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Opinion: 19-year-old Man City forward should be Burnley’s number one transfer target this summer

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Now that he has been confirmed as Burnley’s new first-team manager, Vincent Kompany has a big task on his hands to rebuild the Clarets and secure an immediate return to the Premier League for the Lancashire outfit.

Their six-year stay in England’s top flight came to an end last month – as did Sean Dyche’s reign a month before the 2021-22 campaign ended – and following what seemed like an eternity for the club’s fans to wait, Kompany was appointed last week after he was finally handed a work permit.

The Belgian though is walking into a job where a lot of the club’s senior squad has departed – the likes of James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Aaron Lennon and Erik Pieters have already departed, and there’s already transfer links to Maxwel Cornet, Dwight McNeil, Nathan Collins and Nick Pope amongst others.

Quiz: Can you name which club Burnley signed these 20 players from when they were in the Football League?

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Jelle Vossen

Then, when you factor in the likes of Wout Weghorst who have stated publicly their desire to leave, then Kompany has a big job on his hands to bring new faces in, and it remains to be seen what kind of budget he has as the Clarets have to repay some of a loan that Alan Pace took out following his purchase of the club in December 2020.

One avenue Kompany would be foolish not to explore is potential loan players from his former club Manchester City, where he is held in extremely high regard.

The Premier League champions have a plethora of young talent ready for regular Championship football as a stepping stone for the next part of their careers, and one has already been linked in the form of Taylor Harwood-Bellis, with Kompany already having managed the centre-back for half a season at Anderlecht last year.

It’s not just the back-line that Kompany needs to look at though – his striking options need freshening up as well, with both Ashley Barnes and Jay Rodriguez the wrong side of 30 years old.

That is why Liam Delap should be the first name on Kompany’s shopping list when it comes to immediate recruitment, with The Athletic reporting that the 19-year-old will be allowed to depart Pep Guardiola’s side on loan this summer.

A loan spell for Delap is something that many expected would happen last season, as in the 2020-21 campaign, the son of Rory netted 24 times in 20 under-23 Premier League games for City, and also scored goals in the FA Youth Cup, EFL Trophy and even the Carabao Cup for the senior side.

Delap had a wretched first half of this past season though as he struggled with injuries, but upon his return in the second half of the campaign, he scored eight times in 10 under-23 Premier League matches, as well as playing in the Champions League and Premier League briefly.

With Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez both arriving at the Etihad Stadium this summer, it’s clearer now than ever that Delap needs a move for the 2022-23 campaign to really show people where he’s at – and Turf Moor would be the perfect step for his development.

It may help additionally if Kompany can get his hands on a Cole Palmer or James McAtee to help supply Delap with the service he needs, but he may be good enough to work with what Burnley already have.


25 years old, UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, Preston North End fan

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Opinion: 19-year-old Man City forward should be Burnley’s number one transfer target this summer

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