With Football Insider reporting the Saints are in the market for a striker and are ready to listen to loan offers for current frontman Adam Armstrong, Barclay has reinforced the idea that the club are admirers of Manchester City’s up-and-coming forward.
However, he has been described as ‘exceptional’ by the Spanish coach and has appeared to catch the eye with his tremendous scoring form at youth level, with 35 goals in 36 games for the U23s at the Etihad Stadium.
Barclay believes that the time could be right for the England U19 international to seek a temporary move elsewhere given the recent arrivals in Manchester, and the reporter feels that a St Mary’s switch would suit both parties.
He told GiveMeSport:
“All I can say on Delap is as I said a month ago, Southampton like him. Delap seems a player who’s primed for a loan move, because I can’t see him getting a chance at City, as much as they seem to like him, having bought [Erling] Haaland and [Julian] Alvarez, so maybe it’s time for a loan move, and Southampton need a forward.
“It makes a lot of sense, but I’m more putting two and two together.”
TIF Thoughts on Delap and Southampton…
Would you take Liam Delap on loan this summer?
The Saints have already signed a couple of City prospects in goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu and midfielder Romeo Lavia, while they have appointed former Citizens academy general Joe Shields and their new head of recruitment.
James Ward-Prowse was the side’s top scorer last season with 11 goals, while the on-loan Armando Broja struck nine.
Permanent squad members Che Adams and Armstrong finished the season with eight and two goals respectively, and Ralph Hasenhuttl is perhaps looking to add that marquee striker that would take the team further up the table.
While perhaps not of that level just yet, Delap has certainly shown the pedigree in youth football to warrant a chance to show what he can do in the top flight, and maybe that opportunity will come on the south coast.