by the Potters and it’d be interesting to see how they’d fit the 18-year-old into their team.
Stoke are set to take on Reading in their opening match of the 2021/22 campaign this weekend, in what could potentially be a tough test up against Veljko Paunovic’s men, who narrowly missed out on a top-six finish in the Championship last term. Stoke fans will be hopeful of Delap being in their squad for that game.
O’Neill must do all he can to make sure this is a deal that’s completed in the near future.