The City boss has claimed there have been more requests to take on Delap for this season than he has seen for any player in the past five years, and the 18-year-old – who signed a new deal keeping him at the club until 2026 on Friday – has already shown enough to suggest he can thrive in men’s football by scoring on his Blues debut and breaking the scoring record for the Blues. under 23 years old.
With City still intending to sign Harry Kane in the transfer window, Delap’s minute opportunities this season would be limited if the club managed to strike a deal down the line. Even if they are not, there is already no shortage of quality forwards in the first team with more experience than the former Derby County youngster.
However, Guardiola has insisted the young forward is one of the many prospects who will train with him this season rather than go on loan.
“He’s going to train with us if a striker comes or doesn’t come,” he said. “He’s going to train with us all season.
“Him and Cole Palmer, [James] McAtee, [Luke] Mbete, Romeo Lavia. There are five or six players who will be with us all season, like we did with Tommy Doyle – who can’t wait to be on loan – like Phil [Foden] when he came and started playing with us he played with the second team and then played with us.
“It’s the best way to help their development because the problem in the academies today here in England, the distance between the Premier League first team and the competition they play is too great. It’s really big and it’s hard to promote them from It’s the best way with players who we think have potential – like Sam Edozie, another guy – these guys are going to be with us. . ”
Delap could have enjoyed more first-team minutes this season, but suffered a foot injury that forced him to miss the start of the campaign. As the teenager draws closer to a return to fitness, Guardiola was disappointed that luck had prevented him from seeing Delap in action during the preseason, but is eager to see him back in training.
“It was a shame because he arrived in the preseason and the first day he got injured, and he’s been injured so far, he’s still injured. He couldn’t train a single workout [session] with us and the three friendlies we played against Barnsley, against the other teams where he was injured, ”he said.
“It was a good opportunity to see him but we know him quite well. He is an exceptional striker.
“A lot of teams want him, he is perhaps the most requested player that we have had since our arrival but we are counting on him, he will train with us and it depends on what will happen this season, if he has minutes or maybe we decide on another option. But for now, Liam has to recover from his injury, still not playing but having started training with us. ”