Southampton: 'Special' England U19 star could 'definitely' arrive at St Mary's

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl during Brentford clash

Southampton target Liam Delap would ‘definitely’ fit the profile that manager Ralph Hasenhuttl likes to go for, according to The Sun journalist Tom Barclay.

The highly-rated 19-year-old has been linked with a move away from Manchester City in recent weeks as he looks for regular first-team opportunities to further his development.

What is the latest news involving Southampton?

Last summer, Southampton raided Chelsea’s academy, signing Tino Livramento and Dynel Simeu on permanent deals while bringing in Armando Broja on a temporary basis.

And the south coast club have been tipped to try and pull off a similar trick by tempting Delap and City teammate Gavin Bazunu to St. Mary’s in either loan or permanent transfers.

According to The Sun, the young striker and goalkeeper are on the Saints’ shortlist as they look to replace veterans Shane Long and Fraser Forster, who are set to depart as free agents.

The likes of Nathan Redmond, Theo Walcott and Moussa Djenepo could also follow the experienced duo out of the Southampton exit door as their existing deals are due to expire in the summer of 2023.

It could be a busy window for Hasenhuttl, therefore, and he may decide to stick with a tried and tested method in order to improve his squad on a limited budget.

What has Barclay said about Southampton?

Barclay believes Delap, who was born in Winchester, is someone who could certainly fit into Hasenhuttl’s plans at Southampton and can see parallels in Southampton’s interest to their successful raids of Chelsea’s youngsters.

He told GiveMeSport: “Yeah, definitely. They’ve targeted Chelsea’s academy in recent history with great success, with obviously Livramento being the standout one, Broja as well.

Chelsea CLOSE to signing Jules Kounde! Hear more on The Football Terrace

Dynel Simeu, who went on loan to Carlisle and did well, although he’s not been as much of a standout player; he was signed more for the B team but is another player they signed from that club’s academy.

“And I think we’ve talked about Tino Anjorin as well as another possible target in the future. So, they’ve looked at that area.”

How good is Delap?

The England Under-19 international may only have played six senior games for City, but he’s already earned glowing praise from Pep Guardiola.

1 of 15
Southampton's Sadio Mane Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien

Can you guess where Sadio Mane began his footballing career?

“Liam (Delap) last season grew up a lot,” said the Spanish tactician back in February. “He is the type of striker we do not have – a killer, a typical British striker. He has special qualities.”

Delap has registered 35 goals and nine assists in 36 appearances for the Cityzens’ Under-23s and Southampton could be the perfect platform for him to push on and fulfil his potential.

News Now - Sport News