This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Middlesbrough have emerged as a contender to sign Liam Delap, according to reports from Teamtalk.
The Manchester City youngster is tipped for an incredibly bright future in the game after breaking into Pep Guardiola’s first team set-up earlier this season.
It’s thought that a loan move to the Championship could be the next step in his development with the 18-year-old attracting the interest of Derby County, Stoke City, Cardiff City, West Brom and the Teessiders.
But would a move to Middlesbrough be appealing?
The team at FLW have their say…
This would be a fantastic move.
With Assombalonga and Fletcher leaving, Boro’s forward line desperately needs improving in the summer and signing Delap would help them do just that.
There’s no denying his talent and his goal record in Premier League 2 this season highlights that he’s ready to cut his teeth in senior football.
Boro should work hard to ensure they’re the ones that capitalise because he’s likely to be hungry to prove to Pep and co that he’s good enough to cut it at Man City.
Premier League loanees have the potential to help sides compete near the top of the Championship and that’s what the Teessiders want to do.
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This could be a positive addition.
Middlesbrough have recently made the big call to let go of Ashley Fletcher and Britt Assombalonga – two high-earning, proven players who have failed to set the world alight at the Riverside.
Delap is at the other end of the cycle. He’s only just finding his feet at first-team level, and has been a regular goalscorer in the Under-23s’ at City.
Boro are obviously looking to go in a different direction next season, but is Delap ready to start week in, week out in the Championship.
He’d be an exciting one though, for sure.
With the departures of Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher confirmed, Neil Warnock has a real striker issue going into the summer and he’s going to need to recruit at least two.
And it would make complete sense for Boro to be in for Delap as he seems to have a natural eye for goal, having netted 20 times for City’s under-23’s this season and he’s also scored for the first team in the Carabao Cup.
Delap won’t learn a whole lot in the development system though and he now needs to take that next step of taking in some regular senior football to see if he’s up to Championship level just yet.
Any second tier club who are lacking strikers going into the 2021/22 campaign should really be eyeing up a move for Delap, and Boro would be silly if they aren’t in the chase.